Every year, NFL fans clamor for the release of the EA Sports Madden video game. For players, it can be a very different story. Some players are happy with their ranking assignments. Others think they’re being disrespected, because the game seeks out to rate players, not only across the league, but within teams.
Later this month Madden 17 will be released and the numbers are out on the Minnesota Vikings. If you were to ask informed Vikings followers, a lot of the rankings make sense, but it would seem clear that players like Harrison Smith and Adrian Peterson are viewed as dominant, Anthony Barr and Linval Joseph have proved themselves and respect has yet to be given to players like Eric Kendricks.
The Madden 17 rankings determined that Smith is the best Vikings player with an overall ranking of 94, second among free safeties to Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu, who was assigned a ranking of 96. Smith was followed by Peterson at 91 – the only Vikings offensive player in the top five and the second-rated running back behind Le’Veon Bell (94).
The next three Vikings players in line in the rankings are all on the defensive front seven – Joseph (89), Barr (88) and Everson Griffen (88). It would appear the Madden crew has a healthy respect for what the Vikings can get accomplished from their top-end defensive players.
In what came as something of a surprise, the next two players were both centers – John Sullivan and Joe Berger both scored an 83. In the head-to-head comparative rankings, Sullivan scored higher in the awareness and acceleration rankings, while Berger ranked higher in speed and strength. In its own way, it helps to explain why Sullivan and Berger are still in competition for the starting center job.
The Vikings had more players that had an overall ranking of 80 or higher, including Sharrif Floyd (83), Alex Boone (81), Teddy Bridgewater (81), Kyle Rudolph (81), Blair Walsh (81), Matt Kalil (80), Terence Newman (80) and Xavier Rhodes (80).
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Rankings under 80 tend to show that either players are young and yet to prove themselves or older veterans who have maxed out their potential in terms of Madden rankings, which are often based upon big-play ability and consistency and making those plays.
Eleven players scored between 76 and 79 points – Stefon Diggs (79), Brian Robison (79), Chad Greenway (79), Michael Griffin (78), Andrew Sendejo (78), Andre Smith (77), Eric Kendricks (76) and Jerick McKinnon (76).
Laquon Treadwell wasn’t the highest ranked rookie on the team. He and Mackensie Alexander tied for the top spot among the rookie class with a ranking of 75 – the same as veteran cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.
You can make as much as you want to out of video game rankings, but Madden has a history of being pretty accurate in terms of ranking players who have already proven themselves on game day, whether they receive a lot of media attention or not. But, from the looks of things, the Madden crew is pretty impressed with the Vikings and Minnesota fans can feel better about playing their favorite team when Madden 17 hits stores Aug. 23.null