The middle linebacker position is always one of the most important positions, in any teams defense. Whether you are playing a 4-3 or 3-4, the MLB will always be a centerpiece, relied on for picks and big hits.
With Madden 20 almost here and available to all on 2 August (Ultimate & Superstar versions are available on EA Access from 25 July). EA dropped all the ratings recently, in order for you to plan your Super Bowl winning roster.
With several MLBs not performing as expected last year, who will make the top 7?
Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks (99 OVR)
Best Stats: Awareness (99), Tackle (99), Play Recognition (99), Pursuit (99), Hit Power (98), Injury (98), Stamina (97), Jumping (92), Block Shedding (92), Impact Blocking (90)
Bobby Wagner, is one of the greatest MLBs in history. Making over 900 career tackles, 5 Pro Bowl appearances and winning a Super Bowl. Last year was a massive year for the 29-year-old as he scored his first defensive touchdown, showing the league he wasn’t just a big hitter.
Wagner is an elite and all-round defender and is potentially the most complete linebacker in the game, with his extraordinary play recognition (99) and awareness (99). Wagner is devastating against the run, dominant in pass coverage and is the game’s best pass-rushing linebacker.
He is without a doubt the best tackler in the NFL and in Madden. Wagner doesn’t miss tackles either, as he’s only missed 13 over the last three seasons, earning the exceptional tackle (99) rating.
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Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers (98 OVR)
Best Stats: Awareness (99), Play Recognition (99), Stamina (99), Pursuit (97), Tackle (96), Hit Power (94), Impact Blocking (91), Jumping (90)
Making almost 950 career tackles, 16 interceptions and 6 Pro Bowl appearances, gives Luke Kuechly a deserved 98 OVR. Last year, Madden gifted him the All-Star 99 rating, perhaps he should still have it.
Luke is still the best player in the Panthers defense and has been for many years now. Last year he had a very impressive season, completing 130 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception. Unfortunately, the Panthers had a poor season, however he still picked up the Pro Bowl appearance, for the 6th straight year.
Physically, Kuechly is a beast, the highest stamina (99) and quality jumping (90). His play recognition (99) is second to none and so is his awareness (99). There isn’t much to separate him and Wagner in terms of statistics, however, being 6’3, it is a massive advantage when competing in the air.
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (90 OVR)
Best Stats: Injury (97), Stamina (97), Awareness (92), Pursuit (92), Tackle (91), Acceleration (90), Play Recognition (88)
Another member of the 2012 draft class, Lavonte David is a way off Wagner and Kuechly, with his 90 OVR. However, with 884 career tackles and 120 last year, with 3.5 sacks, he isn’t too far off in terms of stats. His main achievement being the Pro Bowl in 2015, however, in the past few years the Buccaneers have been poor, which has led to a less flattering career.
The first stat you notice is the acceleration (90) being so high. It is a huge asset to have pace in the linebacker position. The awareness (92) and pursuit (92) are useful and make David a very versatile MLB in Madden 20. Lavonte’s tackle (91) is quality and means he is a huge asset to any defensive set up.
READ MORE: Madden 20 review
Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons (90 OVR)
Best Stats: Acceleration (91), Speed (90), Awareness (90), Tackle (89), Pursuit (89), Agility (88), Play Recognition (88)
Deion Jones is one of the younger players on this list. More of a ball playing MLB, only making 53 tackles last season and 2 interceptions. Probably his worst season to date, however he only played 6 games because of injury. His one Pro Bowl appearance in 2017 has to be a career highlight and only 24 years old, about to start his 4th season, he seems like a great player to build your roster around on franchise mode.
The agility (88) of the young linebacker reaches out, as well as his acceleration (91), speed (90) and awareness (90), making him a useful asset in the MLB position. With a strong tackle (89) and pursuit (89), he seems very strong against the run.
C. J. Mosley, New York Jets (87 OVR)
Best Stats: Stamina (97), Tackle (93), Play Recognition (93), Awareness (91), Hit Power (89), Acceleration (89), Agility (88), Impact Blocking (88), Pursuit (88)
Having just come off the back of a quality season with the Baltimore Ravens, putting up 105 tackles and 1 interception, he earned a place in the NFL Top 100, at 71st. This led to a move to the New York Jets for the new season.
Mosley’s tackle (93) is ridiculous for an 87 OVR, along with his play recognition (93). The high agility (88) and acceleration (89) may cause him to make some quality plays in Madden. His hit power (89) is massive and could cause a few forced fumbles come Madden 20.
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Avery Williamson, New York Jets (86 OVR)
Best Stats: Play recognition (92), Pursuit (92), Injury (92), Stamina (91), Awareness (89), Acceleration (89), Tackle (88)
Having just gained the highly rated C. J. Mosley, the Jets will look to utilize their 3-4 defensive set. The added tackling capability of Williamson with 120 last year, as well as 3 sacks and 1 interception. Makes the Jets defense look like a force to be reckoned with in Madden 20.
In Madden 20, Williamson has a superb play recognition (92) and pursuit (92) stat. He is also very athletic, with great stamina (91) and acceleration (89). His tackle (88) is also very impressive and will cause some problems.
Jaylon Smith, Dallas Cowboys (85 OVR)
Best Stats: Hit Power (93), Acceleration (91), Pursuit (90), Awareness (87), Speed (87), Agility (86), Jumping (86), Stamina (86)
The NFL 100 ranks Jaylon Smith 61st heading into the 2019 season. In his second season he picked up 121 tackles and 4 sacks. Jaylon caused some serious problems for lots of offenses, across the league. To be so high in the NFL rankings so soon, at such a young age is a why he is one of the best MLBs in franchise mode.
Smith’s hit power (93) is the stand out stat and will cause some stress on the opposition’s offense. With his strong pursuit (90) and acceleration (91) he will be a quality addition to anyone’s defense in Madden 20.
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|Bobby Wagner||Seattle Seahawks||99||29||99||88||99||86|
|Luke Kuechly||Carolina Panthers||98||28||96||86||97||83|
|Lavonte David||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||90||29||91||86||92||79|
|Deion Jones||Atlanta Falcons||90||24||89||90||89||85|
|CJ Mosley||New York Jets||87||27||93||85||88||76|
|Avery Williamson||New York Jets||86||27||88||84||92||63|
|Jaylon Smith||Dallas Cowboys||85||24||83||87||90||81|
|Ryan Shazier||Pittsburgh Steelers||84||26||87||85||86||80|
|Myles Jack||Jacksonville Jaguars||83||23||83||87||83||82|
|Benardrick McKinney||Houston Texans||83||26||88||84||90||62|
|Blake Martinez||Green Bay Packers||82||25||84||82||91||65|
|Roquan Smith||Chicago Bears||81||22||84||89||86||79|
|Zach Brown||Philadelphia Eagles||81||29||87||87||88||63|
|Jordan Hicks||Arizona Cardinals||80||27||86||84||82||78|
|Danny Trevathan||Chicago Bears||80||29||91||80||85||77|
|Wesley Woodyard||Tennessee Titans||80||33||90||83||89||56|
|Joe Schobert||Cleveland Browns||79||25||80||83||86||73|
|Jake Ryan||Jacksonville Jaguars||78||27||86||85||85||72|
|Eric Kendricks||Minnesota Vikings||78||27||81||85||83||71|
|Shaq Thompson||Carolina Panthers||78||25||87||85||88||55|
|Kwon Alexander||San Francisco 49ers||78||25||80||87||84||72|
|Rashaan Evans||Tennessee Titans||77||23||83||83||87||64|
|Zach Cunningham||Houston Texans||77||24||82||83||83||63|
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