Madden 19 Ratings: All the best defensive tackles (DT)

Defensive tackles (DTs) are vital to stopping the run, but they need to help rush the passer too. Here are the ratings for ALL the top defensive tackles in Madden 19.

The job of a defensive tackle is primarily to eat blocks and defend the run, but the best do more than just that. There are some that can mix it up with the passing game as well and really pressure quarterbacks. There are some great defensive tackles in the NFL right now. But how do you get the best one?

How to choose the best defensive tackles in Madden 19’s Franchise Mode

Size and strength are vital for defensive tackles. Speed is a bonus, but this position is all about physicality. Block shedding is essential as is impact blocking to win the battle in the trenches. Remember that some defensive ends are well suited to playing defensive tackle in 4-3 defenses too, but these are the best players that Madden 19 lists as defensive tackles. We are looking at players with an OVR rating of 81 or more.

Damon Harrison Sr, New York giants (OVR 95)

Age: 29

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 3 years/$26.04m

2018 Cap Hit: $7.47m

Best Stats: Strength (93), Impact Block (95), Tackle (94), Block Shedding (96), Play Recognition (95)

Damon “Snacks” Harrison is the quintessential run stuffer. At a massive 340lbs he’s an immovable object in the running game and has developed into one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL over the last few years.

Harrison’s elite impact block (95), tackle (94), and block shedding (96) are the best among defensive tackles. In short, Harrison is arguably the best run defender of any position in Madden.

Ndamukong Suh, Los Angeles Rams (OVR 94)

Age: 31

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 1 year/$14m

2018 Cap Hit: $14m

Best Stats: Speed (72), Strength (98), Impact Block (90), Tackle (91), Block Shedding (92), Play Recognition (87)

Despite now being 31, Ndamukong Suh is still one of the best defensive linemen in the league. What Suh offers is not only high-level run defense but also a lot of pass rush from the inside, which is invaluable. He’s picked up 9.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and 29 QB hits in the last two years, showing just how much he plays in the offensive backfield.

In Madden 19, Suh has solid speed (72) and acceleration (83) to go along with his monstrous strength (98). That makes him one of the best athletes in the game given his size. Suh has strong technical traits to back up that physicality. His block shedding (92) is superb, and within that is a strong 87 power move rating. The benefit with Suh over Harrison is that you can leave him on the field for third downs.

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles (OVR 94)

Age: 27

Development Trait: Superstar

Contract: 5 years/$64.6m

2018 Cap Hit: $11.1m

Best Stats: Speed (80), Strength (92), Impact Block (91), Tackle (92), Block Shedding (85), Play Recognition (92)

Cox is a six-year veteran despite being just 27 years old. The Eagles defensive tackle has a complete game now. He checked in on Pro Football Focus’ top 101 at #19 this year after picking up 5.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and 17 QB hits during the regular season and lead the team with 6 QB hits in the playoffs.

Cox’s strength on Madden 19 is his athleticism. He has the second-best speed (80) and second best acceleration (87) at the position, to go along with that 92 strength stat. It makes him a nightmare to stop if you time the snap right with him, and while his block shedding (85) could use a little work, he’s able to play every down productively.

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals (OVR 92)

Age: 30

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 1 year/$14.1m

2018 Cap Hit: $14.1m

Best Stats: Speed (78), Strength (90), Impact Block (89), Tackle (83), Block Shedding (87), Play Recognition (97)

Outside of Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins is maybe the most consistent inside pass rusher in the NFL. He has at least 9 sacks in each of his last three years thanks to a great first step and the power to throw blockers out of his path. In 2017 he added 10 tackles for loss and 20 QB hits to his 9 sacks.

In Madden 19 Atkins’ burst is a little underrated. His 78 speed is good, but the 84 acceleration feels a bit low. He has good strength and terrific play recognition (97) that will allow him to identify situations and act accordingly in an instant.

Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OVR 91)

Age: 30

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$57.6m

2018 Cap Hit: $12.6m

Best Stats: Strength (92), Impact Block (90), Tackle (89), Block Shedding (86), Play Recognition (89)

McCoy has been phenomenal for Tampa Bay’s defense ever since they drafted him third overall in 2010. The eight-year veteran has picked up 48.5 sacks for the Bucs in that time, effectively acting as their best pass rusher as well as their best run defender up front.

McCoy’s poor speed (69) is a problem for his role as a pass rusher, but his solid strength (92), impact block (90), and block shedding (86) means he should be able to contribute somewhat as a pass rusher while continuing to be an expert run defender.

