Finding a linebacker who excels in coverage can be a huge asset to help take away running backs and tight ends, or just the middle of the field. 85 speed, 85 jumps, 90 play recognition, 72 catching, and 85 zone coverage is good enough to let you leave the CPU to control in coverage.
If that isn’t enough, he has 82 strength, 84 block shedding, 90 pursuit, 90 tackle and 86 power. Jones is one of the rangiest linebackers in the NFL currently, and this card reflects it.
He may only have 78 speed, 82 acceleration, and 77 agility, but his 82 zone coverage, 74 man coverage, 90 awareness, 90 play recognition, 81 block shedding and 88 pursuit make sure he will be in the right place at the right time. Where Preacher could play strong safety, Bullock could line up at corner back and manage.
86 speed, 87 acceleration, 85 agility, and 84 jumping make him one of the most mobile linebackers available. Pair that with 84 man coverage and 82 zonecoverage, and he can match up with slower receivers and running backs, and almost any tight end.
If that isn’t enough he also has 74 strength, 85 block shedding, 86 pursuit and 88 tackling, so he thrives against the run. Brooks was a key piece in the great Buccaneers defense of the naughtier, and is the mold for any Tampa 2 linebacker.
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The Best Stats: Play Recognition (97), Pursuit (95), Awareness (95), Impact Block (93), Acceleration (90), Block Shed (89), Power Move (89), Speed (87), Agility (87), Tackle (86), Hit Power (86), Strength (84), Finesse Move (81) Houston drafted 1st overall in 2014, the first defensive player taken at this spot since the last time the Texans did it in 2006 on Mario Williams.
Over the last 2 seasons, Clowned has accrued 18.5 sacks and 6 fumble recoveries, with 3 Pro Bowl appearances there's no doubt he's a top player for the position. Clowned is positionally dominant with power move (89), block shed (89) and acceleration (90).
He will hit the impact block (93) and get off it quickly, look to get lots of sacks with him on the average QBs blindside. Reason's unknown but as a player Smith has been both consistent and multi faceted since being a steal in the 5th round of 2014 draft.
At 6'3”, he is tall and athletic enough to play any Linebacker position, but has found a home as a coverage ROLE. Last year was a stand out season for Smith, with 134 combined tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and a defensive touchdown.
A strong tackler, and good in coverage, he is another player than can play multiple LB positions. Similar to Kelvin Smith, Wander Each leads with pursuit (91) and acceleration (91), offensive players will struggle to escape him.
Having bounced around a bit last year he found a role combining run stopping tackles with some pass rushing pressure on the QB. Davis has 110 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 5 sacks in the 2018 season and, whilst he's aging many expect him to play a key role in the Saints defense.
It was a surprise when the Patriots traded the huge 6'5” Chandler Jones to the Cardinals for a 2nd round pick in 2015, as they had used a 1st rounder on him 3 years earlier. Block shed (73) is unrealistically low, but power move (85) is right up there with the best and tackle (85) and pursuit (90) will help stop the run.
Another 1st round pick in these player lists, Don'ta Hightower was selected by the Patriots 25th overall in 2012. He was crucial in helping win Super Bowl LIII against the Rams at the end of last season.
Overall is crucial in Madden for contract value to teams but also inexperienced users lean too heavily on it. That said, impact blocking (91), tackling (91) and hit power (90) is a leading combination on the list.
Speed (82) is a concern, so you wouldn't want to leave open in coverage on obvious passing downs. Drinking from the fountain of youth, Lorenzo Alexander is entering his 14th season in the NFL.
Rightly or wrongly, a good pass rusher gets more attention and therefore a higher overall rating in Madden. They have a hand in every aspect of the game, from run defense, pressuring the quarterback, and covering receivers.
The Best Stats: Awareness (99), Play Recognition (99), Power Moves (97), Pursuit (95), Tackle (94), Block Shed (93), Finesse Moves (92), Impact Blocking (90), Acceleration (89), Strength (89), Hit Power (88), Agility (88), Speed (87) As expected of a 99 club member, Mack starts with the awareness (99) and play recognition (99) of the most elite players.
The Best Stats: Awareness (99), Play Recognition (99), Pursuit (96), Power Moves (95), Block Shed (94), Tackle (93), Finesse Moves (90), Agility (90), Acceleration (89), Impact Block (89), Hit Power (89), Speed (87), Strength (84) One of the few defensive players to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, On Miller has been terrorizing offensive linemen since the Broncos took him 2nd overall in 2011.
Taken in the same draft as On Miller, 14 picks later, Ryan Mórrígan has had a standout career without reaching the same heights. Mórrígan also mixes good acceleration (86) with strength (86) to be the complete physical package.
The first player in this list that is more focused on stopping the run and dropping into coverage, Sean Lee is a Dallas Cowboys legend. Although, this year sees him move to the strong side to focus on stopping the run as he gets older.
Despite his age, Lee's acceleration (87) is still up there with impact block (89), play recognition (93) and awareness (91). Speed (82) would be a concern when in obvious passing play coverage, and again his age means this will only get worse.
The Best Stats: Tackle (90), Play Recognition (89), Pursuit (89), Acceleration (86), Awareness (86), Speed (85), Block Shed (83), Hit Power (80), The very definition of an all-rounder, Darius Leonard had a superb rookie season after being taken in the 2nd round by the Colts in 2018.
Another player drinking from the fountain of youth, Cameron Wake has had a dream career despite going drafted in 2005. After a few years of huge success in Canada, Wake found himself on the Dolphins roster and hasn't looked back in 10 seasons with them, and now the Titans.
Speed (79) means you will have to use situationally, but sometimes Wake can still be dominant and leverage strength (85) and impact block (88) to break offensive lines. A 1st round pick in 2012, Merciless plays on a team with Devon Clowned (ROLE) and JJ Watt (LE) who get mentioned in our other lists, and there's talk of him moving around this season.
It's hard to work out whether this helps or hinders the assessment of Mercilus, but he has got 42.5 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in his own name. A power move (84) guy with block shed (78), if you end up with the Texans franchise you are stacked for mid age pass rushers.