Here’s part 3 of our “Top 25 Offensive & Defensive Players of Madden 13″ feature. We check out #19-17 today.
Check out my assessment criteria/explanation here and this is what the top 25 looks like up to this point:
25. Vernon Davis
24. Devin Hester
23. Julio Jones
22. DeSean Jackson
21. Dez Bryant
20. LeSean McCoy
25. Sean Lee
24. Ray Lewis
23. Thomas Howard
22. Johnathan Joseph
21. Ndamukong Suh
20. Geno Atkins
19. RB – Marshawn Lynch (5’11 215)
Key Ratings: 92 SPD/91 ACC/99 TRK/99 SFA/98 CAR
Speed has always killed in Madden, as you’ll find out throughout both lists, but never underestimate a player’s willingness to break down walls rather than going around them. Lynch boasts the best trucking rating in the game, and with the best carry rating as well, you often don’t need to worry about going out of bounds. Even though a lot of competitive Seahawks users will throw Leon Washington into the mix as well, Lynch also has enough shiftiness to make that needed first defender miss too.
18. WR – Brandon Marshall (6’4 230)
Key Ratings: 85 TRK/93 CTH/99 RTE/98 CIT/99 BRP
Let’s stay on board this “POW” trip and look at practically the Marshawn Lynch equivalent at wideout with Brandon Marshall. Speed isn’t everything and Marshall will lower his shoulder pads on any corner that comes his way. No one runs routes in Madden 13 better than Marshall, and he uses that to get separation from defenders. With hands that are money over the middle, and practically being immune to the bump-n-run, and Marshall is as good as they get.
17. RB – Jamaal Charles (5’11 199)
Key Ratings: 98 SPD/97 AGI/89 CAR/97 JKM/78 CTH
Let’s face it, a big reason why the Chiefs see the kind of use they do now is because of this speedster (and a shout out to Dwayne Bowe who is an honourable mention on this list). Charles look like the Flash out there in his Chiefs uniform whenever he has the ball. In my opinion, he’s one of two backs that make you feel the need to over-pursue on outside runs because of that extra gear. One moment you’re on pace, stride for stride, then the next second, he’s gone.
19. ROLB/LE – Brian Orakpo (6’4 260)
Key Ratings: 91 STR/92 ACC/98 PMV/95 BSH/97 PUR
Orakpo benefits on this list because of the amount of play the Redkins got in Madden 13. But make no mistake about it, Orakpo is a big linebacker who not only can properly play both OLB and DE, but he deserves his ranking. The Redkins team as a whole bleeds versatility, and not many Madden OLB/DE hybrids have the size Orakpo does. When he’s not rushing the quarterback from the line, Orakpo is also a prime candidate on either being usered or being placed into some sort of zone coverage. Plus, it can’t hurt he plans on being the “Bane” of the NFL, hopefully swallowing up players in a less dangerous manner.
18. RE/DT/OLB – Bruce Irvin (6’3 248)
Key Ratings: 90 SPD/94 ACC/84 AGI/95 PMV/87 PUR
Irvin is underrated to many Madden players, but those in the competitive scene and who use Seattle know he’s one of the most disruptive players in the game. No one comes close in top end speed at the DE position like Irvin and you truly have to watch for him every play. Have crazy A-gap heat in your back pocket on D? Sub him in at DT and watch him ignite your defense. Playing with a pair of corners who are masters at the press makes Irvin even more lethal.
17. ROLB/LE – Aldon Smith (6’4 258)
Key Ratings: 84 SPD/97 ACC/98 PMV/94 BSH/98 PUR
There’s a million things to worry about when playing the San Fran D, but when you’re through with that, then you have to deal with a ferocious hybrid LB/DE with elite power and shedding skills, combined with the ability to get to top speed in a blink of an eye. Smith’s combination of lateral speed and raw power fits him right in with that San Fran linebacking core and defensive line. Moving him all over the place creates havoc for any opposing teams.
Make sure to check back here tomorrow at Gamesided as we continue my reveal of the “Top 25 Offensive and Defensive Players of Madden 13″ list.
Note: Kristian Cuaresma began playing Madden in 2004 when introduced to the game by a circle of friends who had their own league. He then started playing competitively in 2006, and has since competed in several tournaments (both in Canada and the US) as well as various online competitions. Highlights including finishing top 16 in Canadian Madden Challenge, as well as finishing top 32 in the 2009 MLG Online Madden Challenge.