GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Best Madden 23 Defense Players: Top DEF Players By OVR Rating

Defense wins championships, and these players in Madden 23 are at the top of their game on the defensive side of the ball.


The several defensive positions house some of the most talented players in all of Madden 23. From the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in T.J. Watt to the new crop of young studs, like Micah Parsons, the future of defense in the NFL is in good hands.

This week, EA is revealing a rating for every player in Madden 23 in addition to putting a spotlight on the top 10 players at each position. Unlike the offensive positions, like wide receivers and tight ends, we've decided to put the top 10 at each defensive position into one article so fans can easily browse all of them. There are several high-profile players that make up the defensive landscape of the NFL. Aaron Donald is always a presence at the top of ratings, as he's now been rated a 99 OVR for six consecutive seasons, while new members of the 99 Club, namely Myles Garrett have also been introduced. The defensive backs, however, didn't receive as much love this year from EA, as Jalen Ramsey fell out of the 99 Club and no other DB replaced him. Of course, there are still controversies abound in the community, but players can decide for themselves by reading all about the defensive ratings below.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Madden 23 Franchise Deep Dive

Top Defensive Players In Madden 23

We'll be listing the top 10 players at each defensive position as they are revealed throughout the week. These lists will solely be based on each player's OVR rating, so even though one player might have a stronger single stat than another player, they still could be rated lower.

Edge Rushers

The edge rushers are the first defensive group that was revealed by EA. This position houses some of the most talented defensive players in football, including the likes of new 99 Club member Myles Garrett and incumbent top 10 member Von Miller. Fans can check out the rating for every single edge rusher in Madden 23 by going to EA's website and view the top 10 players at the edge rusher position below.

  1. Myles Garrett - 99 OVR
  2. T.J. Watt - 96 OVR
  3. Fred Warner - 94 OVR
  4. Nick Bosa - 94 OVR
  5. Demario Davis - 93 OVR
  6. Khalil Mack - 92 OVR
  7. Lavonte David - 92 OVR
  8. Von Miller - 92 OVR
  9. Bobby Wagner - 91 OVR
  10. Cameron Jordan - 91 OVR

This was easily the most controversial ratings reveal yet. While few people can argue against Myles Garrett's 99 OVR rating, many Madden fans are in an uproar over T.J. Watt's 96 OVR rating. Watt is the reigning DPOY and totaled a league-high 22.5 sacks last season. It appears, at least to start the season, that EA is predicting a decline in production from Watt. The rest of the list features some veteran top 10 edge rushers, including Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Bobby Wagner, and Cameron Jordan. The San Francisco 49ers also have to be feeling good about the future of their defense with both Fred Warner and Nick Bosa sitting at 94 OVR. The New Orleans Saints also have two players in the top 10, Demario Davis and Cameron Jordan. Davis had an underrated season in 2021, and Madden rewarded the middle linebacker with the fifth highest edge rusher rating.

After Cameron Jordan's 91 OVR, there are four others with a 90 OVR or above rating. This includes Joey Bosa, who is tied with Jordan at 91 OVR. Chandler Jones, Darius Leonard, and Demarcus Lawrence are the remaining players in the 90s. Some fans certainly feel there were some snubs with these ratings, which only started with T.J. Watt. The Las Vegas Raiders' Maxx Crosby, who earned Second-Team All Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season, is only at 87 OVR to start the season, for example. However, EA will certainly continue to evaluate the players throughout training camp and the start of the season, so fans should expect some movement after Madden 23 releases in August.


The next position group revealed by EA are the safeties. It should be noted, that EA is including both free and strong safeties in this top 10. This makes narrowing down the top 10 safeties somewhat difficult, but as always, the ratings are subject to change throughout the season. Players can see the top 10 safeties below and check out the full ratings on EA's website.

  1. Tyrann Mathieu - 94 OVR
  2. Derwin James Jr. - 93 OVR
  3. Budda Baker - 92 OVR
  4. Kevin Byard - 92 OVR
  5. Micah Hyde - 91 OVR
  6. Justin Simmons - 91 OVR
  7. Jessie Bates III - 90 OVR
  8. Jordan Poyer - 90 OVR
  9. Harrison Smith - 90 OVR
  10. Jamal Adams - 90 OVR

There are some notable takeaways from these ratings, which include some snubs. The Pittsburgh Steeler's Minkah Fitzpatrick, who signed a huge contract this season, is rated at 89 OVR, a rating some fans feel is far too low after his 2021 season. Jessie Bates III also has a rating that fans feel is too low after last season, which saw him lead the Bengals' defense to a Super Bowl berth. One fanbase that is likely thrilled with the ratings is the Buffalo Bills, as they have their top two safeties, Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, in the top 10. Although, Tyrann Mathieu stays atop the safety ratings even after moving from Kansas City to New Orleans.

