Up next for Madden 19 ratings reveal, we have rookie running backs. It’s a unique position in football, in the sense that rookie rushers often make immediate impacts on the field, while other positions tend to have a bit of transitional period.
In recent seasons, we have been spoiled by the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, and Kareem Hunt coming out of the gate swinging. But perhaps an even more perfect example is Alvin Kamara.
Kamara started his Madden career as an adequate 76 OVR but was buried in a New Orleans Saints depth chart that included Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. On paper, there was little hope for a speedy improvement, but Kamara’s playmaking talent could not be denied as he climbed the Madden ratings. It seemed that he received a boost every time he touched the ball and ended his rookie campaign with an excellent 88 OVR.
Kamara is now a household name in NFL circles. But with a fresh group of ball carriers entering the fray, a question remains: who will be next to climb their way out of a depth chart and into superstardom? Take a look at the top 5 rookie running backs in Madden NFL 19 and make your guesses.
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants, 82 OVR
Ranking behind only offensive lineman Quenton Nelson among all rookies, Barkley has the intangibles to quickly become a hot commodity for the G-Men and for Madden. An effective balance of Speed (92) and moves (91 Juke) make Barkley the player of choice for the Giants’ ground attack. He may be beneath veteran Jonathan Stewart on the depth chart, but his intangibles give him elite-level potential.
2. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins, 78 OVR
If you’re looking for a rookie to explode into the NFL scene and quickly make a name for himself, my money is on it being Guice. Full disclosure, NBA LIVE writer Rahul Lal and I were watching the NFL Draft, and I was audibly yelling in the EA office when team after team passed on this guy. He doesn’t have the high base ratings of Barkley, but Guice makes for an excellent ball carrier in Madden with an 89 Speed, 93 Agility, and an 85 in both Stiff Arm and Juke. Also, his 91 mark in Carrying and Trucking tops the rest of this top five. I can already hear some older Madden players laughing at his 89 Speed and moving on. But Speed isn’t the instant killer it once was – just ask Kamara, who started with an 88 Speed last season. Guice’s only weakness? Low catch scores with awful route running ratings.
3. Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 77 OVR
For those of you that cherish Speed over all else in Madden, Jones is your guy among the rookies. His 93 Speed is the highest. Jones also sports an 89 Juke, which is his most effective ball carrier move by a wide margin. With Speed being his best attribute, you’ll want to be a little selective with play calls since he won’t be running through defenders. He’s the fastest asset in the ground attack for Tampa, so he can eat up big yards when given daylight. Just be weary of any play call where he draws a blocking assignment, as he’s a huge liability there, with dangerously-low blocking scores.
4. Sony Michel, New England Patriots, 77 OVR
Regardless if you’re an NFL fan or an avid Madden gamer, it’s a well-known fact that “hell if I know” is the only acceptable answer when trying to figure out who the Pats’ starting running back will be. The great thing about Madden, though, is that we have these handy ratings to inform us which guys fit our playstyles. On a team loaded with RBs, Michel stands out of the pack with Speed (90), Agility (93), and Juke (88). Those ratings are the best within the Pats’ RB lineup. With an RB to fit every game scenario, it’s hard to see Michel climb the ratings at a fast rate this season, but he fits the mold of a very usable rusher in Madden.
5. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns, 76 OVR
Chubb is a counterbalance to a roster that seems to have speed at every position. While not slow by any means with an 88 Speed, Chubb fits the mold of a traditional power back and rounds out this top five. His 85 Strength is the best of the rookie RB class, and his 87 Truck is second only to Guice. His 83 Agility limits his shiftiness, meaning he’s right at home grinding away tough yards between the tackles rather than sweeps toward the outside.
-Daniel Williams (Follow Dan on Twitter @thatDanW)
Madden NFL 19 launches August 10. Pre-order the Hall of Fame Edition for three-day Early Access and loads of MUT content. Stay in the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and EA Forums. Sign up for the Newsletter today to receive updates on Madden, and other EA news, products, and events, all season long.