ORLANDO, FL – JANUARY 27: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Revens from the AFC Team … [+]
It seems Kansas City Chiefs superstar and Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes has dispelled the ridiculous Madden Curse with his 2019 season and performance against the San Francisco 49ers.
Perhaps now the fanbase of team whose star is next to grace the cover of Madden 21 won’t lose their minds when the announcement is made. Last year, the announcement for Mahomes happened in April. If the timing is similar this year, there’s a little less than two months until we find out, and it’s very possible the player chosen already knows he’s the guy.
Assuming EA isn’t going to try to run it back with Mahomes, I believe the choices have to be between these four players:
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 11: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after … [+]
Consider this a long shot, but Kittle has the requisite qualities. He’s arguably the best tight end in the NFL, has a swagger and an edge as well.
Kittle’s personality is seemingly perfect for a video game with his WWE fandom and Macklemore-with-muscles look. The only other tight end ever to appear on the cover has been New England Patriots great Rob Gronkowski.
Kittle is often compared to Gronk because of his combination of size, strength, speed and ferocious play after the catch. Would it be crazy to have him follow in Gronk’s footsteps? No, but like I said, it’s a long shot.
HOUSTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 04: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans sets a play during … [+]
The Houston Texans QB has been spectacular since he was drafted in 2017.
His numbers were a little down in 2019 from his second season, but 3,852 passing yards and 25 TDs were still far more than just respectable. For cool points, which matters in this kind of situation, Watson had a signature play in the postseason when he eluded two Buffalo Bills pass rushers to complete a mammoth pass to his check-down receiver to help secure a victory.
It’s the kind of play that will be talked about for years, and it made Watson an even bigger star than he was before.
I’d tab him as the third choice for Madden 21 cover athlete, but it’s possible.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 15: Christian McCaffrey #22 of the Carolina Panthers during the … [+]
McCaffrey has as much cool to his game as almost anyone in the NFL. His speed, spin moves and jukes often leave defenders grasping at air.
This past season, he became just the third player in history to record 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same year.
He’s the epitome of an all-purpose back, and the third-year star reached a 99-0verall record in Madden 20. That’s got to count for something.
BALTIMORE, MD – JANUARY 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball during the … [+]
My odds-on favorite to get the honor is Baltimore Ravens star and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. He tore the league up in 2019 before the Ravens fell short against the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs.
Still, Jackson led the league in passing TDs, approximate value and QB Rating. When you mix that in with his world-class speed, agility and appeal to the younger demographic, there isn’t a more obvious choice for the Madden 21 cover.