Every year Madden launches with a couple of players hitting the lofty heights of a 99 overall ranking. Last year the list included Antonio Brown and Aaron Rodgers, but they are very unlikely to be graced with such a strong rating this year. Frequent 99 overall player and OP tight end Rob Gronkowski retired so he won't be around in Madden 20. Which begs the question, which players should be 99 overall when the game is launched in late August? Let's take a look...
Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
This is the easiest argument to make. Patrick Mahomes lit the league on fire last year in his first full season as a starter. He became just the 3rd player in NFL history to throw for 5,000+ yards and 50+ touchdowns in a single season and won the NFL MVP award all at the age of just 22.
Mahomes took an exciting 2017 Chiefs offense and turned it into an unstoppable juggernaut that scored a ridiculous 565 points in the regular season. Mahomes' magic led to Arrowhead Stadium hosting its first AFC Championship Game, and while the Chiefs couldn't haul the inevitable march of the Patriots last season Mahomes' impact on the league should be felt for years to come. As if you needed more proof that Mahomes should be 99 OVR he is this years cover athlete.
Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots
Fans may love to hate the Patriots and their quarterback Tom Brady, but there can be no denying his brilliance. The Patriots claimed their third Super Bowl in 5 years and Brady's 6th last season. While the Super Bowl itself was a defensive battle, Brady's mastery of late-game situations and calmness under pressure was once again key to their success in the postseason as he led the team to a 4th quarter comeback against the Chiefs and then marshaled the game-winning drive in overtime. He'll be 42 when Madden 20 hits the shelves, but that won't stop him being a 99 OVR player thanks to his elite accuracy and brilliance under pressure.
Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
With Antonio Brown having a down season and Odell Beckham Jr on the move is it finally time that Julio Jones gets his due. The Falcons man has been an unstoppable force for years now and led the NFL in receiving yards (1,677) and receiving yards per game (104.8) last season. As he enters his age-30 season this could well be Jones' last chance to get a 99 OVR, and given his prowess in route running, his exceptional speed, and his insane physicality it is well within reason to give him the full 99.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
Another wide out who would be worthy is DeAndre Hopkins. the Texans man has been a game-breaking talent for years, but now that he finally has a talented quarterback he is putting up the numbers to match. In the last two years Hopkins has made 211 catches for 2,950 yards and 24 touchdowns, all without another offensive threat around him to distract the defense.
Hopkins will be 27 when Madden 20 drops, right in his prime as an athlete. The Texans offense will revolve around him once again and given his unrivaled hands and his ankle-breaking route running he should be a 99 OVR player.
Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Los Angeles Rams
The king of defense and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald is an easy choice for a 99 OVR player. Donald's brilliance as a pass rusher was not in dispute coming into the 2018 season, and yet he managed to nearly double his best sack total and hit a career-high in tackles for loss and QB hits. Donald did the unthinkable and racked up 20.5 sacks, becoming the first defensive tackle to do so, and cemented his position as the best football player on planet earth.
If he isn't a 99 OVR player then EA Sports will be the next to feel his wrath.
Khalil Mack, Defensive End, Chicago Bears
Khalil Mack's trade from Oakland to Chicago stunned everyone. His production in 2018 did not. The masterful edge rusher put on a clinic in disruption and selflessness all season. He picked up 12.5 sacks as well as 6 forced fumbles and an interception, but more than that he was a focal point for offensive blocking schemes and used that to everyones advantage. Mack ran stunts inside and plowed his way into bodies, giving himself up so that others could use the space he left. The amount of attention offenses gave him, and the help tackles needed to deal with him, helped make the Bears the #1 defense in football last year.
Bobby Wagner, Middle Linebacker, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle's "Legion of Boom" era may be over, but their defense is still a fearsome unit thanks to Bobby Wagner. He missed just one tackle in nearly 900 defensive snaps last season and came 8th in Pro Football Focus' top 101 players of last season and finished the year with 138 tackles and a third consecutive First Team All-Pro appearance. Wagner has been 99 OVR before and he should be again when Madden 20 launches.
Eddie Jackson, Free Safety, Chicago Bears
This may come as a surprise to many, but the best safety in football is none other than Chicago's Eddie Jackson. He is the biggest ballhawk in the league, preying on the chaos Khalil Mack creates up front to make plays all across the field. Jackson picked off 6 passes last year and forced two fumbles, but not only that he scored THREE touchdowns once he got the ball in his hands, that added with his two in 2017 shows it was no fluke. Jackson is one of the most productive safeties in recent league history thanks to his turnovers and was the key reason Chicago were streets ahead of the next defense against deep passes.
Who do you think should be a 99 OVR player in Madden 20? Did we miss someone out? Leave a comment below!