There's certainly not as much controversy with this list as there was with the edge rushers. However, most fans would seemingly like to see a shakeup in the top 10 as the season begins. There are certainly 5-10 deserving safeties who are currently sitting outside of the top 10. Some notable players that could enter the list throughout the season are Adrian Amos (88 OVR), Jimmie Ward (87 OVR), and Marcus Williams (86 OVR) in addition to the aforementioned Minkah Fitzpatrick.


In a change from last season, the cornerback position does not have a member of the 99 Club in it. However, there is one player a point away and plenty of others above a 90 OVR rating. Although, EA has opted to rate most of the cornerbacks on the lower side and give them a chance to earn a higher rating throughout the season. Players can see the top 10 cornerbacks in Madden 23 below and the rest of the ratings on EA's website.

  1. Jalen Ramsey - 98 OVR
  2. Jaire Alexander - 94 OVR
  3. Tre'Davious White - 93 OVR
  4. Darius Slay Jr. - 92 OVR
  5. Denzel Ward - 92 OVR
  6. Marshon Lattimore - 91 OVR
  7. Stephon Gilmore - 91 OVR
  8. JC Jackson - 90 OVR
  9. Marlon Humphrey - 90 OVR
  10. A.J. Terrell Jr. - 89 OVR

There are certainly some things to unpack with these cornerback ratings. For starters, Jalen Ramsey at 98 OVR seems like a fair rating, as he wasn't as dominant last season compared to his 2020 campaign. Jaire Alexander following Ramsey as the second-best cornerback in Madden is also a fair assessment, as the Green Bay Packers CB took a huge leap forward last season. After that, the ratings get a little bit fuzzy, as there are definitely some players that could be in the top 10 that aren't.

The Miami Dolphins' duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones might be the most notable omissions. Howard especially has been regarded as one of the top CBs over the past two seasons. Dallas Cowboys fans will also not enjoy these ratings, as their rookie sensation Trevon Diggs is only rated at 84 OVR. However, this is common practice from EA; it usually doesn't rate second-year players nearly as high as veterans. As previously stated, EA is choosing to rate a majority of the top CBs fairly close to each other, with there being nine players rated from 89-92. This means that the ratings will likely shift substantially throughout the season and the top 10 presumably won't look like this by the halfway point of the 2022 season.

Defensive Linemen

Next up are the defensive linemen, which is classified both as right/left ends and defensive tackles depending on the scheme they play in. For example, Aaron Donald is classified as an RE but is rated with the defensive linemen. Essentially, think of these players as the run-stuffers right in the middle of the defensive line. Players can see the top 10 defensive linemen in Madden 23 below and the rest of the ratings on EA's website.

  1. Aaron Donald - 99 OVR
  2. Cameron Heyward - 93 OVR
  3. Vita Vea - 93 OVR
  4. Jonathan Allen - 92 OVR
  5. Chris Jones - 91 OVR
  6. DeForest Buckner - 90 OVR
  7. Kenny Clark - 89 OVR
  8. Jeffery Simmons - 88 OVR
  9. Fletcher Cox - 88 OVR
  10. Michael Pierce - 88 OVR

This list begins how it always should, with the Rams' Aaron Donald on top. Donald was rated as a 99 OVR for the sixth straight season, which is a record that is unlikely to ever be broken in Madden. The next-highest rating after Donald is 93 OVR, belonging to Cameron Heyward and Vita Vea. It's clear how steep the talent difference between Donald and his position counterparts is.

Overall, the ratings for the DL don't appear too controversial. There are some terrific players on the list, including Washington's Jonathan Allen, Green Bay's Kenny Clark, and Minnesota's Michael Pierce, that are widely underrated throughout the league. This top 10 seems unlikely to change much throughout the season, as there aren't many other players close to the 88 OVR cutoff. Washington's Da'Ron Payne and New York's Quinnen Williams are the two closest DLs after the top 10, coming in at 87 OVR and 86 OVR, respectively.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 1 comments about this story