This week, Madden 19 released their ratings for their game, which will be released on August 10th. There are 11 former Colorado Buffaloes active in the NFL, 9 of whom are rated in the game. Based on these ratings, there is one star from CU, another excellent cornerback, a few quality starters, and the rest prospects. Besides the top two, everyone seems a bit underrated.
David Bakhtiari is a 97 overall. This makes the former Buffalo the highest rated offensive lineman in the game and tied for the 11th best player overall. This corroborates with the Pro Football Focus, who rate Bakhtiari as the best offensive tackle in the NFL. PFF writes, “Bakhtiari has become the best pass-blocking tackle in the game, locking down Aaron Rodgers’ blind side for the Green Bay Packers. He led the league in pass-blocking efficiency in 2017 at 98.0, surrendering just one sack and 12 total pressures across 455 pass-blocking snaps.” Best tackle in the NFL isn’t bad for a former two-star recruit and fourth round draft pick.
Jimmy Smith is an 89. Smith is now in his eight season with the Baltimore Ravens and has supplanted himself as a consistently above average corner. This places Smith as tied for the 10th highest rated corner in the game. For the Broncos fans here, he’s tied with Aqib Talib and ahead of Chris Harris, Jr. by one point. 2018 was Smith’s best season in the pros until he tore his Achilles tendon and later suspended for performance enhancing substances. Hopefully he can come back strong and once again be a top-tier corner.
Paul Richardson is an 84. Richardson is entering his fifth season in the NFL, now with Washington on a fat five-year $40 million deal. In his time with the Seattle Seahawks, he made a name for himself as one of the most exciting big play receivers in the sport. He has an 88 spectacular catch rating, which seems too low considering the jaw dropping plays he’s made in his short career. Richardson has the same overall rating as other receivers like Kelvin Benjamin and Nelson Agholor, which feels accurate.
Nate Solder is an 83. Like Richardson, Solder has recently switched teams as he signed with the New York Giants a lavish four-year, $62 million contract. In his first seven years as Tom Brady’s blindside blocker, Solder was always rated in the high 80s. This fall in ratings can be attributed to an up-and-down season last year, where PFF rated him as just the 32nd best offensive tackle in the league. Whether or not he bounces back to be an elite tackle again, it’s still valuable to be an average player.
Ken Crawley is an 82. Crawley is considered the second best of the many former CU defensive backs in the game. This comes after he broke out last season with the New Orleans Saints. At CU, Crawley always showed how much talent he had, but he finally put it all together in his second NFL season. After going undrafted in 2016, he’s an essential piece to one of the NFL’s best secondaries.
Chidobe Awuzie is an 81. After spending four years as the best defender on the Buffs, Awuzie was a second round pick for the Dallas Cowboys and has proved himself already. Awuzie struggled with injuries and missed 6 games, but when he was on the field, he was rated as a league average corner, which is fantastic for a rookie. Of all second year cornerbacks, Awuzie is only behind Marshon Lattimore, Tre’Davious White and Adoree’ Jackson.
Mason Crosby is a 77. Crosby has had a long run as a high-level kicker, but it seems that he’s past his prime. In 2018, he had the second least accurate season of his career as he dipped below 80% on field goal attempts and missed two extra points. Crosby is still at a 94 kick power — still top-tier — and his accuracy is at a decent 84 rating. All considered, though, his 77 rating isn’t that bad. The best kicker in the game, Justin Tucker, is only an 86 overall, so it seems kickers in general are underrated in the game.
Ahkello Witherspoon is a 75. To be completely clear: Witherspoon is drastically underrated. The game has Witherspoon as a replacement-level player and gives him a 76 man coverage rating, which is completely off. Witherspoon doesn’t have the reputation as one of the most promising young cornerbacks, but his advanced stats already have him as the 41st best corner in the league. For reference, Awuzie, an 81 overall in Madden, is rated as the 38th best corner by PFF. It seems that Madden 19 was too enamored with Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense that they didn’t see Witherspoon emerge as their best defensive back.
Isaiah Oliver is a 73. Another disrespectful ranking, imo. Oliver is still a raw prospect, but he proved himself at CU to be one of the best coverage corners in college football. His overall is so low because his awareness and play recognition ratings are both 62. Even for a raw rookie, those ratings are woeful. (This is the point in this article that we all have to remember that this is a video game and these ratings are basically meaningless.)
Tedric Thompson and Phillip Lindsay are not listed in the game, which is absolutely disgusting of EA Sports to do. I hope this game gets canceled like NCAA Football because of this disrespect to Phil and Ted.