Madden 19: Fastest rookies

Who are the fastest rookies in Madden 19?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Speed is vital in Madden 19, as it is every year. Speed is also a young man’s game, and while some veterans may be able to fly, it’s always the youngest players that are quicker on average. This year is no exception.

How to choose the fastest rookies in Madden 19’s Franchise Mode

Any combination of youth and athleticism is going to do well in Madden, even if some of the technical skills need refining. While you can’t strictly sort by experience in Madden 19’s menus, you can sort by age, and the younger the player the more likely they are to be a rookie. When looking for the fastest rookies the speed stat is important, but so is acceleration. What’s the point of a high top speed if you can’t get out of gear before you run through the back of the end zone? Here are the fastest rookies in Madden 19 with a speed of 92 or more.

Rico Gafford, Cornerback, Tennessee Titans (65 OVR)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 3 years/$1.71m

2018 Cap Hit: $570k

Stats: Speed (96), Acceleration (94), Man Coverage (70), Zone Coverage (67), Press (65)

Rico Gafford played just two years at Wyoming, picking off six passes and making 103 tackles. After declaring for the draft in 2018, Gafford went on to post the fastest 40-yard dash time of any defensive back at a staggering 4.22 seconds. He added a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.46 seconds to underscore his ridiculous speed.

In Madden 19 Gafford is the fastest rookie around, but the rest of his game needs a lot of work. His man and zone coverage (70 & 67) are not nearly good enough to put him on the field and leave him to it. If you are comfortable ushering a corner, then Gafford is a good option thanks to his immense speed (96) and acceleration (94), but it’s wise to develop his coverage skills.

Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Cleveland Browns (OVR 80)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Star

Contract: 4 years/$29.2m

2018 Cap Hit: $7.08m

Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (95), Man Coverage (83), Zone Coverage (79), Press (87)

Ward was the fourth-overall pick in 2018 for the Browns. He’s the latest star cornerback from Ohio State, following in the footsteps of Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, and Bradley Roby as a first-round corner in recent years.

Ward was so impressive during his junior year at Ohio State that he finished the year with just two interceptions as quarterbacks rarely threw his way. At his combine Ward ran the 40-yard dash in a stunning 4.32 seconds, putting on the clock the kind of speed he showed on the field for the Buckeyes.

Parry Nickerson, Cornerback, New York Jets (OVR 69)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 4 years/$2.58m

2018 Cap Hit: $630k

Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (94), Man Coverage (74), Zone Coverage (72), Press (73)

Parry Nickerson was a sixth-round pick for the Jets last year. A five-year player at Tulane, Nickerson finished his time in college with 16 picks, 31 pass breakups, and two touchdowns on defense. It was Nickerson’s electric 4.32 40-yard dash time that turned scouts heads and made him a late-round draft pick.

Like Rico Gafford, his coverage skills (man 74, zone 72) don’t match his speed (95) on the field. If you were to put him out against even average wide receivers, he would struggle. He could be useful in some off-man coverages in dime packages, but he will need development before he can fully realize his potential.

Donte Jackson, Cornerback, Carolina Panthers (OVR 74)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$4.79m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.13m

Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (91), Man Coverage (81), Zone Coverage (72), Press (75)

Donte Jackson was a second-round pick this year for the Carolina Panthers after three years playing defensive back for LSU. In his time in Baton Rouge, Jackson picked off four passes and broke up 19 more and totaled 110 tackles. He was also part of LSU’s track team.

With good man coverage (81) skills and that electric speed (95), there is a case to be made for Jackson being a starter straight away. His quick development trait will help improve his overall game in good time, and with his pace he can play in space with some of the best receivers. If you run a lot of zone coverage (72) it may be best to wait with Jackson, but for a predominantly man defense Jackson is a nice player.

Keion Crossen, Cornerback, New England Patriots (OVR 69) CB

Age: 24

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 4 years/$2.45m

2018 Cap Hit: $600k

Stats: Speed (95), Acceleration (91), Man Coverage (75), Zone Coverage (71), Press (72)

Crossen was a seventh-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2018 after being a two-sport star at college. In Western Carolina Corssen played football for four years, finishing his time there with 165 tackles, three picks, and 19 pass breakups, but he was also SoCon champion at 100 meters in 2016, setting a school record of 10.33 seconds.

That sprinters background comes through in Madden 19 with his 95 speed. His coverage skills (75 man, 71 zone) are better than they might be, but he is nothing more than a dime package player unless you develop him.

Troy Apke, Free Safety, Washington Redskins (OVR 69)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 4 years/$3.09m

2018 Cap Hit: $720k

Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (95), Zone Coverage (76), Play Recognition (52), Tackle (64)

A fourth-round pick by the Washington Redskins, Troy Apke was a four-year player at Penn State, taking over the starting job in his senior year. He finished his college career with two picks, seven pass break ups and 111 tackles. He was also 100 meters champion in high school.

