The NFL combine is the single biggest event that determines future Madden NFL player ratings took place over the last few days but no one in the video game world has talked about it. At this point you might be asking yourself, “Is a good NFL combine performance really more important than years of production in the NFL?” And the answer is a definitive, “YES!” when it comes to Madden 25 or any other future Madden NFL game. Below, I’ll go over why as well as highlight a few players you’ve probably never heard of that will be some of the most overused players in next years, Madden 15 game.
Anyone outside of the competitive Madden community probably wouldn’t understand how something like the 40 yard dash, which generally takes under 5 seconds can be more important than, say, 10 years of continued dominance in the NFL. Simply put, the most important attributes in Madden games have always been Speed, Strength, and Size. Those things are all easily measured at the NFL combine. I’ll go over a few examples.
Chicago Bears running back, Matt Forte was 2nd in the NFL last season in rushing with 1,339 yards. He has been a consistent producer for 6 years with the Bears. He has a very high Madden 25 rating in the 90’s overall. He is the complete package and a very good running back. Now lets look at a different running back, Jeff Demps. Jeff Demps got to run the ball 1 time last year and had 14 yards rushing. He played in 2 games. He has a very low Madden 25 rating. By all accounts he is a very poor running back who needs lots of development to ever get to Matt Forte’s level. However, Demps is a world class sprinter.
Can you guess which running back any top level Madden gamer would choose to use in a game with money on the line? The answer is Jeff Demps. Why? Simply because Demps has a 98 speed rating while Forte has a low 90’s speed rating. Forte has better stats in just about everything outside of the ratings that measure how fast you are: speed, acceleration, agility. But ratings like awareness, ball carrier vision, pass blocking, and other ratings like it are not nearly as important is the speed ratings.
Speed, as it relates to the Madden NFL series, is measured by 1 number. 40 yard dash time. Jeff Demps ran a 4.26 40 while Matt Forte only ran a 4.46. 4.46 is extremely respectable for a running back. 4.26 is blazing fast. So even though Jeff Demps has rarely ever been able to prove that his speed translates to the NFL, he gets a high speed rating and will continue to have it until he is removed from the game.
Obviously that comparison was a little extreme, but the principle holds. You give any serious Madden gamer the option to have (Player A) a 6’5″ wide receiver with 96 speed who is only 84 overall and just marginally productive in the NFL or (Player B) a superstar 5’10” wide receiver with 84 speed and 96 overall rating and the choice is a no-brainer. They will always go with player A even though he is just a decent wide receiver. Even though player B is a superstar in the NFL, he isn’t nearly as effective in Madden likely because he ran a slow 40 time. You can’t become a superstar wide receiver in the NFL being that slow but just look at someone like the greatest wide receiver of all time, Jerry Rice. He ran a 4.71 in his 40 time. Everyone knew he played a lot faster than that but if he was playing today, he wouldn’t have a speed rating above 90 overall.
Now that we have it established that speed, strength, and size are really the most important attributes in Madden NFL, lets look at a few incoming rookies who should have insane ratings in Madden NFL 15 based on their combine results.
HB Dri Archer – He is probably the best example in this year’s draft class of someone who you’ve never heard of who will be abused in Madden 15. He ran a 4.26 40 time which will translate into about 97 or 98 speed. He likely won’t be drafted very high and will have to compete to earn a roster spot next year. If you are running a Madden 15 fantasy draft, this is the type of guy you will want to draft quickly.
QB Logan Thomas – He isn’t a very good quarterback. But he meets all of our size, strength, speed requirements. He is 6’6″ and 250 pounds. He also ran the fastest 40 time of all of the quarterbacks at the combine with a 4.61. Furthermore, he did this to one of the best young players in college football and future Heisman Trophy contender Myles Jack.
DE Jadeveon Clowney – Everyone knows he will have insane speed, strength, size attributes but it is worth mentioning anyway. If you can get him on your team via a draft or a trade in Madden 15, you need to do so.
TE A.C. Leonard – He ran a 4.50 40 yard dash. This will translate into high 80’s speed which will be a nightmare for linebackers to defend. He likely will be rated very low overall so he is a major sleeper.
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis - He ran a 4.51 which was the fastest 40 time by any linebacker at the combine. He may not be a sleeper, but he is a guy you will fly a little under the radar.
These are 5 players ranging from possibly the first overall pick to undrafted guys who can all make a very big, immediate impact on your team in Madden NFL 15. If you are big into game modes like Connected Franchise where speed is nearly impossible to upgrade, these guys should be specially high up on your priority list.