Commonly, it takes years for rookie WRs to develop into a superstar. NFL playbooks are more complex, defensive schemes are stingier, and the overall talent on the field is a significant step above everything else. But just like with running backs, we’ve grown used to seeing elite-level WR talent emerge right out of the gate in recent years. The New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans, and New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. are recent examples that it’s not just running backs that can make an immediate impact.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top WRs coming into their rookie season in Madden 19.
1. D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers desperately needed a target outside of Greg Olsen to develop their passing attack. With that as their target, they gained one of the more balanced WRs in the rookie class. He’s not the fastest of the group, and his 90 Juke is his best move, but he has the best Route Running ratings with an 83 Short, 80 Mid, and 82 Deep. He also sports an 87 Spectacular Catch and 84 Catching. He might not be a big-time playmaker just yet, but he’s a reliable option outside of Olsen and Christian McCaffrey.
2. Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ newest pass attack addition is the fastest option among the five rookie WRs with a 93 Speed. He also possesses more top scores, including a 93 Acceleration, 95 Agility, and 91 Juke. His ball carrier ratings end up around the mid-80s. His downside? His hands. His 81 Catching and 78 Catch in Traffic make him the least reliable option among the five. Ridley is strictly a deep threat.
3. Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers
Pettis and the other WRs mentioned so far are under the Deep Threat Archetype, so he carries similar scores in his ratings. At 90 Speed, he doesn’t carry the same breakaway potential as Moore or Ridley, but his hands are a nice tradeoff. An 85 Catching makes him the most dependable of this five. He can’t do anything too fancy with it once he catches it, without a ball carrying move above 90, but at least he can grab the pass if it’s within reach.
4. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
Standing at 6' 3", Sutton is destined to be a big redzone threat. An 89 Speed doesn’t necessarily make him a burner, but his size makes him a quality option within scoring distance. His pairing of an 89 Spectacular Catch and 86 Catch in Traffic is the best in the rookie class. Considering the other options at WR in Denver, Sutton could attract some drool-worthy mismatches.
5. Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears
Miller rounds out this top five as a solid route runner, but lacks the moves to break off after the catch. With routes, his 82 Short and 80 Mid are second only to Moore among the top 5. His 80 Catching is the lowest of the bunch. Playstyle wise, he’s a more agile Sutton with lesser hands but better stick moves.
-Daniel Williams (Follow Dan on Twitter @thatDanW)
Madden NFL 19 launches August 10. Pre-order the Hall of Fame Edition for three-day Early Access and loads of MUT content. Stay in the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and EA Forums. Sign up for the Newsletter today to receive updates on Madden, and other EA news, products, and events, all season long.