Richard Sherman and J.J. Watt top Madden 15 defensive rankings

Read our full Madden NFL 15 review.

Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals may have just signed a deal to make him the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, but he doesn’t crack the Top 3 in EA Sports’ Madden NFL 15 defensive player rankings for the position. The top spot in that list goes to the game’s cover athlete, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, who received a 99 overall rating for his skills at the position.

Sherman isn’t the only defensive player to boast a 99 overall rating in the game, according to the recently released, official Madden NFL 15 rankings. Houston Texans all-star defensive end J.J. Watt also has an overall score of 99, and as we reported in our analysis of the offensive player rankings, that same score is shared Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.

One of the other interesting takeaways from the Madden NFL 15 rankings is the presence of not one but two middle linebackers from the San Francisco 49ers occupying the top spots at that position. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman slot in at #1 and #2, respectively, just ahead of Carolina Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly. This fact, combined with the 49ers’ Aldon Smith ranking #2 among the outside linebackers at that position, makes the virtual San Francisco defense a force to be reckoned with in the latest installment of the long-running Madden franchise.

The latest Madden game promises to tweak defensive play in a variety of ways, with new features in place that are meant to make everything from the strategic planning of plays to tackling more entertaining. That’s one of the key mantras for EA Tiburon this year, to make playing defense more fun. We’ll find out soon. EA Sports’ Madden NFL 15 hits shelves August 26.

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