Every year college football’s top prospects make the jump to the next level and find their virtual counterparts in EA’s latest installment of Madden. This year is no different, and there are several rookies who will have a significant role in this year’s game. Whether it’s because these players have elite speed, accuracy or the ability to make game-changing plays, these rookies will be some of the most popular among the Madden 19 community.
Here are a few of the top rookies I’m most excited to play with in Madden 19
QB Baker Mayfield
There’s a reason to be excited about the Cleveland Browns this season, and a large part of that has to do with Baker Mayfield. Unlike some other quarterbacks, Mayfield has the ability beat you with his arm as well as his legs. He is extremely accurate on the run, which can cause problems for opposing defenses. Brett Favre may be a lazy comparison, but it’s one that comes to mind every time the “Magic Man” makes plays out of seamlessly nothing. He should be a fan favorite in this year’s game.
HB Saquon Barkley
Over the past 20 years, there have been very few running backs as talented as Saquon Barkley. He’s an all-around running back who can make plays in both facets of the game, and should quickly become one of the NFL’s elite running backs. With Madden 19’s new RPM system, look for Barkley to be unstoppable as he jukes, spins and stiff arms his way to the end zone. Don’t believe me? Just check out E3’s Madden 19 hype video.
DE Bradley Chubb
Bradley Chubb may have been the best overall player in this year’s draft. However, due to a run on quarterbacks and other skill positions, Chubb fell into the Broncos’ lap at No. 5 overall. The elite pass rusher possesses an arsenal of both finesse and power moves that allow him to beat opposing offensive linemen at will. For users who prefer to manually control defensive linemen, Bradley Chubb should be one of their favorite players in Madden 19. Quarterbacks beware!
LB Roquan Smith
The linebacker position is very important and I use it exclusively when playing on defense. Roquan Smith was the best linebacker in this year’s draft, and he can do it all. He’s a natural run-stopper and can run stride for stride in coverage. He should be fun to play with, much like Luke Kuechly when he made his Madden debut in ’13.
WR D.J. Moore
The Panthers were already one of the most talented teams in Madden, and now that Cam Newton has a legit speed threat at his disposal the Panthers could be one of the more popular teams in this year’s game. Moore can take the top off of defenses with his elite 4.42 speed, and keep your opponent honest in coverage. If your opponent is foolish enough to single cover Moore, throw one deep for an easy touchdown.
HB Sony Michael
When the Patriots drafted Sony Michael, the rest of the NFL was put on notice. Michael is a speedy running back who ran a 4.54 at the combine. His ability as a pass catcher, in addition to being a natural running back, makes him a player defenses must account for on every play. I remember once putting up five touchdowns and 545 yards versus a friend in Madden 2008 with Reggie Bush, and that’s the type of impact Sony Michael could have. Speed kills.
QB Lamar Jackson
We all remember just how dominant Michael Vick was in some of the older installments of the Madden franchise. As soon as coverage broke down, users would take off and run with the speedy quarterback. And if you pulled a defender off his assignment, you would pay for it through the air. This is what we can expect from Lamar Jackson, who will instantly be subbed into the starting lineup if the Ravens are their team of choice. Jackson does things on the field that resemble a video game, and he will be nearly unstoppable in Madden 19.
TE Mike Gesicki
What Mike Gesicki did at the combine was unprecedented for a tight end. The 6-foot-6, 249-pound tight end is as athletic as they come, and should be a mismatch against smaller linebackers and cover safeties. In the red zone, Gesicki can motion out wide and have his way in one-on-one coverage. Ryan Tannehill will be happy to have Mike Gesicki, and you will too in Madden 19.