With news that EA may be planning to change things up this year, we take a look at the top 7 contenders to be chosen as the Madden 22 cover athlete.
Madden 22 cover to be "a little different" this year
While we don't have many details, things did get particularly intriguing when EA CEO Andrew Wilson provided a teaser during an interview with Bloomberg Technology.
While discussing Madden 22, Wilson said "we're going to do something a little different with the cover this year."
"I won't say more than that," he continued. "Other than to say, I'm really proud of the work the team has done--both with the game, with the cover, and with the marketing that we're going to build around Madden."
Even without more details, it's an exciting prospect to see the Madden 22 cover continue to innovate on designs and styles of previous years.
Top 7 Contenders for Madden 22 Cover Athlete
With their "a little different" teaser in mind, let's take a look at some of the top contenders to land a spot as the Madden 22 cover athlete.
While this will look at each player individually, we could see something truly groundbreaking like multiple cover athletes or even a full team getting to be on the cover.
Travis Kelce, Tight End, Kansas City Chiefs
One of the first names that has a shot at being the Madden 22 cover athlete is Travis Kelce, who has been a tight end with the Kansas City Chiefs since 2013.
Originally chosen in the third round of the NFL Draft, Kelce has gone on to be one of the premiere receiving threats in the league and a cornerstone of the Kansas City offense for years.
He was appointed to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, has been in the Pro Bowl six times, is a 3-time first-team All-Pro selection, and was part Super Bowl Championship winning team for the 2019 season.
Aaron Donald, Defensive End, Los Angeles Rams
On the other side of the ball, we have defensive beast Aaron Donald, who has been with the Los Angeles Rams since being their first round pick (13th Overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft.
While defensive players are rarely chosen, Donald has become one of the most must-see defensive players in the entire league, and he's got the accolades to prove it.
Aaron Donald was the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, include back-to-back wins in 2017 and 2018, as well as being selected for the 2020 season.
Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills
If EA is looking for a younger choice that's already established in the league, they could go with Bills QB Josh Allen.
After being the 7th Overall Pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the junior college transfer who played two seasons in Wyoming has made an undeniable impact with the Buffalo Bills.
While they haven't gone all the way, Allen helped take the Buffalo Bills to a Wild Card Game in 2019, then carried them to the AFC Championship in 2020 before falling to the Chiefs.
Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Whether you want to believe it or not, Aaron Rodgers has actually never been a Madden cover athlete.
Despite being one of the most recognizable names in the league and firmly taking over the Packers mantle from Brett Favre, Rodgers has yet to grace the cover of Madden.
With Rodgers securing his third NFL Most Valuable Player award in 2020 (following wins in 2011 and 2014), it seems like there's no better time to put the Super Bowl XLV champion and MVP on the cover of Madden 22.
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars
When the CEO of EA stated they would do something "a little different" this year, it could've been a clue that they'll put a rookie on the cover for the first time ever.
It would be a bold move, but Trevor Lawrence was the #1 Overall Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and is also one of the most highly anticipated quarterback prospects since Andrew Luck.
If chosen, it could also make Trevor Lawrence the highest rated rookie in Madden history, but only time will tell if they choose the 21-year-old for this honor.
Mike Evans, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While some have predicted Tom Brady be the first Tampa Bay Buccaneers player to grace a Madden cover, it's unlikely as there's never been a repeat cover athlete and Brady was on the cover of Madden 18.
Instead, the best bet is the 7th Overall Pick from the 2014 NFL Draft, as Mike Evans has become one of the best receivers in the league and an important part of the Buccaneers franchise.
Evans is a multi-time Pro Bowl player, was part of the Super Bowl winning team earlier this year, and so far he's broken 7 NFL Records and 12 Buccaneers franchise records for receiving yards and touchdowns.
Derrick Henry, Running Back, Tennessee Titans
Of course, we can't leave out one potential favorite as there was a potential leak several months ago that Derrick Henry would be on the cover of Madden 22.
That leak still remains unconfirmed, and isn't the most convincing, but choosing the 27-year-old running back wouldn't be a bad decision.
Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns during both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and he continues to pile accolades in the NFL after winning multiple awards including the Heisman Trophy during his college career.
While we don't know for sure that King Henry will be the man chosen as the Madden 22 cover athlete, he'd be a fitting player to get that honor this year.