The New England Patriots added a sixth Lombardi Trophy to their collection in February with a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. It was their 3rd in 5 years and as such you expect the Patriots to be well rewarded come Madden 20, however their roster has seen some turnover in the offseason. Legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski decided to call time on his illustrious career, while left tackle Trent Brown and defensive end Trey Flowers received enormous free agent contracts to go play elsewhere in 2019.
The Patriots weren’t quiet if free agency either, adding a lot of players that were not in their 2019 Super Bowl roster. Throw in the fact that Madden 20 is expected to make radical changes to the spread of ratings and leave some starters in the 50’s OVR, and the Patriots roster could be wildly different this year.
RealSport looks at how the Patriots key players could be rated on Madden 20.
Tom Brady, Quarterback (96 OVR)
At this point we all know about Tom Brady right? The veteran is a six-time Super Bowl champion who seems set to defy Father Time once again and play elite football well into his 40’s. He threw for 4,355 yards last year along with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Brady was a 99 OVR in Madden 19, but with their change of ratings he is likely to drop a little, even if his accuracy and play under pressure is still superb.
Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver (81 OVR)
The Patriots playoff hero and Super Bowl MVP comes into the 2019 season aged 33 and surely on the downward part of his career. And yet, when the chips are down and the stakes are high Edelman has come through time after time for the Patriots. Edelman put up 850 yards and 6 touchdowns in the regular season, followed by 129.3 yards per game in the playoffs. Edelman’s route running, safe hands, and clutch play are likely to be his best assets in Madden 20.
N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver (76 OVR)
The Patriots used their first round pick, #32 overall, on Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry. The 6’3″ 21-year-old impressed during his three years in college, putting up 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air. He posted a strong 4.53 40-yard dash time as well as a 7.05s 3-cone and 10 ft 2 inch broad jump. He should come into Madden 20 with good athletic stats but a deficiency in awareness and route running.
James White, Half Back (83 OVR)
James White was the Patriots hero in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons, but he is far from your typical Madden half back. White is far more adept as a receiver and will be best deployed on check downs and wheel routes against man coverage. Like all smaller, faster, half backs he should be useful in zone running systems and carrying the ball out of shotgun, but if you like to lineup under center and pound the rock then Sony Michel is more your kind of back. Still, White should be solid in Madden 20 and offer good hands and route running.
Thanks to superb scouting and coaching the Patriots offensive line has long been a strength. While the giant Trent Brown will be absent from the left tackle spot in Madden 20 the Patriots have a ready-made replacement in 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn (74 OVR). Inside of him is a solid left guard Joe Thuney (78 OVR), but solid in real life may not be that great in Madden 20. New England’s center David Andrews (83 OVR) is a very good player and right guard Shaq Mason (87 OVR) is a legitimate star. Marcus Cannon (76 OVR) will round out the offensive line.
This is a unit that can provide terrific protection for Brady as well as create lanes in the running game. The offensive tackles will have trouble against elite pass rushers, but with Brady’s quick release and accuracy that isn’t the most awful thing.
Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback (94 OVR)
Outside of Tom Brady, Stephon Gilmore is likely to be the Patriots best player. The cornerback joined as a rare big money free agent in 2017 and by 2018 was being deployed as a man-coverage machine all across the field. He made 2 interceptions in the regular season and had 2 more in the playoffs as well as a forced fumble. His quality regular season play resulted in a First Team All-Pro berth. Gilmore should be an elite star in Madden 20 and could be the best cornerback in the game.
Devin McCourty, Free Safety (OVR 86)
Devin McCourty was a first-round pick for the Patriots in 2010, but after struggling at cornerback he was moved to free safety and became an elite player. McCourty has long been a linchpin in the Patriots secondary thanks to superb range and tackling. After 3 Super Bowl rings McCourty will be back for more, and should retain most of his Madden 19 rating of 88 OVR thanks to his high level of experience and athleticism.
Dont’a Hightower, Outside Linebacker (82 OVR)
The beating heart of the Patriots defensive front has long been Dont’a Hightower. The outside linebacker has been a do-it-all presence, making key plays at vital moments in the biggest games. Hightower’s Madden 19 rating of 85 is likely to come down in Madden 20 partially due to the new ratings spread and also because he is now 29 and was never the best athlete. However, with his good tackling, ability to rush the passer, and strong coverage instincts Hightower should still be an impact player in Madden 20.
New England Patriots Roster Prediction
The Patriots roster is full of strong players. The likes of Lawrence guy (79 OVR) and Patrick Chung (81 OVR) will be highly influential players on the defense while Sony Michel (77 OVR) and Josh Gordon (78 OVR) will be key producers on offense. As ever, there will be no answer if Tom Brady gets hurt, but the Patriots roster is unlikely to have any severe holes and with rookies Joejuan Williams (74 OVR) and Chase Winovich (73 OVR) likely to be useful parts of the team too. Additions of Michael Bennett (81 OVR) and Demaryius Thomas (77 OVR) could this will be a team you can immediately compete for a Super Bowl with.
New England finished Madden 19 with an 86 OVR team rating, which is remarkable given their lack of uber-athletic superstars. Without the presence of Rob Gronkowski in Madden 20 I expect that to come down about an 84 OVR as a team, but they could be as high as 87 OVR if Madden 20 is particularly generous to the defending champs.
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