EA Sports’ Madden NFL 23, released in mid-August on all platforms, gives every single player in the game a rating to start the year that can sometimes end up being relatively controversial. Players do have the ability to have their rating change throughout the season, though, as adjusters will either add or subtract overalls based on performance in real life.
Let’s take a look to see how Madden did with its ratings for the New England Patriots’ 53-man roster on the eve of the regular season.
Mac Jones - 78, Bailey Zappe - 63, Brian Hoyer - 61
The Patriots’ quarterback room is questionable in terms of its ratings, to say the least. Mac Jones was a Pro Bowler as a rookie last season and is rated just one point overall higher compared to the likes of Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo. Jones should likely be a 79 overall, it may just be a one overall difference, but it separates him from a lower tier of signal callers.
Another thing that stands out here is rookie Bailey Zappe is rated higher than veteran Brian Hoyer. It makes little sense to have a fourth-round rookie quarterback rated higher than a guy who has been around for years as a decent backup.
Running back ratings
Damien Harris - 82, Rhamondre Stevenson - 74, Ty Montgomery - 73, Pierre Strong Jr. - 68
Madden did a much better job when rating New England’s running back room. Harris at an 82 and Montgomery at a 73 seem like perfect ratings for each guy. Stevenson was the player who got the short end of the stick here as he is massively undervalued in the game. He is rated lower than Ronald Jones II (77), Mike Davis (76) and a bunch of other backs that he will surely have bigger contributions than. Strong Jr. got a generous rating for a rookie as he should likely be closer to a 65 overall.
Wide receiver ratings
DeVante Parker - 82, Nelson Agholor - 81, Kendrick Bourne - 81, Jakobi Meyers - 80, Tyquan Thornton - 70
A team having four 80+ overall wide receivers is rare in Madden. Parker, Bourne and Thornton all have ratings that are fair for what they have done and are capable of doing. Agholor, meanwhile, is rated way too highly after the year he had last season. He should be in the 77 range.
Meyers, on the other hand, should be rated higher. Meyers is the most consistent receiver on the roster and will likely lead the lead in catches again this year. He deserves to be at least an 83 overall.
Tight end ratings
Hunter Henry - 85, Jonnu Smith - 78
The ratings for the two tight ends on the Patriots’ roster are more than fair. Henry is coming off a nice season and a 85 overall is really good heading into the year. Smith had a bad season last year but still has potential to be a useful player for New England so a 78 makes sense.
Offensive tackle ratings
LT Trent Brown - 86, RT Isaiah Wynn - 80, OT Justin Herron - 67, OT Yodny Cajuste - 62
Offensive tackle is another position that looks spot-on; all of the players in this group are rated fairly. Brown is by far the best of the bunch and his 86 overall is warranted when he’s on the field. Wynn has had his struggles at times but is a talented player who is very good when he is right. The backups are also rated well: Herron has proven himself more in the league than Cajuste, earning him a higher overall.
Interior offensive linemen ratings
C David Andrews - 86, RG Mike Onwenu - 80, LG Cole Strange - 71, OG Chasen Hines - 65, OL James Ferentz - 55
Andrews is the core of this interior and his 86 overall makes sense as he has been a key player for years at center. Onwenu is in a similar spot as Smith (TE) as he has been productive in the past but struggled last year. EA was generous and gave him an 80 overall when he should likely be either a 78 or 79.
Strange is an interesting one because Madden never rates rookies high, but he was a first rounder who immediately will be starting. Strange likely should be at a 75 heading into the year. Hines is another rookie who was rated well despite not doing much in the preseason; he should be lower. Ferentz was disrespected by the ratings creators. A 55 overall is awful and despite his shortcomings he should likely be a 59 or 60 overall.
Defensive end ratings
Deatrich Wise Jr. - 78, Lawrence Guy - 76, Sam Roberts - 63, DaMarcus Mitchell - N/A
Madden starts to get sloppy here as they do not have a base rating for Mitchell. Wise Jr. has a fair rating, but Guy should likely be at around the same spot. They are both productive players that are worthy of a 78. Roberts has a base rating that makes sense as he is a rookie from Division II that was selected in the sixth round.
