Madden NFL 10: Two Cover Stars and Top Ten Position Ratings

As you probably know by now, this year's Madden cover features two football greats: Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Troy Polamalu. It's the first time the Madden cover has been shared and it marks Fitz's return to the cover of an EA Sports football...

As you probably know by now, this year's Madden cover features two football greats: Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Troy Polamalu. It's the first time the Madden cover has been shared and it marks Fitz's return to the cover of an EA Sports football game (he was last seen on NCAA Football 2005).

Today, I had a chance to hang out with Larry, speak with him about being on the cover of the game (look for that video next week) and also check out the annual Madden luncheon, which featured a panel discussion about the game, player ratings, and the upcoming 2009 NFL Draft. Hosted by Rich Eisen of the NFL Network, the show also featured players like Fitzgerald, Madden NFL 2005 cover star Ray Lewis, newly minted Kansas City Chief Matt Cassel, and New York Giants' running back Brandon Jacobs.

Host Rich Eisen, Brandon Jacobs, Matt Cassel, Ray Lewis, Larry Fitzgerald

During the show, Eisen and company revealed the top ten players at several positions in the upcoming Madden 10, as well as their overall ratings. Here's how things will break down this season:

Quarterback
(Name, Team)
1 Peyton Manning -- Indianapolis
2 Tom Brady -- New England
3 Drew Brees -- New Orleans
4 Kurt Warner -- Arizona
5 Ben Roethlisberger -- Pittsburgh
6 Donovan McNabb -- Philadelphia
7 Tony Romo -- Dallas
8 Philip Rivers -- San Diego
9 Jay Cutler -- Chicago
10 Eli Manning - New York
(Sorry, wasn't quick enough on the draw to grab the QBs' overall ratings)

Wide Receiver
(Name, Team, Overall Rating)
1 Larry Fitzgerald -- Arizona -- 99
2 Andre Johnson -- Houston -- 98
3 Steve Smith -- Carolina -- 97
4 Randy Moss -- New England -- 96
5 Reggie Wayne -- Indianapolis -- 95
6 Anquan Boldin -- Arizona -- 94
Roddy White -- Atlanta -- 94
8 Wes Welker -- New England -- 93
9 Brandon Marshall -- Denver -- 92
Calvin Johnson -- Detroit -- 92

Tight End
(Name, Team, Overall Rating)
1 Tony Gonzalez -- Atlanta -- 98
2 Jason Witten -- Dallas -- 97
3 Antonio Gates -- San Diego -- 95
4 Chris Cooley -- Washington -- 91
Dallas Clark -- Indianapolis -- 91
6 Kellen Winslow -- Tampa Bay -- 90
Heath Miller -- Pittsburgh -- 90
8 Owen Daniels -- Houston -- 89
9 John Carlson -- Seattle -- 87
10 Jeremy Shockey -- New Orleans -- 86

Running Back
(Name, Team, Overall Rating)
1 Adrian Peterson -- Minnesota -- 98
2 Brian Westbrook -- Philadelphia -- 97
3 Michael Turner -- Atlanta -- 95
DeAngelo Williams -- Carolina -- 95
5 Clinton Portis -- Washington -- 94
LaDanian Tomlinson -- San Diego -- 94
7 Steven Jackson -- St. Louis -- 93
Frank Gore -- San Francisco -- 93
9 Maurice Jones-Drew -- Jacksonville -- 92
10 Marion Barber -- Dallas -- 91

Defenders
(Name, Team, Position, Overall Rating)
1 Albert Haynesworth -- Washington -- DT -- 99
Ed Reed -- Baltimore -- FS -- 99
Troy Polamalu -- Pittsburgh -- SS -- 99
Nnamdi Asomugha -- Oakland -- CB -- 99
Jared Allen -- Minnesota -- DE -- 99
6 James Harrison -- Pittsburgh -- OLB - 98
Justin Tuck -- New York Giants -- DE -- 98
DeMarcus Ware -- Dallas -- OLB -- 98
Adrian Wilson -- Arizona -- SS -- 98
Patrick Willis -- San Francisco -- MLB -- 98

Next up were the movers and shakers, the players who have had seen the biggest year-on-year swing (either positively or negatively) in their overall Madden rating. First up, the bad news:

Shakers
DeAngelo Hall -- Washington CB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 93
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 68
Difference: -25

Matt Leinart -- Arizona QB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 85
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 62
Difference: -23

Devin Thomas--Washington WR
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 81
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 63
Difference: -18

Torrey Holt -- Jacksonville WR
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 96
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 84
Difference: -12

Fred Smoot -- Washington CB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 87
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 76
Difference: -11

Finally, take a look at the players who improved most from the previous Madden game. You'll notice more than one rookie on this list:

Movers
Chris Johnson -- Oakland CB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 67
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 82
Difference: +14

Steve Slaton -- Houston RB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 74
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 87
Difference: +13

DeAngelo Williams--Carolina RB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 84
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 95
Difference: +11

Matt Forte -- Chicago RB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 80
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 89
Difference: +9

Matt Cassel -- Kansas City QB
Madden NFL 09 Overall Rating: 76
Madden NFL 10 Overall Rating: 83
Difference: +7

So there you go; a first look at some of the ratings in Madden NFL 10. Who do you think should be tops at each position in the game?

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