With every new iteration of Madden comes a new crop of rookie playmakers, waiting on you to make or break their careers in the virtual world known as Connected Franchise Mode. Today I am going to break down the top 5 offensive playmakers that you will want on your team in Madden 16.
- QB Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans
At the combine Mariota ran a 4.51 40. That is mid range wide receiver speed, at the QB position. Everyone know that mobile QB’s are king in Madden. They have the ability to roll out when protection breaks down, or even when it doesn’t. Mariota should have decent accuracy ratings, but his speed and acceleration is what is most important because it is more expensive to build. If you pour some game prep into Mariota early in your CFM to build his accuracy, it could pay dividends by year 2 or 3.
- WR Breshad Perriman – Baltimore Ravens
Perriman is one of those players that will be valued much higher in Madden then he will in the NFL. He is a prototypical video game wide receiver. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 212 pounds he is not quite Calvin Johnson size, but add in his 37″ vertical leap and he will cause matchup problems all over the field. And did I mention his speed? Perriman registered a 4.24 40 at his pro day. If he doesn’t come in with 99 speed and 99 acceleration he should be close to it. The downside to Perriman is that his route running and catch statistics will probably be low. But again, those are much easier to build then speed and acceleration. He will be a stud WR in the hands of the right owner.
- WR Kevin White – Chicago Bears
Kevin White is coming off of a great year at West Virginia in 2014 and looking to make a splash in Chicago. He has 6’3″ height and weighs in at 215 pounds which is near perfect for an outside wide out. He ran a 4.35 40 at the combine which should translate into the low-mid 90s for speed in Madden. Not a burner that can take anyone over the top like Perriman, but still can challenge any defensive back you match him up against. He is a much better route runner then Perriman and isn’t easy to bring down after the catch. He is a more complete player then Perriman who will be looking to start for you from game 1.
- RB Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams
Gurley is big, strong, and powerful. At 6’1″, 222 pounds he isn’t someone opposing line backers get excited about tackling. Gurley didn’t run at the combine so we don’t have a 40 time for him, but in 2013 he ran the 60 meter hurdles in 8.12 sec, good for the 7th fastest time in Georgia Bulldog history. It is safe to say he has good speed. That being said, Gurley is a powerful, downhill runner that doesn’t fumble the ball (only 3 fumbles in 510 carries). He won’t take much building to turn into a feature back. He is already my kind of Madden back, doesn’t fumble and always falls forwards.
- WR Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper is probably the most complete wide reciever on this list. So how does he come in at number 5? It all comes back to speed. Cooper is the slowest of the three wide outs, posting a 40 time of 4.42 seconds. That is by no means slow (it will probably translate to a low 90’s speed rating) but it isn’t elite speed either. That said, Cooper should be the best route runner and have the best catch in traffic rating of the bunch.
- Bonus #6: RB Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers
I had to add in a bonus pick because I couldn’t leave out Melvin Gordon. Gordon is probably the slowest player on this list, clocking a 4.52 40 time. He is an explosive runner with a good spin move and quick acceleration. He has ball security issues that will likely translate into a low carry rating that will need some work before he can be trusted fully as your workhorse. He is not a 3 down back though. His inability to catch or block in pass protection will leave you needing a second back who can handle those duties.
Which one of these rookie playmakers are you most looking forward to playing with in August? Sound off in the comments below.