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 it. In the NFL, teams like to have a defensive tackle to rush the passer in the b-gap and one big boy to stop the run in the a-gap. 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 with high blockshed.
The defensive ends on the other hand will be responsible for both stuffing the run and rushing the passer. So we 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 60 speed trying to chase down Cam Newton. So guys with good speed and pass rushing moves are needed at the ends. Fortunately for us in Madden 17, QB scrambling is nerfed so we need to focus as much on getting off the block as chasing down QBs.
The linebackers in the 4-3 do not rush the passer nearly 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 – Devin Taylor – Left end in the 4-3 is probably the weakest spot for any silver position in the game. I had a hard time deciding who to put here as there weren’t many great cards.
RE – Danielle Hunter – Whereas left end is bad, right end brings us a stud that has really good speed, blockshed and pass rush moves. Hunter is a very strong card for a silver.
DT – Terrence Cody – One of the biggest SOBs in the game. Highest blockshed silver DT, high strength. Ideal for the 3-4 DT. Just slow as molasses so make sure he isn’t in the game on obvious passing situations. Make sure he is DT #2 on your depth chart.
DT – Josh Chapman – Same reasoning as Cody. Big and good blockshed. 70 speed means he can chase down QBs as your 3 technique.
LOLB – A.J. Klein – If your LOLB is on the field, you are in a base package of 4-3. So the chances that the opponent is running the ball is high. You need someone to stop that run effectively. 81 blockshed with 81 speed means you have a nice combo. You can get someone faster like Mike Morgan or Mike Mohamed with good zone coverage to help against the pass but I think Klein fits the style of 4-3 LOLB in Madden best.
MLB – Zaviar Gooden – (user) 86 speed is great for a LB user. His 66 blockshed is a liability but he’s a user, run around blocks instead of through them.
ROLB – Deion Jones – 85 speed with 82 blockshed is good for an LB and someone that would make a good user if need be. If you want to go with a player with higher play rec I don’t fault you. Pick up James-Michael Johnson in that case.
CB – 1. Trae Waynes, 2. Anthony Brown – Speed is the name of the game at corner and it’s the end all be all we look for in silver players. Here we lose a bit of blockshed for top end speed in our outside corners.
FS – Antwon Blake – 89 speed is crazy for a free safety. For our standard cover 3 scheme we need someone really fast and that can diagnose plays. He actually has pretty decent play rec for a silver, his zone coverage at 71 is a little low though. Unfortunately we have to sacrifice blockshed here but our front 7 having the highest blockshed possible should make up for it. He can sweep by and clean up without having to take on blockers.
SS – Sean Richardson – Tall and fast. Has good zone coverage and okay blockshed for playing in the box. His pursuit is underwhelming. I wouldn’t be mad if you went with Ryan Murphy instead due to his great mix of stats and height.