Troy Apke is the fastest rookie safety in Madden 19, translating that background of sprinting into a 94 speed and 95 acceleration in Madden. Apke has a solid zone coverage (76) which is great for his position, but his play recognition (52) and tackle (64) are really poor. He could easily get lost if left to the AI to control, and having a poor tackler at free safety is far from ideal.

Anthony Averett, Cornerback, Baltimore Ravens (OVR 70)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$3.05m

2018 Cap Hit: $710k

Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (94), Man Coverage (77), Zone Coverage (72), Press (71)

A fourth-round pick out of Alabama, Anthony Averett comes into the NFL after starting two years with the Crimson Tide. Averett picked off just one pass during his time at Alabama, but he deflected 16 other passes and forced two fumbles. He ran a 10.6 second 100 meters in high school, as well as a 25-feet, two-inches long jump that was the second-longest in state history.

In Madden, Averett comes in with a good man coverage (77) stat to back up his speed (94) and acceleration (94). His press (71) is an issue if you are running a lot of man coverage, and his zone coverage (72) prevents you really being able to change up coverages. 

DJ Chark, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars (OVR 72)

Age: 21

Development Trait: Quick

Contract: 4 years/$4.41m

2018 Cap Hit: $1.04m

Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (93), Catching (82), Deep Route Running (76), Jumping (93)

DJ Chark was a second-round pick for the Jaguars this year after three seasons at LSU. He finished his career there with 66 catches, 1,351 yards, and six touchdowns in the air, as well as 264 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the ground.

Chark has great speed (94) in Madden 19 for his size (6’3″), he also has nice deep route running (76) and jumping (93) stats that make him a deadly receiver if paired with the right quarterback. It will take some time for Chark to become a well-rounded receiver, with his 68 release and 69 short route running a little worrying, but as a red zone threat Chark is ready to go.

Tarvarius Moore, Free Safety, San Francisco 49ers (OVR 69)

Age: 22

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: 4 years/$3.41m

2018 Cap Hit: $760k

Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (93), Zone Coverage (74), Play Recognition (58), Tackle (62)

Tarvarius Moore was a third-round pick for the 49ers this year after two seasons with Southern Mississippi in which he picked off five passes, broke up 12 more, forced a fumble, and registered 104 tackles. Moore posted a quick 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, clocking in at 4.32 seconds, which helped him to be drafted.

Moore’s speed (94) and acceleration (93) make him a strong user safety, but his play recognition (58) and his tackle (62) are big red flags even if you control him. Having a bad tackler at safety is always a worry, so it may be wise to develop Moore for a while before you use him.

Tony Brown, Cornerback, Free Agent (OVR 63)

Age: 23

Development Trait: Normal

Contract: N/A

2018 Cap Hit: N/A

Stats: Speed (94), Acceleration (92), Man Coverage (69), Zone Coverage (73), Press (68)

Tony Brown went undrafted in 2018, landing with the Los Angeles Chargers as a free agent. In high school Brown was an All-American in track and field, winning the Texas 4A state title in 110 meter hurdles as well as third in the 100 meters. Brown spent four inconsistent years playing college football at Alabama. He finished his career there with 86 tackles and three interceptions.

In Madden 19 Brown’s speed (94) and acceleration (92) are fantastic, but his coverage stats (man 69, zone 73) leave a lot to be desired. If you sign Brown to your team, then developing him and improving those coverage skills is a must.

Other fast rookies

Tavierre ThomasArizona CardinalsCB629391
Avonte MaddoxPhiladelphia EaglesCB699394
Tremon SmithKansas City ChiefsCB699394
Jaire AlexanderGreen Bay PackersCB779393
Ronald Jones IITampa Bay BuccaneersHB779393
Calvin RidleyAtlanta FalconsWR779393
Nyheim HinesIndianapolis ColtsHB749393
Damion RatleyCleveland BrownsWR679392
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingGreen Bay PackersWR709391
Phillip LindsayDenver BroncosHB659390
Trenton CannonNew York JetsHB709294
Emmanuel MoseleySan Francisco 49ersCB639294
Saquon BarkleyNew York GiantsHB829293
Antonio CallawayCleveland BrownsWR709293
DJ MooreCarolina PanthersWR779292
Natrell JamersonNew Orleans SaintsFS679292
Dane CruikshankTennessee TitansFS719291
Justin ReidHouston TexansSS759290
Keke CouteeHouston TexansWR729290
Boston ScottNew Orleans SaintsHB729290
Darius PhillipsCincinnati BengalsCB679290
John Franklin IIIFree AgentCB649290
Robert FosterFree AgentWR619290


Toby Durant