One of the most OP positions in Madden has typically been tight end. Trying to cover an athletic beast in the middle of the field can be a nightmare even for All-Madden AI, so if you have a franchise with a strong tight end you could quickly compete for a Super Bowl.
With Madden 20 just around the corner and available to all on 2 August (Ultimate & Superstar versions are available on EA Access from 25 July). EA may have their hands full with FIFA 20, but they have already dropped the ratings are here and we are now plotting how to claim a Super Bowl title.
One of the best way to score points is to play with an elite tight end and feed him the ball. But who are they? And now that Rob Gronkowski has retired who is the best on Madden 20?
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (96 OVR)
Best Stats: Awareness (99), Catching (93), Catching In Traffic (92), Spectacular Catch (92), Jumping (91), Short Route Running (88), Acceleration (88), Agility (87), Medium Route Running (86), Speed (85)
The heir of Gronk's spot atop the TE ratings is Kansas City's superstar Travis Kelce. The Chiefs player had another superb season in 2018, finishing with career-highs in catches (103), yards (1,336) and touchdowns (10). He ranked 23rd on Pro Football Focus' top 101 players of last season and made his second First Team All-Pro appearance and fourth Pro Bowl appearance.
In Madden 20 Kelce is a remarkable player. He has superb catching stats (93) and excellent athleticism (acceleration 88, agility 87). He runs routes well (short 88, medium 86) and the awareness (99) to be in the right place at the right time. He will be a relentless weapon this year and near-unstoppable.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (93 OVR)
Best Stats: Awareness (98), Catching (97), Spectacular Catch (93), Short Route Running (92), Catching In Traffic (90), Release (89), Medium Route Running (88), Acceleration (87), Speed (83)
<span class="fr-video fr-fvc fr-dvb fr-draggable"><iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Gp_Pf2MWAG8?wmode=opaque" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></span>
Philadelphia's Zach Ertz is next up. A consistently excellent player, Ertz completed his first full season in the NFL last year since 2014 and the result was an incredible 116 catches for 1,163 yards and 8 scores. Ertz is best known for scoring a crucial touchdown in Super Bowl LII and for having some of the safest hands in all of football.
In Madden 20 Ertz has incredible catching (97) that translates to situational success with his spectacular catch (93) and catching in traffic (90). With those amazing hands comes excellent release (89) from the line and superb route running (short 92, medium 88).
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (92 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (90), Awareness (90), Jumping (87), Speed (85), Short Route Running (85), Catching In Traffic (85), Acceleration (84), Run Block (79)
Walker has been in the league for 13 seasons now, but there was a time when he was little more than a mobile blocking piece for San Francisco. He first caught the eye when Jim Harbaugh was turning the 49ers into a Super Bowl contender, and then a 2013 move to Tennessee really showed what Walker could be. In 2014 he had his first 100-target season, and then in 2015 he caught 94 balls for 1,088 yards and made the Pro Bowl for the first time. Walker missed almost all of the 2018 season with injury but now he's back and just as impressive as ever.
Walker's biggest assets in Madden 20 are his safe hands (90) and his impressive run blocking (79). It allows him to be utilized as a receiving threat from traditionally run-heavy sets. He has nice speed (85) and jumping (87) for a player his age and brings good short route running (85) too.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (90 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (91), Jumping (91), Awareness (90), Acceleration (89), Speed (88), Spectacular Catch (85), Catching In Traffic (82), Short Route Running (81), Run Block (78)
If anything George Kittle is underrated by Madden 20. The 49ers tight end had a break-out campaign in 2018, putting up 1,377 yards and 5 touchdowns on 88 catches, most of which came from a backup quarterback. He was electric in just his second season in the NFL and a yards after the catch monster that every defense struggled with. Kittle was Pro Football Focus' 13th best player last season and their top rated tight end.
In Madden 20 Kittle has excellent physical attributes with his jumping (91), acceleration (89), and speed (88) all elite for the position. He has superb catching (91) and brings decent short route running (81) and run blocking (78) too. At just 25 years old he will be a star for many years in franchise mode.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (89 OVR)
Best Stats: Awareness (94), Catching (93), Catching In Traffic (93), Spectacular Catch (91), Release (88), Jumping (88), Acceleration (86), Short Route Running (84), Medium Route Running (82)
Greg Olsen has had an injury-hit last few years. After finishing the 2016 season with 1,073 yards on 80 catches he has played just 16 games in the last two seasons and been limited to 44 catches thanks to a multitude of injury problems.
Despite that, Madden 20 has given him a very high OVR and trusted in his catching (93) to remain superb. He also has excellent catching in traffic (93) and spectacular catch (91) so he can secure the ball in almost any scenario. He still has strong jumping (88) and acceleration (86) so he'll be able to create some separation.
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (88 OVR)
Best Stats: Jumping (91), Spectacular Catch (89), Catching In Traffic (88), Catching (87), Acceleration (87), Short Route Running (82) Release (81), Run Block (73)
Tyler Eifert has had more injuries than catches in the NFL. In his 6 seasons he's played just 43 games, including only 14 in the last 3 years. When on the field Eifert has been effective, with a career-high 13 touchdowns on 52 catches in 2015. He has made just 19 catches in the last two years, for 225 yards and a score.
Madden 20 continues to be generous here, ranking Eifert as the 6th best tight end in the game. His jumping (91) and acceleration (87) are very good for the position, and his catching (87) makes him a very reliable target. He also has pretty good run blocking (73) so when he is fit he'll be tough to stop.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (88 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (94), Spectacular Catch (88), Catching In Traffic (87), Acceleration (87), Awareness (87), Agility (87), Jumping (85), Short Route Running (83)
Jordan Reed is another frequently injured play that is highly rated by Madden 20. Reed's best season came in 2015 when he played 14 games and pulled in 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Since then he hasn't played more than 13 games and has dipped in production. In 2018 he missed 3 games and caught 54 passes for 558 yards and just 2 touchdowns.
In Madden 20 Reed has superb catching (94) and athleticism (acceleration 87, agility 87). He has good jumping (85) too as well as solid short route running (83).