Madden ratings are often an outlier when it comes to sports games. While FIFA will withhold even a 96 OVR for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo outside of Ultimate Team, Madden will throw around the maximum 99 OVR rating, and one year even experimented with 100 for sub-ratings.
After handing out a massive 7 max ratings on launch in Madden 19, a ratings revolution is coming for Madden 20. The promise is a bigger ratings spread and a more tangible difference between the 90 OVR player and the 89 OVR one. That could mean that teams have the odd 55 OVR starter on the roster, creating mismatches across the field that can be exploited like in the real NFL.
This article will look at the cornerback position and just how this ratings overhaul may affect the position. We'll break players up into 3 groups; the elite 90+ OVR guys, the strong 89-85 OVR players, and the reliable 84-79 OVR ones. If you don't see your favorite player in one of these brackets it means we think he will be rated lower than 79 OVR.
90+ OVR Cornerbacks
Likely cornerbacks: Jalen Ramsey (JAX), Stephon Gilmore (NE), Casey Hayward (LAC), Patrick Peterson (ARI), Byron Jones (DAL), Xavier Rhodes (MIN)
Madden 19 saw 10 corners get a 90+ OVR on launch, and while the position group is extremely talented, if this change in rating style is to mean anything that number needs to be reduced. We have a picked out a group of 6 players that should clear the bar of "elite".
It starts with Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey, who dropped off slightly from his All-Pro level of 2017, but it wasn't too sharp a fall. He still racked up 3 interceptions and 13 passes defensed while helping Jacksonville finished 6th in passing defense DVOA and 4th against #1 receivers. His combination of elite athleticism and ball skills make him the #1 guy for Madden 20.
Next should be a 2018 All-Pro and Super Bowl winner Stephon Gilmore. In his second season with the Patriots Gilmore was deployed across the field and matched up one-on-one with the biggest threat in most games. He was a dominant force in man coverage, and allowed just 42 catches all year as well as bringing in a key interception in the Super Bowl.
One of the most improved players around the NFL over the last few years has been Casey Hayward, who went from a solid player in Green Bay to a stay-away corner with the Chargers. After 7 interceptions in 2016 and blanket coverage in 2017 quarterbacks avoided him more in 2018, meaning he go 0 picks while also registering excellent coverage grades
Patrick Peterson has long been one of the most reliable and dependable cornerbacks in the NFL. He will start the 2019 season with a six-game suspension, but after another terrific season with 2 picks and a strong PFF coverage grade he should be 90+ once again.
A long-standing Madden favorite, Byron Jones moved from safety to corner for the Cowboys last year and was excellent. His ridiculous athleticism combined with improved feel for the game could well see him get a 90+ OVR rating even though he didn't register a single interception last season.
The final player in this bracket could be Minnesota's Xavier Rhodes. While he had a down year in 2018 with just 1 interception and some struggles in games, his reputation and previous consistency should be enough to keep his OVR up in Madden 20.
Jalen Ramsey: 95 OVR
Stephon Gilmore: 94 OVR
Casey Hayward: 93 OVR
Patrick Peterson: 93 OVR
Byron Jones: 91 OVR
Xavier Rhodes: 90 OVR
89-85 OVR Cornerbacks
Likely cornerbacks: Desmond King II (LAC), Kyle Fuller (CHI), Chris Harris Jr (DEN), Denzel Ward (CLE), Marlon Humphrey (BAL), Marshon Lattimore (NO), TreDavious White (BUF), Darius Slay (DET), Desmond Trufant (ATL)
This range is likely to be far more populated than other positions as the cornerback position is so deep right now.
Just missing out on a 90+ OVR could be Desmond King. The Chargers slot corner had an excellent 2018 with an All-Pro spot and 3 interceptions to his name but slot corners are often undervalued by Madden.
Chicago's Kyle Fuller had a busy season, picking off 7 passes and breaking up 21 more as he logged an All-Pro appearance. That should be rewarded with a very healthy Madden 20 rating.
Chris Harris Jr is another slot corner that may be disappointed with his rating. Harris had 3 picks in 12 games and limited quarterbacks to just a 63.6 passer rating when targeting him.
Denzel Ward was the fourth-overall pick in 2018 and immediately flashed the kind of coverage skills that could make him the best corner in football soon. He picked off 3 passes and was strong in run-support too.
Another young player making an impression in 2018 was Marlon Humphrey, who finally reached the same level as his draftmates Marshon Lattimore and Tredavious White. All three of these guys have had 1 good season and 1 great season so far in the NFL, which is likely to put them in the same range as each other in Madden 20.
Darius Slay is fast becoming one of the most consistent outside corners in the NFL, while Desmond Trufant seems to be on the way down after peaking a few years ago.
Desmond King: 89 OVR
Kyle Fuller: 89 OVR
Chris Harris Jr: 88 OVR
Denzel Ward: 88 OVR
Marlon Humphrey: 87 OVR
Marshon Lattimore: 87 OVR
Tredavious White: 87 OVR
Darius Slay: 86 OVR
Desmond Trufant: 85 OVR
84-79 OVR Cornerbacks
Likely cornerbacks: William Jackson (CIN), AJ Bouye (JAX), Kareem Jackson (DEN), Nickell Robey-Coleman (LAR), Richard Sherman (SF), Jimmy Smith (BAL)
This bracket may be less populated as EA Sports try to create a ratings spread and make a gap between the stars and the rest of the NFL.
William Jackson has been overlooked as no one really watched Cincinnati play, but in his 2 years in the NFL he has been a very solid cornerback that has been capable of stopping top class receivers on his best day. Jackson does only have 1 interception in his career though.
AJ Bouye got a 94 OVR when Madden 19 launched, but after a lackluster 2018 that featured just 1 interception and 8 pass breakups he won't come close to that rating this year.
Kareem Jackson has had a pretty inconsistent career for the Houston Texans, but after a solid 2018 that included a career-high 17 pass breakups and 2 interceptions he should get a decent rating when Madden 20 comes out.
Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman may have committed the most infamous play in New Orleans Saints history last year, but outside of uncalled pass interference he was a very good slot corner for the Rams and had the 6th best coverage grade in the slot per PFF.
Veteran Richard Sherman had a solid year for the 49ers and should end up here, while Jimmy Smith should fall into this bracket thanks to a relatively poor season after a 90 OVR launch rating last season.
William Jackson: 84 OVR
AJ Bouye: 83 OVR
Kareem Jackson: 83 OVR
Nickell Robey-Coleman: 82 OVR
Richard Sherman: 80 OVR
Jimmy Smith: 80 OVR
Do you agree with our predictions? How do you think the cornerback position will shake out in Madden 20? Let us know in the comments below!