Defensive tackle ratings
Christian Barmore - 77, Davon Godchaux - 74, Carl Davis - 67, Daniel Ekuale - 62
The defensive tackle position for the Patriots was massively underrated by Madden.
Barmore is undervalued as he could end up being the best player on the Patriots defense this year. Godchaux is one of the best run-stuffers in the entire NFL and a 74 is just too low. They should be at around 82 and 78, respectively. Davis has a fair rating for a depth defensive tackle who will rotate in on certain downs. Ekuale is at just a 62 and could probably be a few ticks higher.
Outside linebacker ratings
Matthew Judon - 87, Josh Uche - 74, Anfernee Jennings - 67
Judon’s rating is tied for the best on the entire Patriots roster at an 87. He dominated the first half of last season and slowed down towards the end, so it makes sense that he is not in the low 90s.
Uche is rated way too highly if you go off of the ratings of some of the other Patriots. The same overall as Stevenson and Godchaux just does not make sense given his past production in the league. Uche should be about a 70-71.
Jennings is right where he should be after missing last season and not having a huge impact his rookie year. He is definitely a candidate to have his overall raise significantly.
Middle linebacker ratings
Ja’Whaun Bentley - 80, Mack Wilson Sr. - 70, Jahlani Tavai - 70, Raekwon McMillan - 69
The middle linebacker room for the Patriots is undervalued by Madden in its entirety. Bentley has been a key cog on winning New England teams for years and should be around an 82. Wilson and McMillan should both be around the 73 range; they have both had productive NFL seasons and do not deserve to be rated like rookies. Tavai could probably sneak to a 71 but he is the only on this list that is not outrageous.
Jonathan Jones - 81, Jalen Mills - 77, Myles Bryant - 71, Marcus Jones - 68, Jack Jones - 66, Shaun Wade - 65
The Patriots’ corners may be rated a little on the low side, but mostly reasonable across the board. Jonathan Jones is rated the highest as he has shown to be a great cornerback and is projected to have a major role in the secondary.
Mills and Bryant are both right around where they should be but could be due for boosts. The pair of rookies Marcus and Jack Jones is rated rather accurately, as they should be as third- and fourth-round corners in the past draft. Wade is a player who had a ton of potential out of college but has not done anything yet, warranting a 65 overall.
FS Devin McCourty - 87, SS Adrian Phillips - 82, SS Kyle Dugger - 82, S Jabrill Peppers - 80, S Joshuah Bledsoe - 65
McCourty is the other 87 overall on this roster and he has earned it as he is still playing at a very high level despite getting older. Phillips and Dugger are both at 82 overalls and it is honestly a little low. These players both deserve 83-84 overalls as they had great years last season and will do the same this year.
Peppers, on the other hand, is rated a little too highly coming off a season-ending injury last year. His role is unclear this season and he should probably be more of a 77-78. Bledsoe is entering his sophomore year after pretty much redshirting his rookie season and is in the same boat as Wade at a 65.
Special teams ratings
P Jake Bailey - 79, K Nick Folk - 78, S Cody Davis - 68, WR Matthew Slater - 66, TE Joe Cardona - 27, S Brenden Schooler - N/A
This by far the unit of the Patriots that is disrespected the most by Madden. Bailey is the highest overall of this group but is still rated lowly despite being one of the best punters in the league. Folk is also coming off a great season and is just a 78 overall. Both should easily be rated in the low 80s.
EA is very lazy when it comes to special teams and the players who only play on this unit are rated as their secondary spots. Davis and Slater would be rated in the high 80s given their kicking game contributions. Cardona, one of the best in the NFL at his job, is listed as a tight end in the game because it does not have a long snapper position. Schooler does not have a rating; they do not even have him listed on the roster.
Overall ratings grade: C+
A lot of these ratings are solid but other players lack a lot of details. The game is missing two players on the Patriots’ active roster and does not have special teams positions which gives certain players little to no value in the game.
Overall, the ratings would be a lot better if they just added a little more attention to detail. They have the opportunity to update rosters throughout the year and we will check back in and see where everyone rated during the bye week, but for now a C+ is a fair grade.