Trent Williams saved some of his best football for his age-33 season.
The 49ers’ left tackle was one of the best blockers in all of football during the 2021 NFL season and graded as the No. 1 tackle in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. He posted an elite-level grade of 96.6 and allowed just one sack and 16 pressures on 508 pass-blocking snaps.
Williams got an AP All-Pro first-team nod — the first of his career — as a result of his stellar play. Now, he is getting a unique accolade that no other offensive lineman in NFL history has received.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Williams would be the first offensive lineman to ever join Madden’s 99 club. The exclusive honor is reserved for only the very best NFL players who deserve the top possible rating in Madden’s game.
Trent Williams becomes the first offensive lineman in the NFL to EVER earn a 99 overall rating in Madden 🎮
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) July 7, 2022
It makes sense that Williams would be the first 99-overall lineman. He has experienced something of a career renaissance with the 49ers after he skipped the 2019 season while searching for a trade away from Washington. The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft has been a rock-solid blocker and has made the Pro Bowl during each of the last nine seasons in which he has played.
That said, it is somewhat hard to believe that Madden hasn’t put a 99-overall offensive lineman into its game before. What is the closest that they have gotten? Here’s a breakdown of Madden’s top-rated offensive linemen over the last decade.
Highest-rated Madden offensive linemen since 2013
Madden offensive linemen haven’t gotten a lot of love over the years, but a select handful of them have been rated highly by Madden’s ratings adjustors. Williams is currently the only lineman to ever receive a natural 99 grade, but several players have rated 96 or higher in recent years.
Before Williams’ elevation, he and Zack Martin rated as the league’s best overall blockers with a rating of 98. There have been six total 98 ratings for offensive linemen since Madden 25, which was released in advance of the 2013 NFL season.
During that span, only 10 players have initially graded at 96 or higher on the offensive line. That said, there have been 23 ratings of 96 or higher, so the offensive linemen that stay highly rated tend to keep those high-end grades long-term.
Below is the full list of offensive linemen with 96 or better ratings since the release of Madden NFL 25.
|Trent Williams||49ers||99||Madden 23|
|Trent Williams||49ers||98||Madden 22|
|Zack Martin||Cowboys||98||Madden 22, 21|
|Tyron Smith||Cowboys||98||Madden 17|
|Marshal Yanda||Ravens||98||Madden 16|
|Evan Mathis||Eagles||98||Madden 25|
|David Bakhtiari||Packers||97||Madden 20, 19|
|Marshal Yanda||Ravens||97||Madden 17, 25|
|Josh Sitton||Packers||97||Madden 16, 15|
|Evan Mathis||Eagles||97||Madden 15|
|Joe Thomas||Browns||97||Madden 25|
|Zack Martin||Cowboys||96||Madden 20, 19|
|Marshal Yanda||Ravens||96||Madden 18|
|Joe Thomas||Browns||96||Madden 17|
|Jason Peters||Eagles||96||Madden 16|
|Josh Sitton||Packers||96||Madden 25|
|Joe Staley||49ers||96||Madeen 25|
It’s worth noting that this list will probably expand shortly. The full ratings for Madden 23 have yet to drop and once they do, a couple of blockers may be tacked onto this list. In particular, Tristan Wirfs and Quenton Nelson should be monitored as those young, dynamic linemen inch closer toward their prime.
But it would be a surprise to see another 99-overall lineman join Williams atop the list any time soon. That honor is reserved only for the best of the best.