Continuing on in our series of the best archetypes to upgrade in Madden’s franchise mode, today we are covering outside linebackers.
We spent thousands of skill points on all of the different archetypes for each position and documented the results of our experiment. This effort took weeks of data collection and man hours and we hope that you find the actionable takeaways from it.
Outside Linebacker Archetypes
There are 4 archetypes you can use your skill points on to upgrade outside linebackers in Madden.
- Speed Rusher
- Power Rusher
- Run Stopper
- Pass Coverage
We spent 50 skill points on each of these archetypes and we’ll go through what we found in much more detail a little later on in the article. First, let’s start with what Madden claims each archetype’s top skill increases are:
Madden Claims: FMV, PUR, TAK
Reality: FMV, AWR, TAK
Madden Claims: POW, PMV, PUR
Reality: PMV, AWR, TAK
Madden Claims: BSH, PUR, TAK
Reality: BSH, TAK, ZCV
Madden Claims: ZCV, MCV, TAK
Reality: ZCV, AWR, MCV
Our Recommendation For Upgrading Outside Linebackers
Just like with defensive ends and defensive tackles, we don’t have a strong recommendation for which archetype to upgrade.
This one comes down to your personal preference.
The most surprising finding from our tests is that not only is there no dominant archetype to upgrade, there isn’t necessarily one you will want to always avoid either.
Highest Expected Value For Total Attribute Increases
We did 50 tests for each OLB archetype and marked down every individual rating increase they got then added all of it together for the total number of individual ratings increases.
What we found for these 50 tests is that the expected value of ratings increases for Run Stopper was higher than any of the other archetypes.
- Run Stopper: 268 rating increases on 50 attempts. Expected Value = 5.35
- Speed Rusher: 217 rating increases on 50 attempts. Expected Value = 4.34
- Pass Coverage: 212 rating increases on 50 attempts. Expected Value = 4.24
- Power Rusher: 175 rating increases on 50 attempts. Expected Value = 3.5
The surprise on this is how many more individual ratings increases you get by upgrading Run Stopper than other archetypes.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of gamers want their outside linebackers to either be pass rushers or coverage defenders so the huge gains in ratings like block shed and tackling mostly go to waste.
Expected Values For Important Ratings Like FMV, PWV, BSH, ZCV
For outside linebackers ratings like Finesse Moves, Power Moves, Block Shed, and Zone Coverage are the most important. Most of the time they will either be rushing the QB, trying to stop the run, or dropping back into zone coverage so we put much more weight on these attributes than others.
On 50 attempts here are the results for each archetype:
- Speed Rusher: 72 FMV, 9 PMV, 0 BSH, 16 ZCV
- Power Rusher: 2 FMV, 73 PMV, 0 BSH, 0 ZCV
- Run Stopper: 0 FMV, 0 PMV, 64 BSH, 44 ZCV
- Pass Coverage: 0 FMV, 0 PMV, 0 BSH, 92 ZCV
Interesting Facts And Additional Information
Just like with defensive tackle, it makes a lot of sense to switch your outside linebackers to defensive end if you plan to upgrade either the Speed or Power Rusher archetypes.
Below you can find a comparison between doing the same upgrades (on 50 attempts) between a Speed Rusher at OLB and a Speed Rusher at DE.
- Speed Rusher OLB: 72 FMV, 44 AWR, 24 TAK, 16 ZCV, 1 SPD, 6 ACC
- Speed Rusher DE: 95 FMV, 25 AWR, 20 TAK, 0 ZCV, 4 SPD, 4 ACC
And here is a comparison between doing the same upgrades (on 50 attempts between a Power Rusher at OLB and a Power Rusher at DE.
- Power Rusher OLB: 73 PMV, 39 AWR, 32 TAK, 0 ZCV, 1 SPD, 4 ACC
- Power Rusher DE: 78 PMV, 49 AWR, 31 TAK, 0 ZCV, 7 SPD, 7 ACC
In both examples, the clear cut winner is the defensive end upgrades compared to the outside linebacker upgrade.
Final Rankings, Raw Data, and Conclusion
While we can’t make a recommendation as to which archetype you should upgrade at the outside linebacker positions, we do recommend that if you plan to utilize them as a pass rusher to switch them to defensive end for more relevant attribute increases.
Madden School Unlimited members have full access to all of the raw data that went into this experiment so you can dig into the details further.