Madden 18 Rookie Ratings: Myles Garrett No. 1 and a surprise at No. 2

Logic dictates that running backs are going to have the most success as rookies in the NFL relative to other positions. There is more guaranteed opportunity if the fit is right and picking up schemes just comes easier. Both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are both primed for big seasons. There is a reason they are the two top favorites to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

But Fournette and McCaffrey are, surprisingly, not the two top-rated rookies in the initial rankings from EA Sports for "Madden NFL 18." 

Instead, the top guy is the No. 1 overall pick, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who was given an 83 overall rating by the ranking overlords at EA. Garrett's "speed and power combo is nearly unmatched among linemen" according to the write-up, although he obviously falls behind in Power Move, Block Shedding, Play Recognition, etc.

Interestingly, the 83 rating would not have even been top five from last year's class, although perhaps giving Jared Goff (84) the same rating as Ezekiel Elliott (82) has EA spooked. An 83 is the same rating as Joey Bosa had in 2016, though, so good luck with that, Mr. Garrett. That's a lot to live up to.

Checking in at No. 2 is another surprise: Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard, who received an 82 overall ranking. Rookie tight ends typically struggle to adjust to the NFL, but Howard has an advantage coming from Nick Saban's run-heavy system at Alabama because he enters the NFL "with decent blocking numbers for a rookie TE." In EA's write up he is described as "a faster, more elusive Martellus Bennett." Strong praise.

Then we get to the running backs. Fournette clocks in at No. 3 overall with an 81 ranking and "Madden" owners will be as hopeful of Fournette as the Jaguars will be in 2017. He has a beastly truck rating of 92 out of the gate as well as a surprising 90 in speed and obvious power. He will probably not catch a lot of balls for you initially. 

That ranking puts him below Elliott's rookie ranking of 82, obviously. 

McCaffrey, on the other hand, has "suction cups," which were ex-GM Dave Gettleman's words, not EA's, although they might apply here. He has a Catch Rating of 75, "which puts him in the top seven for running backs," along with Le'Veon Bell and David Johnson. Only Johnson is faster out of those seven than McCaffrey and only Bell has a better Carry rating. McCaffrey will be a dangerous weapon in this game, but he only rates as an 81.

And McCaffrey is technically fifth on the list, with Jets safety Jamal Adams checking in at No. 4 ahead of him. Adams was given a 91 Speed rating and a 90 Hit Power rating, so he should deliver plenty of ball-jarring blows to opposing players. 

According to EA, Dalvin Cook of the Vikings and John Ross of the Bengals were the next guys up, with Ross actually measuring as the fastest player in the entire game, rookie or otherwise, with a Speed rating of 98. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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