By: Will Burchfield
NFL players have been put on blast — Madden 18 recently released its ratings.
Darius Slay, with an overall ranking of 89, was deemed the best player on the Lions. And you can bet he took notice.
“I loved it, I loved it,” he grinned. “I’m a Madden guy. Shoot, man, I’m just ready to play it.”
“But,” Slay went on, careful not to neglect his misgivings, “I felt like I should’ve been in the 90’s. They just wanna do the Lions bad. It’s just a game, man, but I love it. By the time the updated rosters come out I’ll be a 95.”
Madden, which will be released on Aug. 25, updates its player ratings from week to week as the season goes on.
Slay’s best attribute, to no surprise, is his speed. In that category, he earns a 94. Is that fair?
“No! Some guys I ran faster 40’s than got faster speed than that,” Slay said.
So, what should it be?
“Like 97, easily,” he said. “I was like the frickin’ third fastest overall at the combine.”
Slay posted a 4.36 40-yard-dash at the 2013 combine, fifth overall and tops among cornerbacks. He’s got a right to feel snubbed.
Doesn’t he, Marvin Jones?
“He definitely has that speed, that acceleration,” said Jones, who guessed either Slay or Matthew Stafford was the highest-rated Lion.
Stafford checks in with a ranking of 87, which is tenth best among quarterbacks. That seems a little low for a guy who generated MVP talk in 2016 prior to a late-season injury.
“To be a top-30 player in the NFL this year, that’s too low. They just wanna boo-boo Detroit, man. I hate that,” he said.
The Lions are one of four teams without a player ranked in the 90’s. The others are the Chargers, Bears and Jets, who won a combined 11 games last season.
Then again, the Lions’ lack of high-end talent is hardly a secret around the league.
One guy who can rightfully take issue with his rating is Kerry Hyder. After posting eight sacks last year, Madden slapped him with a 78.
Hyder could only laugh.
“I think I finished last season with a 79, so they regressed me over the offseason,” he said.
“I’ma edit myself anyway,” he added. “I’ll be 99 before the night’s over.”
Then he laughed again, long and hard.
How about that speed, though. 75? Is that fair?
“Man, I think it’s funny,” said Hyder. “I wonder how they gauge the speed — my 40-time when I was 300 pounds, probably.”
Jones is the Lions’ second-best wide receiver. His rating, 84, is three behind that of Golden Tate. To Jones, that sounds about right.
“I’ve been 84 almost my whole time here to start off with. But I don’t really care about the start because they got the updates,” he smiled. “Okay, cool, 84 I guess you can say is respectable, but toward the end I know I’ma be up.”
The Lions’ top running back is Theo Riddick, with a rating of 82. Ameer Abdullah, who played just one game last season, checks in at 78.
“That’s trash, it’ll be like 94,” Abdullah said, noting that his injury cost him in the rankings.
He was somewhat content with his speed rating of 89.
“That’s decent. I’ll probably be like a 97 by the end of the year,” said Adullah.
Hey, Glover Quin, have you seen your rating?
“Nah, probably weak,” he said. “They always do that.”