Madden 21 should be hitting shelves soon. And that means Madden 21 ratings are coming.
EA Play has been delayed a week but still set to go ahead, and with it comes the speculation of who the top players in Madden 21 will be.
Outside linebackers require very different skills depending on the type of defense. This means the players in the list will have different skills, some are pass rushers and some are enlisted to cover receivers.
So who will be the key players that will dominate Madden 21 at the OLB position?
Khalil Mack (97 OVR)
The 2016 NFL defensive player of the year started Madden 20 in the 99-club. But his stats haven't been at that level since, and whilst he is still totally dominant - it's not in the same way Aaron Donald is.
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His 8.5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss in 2019 are the lowest since his rookie season, but he still came up with 5 forced fumbles. He won't start Madden 21 as high as he did in Madden 20, but he will still be up there.
Von Miller (94 OVR)
A former Super Bowl MVP, Von Miller has been racking up sacks every season since he was drafted 2nd overall in 2011.
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With 106 career regular-season sacks, Von Miller is a potential future Hall of Famer. That said, his 2019 total of 8 sacks is the lowest since 2013 where he only completed half the season. Like Mack, he won't be as highly rated in Madden 21 as he started Madden 20, but he will be a stud.
Shaquil Barrett (90 OVR)
Undrafted in 2014, Barrett didn't impress in his first five seasons in Denver. But he has exploded since moving to Tampa Bay.
In his first season with the Buccs, Barrett led the entire league with 19.5 sacks. This will have him move up the rating charts and expect him to be one of the top pass rushers in Madden 21.
Chandler Jones (90 OVR)
Jones has been a force since being drafted by the Patriots in 2012. The Super Bowl champion really rose through the rankings since moving to the Cardinals in 2016.
In the season just gone, Jones had a career-best 19 sacks and led the league with 8 forced fumbles. Expect to see him as one of the pass-rushing stars of Madden 21.
Za'Darius Smith (88 OVR)
Another player that has exploded with a change of scenery.
Smith moved to the Packers for the 2019 season and had a career-best 13.5 sacks in his first full season starting every game. He finished Madden 20 with a high rating and that's not likely to change.
Demario Davis (88 OVR)
The first player on the list that isn't here for pass-rushing ability. Davis doesn't have eye-popping stats.
But he is one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL. In 2019, he had 84 solo tackles and 12 pass deflections showing his ability to get around the field and make plays. If you are playing 4-3 defense, you can do a lot worse than Davis at OLB.
Darius Leonard (88 OVR)
Another star coverage linebacker, Leonard is at the start of his career unlike Demario Davis.
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In 2019, Leonard had 5 interceptions which was joint 4th and the highest non-secondary player in the list. Opposing QBs avoid throwing in his direction due to his insane athleticism. He will be one of the biggest risers for Madden 21.
TJ Watt (87 OVR)
Back to pass-rushing stars, TJ Watt is nearly as good as his older brother at Houston.
He led the league in 2019 with 8 forced fumbles, as well as chipping in with 14.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Watt is heading the same way as his brother and it won't be a surprise for him to emerge as an NFL superstar.
Kyle Van Noy (85 OVR)
An all-rounder linebacker, Van Noy has moved to division rival Miami Dolphins in their bid to overhaul the team.
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With 6.5 sacks and 3 pass deflections in 2019, Van Noy has a solid season. He has always blended pass rushing with coverage in the Patriots hybrid system. He will still be one of the top rated OLBs in Madden 21.
Ryan Kerrigan (83 OVR)
The 4x Pro Bowler for the Redskins, Kerrigan has been a star pass rusher since he was taken in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
With 90 career sacks, he will be a little disappointed to have only racked up 5.5 sacks in a season cut short by injury. He is getting older and likely to be downgraded for it, but he's still a name worth keeping an eye on.