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Bakhtiari, Lindsay top former Buffaloes in Madden NFL 21 launch ratings

Rookies Shenault Jr. and Taylor receive first-ever ratings 

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again! Ahead of the game’s August 25 release date, EA Sports announced the player ratings for Madden NFL 21. And while no Colorado Buffaloes made the prestigious ‘99 club’, four of them received initial launch ratings above an 80 overall.

Eight-year NFL veteran David Bakhtiari, who has been protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side since 2013, received a 96-overall rating, the highest among former Buffaloes. The Packers lineman was also the top-rated left tackle in the game, one point ahead of the Saints’ Terron Armstead.

Following a second consecutive 1,000-yard season in 2019, Broncos halfback Phillip Lindsay was given an 85-overall rating, one point ahead of Denver’s big offseason acquisition Melvin Gordon (84 OVR). His 85 rating tied for second among AFC West halfbacks with the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler. Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh Jacobs lead the division with an 88 rating. Perhaps more impressive was Lindsay’s speed characteristic listed at a 93, third among all halfbacks behind San Francisco’s Raheem Mostart and Matt Brieda.

Five former Colorado defensive backs were also rated, with Baltimore Ravens’ veteran Jimmy Smith pacing the way with an 83-overall. Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie received an 82-overall, tied for second among NFC East corners behind Eagles’ Darius Slay Jr. (88 OVR).

Rookies Laviska Shenault Jr., a second-round pick by the Jaguars, and Davion Taylor, a third-round selection by the Eagles received their first ever Madden ratings of 72 and 67.

Raiders speedster Henry Ruggs III led all rookie wide receivers with a 76 rating, which included a 98 speed, making him the second fastest player in the game behind the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. Shenault’s 72 rating was tied for sixth among rookie wide receivers with former Arizona State wideout and 49ers second-round pick Brandon Aiyuk.

Taylor, who played a hybrid strong safety-linebacker position in Bouder, was listed at right outside linebacker. Former Oklahoma standout Kenneth Murray Jr., the 23rd overall pick by the Chargers led all rookie ROLB’s with a 73 rating.

Here’s a full look at the Madden NFL 21 ratings of former Colorado Buffaloes:

96 OVR — David Bakhtiari, LT, Packers

85 OVR — Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos

83 OVR — Jimmy Smith, CB, Ravens

82 OVR — Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Cowboys

77 OVR — Mason Crosby, K, Packers

74 OVR — Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, 49ers

72 OVR — Ken Crawley, CB, Raiders

72 OVR — Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jaguars

71 OVR — Isaiah Oliver, CB, Falcons

70 OVR — Nate Solder, LT, Giants

67 OVR — Davion Taylor, OLB, Eagles

66 OVR — Juwann Winfree, WR, Broncos

64 OVR — Josh Tupou, DT, Bengals

54 OVR — Daniel Munyer, C, Titans