Madden 21 AnalyticsSeattle Seahawks

16th

The Good: Quarterback Russell Wilson is one of the top QB’s to build around ranking 4th in our adjusted QB rating. With the addition of Jamal Adams, the Seahawks’ coverage grades climbed to 6th in man coverage and 7th in zone coverage. A quality group of running backs and wide receivers score the Seahawks the 8th ranking for weapons. With quality all over it comes as a bit of a surprise as Seattle still sits in the top 10 in cap situations.

The Bad: The Jamal Adams trade really crushed the Seahawks in terms of draft capital placing them 32nd in the league. There is a lot to like about Seattle’s defense, however, pass-rush isn’t one of them as they ranked 30th in ORR. Russell Wilson has spent his whole career running for his life and this year should be no different as the offensive line is 27th and 30th in pass and run blocking respectively.

The Bottom Line: 16th feels low on the surface but there are plenty of issues here, namely the pass rush and offensive line are complete messes. The good news though is the weapons and secondary make this team really fun to play with on paper. For me, the issue comes down to how to move this team forward in the trenches with no draft capital to do so.

If there is one place the Seahawks have some assets to trade it would be at halfback. Chris Carson could be appealing to other teams, as he should be, and with Carlos Hyde and Rashaad Penny it would seem like an owner could get by with a committee. I’d be looking to get some sort of pass rusher back for Carson. That is a premium position so you may have to settle for a younger guy with some upside or a veteran. I’d probably reach out to Washington for Ryan Kerrigan and see what their asking price is.

The Seahawks are intriguing in all the right places to go way earlier than 16th. I think this is a team that is ready to win year 1, especially if a pass rusher can be found. The long term outlook for the success of this team is pointing up as their cap situation allows them to keep what is there together long term.

Madden 21 AnalyticsArizona Cardinals

15th

The Good: Athletically speaking, there is not a better defense in the league as the Cardinals captured the top spot. Kyler Murray is a franchise quarterback for the entire cycle coming in at 7th in the adjusted QB ratings. Weapons wise, the Cardinals are in good shape as the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins moved them into the 9th slot. This young team will eventually need to be paid and the Cardinals are in a good position to do that with the 9th best cap situation.

The Bad: In a division of running teams the bad news is that the Cardinals rank dead last in run defense. The offensive line is another pain point for this team ranking in the bottom 10 in both run and pass blocking. Pass rush outside of Chandler Jones is somewhat non-existent hence the Cardinals 22nd ORR ranking.

The Bottom Line: A team that has the star power to get owners excited, Arizona will probably come off the board in the top 10 in most leagues. Kyler Murray is dynamic, and has escape artist, while DeAndre Hopkins is a big-time threat. Defensively they have individuals to get excited about but a couple glaring holes that will need to be addressed to find success.

The Cardinals don’t have much in the way of players to trade so it would seem they are shopping for veteran cap casualties. The easiest thing to find is going to be offensive line help as many people do not value them. Finding some quality offensive line help could make the offense even more explosive. I’d reach out to Atlanta to see what their plan with Alex Mack is due to their cap situation going forward and the likelihood they won’t re-sign him.

The Cardinals will get a lot of love because of their young stars. I think I would probably take them around the spot they are ranked here. The team has upside, however, I worry the defense will age out quicker than most realize if it’s not watched closely. Any owner who gets the Cardinals needs to be willing to part with some of their older stars on defense early in the cycle.

Madden 21 AnalyticsLos Angeles Rams

11th

The Good: The defense is the bright spot on this Rams team. With the 10th rated run defense, 15th rated pass-rush, and coverage rankings of 7th for man and 13th for zone, the Rams are solid across the board. Offensively, 10th in run blocking and 14th in adjusted QB ratings give them team something to hang their hat on.

The Bad: The Jalen Ramsey trade cleaned out the Rams in terms of draft capital leaving them at 30th in the league. As a whole, the team is trending to the older side as they sit at 28th in the Youth Power Index. As for the actual roster itself, there isn’t a whole lot to hate. The 20th rated pass blocking is the worst positional based ranking and that isn’t all that bad.

The Bottom Line: In the short term the Rams are a great team, but long term there are some serious questions. Jared Goff is about league average as far as a quality starter goes, however, his contract is locked in for a couple of years so any owner will be stuck with him for a while. The stars on this team shine bright but there are questions about the depth behind them, which could lead to issues if injuries pop up.

With little, in terms of draft capital, the Rams will need to make moves using players. With some depth at tight end, Rams owners should be looking to improve their middle linebacker position or potentially secondary. Houston makes a lot of sense to find linebacker help as they possess three quality middle linebackers and no quality tight ends on their roster.

The Rams are rated higher than most will have them and I’d expect them to fall quite a bit. Goff will scare a lot of people off, even though Aaron Donald and Ramsey bring a lot of star power to the team. With the team at an advanced age, it would be wise for an owner who thinks they can win early to take this team because it may not stay this good for long.

Nick BosaSan Francisco 49ers

1st

The Good: I can’t just say “everything”, but it kind of feels that way for San Francisco. 2nd rated in the Youth Power Index, one of the most impressive things about this team is the long term outlook. On the field, the 49ers are top 10 in offensive and defensive athleticism, adjusted QB rating, weapons, run blocking, ORR, and zone coverage.

The Bad: Honestly? nothing. They do some things only slightly better than average such as 13th rated run defense, but that’s about as bad as things get for this team. 19th in cap space could become an issue down the road, but as of now, they are in fine shape in the near term.

The Bottom Line: The San Francisco 49ers are the best team in the game. With no real weaknesses and good to great almost everywhere they should dominate leagues with a solid user. Jimmy Garapolo is serviceable for now, but if there was one place I’d want to improve long term it would be at QB. On the defensive side, Richard Sherman is still excellent but only has one or two years left at a high level.

The place the 49ers could potentially use some help would be at #1 wide receiver. With quality backs like Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, the 49ers could potentially move one for an older but still quality wide receiver. Probably not a buyer for the half-backs I previously mentioned, however, the Bengals and more specifically AJ Green could be a target in some sort of offensive lineman and picks package.

I am going to guess the 49ers go #1 or #2 in nearly every franchise. Built to last for the whole cycle and dominant across the board make them an easy choice. Owners who want more of a team-building challenge may pass on them but in reality, even I as someone who likes to build teams would have to consider them given the opportunity.