Madden 19 Ratings: Best rookie outside linebackers (OLB)

Who are the best rookie outside linebackers (OLBs) in Madden 19?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Outside linebackers can be edge rushers or they can be in-space players, it depends what defensive scheme you run. In a 3-4 they need them to play more like defensive ends, in a 4-3 they are extensions of the middle linebacker. That makes the position tough to get right in Madden.

How to choose the best rookie outside linebackers in Madden 19’s Franchise Mode

When it comes to rookies and the position you are looking for athleticism over everything else. Speed and strength matter most. Then it’s the technical stats like block shedding, tackling, finesse moves, and if you have a 4-3 defense, then zone coverage and man coverage are important too. Here are ALL the best rookie outside linebackers in Madden 19 with an OVR of 65 or more.

Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos (OVR 79)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$27.2m

2018 Cap Hit: $6.61m

Best Stats: Speed (83), Acceleration (86), Strength (91), Power Moves (77), Finesse Moves (85), Block Shedding (87)

Bradley Chubb was one of the most talented prospects in this years draft, and the Denver Broncos took him fifth-overall in the draft. Chubb played four years at North Carolina State as a defensive end, racking up 198 total tackles, including 54.5 for a loss, and 25 sacks. He also had an interception and forced six fumbles. At the combine Chubb ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, hit 36 inches on the vertical, and ran the short shuttle in 4.41 seconds.

In Madden 19 Chubb is already a good pass rusher. With strong speed (83) and very good strength (91) he can hold his own on the edge. His finesse moves (85) are well developed, and with some time you can get his block shedding to elite levels thanks to his star development trait.

Harold Landry, Tennessee Titans (OVR 75)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$6.72m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.6m

Best Stats: Speed (84), Acceleration (89), Strength (78), Power Moves (67), Finesse Moves (81), Block Shedding (76)

Harold Landry was a second-round pick, #41 overall, for the Tennessee Titans this year. He played four years at Boston College as a defensive end and racked up 158 tackles, with 48 for a loss, and 25 sacks. Landry also picked off one pass and deflected six more and he forced 10 fumbles. At the combine Landry ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, completed the short shuttle in 4.19 seconds and hit a 36 inch vertical jump.

Landry is a speed rusher in Madden 19. With good speed (84) and acceleration (89) paired with poor strength (78) you have to use Landry’s quickness to defeat blocks. His finesse moves (81) are already good, and while his block shedding (76) isn’t great it can be improved.

Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts (OVR 73)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$7.21m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.72m

Best Stats: Speed (82), Acceleration (85), Strength (74), Tackle (84), Pursuit (84), Play Recognition (58)

Darius Leonard was a second-round pick, #36 overall, by the Indianapolis Colts. He played four years at South Carolina State and was named the conference defensive player of the year in both 2016 and 2017. He finished his college career with 381 tackles, seven forced fumbles, and 20 sacks. At the combine Leonard ran the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds and at his pro day he hit a 38 inch vertical jump and a 10’8″ broad jump.

In Madden 19 Leonard is an off-the-line, 4-3 linebacker. That means his speed (82) isn’t too bad and his strength (74) is less important. What is vital though is his good tackle (84) and pursuit (84) stats. He’s very poor at play recognition (58) which makes him tough to put on the field without controlling him yourself.

Breeland Speaks, Kansas City Chiefs (OVR 73)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$6.07m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.44m

Best Stats: Speed (79), Acceleration (87), Strength (83), Power Moves (66), Finesse Moves (78), Block Shedding (80)

Breeland Speaks was a second-round pick, #46 overall, for the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent three years playing college football at Ole Miss where he played as a defensive end, but in Kansas’ 3-4 defense he will be an outside linebacker. At Ole Miss he racked up 121 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss, and nine sacks. At the combine Speaks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.87 seconds and hit a vertical jump of 32.5 inches.

In Madden 19 Speaks’ speed (79) is not great, making him more of a run defender than a pass rusher. His strength (83) is nice, and he has solid finesse moves (78) and block shedding (80). With a quick development trait it may take some time to turn Speaks into a dominant pass rusher.

Uchenna Nwosu, Los Angeles Chargers (OVR 73)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$5.73m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.36m

Best Stats: Speed (84), Acceleration (88), Strength (71), Tackle (81), Hit Power (83), Pursuit (80), Play Recognition (61), Zone Coverage (62)

The Los Angeles Chargers took Uchenna Nwosu in the second-round, #48 overall, after four years at USC. In his time with the Trojans Nwosu racked up 169 tackles, including 20.5 for a loss, and got 12.5 sacks. At the combine Nwosu ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds and hit a vertical jump of 32 inches.

