Predicting the five highest-rated Falcons players in Madden 22

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Fans around the league have caught their first glimpse of the upcoming Madden NFL video game from Electronic Arts. Putting your feelings for the game aside, more often than not, it’s the player ratings that stir the biggest debates among fans. For nearly a decade, wide receiver Julio Jones has been the Falcons’ highest-rated player. Now that Jones is gone, it opens the door for the next generation of Atlanta players to get their due.

Player ratings won’t be released until July 29, so here are the five Falcons I believe will have the highest ratings in this year’s game.

DT | Grady Jarrett - 90 Overall

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a very long time since the Falcons' top rating wasn't Julio Jones. With Jones out of the picture, I assume Jarrett will be the top player on the roster, boasting a solid 90 overall rating. This is also the same rating Jarrett posted at the launch of Madden a year ago. However, Jarrett did manage to dip to an 89 overall rating midway through the season before jumping back to 90 two weeks later. Jarrett ended the Madden 21 season as the fifth-highest rated defensive tackle and could find himself lower at the launch of Madden 22 with predicted climbs from Vita Vea and Jonathan Allen. Launch Rating: 90 Overall End Rating: 90 Overall

WR | Calvin Ridley - 88 Overall

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Even after a strong 2020 season by Ridley, I still don't think the Falcons' prime target will get into the 90s when the game launches. At the end of the Madden 21 season, 13 receivers were rated higher than Ridley, and I predict just about the same going into the new season. However, an initial low rating also opens the door for continued upgrades as the season progresses. Ridley's Madden rating increased by six percent over the course of the season. Speed means everything in Madden and Ridley's 93 rating from a year ago makes him one of the fastest receivers in the league. Launch Rating: 83 Overall End Rating: 88 Overall

K | Younghoe Koo - 85 Overall

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Not too many teams have a kicker as a top player. Younghoe Koo had a breakout season in 2020 and his Madden 22 rating should reflect this. Koo, who started off the season rated a measly 67 overall rating, climbed up 14 spots to end at 81 overall -- a 21 percent increase over the season. Launch Rating: 67 Overall End Rating: 81 Overall

QB | Matt Ryan - 84 Overall

(AP Photo/Kevin Sabitus)

Early on, Matt Ryan seemed to be pushing towards the 90 range, getting up to an 88 overall in Week 2. However, the Falcons QB continued to drop and spent the entire back half of the season switching back and forth between 86 and 85 overall ratings. Ryan is still projected to be a top-10 quarterback at the game's launch, but Baker Mayfield isn't too far behind. Baker started the year off rated 78 overall, and eventually climbed up to an 84, just below Ryan. Launch Rating: 87 Overall End Rating: 85 Overall

LB | Deion Jones - 84 Overall

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Deion Jones' biggest virtual asset is his speed. His 91 speed rating was second-highest grade among all middle linebackers in Madden 21 -- only behind Tampa Bay's Devin White. While White may have been faster, Jones had the higher overall, but I project the two linebackers will flip flop in this year's edition of Madden. Jones had very little movement over the course of the season. He was upgraded to an 87 overall once, before being dropped back down again four weeks later. Launch Rating: 86 Overall End Rating: 86 Overall

Honorable Mentions

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • LT | Jake Matthews - 82 Overall

  • LB | Foye Oluokun - 80 Overall

  • RG | Chris Lindstrom - 79 Overall

  • TE | Kyle Pitts - 78 Overall

  • TE | Hayden Hurst - 78 Overall

  • CB | AJ Terrell - 76 Overall

  • WR | Russell Gage - 75 Overall

  • S | Richie Grant - 75 Overall

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