With the 2021 NFL season just around the corner, EA Sports continues to release the “Madden NFL 22” ratings. Green Bay Packers edge rusher Za’Darius Smith wasn’t too impressed with his rating for this year’s game.
Smith, who has been consistently one of the best edge rushers in the league over the past two seasons, has been given a “Madden” overall rating of 89, which ranks 10th among edge rushers.
It’s fair to say Smith didn’t seem too pleased.
And Smith’s frustration is understandable. Despite making the top 10 at his position, a case can certainly be made that Smith deserves a higher overall rating. He’s made consecutive Pro Bowls in his two seasons with the Packers and is one of the best pass rushers in the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has 144 pressures over the past two seasons, which is fourth most in the regular season. In that time, he also has 26 sacks, which is tied with Aaron Donald for third most in the NFL since the start of 2019, according to StatMuse.
All of the edge rushers in the top 10 are deserving. There are so many great pass rushers in the league this season that it’s difficult to make a list of the top 10. The fact that Smith is part of this group shows how good he’s been, but it’s also fair to make a case that his rating should be higher than 89.
There isn’t much more he can do to prove why he should have a higher rating. Since signing with the Packers two years ago, Smith has the sacks. He has the pressures. He has the big plays in key moments. He’s a great leader and teammate.
But if there’s one good thing about this, it’s that Smith can use it as motivation. And that’s never a bad thing.