Think your speedy third-string quarterback in Madden 12 would make a better wide receiver? Have an inkling that your gifted wideout could hack it at tight end? Ever wonder if your slow-footed corner would be better suited as a strong safety?
Most of the time you’d be wrong, but in certain cases position switches in Madden could turn an average schmo into an All-Star Joe. Here are a few players in Madden who benefit the most from lining up at different positions on the virtual gridiron.
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh
WR rating: 80
TE rating: 96
Ward has always been a ferocious blocker, but it’s shocking how much better he is at moving the pole than many of the players lining up at tight end in Madden.
His impact block rating of 85 is better than almost every tight end; his catch in traffic rating of 91 also makes him a valuable target at his new position.
Plus, matched up against linebackers and strong safeties, Ward can get open — something he struggles to do against corners with his tortoise-like speed and agility ratings. Moving him to tight end also provides more flexibility in formations, allowing you to shift Ward into the fullback position.
Brian Orakpo, Washington, Clay Matthews, Green Bay, Mario Williams, Houston; etc.
OLB rating: 90-94
DE rating: 99
Moving any elite pass-rushing outside linebacker to defensive end results in a 99 rating. This is especially useful if you prefer to fun a 4-3 defense.
Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay
CB rating: 83
SS rating: 94
As I mentioned in a previous article, Barber is simply better at the safety positions.
His zone coverage skills are top-notch, but when Barber is put in a one-on-one situation he is picked apart. Just slide him over to free safety or strong safety and watch him shine.
Don Muhlbach, Detroit
TE rating: 42
LG/C/RG rating: 67
Muhlbach is Detroit's longsnapper, but you might as well get a little more use out of him since he is eating up a roster spot.
As a tight end he is about as useless as a rotary phone. Make him an interior offensive lineman and you'll have an adequate backup at those positions. Plus, he can still longsnap for you — and we all know how valuable that is in Madden.
Al Woods, Pittsburgh
LE rating: 54
DT rating: 67
Again, this is all about scheme.
In the 3-4, Woods is a defensive end. But with his enormous size and healthy strength ratings, he makes a better defensive tackle, especially in a 4-3 attack.
Josh Cribbs, Cleveland
WR rating: 80
QB rating: 62
Why should the people who use Denver have all the fun?
Cleveland’s offense is pedestrian at best with Colt McCoy running the show.
Cribbs, who was a quarterback at Kent State, gives you somewhat of a chance to run around and make plays. His passing ratings are pretty terrible — 67 short pass accuracy, 51 medium pass accuracy and a cringeworthy 42 deep pass rating — but the Browns don’t have any receivers worth throwing throwing the ball to, anyway.
Give it a whirl. You’re using the Browns. What do you have to lose?
Tim Tebow, Denver
QB rating: 77
HB rating: 82
Most think Tebow is a glorified running back anyway. In Madden, though, he is an adequate passer.
However, he’s a much better runner with ratings like 86 trucking and 97 ball carrier vision. A move to halfback actually gives him a slight boost.
Run the wildcat with him. Run him in the Power-I and turn him into a poor man's Peyton Hillis. Heck, run a halfback-option pass a few times a game.
Who are some of the most successful position changes you have made in Madden?