It seems like every day more and more news about Madden 21 is coming out. A couple of days ago, the ratings were reveals and all of the backlashes started. This year's Madden is not as bad as Maddens in the past, where a player would have 1 good season and Madden would give them a 93-95 for the next 4 years (Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert). I am going to go over the 5 players that I think should have a rating bump and 5 more players that their ratings are a bit too high.
5 Underrated Players:
1. Lamar Jackson QB Baltimore Ravens 94 OVR
94 seems a little low for the player you are putting on the cover of Madden. He put up a historic season last year and won MVP. He set the record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback. He carried teams to their fantasy championships. For being called a "running back" he put up 3127 passing yards on a 66.1 completion percentage, 36 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He also ran the ball 176 times for 1206 yards and 7 touchdowns. Usually, the cover athletes for Madden are above a 96 overall, and Lamar should be no different. He is the perfect quarterback in Madden. Lamar Jackson is extremely fast and has a great juke and spin move. I don't think he should be bumped up that much, but he should be a 96-97 overall.
2. T.J. Watt LOLB Pittsburgh Steelers 86 OVR
T.J. Watt was a monster last year for the Steelers. The third-year outside linebacker finished 3rd in defensive player of the year for the Steelers. Somehow, Watt is only an 86. Last year he had 55 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 36 quarterback hits, 14.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions. T.J. Watt put up some of the best stats in the league and finished as the 6th best left outside linebacker behind players like Kyle Van Noy and Zadarius Smith. 86 is criminally low for a player who was supposedly the third-best defensive player in the league. EA has said they do their ratings on multi-year dominance, but Watt should be at least a 93.
3. Shaquil Barrett ROLB Tamba Bay Buccaneers 85 OVR
Shaquil Barrett finished right behind T.J. Watt in the defensive player of the year rating at 4. The right outside linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put up 58 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 37 quarterback hits, 19.5 sacks (which led the league), 6 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. Barrett finished as a second-team all-pro. He had 3 or more sacks in 3 games and finished with 4 in Week 3 against the New York Giants. In his first 3 games, Barrett recorded 8 sacks. For getting the most sacks in the league, Shaquil Barrett deserves a 92. Right outside linebackers took a hit this year and Shaquil Barrett is the second best. Demario Davis has an 89 overall and while I do think he's better, he should get moved up as well to accommodate for Barrett.
4. Saquon Barkley RB New York Giants 91 OVR
It is ridiculous that Madden has 5 players rated the same or higher than Saquon Barkley. Christian McCaffrey (99), Derrick Henry (93), Ezekiel Elliot (92), Nick Chubb (92), and Dalvin Cook (91) are all equal or better than Saquon Barkley. He is the most talented running back in the NFL and should be the second highest-rated back in Madden at the minimum. In a banged up 13 games, Barkley put up 1003 rushing yards on 217 carries, 6 rushing touchdowns, 52 receptions on 73 targets, 438 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns. There is no way Barkley should be below a 96 overall and below players like Nick Chubb.
5. Darius Leonard LOLB Indianapolis Colts 85 OVR
EA has said for the ratings this year, they are looking at multi-year dominance. Darius Leonard has been an all-pro for the last two years and is somehow an 85. Last year, he put up 121 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 6 quarterback hits, 2 forced fumbles, 5 interceptions, and a touchdown in only 13 games. 6 players are rated higher than Leonard. This includes Kyle Van Noy and Zadarius Smith, who both deserve their ratings, but are not better than Leonard. Darius Leonard should be a 92 overall, right behind T.J. Watt for his dominance in his first 2 years in the league.
5 Overrated Players:
1. Michael Thomas WR New Orleans Saints 99 OVR
I know this might be a bit of a stretch but even though he had the most receptions in NFL history last season, he is not the best receiver in the league. Last year Thomas had 149 receptions for 1725 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was statistically the best receiver in the league, but I still think players like Julio Jones are better. Thomas was a last-minute addition to the 99 overall club so he was supposed to be a 98. I think Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, and Julio Jones should all be 97s. The only reason why Thomas isn't worse than them is his monster year last season. Hopkins and Julio are more talented receivers and should be rated the same as Thomas.
2. J.J. Watt LE Houston Texans 98 OVR
J.J. Watt is one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, but he has only played in half of his regular-season games over the last 4 years. Watt is deteriorating and is no longer the dominant force he once was. He only played in 8 games last year and registered 24 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 21 quarterback hits, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries. Watt is a 98 overall and players like Cameron Jordan and Joey Bosa are below him. J.J. Watt is still a really good defensive end, but it looks like he has lost a step due to injuries. He should be no higher than a 93 overall this year.
3. Rob Gronkowski TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers 95 OVR
EA is facing the most backlash from this one and I agree with all of the fans. Rob Gronkowski took a year off from football to wrestle and then comes back to the NFL and gets a 95. He has not finished a season since 2011. He is rated above players like Zack Ertz, a player who puts up similar stats and finishes seasons and is a 90 overall. In his last year in the league, Gronk caught 47 passes on 72 targets for 682 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games. Does this stat line make you think of a 95 overall? It makes me think of an 85 overall, but because it's Gronk, I will go more towards the middle and make him and 89.
4. Richie Incognito LG Oakland Raiders 90 OVR
Richie Incognito is the second-best left guard in the league behind Quenton Nelson according to Madden. He ranked 46th in snaps played with 766 and ranked 4th in penalties with 8 in only 12 games. Ali Marpet is an 89 overall, played 1139 snaps, and only had 5 penalties. Joel Bitonio is an 86 overall, played 1039 snaps, and only had 3 penalties. Incognito should not be rated above with these players. While he is still one of the top left guards in the league, he should be about an 85 overall, which is below Ali Marpet and Joel Bitonio.
5. Derek Carr QB Oakland Raiders 79 OVR
Derek Carr is the lowest overall player on both of these lists. He's a 79 overall, ahead of players like Josh Allen, Cam Newton, and Kyler Murray. All three of those quarterbacks are on a completely different level tan Carr. Last year Carr put up 4054 passing yards on a 70.4 completion percentage, 21 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. While Carr was good last year, there is no way he is better than Josh Allen or Cam Newton. The Raiders signed Marcus Mariota this offseason because they don't trust Carr. I think he should be a 76 overall, behind Allen, Newton, and Murray.
Do you agree with all of these? Are there any more players that are over or underrated? If there are enough players in the comments for me to make a part 2, I will.