Linval Joseph, Minnesota Vikings (OVR 90)

Age: 29

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 5 years/$47.28m

2018 Cap Hit: $8.67m

Best Stats: Strength (97), Impact Block (92), Tackle (89), Block Shedding (89), Play Recognition (92)

Joseph is another Damon Harrison, only if you traded some of the run-stuffing ability for a bit of pass rush. The veteran Vikings defensive tackle has picked up 7.5 sacks in the last two years, while also being a monstrous force in the run game.

Joseph is a beast in Madden this year. His 97 strength is second only to Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle, while his impact block (92) gives him a great shot at knocking offensive linemen over completely. His block shedding (89) is strong too, making him as deadly in Madden as he is in real life.

Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers (OVR 89)

Age: 29

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$41.8m

2018 Cap Hit: $10.2m

Best Stats: Strength (87), Impact Block (91), Tackle (86), Block Shedding (92), Play Recognition (92)

A second-round pick in 2013, Kawann Short’s performances quickly earned him a big contract extension with the Carolina Panthers. He’s been a terrific interior pass rusher for them, picking up 24.5 sacks in the last three years while leading the Panthers in QB hits last season with 17.

Like McCoy, Short is under-served by his speed stat (70), but his acceleration (85) helps to make up for some of that disappointment. He has good strength (87) and block shedding (92) to help him make plays in the backfield.

Kenny Clark, Green Bay Packers (OVR 89)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 2 years/$4.84m

2018 Cap Hit: $2.23m

Best Stats: Strength (95), Impact Block (86), Tackle (87), Block Shedding (89), Play Recognition (87)

Kenny Clark has been in the NFL just two years but is already one of the best run-stopping defensive tackles in the league and he can generate some pass rush too. He picked up 4.5 sacks while also receiving one of the best run-stopping grades for interior defensive lineman from Pro Football Focus.

In Madden 19, Clark is perhaps a little undervalued. His strength (95) stands out, but a surprisingly poor impact blocking rating (86) leaves him a little vulnerable. His tackling could use some work too, but at 22 there is plenty of time to fix that.

Michael Pierce, Baltimore Ravens (OVR 88)

Age: 25

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 1 year/$540k

2018 Cap Hit: $540k

Best Stats: Speed (73), Strength (94), Impact Block (90), Tackle (86), Block Shedding (87), Play Recognition (86)

Like Clark, Pierce has played just two years in the NFL, unlike Clark though, Pierce is a one-trick pony. Run stopping is the name of the game for the Ravens’ giant defensive tackle, and he is fantastic at it.

Pierce has nice speed (73) for someone his size on Madden 19, but the strength stat (94) is really his best asset. He can hold his ground against double teams and really bully guards.

DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers (OVR 87)

Age: 24

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 2 years/$9.4m

2018 Cap Hit: $4.4m

Best Stats: Strength (86), Impact Block (88), Tackle (88), Block Shedding (85), Play Recognition (89)

The seventh overall pick in 2016, DeForest Buckner has been a big hit with the 49ers in his two years with them. He has played all across the defensive interior while picking up nine sacks so far. Last year saw his play against the pass took a step forward and he led the 49ers with 22 QB hits.

Buckner’s athleticism is a little disappointing on Madden this year. He only has a speed of 71, with acceleration of 81. Add in lower than ideal strength (86) and he may be a little overmatched at times. He has great play recognition (89) for his experience, and his impact block (88) is solid too. There is a lot of upsides in Buckner if you can add a few points to his strength and build his block shedding (85)..

Other star defensive tackles

NameTeamOVRDevelopment TraitContract2018 Cap Hit
Grady JarrettAtlanta Falcons86Quick1yr/$670k$670k
Malik JacksonJacksonville Jaguars85Quick3yrs/$39m$11.4m
Danny SheltonNew England Patriots85Quick1yr/$2.77m$2.77m
Marcell DareusJacksonville Jaguars84Quick4yrs/$52.1m$11.5m
Tim JerniganPhiladelphia Eagles83Quick4yrs/$31.82m$7.14m
Corey LiugetLos Angeles Chargers83Quick3yrs/$21.8m$7m
Steve McLendonNew York Jets83Normal1yr/$3.12m$3.12m
Dontari PoeCarolina Panthers83Quick3yrs/$18m$5.83m
Sheldon RichardsonMinnesota Vikings83Quick1yr/$6m$6m
Al WoodsIndianapolis Colts82Normal1yr/$1.4m$1.4m
David IrvingDallas Cowboys82Quick1yr/$2.91m$2.91m
Malcom BrownNew England Patriots82Quick1yr/$1.94m$1.94m
Kyle WilliamsBuffalo Bills82Normal1yr/$3.25m$3.25m
Tyeler DavisonNew Orleans Saints81Quick1yr/$610k$610k
Corey PetersArizona Cardinals81Normal3yrs/$8.6m$2.62m
DJ ReaderHouston Texans81Quick2yrs/$1.32m$610k

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.