Last week Madden released its ratings for rookie wide receivers, and Chase Claypool—second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers—received a surprisingly low rating of 70, tied for eleventh-highest among rookie wideouts.
Now the top-10 player ratings for all 32 NFL teams have leaked, and there are a few surprises when it comes to the Steelers.
Top 10 Steelers Players
David DeCastro – 91
Cameron Heyward – 90
Minkah Fitzpatrick – 87
Stephon Tuitt – 87
Maurkice Pouncey – 86
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 86
T.J. Watt – 86
Eric Ebron – 84
Joe Haden – 83
Alejandro Villanueva – 82
David ‘Perfect Attendance’ DeCastro is the highest-rated Steeler, as was the case last year. Not sure that DeCastro should top the list at this point in his career, but his high rating is still justified. Both Cameron Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick seem to be rated fairly, with Heyward one of the 50 best players in the NFL entering 2020 and Fitzpatrick one of the 25 Best Under-25 in the NFL.
Maurkice Pouncey and JuJu Smith-Schuster also seem to be rated fairly, though Pouncey is a polarizing figure among analysts. Most NFL insiders still love Pouncey’s game, but there’s a small minority who believe that he is average and overrated.
It’s a real surprise, however, that T.J. Watt received just an 86 rating. Have they not caught up to the fact that Watt took a quantum leap forward in 2019, coming in third in NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting? The only players ahead of him in last year’s Defensive Player of the Year race were Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots, who received a 99 rating in Madden 21, and Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals, who received a 95.
Watt didn’t fare as well as one might expect in ESPN’s new edge rusher survey, either, ranking as just the seventh-best edge player in the NFL, behind Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa, to name just two.
Meanwhile, it’s nice to see tight end Eric Ebron rated as high as 84, which hopefully bodes well for the kind of production fans can expect in Pittsburgh. Ebron did score 13 touchdowns with the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 before having a down year in 2019.
Finally, there is one pleasant surprise, with left tackle Alejandro Villaneuva holding an 82 rating, even though he’s now on the wrong side of thirty. Like Pouncey, some analysts view him as decidedly average, albeit still a good value for the money. Villanueva is expected to be one of Pittsburgh’s top 5 unrestricted free agents entering the 2021 season.
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More Madden 21 Ratings to Come
Chase Claypool aside, Pittsburgh’s rookie class has yet to be assigned ratings for Madden 21. Those numbers are expected to be released in the coming weeks—by position group.
The Steelers rookies who still await rankings are: outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, running back Anthony McFarland, offensive guard Kevin Dotson, safety Antoine Brooks Jr., and defensive tackle Carlos Davis.