Madden 21: Top 5 Rookie WRs and Their Franchise Outlook

Rookie WR Ratings
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Henry Ruggs lll – 76 OVR

The crown jewel of this WR class is Henry Ruggs. When Madden players tell you that speed kills, they are dreaming of a guy like Ruggs and his 98 speed and 97 acceleration. Not only does Ruggs bring the speed, he brings the classes top deep route running to help him get separation while going over the top. If there is something to be concerned about with Ruggs it would be his 69 release rating, however that should be upgraded quickly for such a talented player.

In terms of franchise you have to imagine he will be on the untouchable list for most owners. To all my Raiders franchise owners, hear me out for a second before you say absolutely no to all trades. While Ruggs is a dangerous piece, weapons in Madden aren’t too difficult to come by. The Raiders are lacking a good amount on defense and a downgrade from Ruggs for another WR and potentially a piece or two on defense could get you in contention in your league a lot quicker than simply having Ruggs running deep.

Jerry Jeudy – 75 OVR

Tied with Lamb for the second highest rated rookie WR, I give the edge just slightly to Jeudy. While the best route runner of the class, it’s what Jeudy does after the catch that makes him an elite prospect. Jeudy’s 91 juke move  isn’t just the best for this group, it should be one of the best out of the box regardless of the position or experience. If I had one complaint about Jeudy it would be that he isn’t going to win you many jump ball situations with his 84 jumping and 81 spectacular catch ratings.

Jeudy should develop well in Madden as he is going to be a good users best friend after the catch. On a team with multiple running weapons along with Cortland Sutton, Noah Fant, and fellow Rookie KJ Hamler it’ll be interesting to see if the owner in your league is willing to move a weapon or two. While I would probably keep Jeudy, as I value his skillet, other owners may be more likely to want to keep the speedster Hamler and dangle Jeudy for some help on the defensive side.

CeeDee LambCeeDee Lamb – 75 OVR

Lamb is very similar to Jeudy skill set wise mainly sacrificing a little in the route running department for slightly better catching stats. Not as dynamic after the catch as Jeudy, Lamb is no slouch either with a 80 stiff arm rating and an 82 spin move as well. My concerns for Lamb are a little of Ruggs (poor release) and a little from Jeudy (not a jump ball threat).

For me, Lamb’s value comes down to his development. If he is a Super Star I would definitely look to build him up as the Robin to the Batman that is Amari Cooper. I would be willing to sell on Lamb for the right price if it means I can get a capable corner, or possibly pair him with Dak Prescott to get my QB of the future (If you aren’t sold on Dak).

Justin Jefferson – 74 OVR

One of my favorite WR’s from this class, Jefferson just catches the ball, that’s what he does. One of the best rated pass catchers all around, Jefferson can get you the tough yards playing out of the slot using his 2nd in the class 83 catch in traffic rating. The biggest issue for Jefferson is he will struggle to give you anything lined up outside, as his 66 release rating is good for 2nd worst among pass catchers.

In most leagues Jefferson won’t really be a trade target, or available for trade for that matter. As the most likely #2 option in Minnesota I don’t see most Vikings owners moving on from Jefferson early on. In terms of his skill set, he is most likely a slot WR for most users and the value of those isn’t high enough that I’d immediately go searching for Jefferson in most cases.

Jalen Reagor – 73 OVR

Reagor is as shifty as they come. Boasting the highest agility and change of direction ratings for the group, he will find instant value as a kick returner and slot man from day 1. Not quite Ruggs speed wise, Reagor still has enough speed to get over top and his 78 deep route running should allow him to do so early on in his career. My concern with Reagor is mainly in the catching department, as his actual catching ratings are a little lacking.

Reagor finds himself in a pretty athletic receiving core in Philadelphia but he is probably the one with the highest upside. As I spoke about in the QB article, if the Eagles owner in your league decides to roll with Hurts it probably means a more option heavy attack, which bodes well for the potential for you to acquire Reagor. If the Eagles owner chooses to move on from Hurts, I’d assume your chances of getting him are pretty slim as he should be a perfect long term option for Wentz.

Honorable Mention

Two other guys I am looking at if I need a WR in my franchise.

Chase Claypool- 70 OVR: 6’4, 92 speed, 95 jumping, 84 spectacular catch…yes please.

Tee Higgins-71 OVR: Now Higgins speed is going to scare some people off, but on a team that is loaded at WR he should be had cheap. With the class best release and spectacular catch along with solid height and jumping he can give a team who needs a big bodied receiver a solid long term option.