The Madden 21 cover athlete is perhaps the most exciting bit of information fans are are waiting to get for the annual EA Sports franchise. With the 2019 NFL season coming to a close, it's time to start the conversation on who should be on the cover of the next game in the Madden series: Madden 21. Here are five players whose contributions on and off the field should earn the coveted spot vacated by Patrick Mahomes.
Madden 20 Cover Athlete Choices
1. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson had a breakout season for the Baltimore Ravens and posted incredible some mind-boggling numbers. He claimed Michael Vick's record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season with 1,206 yards on 176 attempts. He also led the NFL in passing touchdowns this year with 36 and had the third highest passer rating at an impressive 113.3. Even though the Ravens lost in the playoffs, Jackson's individual contributions this season put him in strong consideration for the cover.
2. Derrick Henry
Quaterbacks may have the advantage when it comes to getting the cover of Madden, but not if Derrick Henry has anything to say about it. Henry had a phenomenal season for the Titans, leading the team to the AFC Championship with a shot at the Super Bowl. He led the NFL this season in rushing yards and attempts with an impressive 1,540 yards on 303 carries.
3. Michael Thomas
On the subject of record breakers, let's take a moment to discuss Michael Thomas' qualification for the top spot on the cover. First, he set a new NFL record for receptions in a single season with 149. That record was previously held Marvin Harrison, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, who recorded 143 receptions during his 2002 season. Thomas also led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,725 and receiving yards per game with 107.8. Just like Jackson, his individual contributions make up for the fact that the Saints took an early exit from the playoffs.
4. Christian McCaffrey
You can't talk about the cover of Madden 21 without at least mentioning Christian McCaffrey. The former Stanford running-back led the NFL in all-purpose yards with 2,392. That's almost 600 more than second place Eziekel Elliott. McCaffrey also was second in the NFL in receptions this season, behind only the previously mentioned Michael Thomas. That means no receiver in the NFL, outside of the one who broke the single season reception record, had more catches than a running back.
5. Shaquil Barrett
Barrett led the NFL this season in sacks with 19.5 and was second in the league in tackles for a loss with 19, just one behind leader Aaron Donald. He also was third in the league for forced fumbles with six. Although the Buccaneers didn't have the greatest season as a team, Barrett's defensive contributions make him notable enough to consider being on the cover of Madden 21.