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Madden 23

Madden 23 Ratings: These CBs Are Rated Too High & Too Low

  • Justin Melo
  • July 21, 2022
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EA Sports will release Madden 23 on August 19. The release of Madden 23 represents an exciting day for football fans and avid video game players all over the world. With the release roughly four weeks away, news regarding Madden’s ever-popular ratings is starting to trickle 

through social media. Debates regarding player rankings rage mercilessly on an annual basis.

With Madden 23 marking its arrival shortly, we’ve identified six cornerbacks whose ratings we’re prepared to dispute.


It’s rare you’ll see us argue a 90 overall rating is too low for a player, but that’s how strongly I feel about J.C. Jackson—A.K.A. the best cornerback in football. Something feels wrong about seven cornerbacks earning better ratings than Jackson in Madden 23. No cornerback has recorded more interceptions than Jackson (17) over the previous two campaigns. Jackson is more than a cover man that simply thrives at taking the ball away. He’s a legitimate shutdown cornerback that makes opposing quarterbacks think twice before looking his way. Jackson’s efforts landed him a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this offseason. He’s a defensive superstar.


The narrative surrounding Trevon Diggs has become tiresome over the last few months. Yes, Diggs gave up a bunch of receptions and yards throughout his breakout 2021 campaign. Diggs wasn’t the shutdown cornerback he was sometimes billed as by casual fans and viewers, but we can likely all agree that Diggs’ historic 2021 season deserves more than a pedestrian 84 overall rating in Madden 23. Diggs’ 11 interceptions were the most by any player in the NFL in 40 years. That’s an incredible accomplishment that should have earned Diggs more respect from the Madden decision-makers.


Patrick Surtain II is a classic victim of Madden’s fear of overreacting to excellent rookie seasons. But Surtain was outstanding as a first-year player for the Broncos. The No. 9 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Surtain’s EPA of -21.8 was the best among all outside cornerbacks in their rookie season since 2016, via Next Gen Stats’ nearest defender data. The former Alabama standout recorded 58 total tackles, a team-high 14 pass breakups, four interceptions, and one defensive touchdown in 16 regular-season appearances. Surtain’s early-career play is indicative of the type of lockdown cornerback that is difficult to come across. 


Perhaps Madden is still catching up to Greg Newsome II. The former Northwestern product enjoyed a particularly fruitful rookie campaign in 2021. The No. 26 overall selection, Newsome instantly became an appropriate running mate for Denzel Ward in Cleveland’s secondary. Newsome allowed a completion percentage of just 51.4% when playing press coverage. It’s a press-man coverage league and Newsome has already proven to be an expert in that department. Newsome’s rookie season somewhat flew under the radar on an underachieving Cleveland Browns team. The arrival of quarterback Deshaun Watson should provide Newsome with more opportunities to shine in front of national audiences, potentially raising his reputation around the league (and his Madden 24 rating).


The aging Casey Hayward Jr. has been a model of consistency throughout his illustrious career, but an 87 rating feels lofty. It places Hayward alongside Kenny Moore II and Byron Jones, and ahead of Diggs, Surtain, and Chidobe Awuzie, to name a few. It feels generous. The 32-year-old Hayward signed a more modest two-year, $11 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this offseason. Atlanta’s secondary was a mess last season, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees is counting on Hayward’s steady hand to stabilize the ship. We love Hayward, but something in the low-to-mid 80s would have felt more appropriate.


Jason Verrett is constantly at the center of “what if” conversations. The extremely talented cornerback has struggled to maintain health throughout his NFL career. Verrett suffered a season-ending torn ACL in Week 1 last season. Verrett has dealt with other serious injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon. From 2016 to 2019, Verrett played in just six of a possible 64 regular-season contests (that’s four seasons!). Verrett’s 2020 campaign which saw him appear in 13 games is an anomaly. An 81 overall rating feels like an oversight given Verrett’s constant unavailability.

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Justin Melo