Former Ute DB Jaylon Johnson leads Utah rookies in Madden ratings

Ryan Kostecka

The new Madden '21 ratings are out and eight rookie Utes are all listed.

Beginning with Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson and his 73 rating and ending with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley and his 58 rating, all seven former Utes who were drafted found themselves with ratings.

Johnson is one of three Utes with ratings in the 70's, followed closely behind by Los Angeles Rams safety Terrell Burgess and Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss. All three players are expected to play big roles for their respective teams this season — but Moss's Bills are the only ones who have a real shot at the playoffs and beyond.

“Zack, I think he’s a very good complement to Devin. Devin has that shiftiness. Zack’s gonna be more of that banging in there. Not that he can’t dodge, but he’s going to lower that shoulder and try to, a little bit like Frank did at an older age for us,” Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane told beat reporters following the NFL draft. “He’s going to be more of the physical [type]. He’s not necessarily going to try to avoid contact. He can but I think his best thing is, in the end, [physicality].”

Burgess has been tabbed as a swiss army knife after a stellar senior season, his first as a starter in college. He parlayed that into a third round NFL draft pick and a potential starting spot on a defense with the best defender in the game in Aaron Donald.

This is an absolute steal for the Rams as Burgess is going to be an impact player in the league. Although he only has one year of starting experience, he was behind two former Utes who are now in the NFL so it's not as if he wasn't a good player. As a safety, Burgess has the ability to survey centerfield and be that ball-hawking safety that teams love. More importantly, he is versatile and has the ability to drop down into coverage and play the slot — which is essential in today's spread offense NFL.

Anae Physical 1 -- vs. UCLA

Johnson has the highest ceiling of any Ute drafted, with all-pro potential and should immediately start the second he steps onto a football field in Chicago.

"We had some scenarios where we could have traded back out of that pick if we needed to," said Bears general manager Ryan Pace. "But when Jaylon was there, we turned the card in quickly because he's a guy we had graded high and it was a guy that fit our board as far as how the grades were coming off, and then it was a position of need for us as well. So we were really happy for that combination to take place."

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Leki Fotu and Indianapolis Colts safety Julian Blackmon both check in with 69 rating — but those numbers might be low once the boys get on the field. 

Fotu is an athletic specimen and is just now learning the finer points of the game, receiving all-Pac-12 honors in his college career by just being more athletic than his opponents. Blackmon is coming off a torn ACL in the Pac-12 championship game but his rehab is going well, and the Colts have so much faith in him that they elected to not pick up the fifth-year option for current safety Malik Hooker.

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Bradlee Anae checked in with a 65, despite potentially entering the season as a backup and possibly moving up the pecking order faster than anyone would expect. Detroit Lions defensive tackle John Penisini is rated as a 62.

Interestingly enough, Huntley is the lowest Ute with a rating yet he will be battling with Robert Griffin III to backup Lamar Jackson, the reigning MVP and current cover on Madden's new game. And not to mention, the Ravens are considered one of the front runners to take home the Lombardi trophy this upcoming season.


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