If the wide receivers are the showmen of the NFL, it's replicated in Madden. The franchise owners that like to score quick points will want a go-to player to lead the passing attack.
As it's such a high profile position, perhaps EA over play the ratings of the players at the WR position. There isn't another position where they rate the top 7 players 94 or above. There's some great depth, but this list are some of the greatest names in the sport.
Now obviously a great passing attack comprises a great receiving corps. But if you want the ability to throw a bomb late in the game knowing that you have a guy who can take on double coverage and come down with it - who do you need?
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (99 OVR)
One of the 4 players in Madden's 99 Club, we expect it for Hopkins to be almost unstoppable. The only offensive player in the club, he had a fantastic season in 2018 where he finished 3rd in receptions and 2nd in yardage. He's not the most famous receiver in the league but he's definitely one of the best.
His catching (99), Jumping (99), Spectacular Catch (99), Catch in traffic (99) and release (99) are all the best scores of any player in Madden. Fans of the NFL might argue how realistic this is, but from a franchise perspective you should do anything to have this man on your team.
He adds great speed (92) and agility (92) along with superb route running (short 96, medium 95, deep 91) and is one of the most complete players in the game.
Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders (98 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (99), Spec Catch (98), Catch In Traffic (98), Agility (98), Short Route Running (95), Medium Route Running (94), Deep Route Running (93), Release (93), Acceleration (93), Speed (92)
Unlike Hopkins, last years cover boy Antonio Brown is anything but understated. Entering his 10th Season, his outspoken attitude, vibrant haircuts and a stint on 'Dancing with the Stars' have led to him being an NFL household name. And he wants to be paid like one.
Leaving the Steelers is a big move for Brown, but his stats are still up there with the best. There's no doubting he is aging and with Madden's regression you wouldn't expect to get more than a few good seasons out of him - but catching (99), spectacular catch (98) and catch in traffic (98) is timeless. He's still a precise route runner too (short 95, medium 94, deep 93) and will consistently play against even the best corners.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (98 OVR)
Best Stats: Release (98), Spec Catch (98), Short Route Running (98), Medium Route Running (97), Catch In Traffic (97), Jump (97), Catching (95), Agility (95), Speed (92), Deep Route Running (92), Acceleration (91)
Jones is returning from a monster season where he led the league in receiving yards with 1,677. In his 8 season career, he has broken records left, right and centre. He has no less than 14 NFL records, including breaking his own record for most receiving yards in a game twice.
He does not struggle to get open with top level release (98), but also excels in jump (97) ball situations whilst double covered or catching in traffic (97). Jones is also up there as the most rounded in the game thanks to elite route running (short 98, medium 97, deep 91), and the only 'criticism' that could be leveled would be that he has slightly less acceleration (91) than peers.
Odell Beckham Jr, Cleveland Browns (96 OVR)
Best Stats: Spec Catch (99), Agility (98), Jump (96), Catching (96), Short Route Running (96), Medium Route Running (96), Deep Route Running (94), Speed (94), Acceleration (94), Catch In Traffic (91), Release (92)
The poster boy of the NFL, Beckham Jr is another person in this list that's a former Madden cover boy (Madden 16). Since being drafted 12th overall in 2014, he has torched defenses on his way to all the NFL records for the fastest player to record 5,000 career receiving yards.
It reflects his lack of experience in his awareness (93), which is slightly lower than those higher in the list. But true to his nature of one handed highlight reels - his spectacular catch stands out (99). He has top end speed (94) and acceleration (94), and combines this with movement and agility (98) and elite catching (98) while his route running is very strong (short 96, medium 96, deep 94).
He's young and awareness will grow through a few seasons, and Beckham will take over from the older people above the list as a league leader for the position.
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (95 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (98), Catch In Traffic (95), Short Route Running (95), Medium Route Running (94), Spec Catch (94), Acceleration (92), Release (92), Agility (91), Jump (90)
The quality keeps coming and Michael Thomas is the next on the list. Since being drafted in the 2nd Round of 2016, Thomas has posted over 1,000 receiving yards every season. He was so good in his rookie year; the Saints had no issues letting their previous star receiver, Brandin Cooks (see extended list below), leave.
Thomas has elite level catching (98), better-than-average catch in traffic (95), and spec catch (94). He has good size and is a regular threat in the red zone, and can run crisp routes (short 95, medium 94).
His ability to get release (92) can hide his lack of elite speed (89) and jumping (90). There's a clear drop off from the physical stats of the aforementioned, but the qualities he has won't be going anywhere through a full simulated franchise career.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (94 OVR)
Best Stats: Speed (99), Acceleration (99), Agility (98), Deep Route Running (96), Jump (93), Release (91), Catching (90), Catch In Traffic (90), Short Route Running (90), Spec Catch (88)
If you want something a little different on this list. Look no further. Tyreek Hill is pure explosiveness. He wasn't drafted until the 5th Round of the 2016 draft, but don't let that fool you. He exploded last season with 13 TDs and bringing exciting trick plays along with huge yards-after-catch plays.
In real life, he's had some off the field issues. But in a Madden context his only faults are slightly below elite catching (90), catch in traffic (90) and spec catch (88).
Ignore this. That's still very good. But that speed (99) and acceleration (99) is literally mouth-watering, and combined with superb deep route running (96) means he should be open all day. The ability to burn virtually any DB in the game is a huge asset in franchise mode. A streak over the top to Hill can rescue many a game, not to mention the plethora of screens and trick plays to make the most of his agility (98).
For pure excitement at the position, do anything you can to get this guy.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (94 OVR)
Best Stats: Catching (96), Spec Catch (96), Release (94), Short Route Running (94), Medium Route Running (93), Agility (93), Acceleration (93), Jump (91), Catch In Traffic (91), Speed (90)
Adam Thielen pips his team mate in this list, and together they form one of the best WR partnerships in the league. Unbelievably, Thielen went undrafted in 2013 and spent the first 2 seasons not playing much. Fast forward 2 more seasons and he's the Vikings leading receiver and the NFL record holder for most 100+ yardage games in a season with 9.
Thielen starts the point of the list which becomes the 'best of the rest'. He has top-level catching (96) and release (94) as well as route running (short 94, medium 93), but his agility (93) and speed (90) falls behind the elite names in this list. Thielen is a top player and spec catch (96) will regularly get you out of trouble, but there is better out there.
A franchise owner of the Vikings will probably face the decision between Thielen and his WR partner, Stefon Diggs. Given the age difference, it can be decent value to move Thielen on for top picks and improve elsewhere. That said, if you're the team getting him - you won't be disappointed.
|Odell Beckham Jr||CLE||96||26||94||92||91||99||92||96|