The 4-3 has 4 defensive linemen and 3 linebackers. The defensive tackles are in the middle to stuff the run with the ends outside the offensive tackles to contain the run. In the NFL, teams like to have a defensive tackle to rush the passer and one big boy to stop the run. In Madden its a little different. The pass rushing DTs are too big of a liability against the run so I like two players in the middle to stop the run.
The defensive ends on the other hand will be responsible for both stuffing the run and rushing the passer. So I want guys with good speed to be able to get to the outside to contain both the run and any mobile QBs. You don’t want someone with 70 speed trying to chase down Mike Vick. So guys with good speed and pass rushing moves are needed at the ends.
The linebackers in the 4-3 do not rush the passer as frequently as those in a 3-4. The linebackers tend to play more pass coverage and let the D-Line do the pass rushing. So you want high zone coverage and play rec out of your linebackers in the 4-3.
So here is the optimized gold lineup for the 4-3, if you run any exotic blitzes where you drop a defensive lineman into coverage or rush a linebacker, adjust accordingly.
LE – 84 overall Jadeveon Clowney – 4-3 Defensive ends are terrible. Put linebackers here for better production and this Clowney is one of the best in the game at getting to the QB. His speed and acceleration will chase down a lot of scrambling QBs. He also holds up okay in the run game with 87 blockshed. (Backup Dan Williams 84 overall DT for run stuffing situations or opponents that exclusively run the ball)
RE – Anthony Barr 84 overall – Great Speed and power move to hunt down those mobile QBs (Backup Michael Brockers 83 overall DT for run stuffing situations or opponents that exclusively run the ball)
DT – Damon Harrison 83 overall. Some people love a pass rusher and a run stuffer for their DTs. In real life I support this. In Madden I want two run stuffers with high blockshed.
DT – Brandon Williams 84 overall. Same reasoning as above.
LOLB – Nigel Bradham 80 overall
MLB – (USER) Nate Askew (25 coins from EA marketplace) or Telvin Smith 83 overall.
ROLB – Sean Lee 83 overall or Telvin Smith 83 overall for more speed but less play rec
I would not suggest basing your scheme on man coverage with gold players. But it is good to mix it in to confuse the opponent. I am basing these recommendations on you playing zone cover 2,3, or 4 80% of the time.
CB – Ladarius Gunter 84 overall. Tall, decent speed, zone coverage and the second best blockshed for gold corners which is very important with the amount of outside runs this year.
CB – Darius Slay 81 overall – Tall, fast, okay zone. I heard that he plays above his overall.
CB – Quinten Rollins 84 overall – Good blockshed and tackle for an inside corner. Also his zone coverage is pretty good.
CB – Bradley Roby 81 overall – Usually a man specialist because I like to call cover 2 man out of Dime or Quarters in long passing downs.
FS – Dwight Lowery 84 overall – Good speed, zone and play rec. Ideal for a deep defender. (Jimmy Ward if you run a lot of man)
SS – Nate Allen or Ron Parker both 84 overall. You can’t go wrong with either of these playmakers. I’ve heard great things about both.