Madden NFL 12: Top Rated Rookies at Defensive Positions

Having already gone through listing the top overall rated rookies and then the best at WR and RB now comes the rankings of the highest rated on the defensive line, at linebacker, and in the defensive backfield for Madden NFL 12.

(82) Marcell Dareus – DE Bills RD 1 Pick 3
(80) J.J. Watt – DE Texans RD 1 Pick 11
(78) Robert Quinn – DE Rams RD 1 Pick 14
(78) Adrian Clayborn – DE Buccaneers RD 1 Pick 20
(77) Cameron Jordan – DE Saints RD 1 Pick 24
(77) Nick Fairley – DT Lions RD 1 Pick 13
(75) Corey Liuget – DE Chargers RD 1 Pick 18
(74) Phil Taylor – DT Browns RD 1 Pick 21
(74) Cameron Heyward – DE Steelers RD 1 Pick 31
(74) Da’Quan Bowers – DE Buccaneers RD 2 Pick 19

Rookie defensive lineman generally don’t have much impact in Madden. With the exception of someone like Ndamukong Suh there tend to be veteran players rated higher on the line ahead of them. All of the top ten come in with 74 or higher ratings which thus far is the strongest group and only one – someone who without injury concerns could have been the top pick – wasn’t a first rounder. It’s a deep talent pool on the defensive line. Again Nick Fairley is worth pointing out as it would have seemed possible that he’d be in the top ten overall of rookies but four (and a fifth tied) alone on the defensive line rank above him.

(79) Von Miller – OLB Broncos RD 1 Pick 2
(76) Aldon Smith – OLB 49ers RD 1 Pick 7
(74) Ryan Kerrigan – OLB Redskins RD 1 Pick 16
(72) Akeem Ayers – OLB Titans RD 2 Pick 7
(71) Casey Matthews – OLB Eagles RD 4 Pick 19
(69) Brooks Reed – OLB Texans RD Pick
(68) Martez Wilson – MLB Saints RD 3 Pick 8
(67) Bruce Carter – OLB Cowboys RD 2 Pick 8
(67) Kelvin Sheppard – MLB Bills RD 3 Pick 4
(67) Colin McCarthy – MLB Titans RD 4 Pick 12

Up against the other positions linebacker is one of the weakest groups. I expected to see Ryan Kerrigan second despite Aldon Smith going higher in the draft. Smith was thought to be one of the more raw prospects with a high ceiling while Kerrigan comes in more polished and prepared to play right away. Casey Matthews seems to have gotten some credit just for being the brother of Clay Matthews. Only one other rookie (Kendall Hunter) drafted in the 4th round or later has received over a 70 rating. That stands out even more considering only one rookie drafted in the 3rd round (Chris Conte) got over 70.

(82) Patrick Peterson – CB Cardinals RD 1 Pick 5
(81) Prince Amukamara – CB Giants RD 1 Pick 19
(76) Jimmy Smith – CB Ravens RD 1 Pick 27
(74) Ras-I Dowling – CB Patriots RD 2 Pick 1
(73) Rahim Moore – FS Broncos RD 2 Pick 13
(71) Aaron Williams – CB Bills RD 2 Pick 2
(71) Chris Conte – FS Bears RD 3 Pick 29
(71) Jaiquawn Jarrett – SS Eagles RD 2 Pick 22
(70) Brandon Harris – CB Texans RD 2 Pick 28
(69) Marcus Gilchrist – CB Chargers RD 2 Pick 18

Corners and especially safeties can generally translate well to the NFL immediately so it makes sense that as many as nine DBs come in rated 70 or higher. Prince Amukamara as the third highest rated rookie overall is still glaring judgment while Jimmy Smith – who many believed to be better but took a hit due to off-field concerns – falls a full five points behind him.

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