Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Ryan Shazier’s Insane Rookie Ratings in Madden NFL 15

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Every season there are always a few rookies that pop up in Madden NFL that are useful right away, and stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field. This season, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier doesn’t just stand above everyone, he absolutely towers over them.

We first learned about how good Shazier was in the Madden 15 Steelers ratings that were recently revealed.

As far as physical freaks go, LB Ryan Shazier is flat-out ridiculous in Madden NFL 15. At 92 speed, 89 acceleration, and 89 agility it immediately becomes clear that Shazier is one of the best user-controlled linebackers in the game, but it’s when you dig deeper into his ratings that you realize just how good he really is at the position.

Typically when a player is so nimble, they lack things such as strength, hit power, or can be quite injury prone. With Shazier, there are no such drawbacks. At 83 strength, he is the strongest linebacker on the Steelers, and at 91 injury rating he’s not going to curl into a ball and get carted off the field on the first big hit that occurs.

That’s good, too. Because boy, can he hit.

Shazier boasts an impressive 91 hit power as a rookie, which combined with his strength and athleticism make him a premier target in online franchise drafts and trades. As if that wasn’t enough, Shazier also has a pursuit rating of 92, which is considered by many to be a premium rating among linebackers.

Oh, and by the way, the dude has a 42 inch vertical which has earned him a 97 jump rating in Madden 15. Yeah, that’s a pretty incredible collective of ratings for the young gun.

To put into context just how good Ryan Shazier is, I’ve put together a list of some of the top new rookie linebackers in Madden NFL 15 based on draft position. Put the overall ratings aside for a moment, and focus in on some of the key physical attributes at the position.

Madden 15’s 1st & 2nd Round Rookie Linebackers

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Not only is Ryan Shazier good, he blows most the competition out of the water. Players like Raiders LB Khalil Mack are great, and are perhaps more well-rounded, however Shazier bests him in key attributes like speed, agility, strength, tackling, hit power and pursuit. Speed is the most significant advantage, with a five point difference in favor of Shazier.

Vikings LB Anthony Barr also looks to be in the conversation, however one look at his 65 strength shows a lack of overall physical ability that is possessed by Mack and Shazier, and in my opinion that takes him out of the conversation as fast as his quickness brought him in.

Choose Your Future at Linebacker

What do you think, who would you rather have in Madden NFL 15 this season? If I had to choose between Mack and Shazier, it would be a very tough call, but I would probably take Shazier in a franchise simply because his physical abilities give him just enough of an edge that I can overlook where he’s at a deficiency (plus, it’s much easier to improve things like Power Move than speed).

Would you rather have Ryan Shazier or Khalil Mack?

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