Madden 19 Ratings: Best rookie cornerbacks (CB)

Cornerback is a vital position on defense. Which rookies are the top CBs in Madden 19?

As the NFL continues to be a pass-first league, you need more, and better, cornerbacks than ever before. Madden 19 has added a slot corner role in the depth chart, and the need for cornerbacks has started to become acute, with some teams just throwing draft pick after draft pick at the position.

How to pick the best rookie cornerbacks in Madden 19’s Franchise Mode

There were a massive 29 corners drafted in 2018, but how do you pick out the best? Speed is important, as is acceleration and agility. Coverage stats are vital too. If you predominantly play man or zone coverage then focus on that stat, but if you like to mix up your coverages then you’ll need someone who is good in both. Press is important, and catching is a nice bonus. Here are the best rookie cornerbacks (CBs) in Madden 19 with an OVR of 65 or more.

Denzel Ward, Cleveland Browns (OVR 80)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$29.2m

2018 Cap Hit: $7.08m

Best Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (95), Man Coverage (83), Zone Coverage (79), Press (87), Jumping (92)

Ward was the fourth-overall pick for the Cleveland Browns this year. The latest star corner from Ohio State, Ward was electric in college but had to wait his turn behind other first-round picks like Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple. He finished his college career with just two interceptions as quarterbacks tried to avoid throwing his way. At the combine Ward ran an incredible 4.32 second 40-yard dash and hit 39 inches on the vertical jump.

Ward is an excellent prospect with a star development trait and superb speed (95). There’s no limit to what he could achieve. He already has a very good press (87) and is well balanced between man (83) and zone (79) coverage.

Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers (OVR 78)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$12.1m

2018 Cap Hit: $2.9m

Best Stats: Speed (93), Acceleration (93), Man Coverage (85), Zone Coverage (77), Press (77), Jumping (84)

The 18th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers, Jaire Alexander was the second cornerback taken in the draft after Ward. Alexander played three years at Louisville, where quarterbacks soon learned to stay away from him. In his sophomore year Alexander picked off five passes and deflected nine more, in his junior year he got just one pick and four deflections. At the combine Alexander ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash, posted a terrific 3.98 in the short shuttle, and had a vertical jump of 35 inches.

In Madden 19 Alexander is a little less balanced than Denzel Ward. With better man coverage (85) he is more suited to your defense if you like to run a lot of cover 1 or cover 2 man, but a touch slower (speed 93) and worse in zone coverage (77) and press (77) Alexander is not the best choice for everyone. He does have a star development trait, which means he can quickly become an elite cornerback on Madden 19.

Mike Hughes, Minnesota Vikings (OVR 75)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$9.85m

2018 Cap Hit: $2.36m

Best Stats: Speed (89), Acceleration (91), Man Coverage (82), Zone Coverage (75), Press (82), Jumping (85), Catching (75)

The Vikings love taking corners in the first round, and this year they made Mike Hughes the 30th overall pick. Hughes played just two years of NCAA football, first in 2015 with North Carolina and then in 2017 with UCF. In that 2017 season Hughes picked off four passes and took one back for a touchdown, he also deflected 11 passes and forced a fumble while making 49 tackles. At the combine Hughes ran a 4.53 second 40-yard dash and had a vertical jump of 35.5 inches.

Hughes lacks speed (89) in Madden 19, but he has solid technical stats, with an 82 man coverage combining well with his 82 press and 85 jumping. A quick development trait means it may take some time for his zone coverage (75) to catch up with his man. He does have a good catching stat (75) for a defensive back though, making him a potential turnover machine.

Josh Jackson, Green Bay Packers (OVR 75)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$6.23m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.48m

Best Stats: Speed (90), Acceleration (90), Man Coverage (75), Zone Coverage (83), Press (79), Jumping (93), Catching (77)

Despite using their first-round pick on Jaire Alexander, the Packers dipped back into the cornerback market and took Josh Jackson 45th overall in the second round. Jackson started his career at Iowa as a wide receiver, but by his sophomore year he converted to a cornerback, and as a junior exploded. He picked off eight passes, deflected 18 more, scored two touchdowns, and forced a fumble. At the combine Jackson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds, hit 38 inches on the vertical jump and did the short shuttle in 4.03 seconds.

In Madden Jackson’s past as a receiver gives him an excellent 77 catching, and his good speed (90) and zone coverage (83) make him a potential turnover machine. His weakness is man coverage (75) but it isn’t so bad that you need to avoid it at all costs. If you play a zone defense more often than not then Jackson is a terrific option for you.

Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers (OVR 74)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$4.79m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.13m

Best Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (91), Man Coverage (81), Zone Coverage (72), Press (75), Jumping (88)

Donte Jackson was a second-round pick, 55th overall, for the Carolina Panthers this year. He played three years at LSU where he made 110 tackles, picked off four passes and deflected 19 more, along with one sack and a forced fumble. At the combine Jackson ran a remarkable 4.32 40-yard dash, which he improved to a 4.31 at his pro day.

Jackson is a fast man corner in Madden 19, with his speed (95) and man coverage (81) some of the best amongst rookies. He has a solid press (75) to help in man coverage, but his zone (72) skills are lacking. With just 60 awareness and 60 play recognition he will get lost in zone coverage and really struggle.

MJ Stewart Jr, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OVR 73)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$5.07m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.2m

Best Stats: Speed (88), Acceleration (89), Man Coverage (82), Zone Coverage (75), Press (85), Jumping (84)

MJ Stewart was a second-round pick, 53rd overall, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. He played four years at North Carolina where he amassed 129 tackles, three sacks, six interceptions, deflected 41 passes, and forced three fumbles. At his combine Stewart ran a 4.54 second 40-yard dash and hit a 35 inch vertical.

In Madden 19 Stewart’s speed (88) isn’t quite ideal, which can cause some problems against the elite receivers. His man coverage (82) and press (85) skills are solid, but the drop when you play zone coverage (75) is a little worrying. Still, Stewart has solid potential with his quick development trait.

Isaiah Oliver, Atlanta Falcons (OVR 73)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$4.62m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.09m

Best Stats: Speed (89), Acceleration (89), Man Coverage (80), Zone Coverage (74), Press (79), Jumping (95)

Isaiah Oliver was a second-round pick, 58th overall, for the Atlanta Falcons. He played three years at Colorado, but just two at cornerback after arriving as a wide receiver. In his time on defense Oliver made 60 tackles, picked off three passes, and deflected 19 more. At the combine Oliver registered a 4.50 40-yard dash.

Oliver is a touch slower than you’d like, but his 89 speed and 89 acceleration is solid and can be worked on. His coverage skills are a little raw, with just 80 man coverage and 74 zone there isn’t one that particularly stands out. His jumping (95) is elite though, meaning you can match him up against bigger receivers and feel comfortable.

Other rookie cornerbacks

NameTeamOVRDevelopment TraitContract2018 Cap Hit
Carlton DavisTampa Bay Buccaneers71Quick4yrs/$4.36m$1.02m
Anthony AverettIndianapolis Colts (Practice Squad)70QuickN/AN/A
Sam BealNew York Giants70Quick4yrs/$3.03m$710k
Tarvarius MooreFree Agent70NormalN/AN/A
Isaac YiadomDenver Broncos70Normal4yrs/3.32m$760k
Avonte MaddoxNew England Patriots (Practice Squad)69NormalN/AN/A
Parry NickersonNew York Jets (Practice Squad)69NormalN/AN/A
Keion CrossenNew England Patriots (Practice Squad)69NormalN/AN/A
Tremon SmithKansas City Chiefs (Practice Squad)69NormalN/AN/A
Cornell ArmstrongMiami Dolphins (Practice Squad)68NormalN/AN/A
Taron JohnsonBuffalo Bills68Normal4yrs/$3.06m$710k
Christian CampbellArizona Cardinals68Normal4yrs/$2.57m$620k
Nick NelsonOakland Raiders (Practice Squad)68NormalN/AN/A
Davontae HarrisCincinnati Bengals (Practice Squad)68NormalN/AN/A
Adonis AlexanderFree Agent68QuickN/AN/A
Greg StromanWashington Redskins (Practice Squad)68NormalN/AN/A
Jermaine Kelly JrHouston Texans (Practice Squad)67NormalN/AN/A
Darius PhillipsCincinnati Bengals (Practice Squad)67NormalN/AN/A
Tre FlowersSeattle Seahawks (Practice Squad)67NormalN/AN/A
Simeon ThomasCleveland Browns (Practice Squad)67NormalN/AN/A
Danny JohnsonWashington Redskins (Practice Squad)66NormalN/AN/A
Grant HaleyFree Agent66NormalN/AN/A
Tarvarus McFaddenSan Francisco 49ers (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Holton HillMinnesota Vikings (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Rico GaffordTennessee Titans (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Quenton MeeksJacksonville Jaguars (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Rashard FantChicago Bears (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Michael JosephChicago Bears (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A
Brandon FacysonLos Angeles Chargers (Practice Squad)65NormalN/AN/A

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.