As a 4-3 linebacker, Nwosu is pretty quick with his 84 speed and 88 acceleration. The weaknesses in his game are play recognition (61) and zone coverage (62), which will make him a liability if he isn’t blitzing on passing downs. He’s a solid, if unspectacular, tackler (81), but it should be enough to make an impact against the run as a rookie.

Shaquem Griffin, Seattle Seahawks (OVR 72)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$2.7m

2018 Cap Hit: $640k

Best Stats: Speed (91), Acceleration (91), Strength (75), Tackle (76), Hit Power (80), Play Recognition (51), Zone Coverage (61)

Shaquem Griffin was a fifth-round pick, #141 overall, by the Seattle Seahawks. He spent five years at UCF, playing a significant role in his last two years. He finished his college career with 195 tackles, 33.5 of which were for a loss, and registered 18.5 sacks. Griffin also forced four fumbles and made three interceptions despite having his left hand amputated at the age of four. At his combine Griffin blew scouts away with a 4.38 second 40-yard dash and a 35.5 inch vertical jump.

Griffin is the fastest outside linebacker in Madden 19 with his 91 speed and 91 acceleration. That kind of athleticism makes him an excellent user linebacker, however his tackle (76) is a little lower than you would like. Rather unfairly his catching (54) is far lower than you would expect for someone who made interceptions in college and showed during positional drills that he could still pull the ball in even with the absence of his left hand. If you like to use linebackers when on defense then griffin is perfect for you, and certainly shouldn’t be left for the computer to deal with thanks to a very poor 51 play recognition.

Lorenzo Carter, New York Giants (OVR 72)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$4.06m

2018 Cap Hit: $950k

Best Stats: Speed (88), Acceleration (90), Strength (74), Power Moves (67), Finesse Moves (75), Block Shedding (72)

Lorenzo Carter was a third-round pick, #66 overall, for the New York Giants. He played four years at Georgia, racking up 166 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks. At the combine he ran a 4.46 second 40-yard dash and hit 36 inches on the vertical jump as well as 10’10” on the broad jump.

In Madden 19 Carter is exceptionally fast with that 88 speed and 90 acceleration. As an edge player in New York’s new 3-4 defense you’d like him to be a bit more physical (strength 74) but his finesse moves (75) suit his athletic style. You’ll want to improve his block shedding (72) before trusting him to play every down.

Other rookie outside linebackers

Name Team OVR Development Trait Contract 2018 Cap Hit
Ja’Whaun Bentley New England Patriots (Practice Squad) 72 Normal N/A N/A
Leon Jacobs Jacksonville Jaguars 71 Normal 4yrs/$2.49m $610k
Jerome Baker Miami Dolphins 70 Normal 4yrs/$3.87m $910k
Jack Cichy Tampa Bay Buccaneers 69 Normal 4yrs/$2.54m $620k
Malik Jefferson Cincinnati Bengals 69 Normal 4yrs/$3.56m $830k
Jermaine Carter Jr Carolina Panthers 69 Normal 4yrs/$2.65m $640k
Azeem Victor Oakland Raiders (Practice Squad) 69 Normal N/A N/A
Kyzir White Los Angeles Chargers 69 Normal 4yrs/$3.05m $710k
Duke Ejiofor Houston Texans 68 Normal N/A N/A
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo Free Agent 68 Normal N/A N/A
Andre Smith Carolina Panthers 68 Normal 4yrs/$2.5m $620k
Matthew Adams Indianapolis Colts (Practice Squad) 67 Normal N/A N/A
Genard Avery Free Agent 67 Normal N/A N/A
Kylie Fitts Chicago Bears (Practice Squad) 67 Normal N/A N/A
Peter Kalambayi Houston Texans 67 Normal 3yrs/$2.51m $830k
Foyesade Oluokun Atlanta Falcons 67 Normal 4yrs/$2.54m $620k
Chris Covington Dallas Cowboys (Practice Squad) 66 Normal N/A N/A
Trevon Young Los Angeles Rams (Practice Squad) 66 Normal N/A N/A
Jacob Martin Seattle Seahawks 65 Normal 4yrs/$2.57m $630k

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Toby Durant

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