If the O-line is the foundation of an offense, then the defensive line is responsible for bringing that foundation down as quickly as possible. And the defensive ends are the edge rushers routinely sent on the attack to make a QB’s nightmares come true.
A single strong DE is enough to expose a weak O-line, forcing the opposition to change their game plan and limit offensive options. With that, and without further delay, here are the top five DEs in Madden NFL 19.
1. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
We’ve broken down Aaron Donald’s insane ratings before when introducing the 99 Club members. Donald sports a 98 Power Move, which is the best in game, to break through the O-line and stop the offense cold. Donald provides constant pressure to collapse the pocket and is an extremely valuable asset on the Rams’ stacked defensive line.
2. (Two-way Tie)
Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
Mack is a unique specimen than can line up at multiple spots on defense. As a DE, he offers a more balanced approach versus the other players on this list. Though he might not possess the same overwhelming power of Donald, Mack does carry a respectable 89 Strength paired with an 87 Speed, which makes him the fastest DE on this list. Mack is versatile in coverage, leading this group in both Zone and Man Coverage scores.
J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
If you’re looking for a player that has the potential to break into the 99 Club, Watt is likely the frontrunner. Though not as fast, Watt matches Donald’s 97 Strength and has a 93 Block Shedding rating, a best in this top five class. Watt is also viable as a TE in some offensive formations with a 78 Catch, 71 Spectacular Catch, and a 70 Catch in Traffic.
4. Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
While the Saints roster might not have the most depth, they have some gnarly players at a few spots. Jordan is more of the prototypical DE, who might not be fast but has a fair amount of power. His Power move (94) and Play Recognition (97) fall only behind Donald among the elite.
5. Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles not only have a strong O-line, but they have a stud like Graham on the opposite side of the ball. Graham’s 86 Strength is the lowest listed here, but he makes up for it in other areas. His 88 Hit Power is stronger than anyone above. And his 93 Power Move is higher than Watt’s.
Similar to wide receiver, there’s tons of depth at this position. Beasts like Minnesota Vikings’ Everson Griffen and Jacksonville Jaguars’ Calais Campbell just miss the top five with excellent 92 OVRs. And the Green Bay Packers’ Mike Daniels’ 94 Strength out muscles everyone in this article not named Watt or Donald.
The Los Angles Chargers are the only team with multiple players in the top 15 DEs. Both Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III come in at a 90 OVR, making this line one to watch out for.
-Daniel Williams (Follow Dan on Twitter @thatDanW)
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