The NFL is thriving with great, young linebackers which creates a dilemma for Madden Ultimate Team players when it comes to choosing the right one.
All linebackers, as standard, should have decent tackling, play recognition and block shedding, and have okay speed. After that, you have got to prioritize specific ratings depending on your system and style. If you run a 3-4 defense you’re going to want run stoppers and pass rushers, whereas a 4-3 is going to call for rangier, more coverage leaning LBs.
Finding a linebacker who excels in coverage can be a huge asset to help take away running backs and tight ends, or just the middle of the field. If that is what you’re looking for, these are the guys to target.
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Brian Urlacher, Legends (91 OVR)
House price: Xbox – 195k/PS4 – 216k/PC – 177k
It’s fitting that Urlacher has the highest zone coverage rating among linebackers currently, because he is perhaps the best coverage linebacker of all time.
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You could honestly get away with playing this card at SS if you were able to. 85 speed, 85 jump, 90 play recognition, 72 catching, and 85 zone coverage is good enough to let you leave the CPU to control in coverage. If that isn’t enough, he has 82 strength, 84 block shedding, 90 pursuit, 90 tackle and 86 power. He never has to leave the field and he will dominate.
Jones, MUT Heroes (90 OVR)
House price: Xbox – 152k/PS4 – 156k/PC – 149k
Jones is one of the rangiest linebackers in
the NFL currently, and this card reflects it.
With 86 speed and 87 acceleration, he has the gas to get to any spot in coverage or to stuff the run. His 76 man coverage and 84 zone coverage make him one of the best all-round coverage linebackers in the game, and 87 pursuit, 87 tackling and 86 play recognition make him valuable against the run, too.
With 69 strength and 64 block shedding, he is susceptible to being swallowed up by lineman, though, so you’ll have to use his speed to go around the block.
Wright, Football Outsiders (90 OVR)
House price: Xbox – 108k/PS4 – 104k/PC – 90.8k
The oft-forgotten linebacker for the Seahawks, playing in Wagner’s shadow, should not be overlooked.
He may only have 78 speed, 82 acceleration, and 77 agility, but his 82 zone coverage, 74 man coverage, 90 awareness, 90 play recognition, 81 block shedding and 88 pursuit make sure he will be in the right place at the right time. Then, his 91 tackling and 89 hit power make him a formidable tackler.
Bulluck, Legends (92 OVR)
House price: Xbox – 260k/PS4 – 239k/PC – 289k
Where Urlacher could play strong safety, Bulluck could line up at cornerback and manage. He has incredible ratings to justify his price tag.
86 speed, 87 acceleration, 85 agility, and 84 jumping make him one of the most mobile linebackers available. Pair that with 84 man coverage and 82 zone coverage and he can match up with slower receivers and running backs, and almost any tight end. If that isn’t enough he also has 74 strength, 85 block shedding, 86 pursuit and 88 tackling, so he thrives against the run.
Brooks, Legends (90 OVR)
House price: Xbox – 111k/PS4 – 102k/PC – 109k
Brooks was a key piece in the great Buccaneers defense of the noughties, and is the mold for any Tampa 2 linebacker.
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Zone coverage is as crucial as anything else for a Tampa 2 linebacker, so his 82 zone coverage shouldn’t be a surprise. With 81 speed, 89 awareness, 89 play recognition, 86 pursuit and 90 tackling, along with 75 man coverage, and 73 block shedding, Brooks is a great option for any 4-3 defense.
best zone coverage linebackers
|Brian Urlacher||MLB||Chicago Bears||Legends||85||91|
|Deion Jones||MLB||Atlanta Falcons||MUT Heroes||84||90|
|K.J. Wright||ROLB||Seattle Seahawks||Football Outsiders||82||90|
|Keith Bulluck||ROLB||Tennessee Titans||Legends||82||92|
|Derrick Brooks||ROLB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Legends||82||90|
|Myles Jack||MLB||Jacksonville Jaguars||MUT Heroes||81||86|
|Telvin Smith||ROLB||Jacksonville Jaguars||Series Redux (Signature Series)||80||91|
|Jamie Collins||LOLB||New England Patriots||Series Redux (TOTW)||80||91|
|Lavonte David||MLB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Signature Series||80||92|
|Jordan Hicks||MLB||Arizona Cardinals||Football Outsiders||79||87|
|Keith Bulluck||ROLB||Tennessee Titans||Theme Diamonds||78||87|
|Willie Lanier||MLB||Kansas City Chiefs||Series Redux (Legends)||78||91|
|Bobby Wagner||MLB||Seattle Seahawks||MUT Heroes||78||91|
|Luke Kuechly||MLB||Carolina Panthers||MUT Superstars||77||90|
|Lofa Tatupu||MLB||Seattle Seahawks||Theme Diamonds||77||87|
|Deion Jones||MLB||Atlanta Falcons||Core Elite||76||83|
|Bobby Wagner||MLB||Seattle Seahawks||Core Elite||76||88|
|Devin Bush||MLB||Pittsburgh Steelers||TOTW/Rookie Premiere||75||86|
|Sean Lee||LOLB||Dallas Cowboys||Flashbacks||75||90|
|Jamie Collins||LOLB||New England Patriots||Football Outsiders||75||86|