Steelers wide receivers earn modest overall ratings on Madden 23

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

EA Sports is slow-releasing its player ratings for the much-anticipated game, Madden 23. Here are where the Steelers wide receivers rank this year.

If you were to take a poll, my bet is that most fans would be very excited about the future outlook of the Pittsburgh Steelers young receiving corps. Despite being one of the most inexperienced WR rooms around the league, the Steelers have both talent and upside to work with.

However, when it comes to the Steelers receivers in their current state, some apparently aren’t keen believers in their abilities.

One of the most anticipated video games every year is EA Sports’ Madden. Despite the game’s slow progress over the years, the buzz of the latest Madden game is enough to draw the interest of football fans who choose not to indulge in gaming.

Madden 23 — the latest installment of the video game franchise — has decided to slow-release its player ratings for the new video games in July prior to the game hitting stores on August 19th. The first player ratings they released were the wide receivers.

Topping the list were players like Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, and Tyreek Hill. The first Steelers receiver to be found in the rankings, unsurprisingly, was Diontae Johnson. Pittsburgh’s top receiver earned an 85 overall grade prior to the release of the video game. This was good for the 24th-highest ranking among NFL receivers.

Ironically, I recently ranked Johnson very similarly when compared to all NFL receivers entering the 2022 season in a recent article I posted, so I don’t have a beef with EA Sports on their rating for Diontae.

The second-highest rated Steelers receiver was Chase Claypool with a 78 overall grade. After a stellar rookie season, Claypool came back down to earn with a rather inconsistent showing in 2022 where his efficiency and statistical production both declined. This was reflected in his Madden rating as he falls below players like Sammy Watkins, Darnell Mooney, Mecole Hardman, Tim Patrick, and former Steelers WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Surprisingly, George Pickens and Anthony Miller earned the same overall rating of 74 in the latest Madden installment prior to its release. While Pickens is expected to be a better player in a much bigger role early in his NFL career, EA Sports elected to start them with the same rating.

Meanwhile, Miles Boykin — who was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh this offseason — earned a 71 overall rating, while rookie speedster, Calvin Austin III, earned a 70 overall rating. Steve Sims (69 overall), Gunner Olszewski (67), and Cody White (59) round out the position group for Pittsburgh on the Madden 23 video game.

Steelers receivers must prove themselves

It’s hard to have a beef with the Steelers wide receiver ratings on Madden 23 at the moment. While we may be infatuated with the upside of players like George Pickens and Calvin Austin, it’s one of those classic ‘prove it’ moments. At this point in time, nobody outside of Diontae Johnson has done much to prove themselves at the receiver position on this roster.

Obviously, these ratings could go up throughout the year — some could even skyrocket with an unforeseen spectacular campaign. At the moment, however, Pittsburgh has a very average receiving corps on paper and it will be up to them to show whether or not they can hit the ceiling that many believe they have.

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In the grand scheme of things, though they do offer intrigue, Madden ratings mean nothing. What really matters is how the Steelers receiving corps performs on the field in 2022.