The Madden video game franchise has become a staple in NFL culture.
Each season, fans debate the game’s player ratings and look forward to seeing the newest crop of rookies in video game form. EA Sports released a list of the 10 rookies with the highest rankings in the upcoming Madden NFL 17, and three former Big Ten players were included.
Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott was No. 2 on the list, behind top-ranked Jalen Ramsey, and has an initial overall rating of “80.” The Dallas Cowboys’ rookie has an impressive speed rating of “92,” while Elliott’s vision and agility are given a “91.”
“With 92 speed and 86 carry ratings, Elliot has the ability to play every down and be the workhorse-type back America’s team needed all last season,” the article says of the former Buckeyes back.
The next Big Ten entry on the list is another former Ohio State player. Joey Bosa, the Buckeyes’ dominant defensive end, is given the No. 5 spot among rookies. Now with the San Diego Chargers, Bosa has a “79” overall rating with a finesse move rating of “84” and a power move rating of “80.”
“Across the board, his raw athletic stats won’t wow you,” EA Sports says. “But his balance will help bring stability to the Chargers’ defense.”
The final Big Ten alumni to make the Top 10 earned the No. 7 spot. Jack Conklin, a former Michigan State standout on the offensive line, also had an overall rating of “79,” and he earned a run block grade of “84” with a pass block rating of “81.”
“A former college walk on, turn NFL pro, Conklin is best used in running situations where he can take advantage of his 81 acceleration and 83 run blocking,” EA Sports says of the former Spartan.
Of course, fans aren’t the only ones who care about these ratings. The players themselves had some pretty interesting reactions.