In the world of American football, video game and sports fans alike eagerly anticipate the annual release of EA Sports’ Madden series. The Madden franchise is renowned for its lifelike simulation of the gridiron. One of the most exciting aspects for fans is the Madden player rankings, which determine the virtual performance of players on the field. In this article, we will dive into the Madden rankings of the Minnesota Vikings’ defensive players.
Harrison Smith - 90 Overall: Well the Hitman is yet again ranked in the 90s in Madden, proving to still be one of the most feared defensive backs in football. He leads the league in interceptions amongst active players over the past handful of years and that playmaking ability lands him near the top of the safety rankings.
Danielle Hunter - 87 Overall: We all know Hunter’s capabilities are high above an 87 overall, but within last year’s scheme and him being in a 2-point stance most of the time, Danielle looked somewhat out of place. Hopefully, Brian Flores utilizes Hunter a bit differently this year because his ceiling is around a whopping 10 ratings points higher.
Byron Murphy - 82 Overall: I can’t speak on this rating as much because I can’t say I watched a lot of Arizona Cardinals games last year, but I do know that Murphy is a versatile defender who can play outside the numbers and in the slot. He will most likely be following the opposing team's best receiver so I feel as if he may be a touch underrated in Madden this year. Let’s hope by the mid-season roster update, Byron Murphy is around an 87 overall.
Harrison Phillips - 79 Overall: Again, last year's defense was so atrocious that these ratings are probably a bit skewed. Phillips is predominantly an interior run stuffer, but we didn’t see much of that last year from him. A fair Madden rating given such performance, but Phillips is also the type of player who can get to a mid-80 overall.
Jordan Hicks - 77 Overall: Given Hicks’ performance last year, this rating is probably spot on. He’s not much of a coverage backer but can sniff the run out on occasion. He is a sure tackler which is a blessing, but is suspect in the pass defense and has a hard time keeping up with backs and tight ends.
Marcus Davenport - 76 Overall: Similar to Byron Murphy in the scenario in which I didn’t watch much football outside of the Vikings last year, Davenport played for the Saints previously and hasn’t done much since coming into the league 4 years ago. He struggles to stay healthy, but when healthy his motor and power moves are his best attributes. Fair ranking until proven otherwise.
Lewis Cine - 75 Overall: The Madden ratings adjusters definitely see the potential in Cine as they give him a 75 rating. After a season-ending injury like Cine’s, you can’t expect much else as far as ratings go here. We hope to see Cine stay Healthy and thrive under the guidance of Flores and his aggressive play calls this year. Cine’s ceiling is the limit, but I think he will play as a mid to high-80s caliber player in 2023 and beyond.
Dean Lowry - 74 Overall: Lowry has the prototypical interior pass-rushing body type, but still seems to be figuring out his role in the NFL. Given the lack of talent and depth on the Vikings' defensive line, Lowry will have plenty of opportunities to prove he was worth the free agent deal the team gave him. This is a fair rating until proven wrong.
Andrew Booth - 72 Overall: Similar to Cine battling an injury in his rookie campaign, Booth was plagued by injuries the minute we drafted him. When healthy, Booth has the frame and skill set to be a potential game changer on defense for this team. They say the best ability is availability, so we’ll have to see if he can stay healthy and prove he is more than a 72 overall cornerback.
Brian Asamoah - 71 Overall: Asamoah is entering his second year out of the University of Oklahoma and is poised to be a breakout candidate for this Vikings team in 2023 and beyond. Asamoah is an instinctual player who flies around the field in both the run and pass game. Obviously, he didn’t get much playing time last year, he should be the starting middle linebacker now that veteran Eric Kendricks went to Los Angeles in the off-season. Regardless of opportunities, this rating seems pretty low. Look to see Asamoah around the 80s in the mid-season roster updates.
Mekhi Blackmon - 71 Overall: Rookie cornerback Mekhi Blackmon gets his first-ever Madden rating at 71 overall. Given his production during his final year at USC, it is a bit surprising to see him rated pretty low. I figured he’d be around a 75 overall to start the season but I guess not. There’s plenty of opportunity to shine in this Vikings secondary so let’s see if he can jump up around the higher 70s sometime this year.
The Minnesota Vikings defense isn’t exactly flooded with talent or depth, but look for a massive transformation with Brian Flores running the show now. Danielle Hunter’s pass-rushing prowess, Jordan Hicks and Brian Asamoah’s combination of intelligence and speed in the middle, Byron Murphy’s disruptive presence, and Harrison Smith’s veteran leadership combine to form a formidable defensive unit. As the Madden season is almost upon us, fans eagerly anticipate the chance to lead these players to virtual success on the field.