Dan Treadway
Monday July 21st, 2014

Football season hasn't started yet, but these newly released Madden rookie ratings makes it seem just a bit closer. Unsurprisingly, Jadeveon Clowney and Greg Robinson -- the top two picks in May's NFL draft -- lead the pack with a shared rating of 83. But not listed amongst the 13 rookies are both of Cleveland's first round picks (yes, they had two) Johnny Manziel and cornerback Justin Gilbert. Below you'll find the 13 highest rated rookies in Madden 15, as well as some information about how top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney's rating was determined:

Madden 15 Top Rookie Ratings
 
  • 13

    EA

    13Zack Martin
    Dallas Cowboys
    Rating: 78

  • 12

    EA

    12Mike Evans
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Rating: 78

  • 11

    EA

    11Darqueze Dennard
    Cincinnati Bengals
    Rating: 78

  • 10

    EA

    10Blake Bortles
    Jacksonville Jaguars
    Rating: 78

  • 9

    EA

    9Taylor Lewan
    Tennessee Titans
    Rating: 79

  • 8

    EA

    8Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
    Green Bay Packers
    Rating: 79

  • 7

    EA

    7Aaron Donald
    St. Louis Rams
    Rating: 79

  • 6

    EA

    6Calvin Pryor
    New York Jets
    Rating: 79

  • 5

    EA

    5Sammy Watkins
    Buffalo Bills
    Rating: 80

  • 4

    EA

    4Jake Matthews
    Atlanta Falcons
    Rating: 81

  • 3

    EA

    3Khalil Mack
    Oakland Raiders
    Rating: 81

  • 2

    EA

    2Greg Robinson
    St. Louis Rams
    Rating: 83

  • 1

    EA

    1Jadeveon Clowney
    Houston Texans
    Rating: 83

I spoke with Madden ratings czar Donny Moore about his process for determining player ratings. You can read the full interview here, but below you can find out how he went about evaluating first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney:

Extra Mustard: Your highest rated player in this class was Jadeveon Clowney (who was tied with Rams offensive tackle Greg Robinson with an 83 ratings), what went into your rating process for him?

Moore: The thing about Clowney is that he can be absolutely special when he wants to be. He was a man amongst boys when he “turned it on,” which is why we gave him a 94 power move rating, the highest of any rookie in the game. He’s going to be able to get after the passer. He’s got 95 hit power – and the big hit against Michigan that was played over and over, that’s a big reason he was tied with (Louisville safety) Calvin Pryor with the highest hit power rating. He’s special in that regard.

But all that being said, he’s got a rating of 69 for stamina. What that means in Madden is that he’ll be great for a down or two, and then he’ll need a breather. He’s not a guy who can play all three downs and give you a ton or snaps per game. But when you have him out there he’s just going to wreak havoc.

EM: So for Clowney, it sounds like for one or two downs he can be one of the best defensive players in the game, is that accurate?

Moore: Yeah I think so, as long as you’re using him the right way on the right down. So for example, he’s got a 63 rating for zone coverage, 50 rating for man coverage. There are going to be some plays where he’s not rushing the passer and he’s going to have to learn how to cover somebody.

On franchise mode, that’s the first thing I’m going to do when I play with him. I’m going to take his progression points and put them towards zone coverage and stamina so I can get him out there for all three downs.


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