Mike Daniels – 91
This unit on defense should be one of the best in the league with the dual capabilities of the three big names. All of them can eat up blockers and rush the passer at high levels, but nobody on the roster does both better than Daniels.
He finished last year as an 89 overall, but I expect him to be one of the best players at his position in the league. Daniels will have a boost to his overall rating because of his pass-rushing and run-defending attributes. He’s going to put up some nice sack numbers for an interior defensive lineman and should be part of the resurgence on defense we’re hoping to see in Green Bay.
Kenny Clark – 90
Clark is an underrated stud. He eats up blockers as good as anybody in the league and he’s incredibly young still so he has so much time to get better. His combination of talent and age makes him one of the premier players to build around in Madden.
He may not be a 90 overall to start the year like I think he should be, but he’ll be close enough to finish there (or higher) by year’s end. Clark comes in just behind Daniels because he’s not as good of a pass rusher. He’s great at what he does, but he’s another player whose on-field play can’t be truly displayed in a Madden overall rating.
Muhammad Wilkerson – 81
Wilkerson is the big signing on defense this year that really helps put the pass rush over the top. That is, if he plays up to his capabilities. He’s a great pass rusher, but hasn’t shown it lately. He finished last season as a 79 overall so there isn’t much to expect from him in the game. Madden generally doesn’t rate veterans on potential. If he bounces back and gets to his old ways there’s definitely room for him to shoot up his rating. But that’s a big ‘if’.
Dean Lowry – 74
Lowry is one of the low men on the totem pole, but still a very serviceable piece on the line. He’s a good backup to have and is somebody you feel confident in taking rotational snaps or having to thrust into playing time in case of an injury. There isn’t much Lowry does great, but he does a lot of things very well.