EA Sports have finally completed ratings week for their latest installment of the Madden franchise. The Pittsburgh Panthers have plenty of representation in this year’s game thanks to having a consistent pipeline into the NFL. So let’s take a look at where some of these Pitt alumni ended up from a historic moment for Aaron Donald to this new rookie class.
AARON DONALD - 99 OVR
So let’s start with one of the most dominant players in the NFL regardless of position. Aaron Donald comes in with his 7th 99 overall rating in his Madden tenure giving him the most 99 overall distinctions in Madden history. The previous record for 99s was Peyton Manning who held the rating six times in his career. Aaron Donald has been a 99 every year since 2018 and previously was a 98 overall in Madden 17. The former Pitt Panther is the only player in the game with 99 overall strength and sports 99 power moves to pair with 97 block shed, making him one of the most feared defensive players in the game.
KENNY PICKETT - 73 OVR
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league and Kenny Pickett comes in tied for 25th in the ratings amongst the league’s signal callers. For comparison, he is tied with Brock Purdy and the number two pick in this year’s draft C.J. Stroud. While the 87 throw power will leave a little to be desired for those taking control of the Steelers in play now or franchise mode, Pickett does have 88 short accuracy and 81 medium accuracy to pair with 84 throw under pressure. So he does have the tools for growth in franchise mode.
THE REST OF THE VETERANS
The Pitt Panthers have some solid representation from the rest of the veterans starting with Tyler Boyd from the Cincinnati Bengals. A steady presence in the slot over the last seven seasons, Boyd comes in at an 82 overall. The wide receiver has been a reliable option for Andy Dalton and Joe Burrow throughout his career which is showcased by his 96 catch rating.
Brian O’Neil has continued to carve out a spot among the game’s best right tackles and comes in at 86 overall for the Minnesota Vikings. The rating makes him tied for the third-best in the game with Penei Sewell and trails only Ryan Ramcyzk and Lane Johnson in his position. His impressive 77-speed rating is tied for the highest among right tackles to pair with an 88 overall pass block and 85 overall run block rating respectively.
James Connor continues to come in as the lead back for the Arizona Cardinals at 77 overall. With an 88 carrying rating to pair with mid 80’s ratings for most important running back ratings, Connor is a reliable backfield option even if speed has never been a part of his game coming in at 87 in that rating.
Jordan Whitehead is part of an extremely talented secondary with the New York Jets and comes in at 79 overall. With an 80-zone coverage to pair along with an 89 overall hit power, Whitehead brings some heavy heating for gang green at the strong safety position.
Speaking of talented secondaries, Avonte Maddox still has a big role in a Philadelphia Eagle’s secondary coming off a Super Bowl run. Coming in at 79 overall with a 92 speed gives plenty of coverage in nickel packages even with 79 zone coverage and 77 man coverage stats.
Other notable ratings include
Damar Hamlin - 66 overall
Dane Jackson - 73 overall
Damarii Mathis - 72 overall
K’Waun Williams - 76 overall
Patrick Jones II - 69 overall
Jason Pinnock - 68 overall
Rashad Weaver - 67 overall
THE ROOKIE CLASS
Many of the players coming in will finally see their dream of being in one of their favorite video games come true. Let’s take a look at where the Pitt 2023 rookie class comes in for their Madden ratings.
Calijah Kancey is the highlight of the class as a first-round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The consensus All-American starts the game at 73 overall. With 83 speed to pair along with 91 acceleration, Kancey will have a chance to be a disruptive force in the game and will be a target for those playing franchise mode.
Jordan Addison will continue to be a debate on if he should be claimed with Pittsburgh or USC but we will include him here. Addison comes in with 89 speed and 82 catching with a 76 overall rating. He is the 3rd highest-rated wide receiver from the rookie class trailing Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zay Flowers respectively.
Israel Abanikanda was the star of the Pitt offense last season and even though he joins a crowded New York Jets backfield when all are healthy should still be plenty of fun in Madden. While he comes in at a 69 overall, Abanikanda’s 92 speed and 90 acceleration ratings will give him plenty of opportunities to see the field on the virtual gridiron.
OTHER NOTABLE ROOKIE RATINGS
Carter Warren - 66 overall
SirVocea Dennis - 67 overall
Erick Hallett II - 66 overall
Brandon Hill - 65 overall
Undrafted free agents are not currently in Madden so look for them to be added to the game after roster cuts where some may end up in the free agents list or with their respective rosters. There will be no shortage of representation on the virtual gridiron for the Pittsburgh Panthers so grab your favorite beverage on August 18th and dominate on the gridiron with your favorite alumni.