Landing the cover of the latest Madden NFL game is a huge honor for players despite the notorious curse that's been attached to it for years. Players can land a spot as the cover athlete for a variety of reasons but unless you're a quarterback you need to have a one-of-a-kind season. Doing well in the playoffs and either appearing in or winning the Super Bowl also lends itself towards the chances of landing the honor. Let's now take a look at 10 midseason contenders for the Madden 21 cover, and rank them.
10 Carson Wentz
Most people believe Carson Wentz would have likely been the MVP of the 2017 NFL season if he wouldn't have suffered a season-ending injury. He's a big and mobile guy with extreme arm talent who simply has struggled to stay on the football field. He's currently having a pretty good season for the Philadelphia Eagles as their currently locked in a division battle with the rival Dallas Cowboys. Unless the Eagles win the Super Bowl, or he lights it up in the 2nd half of the season there's little chance he lands the cover.
9 Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara, despite the success of the New Orleans Saints, isn't having a remarkable year. The real reason why he's a contender for the cover of next year's Madden is that he's popular with the younger generation of NFL fans.
He sports a look that's very cool and his laidback personality adds to why he's quickly ascended in popularity. If he can pick up his production during the 2nd half of the season, there's no reason why he shouldn't make the final cut of cover athlete hopefuls.
8 George Kittle
The San Francisco 49ers are sporting one of their best records through the first half of a season in over a decade and it's largely due to a consistent offense that's backed up by a stellar defense. The Madden cover often sways towards offensive talent, and though Jimmy G. is the quarterback, no one brings the energy quite like George Kittle. In the last 2 years, Kittle has soared to a spot as one of the league's best tight ends and has easily become one of the can't miss interviews every Sunday.
7 Aaron Rodgers
During the 2019 NFL offseason fans and critics alike were wondering what the future of Aaron Rodgers' career had in store. He was about to get a new head coach and the injuries have begun to really mount for the storied veteran quarterback. It seems that the addition of a solid defense has helped alleviate the stress from Rodgers' shoulders. The Green Bay Packers are currently sitting at a record of 8-2 with Rodgers sporting his usually exception touchdown-to-interception ratio of over 3-to-1.
6 JuJu Smith-Shuster
Not only did the Pittsburgh Steelers find a strong replacement for Antonio Brown after he decided to talk himself out of the NFL, but JuJu Smith-Schuster has risen to popularity thanks in large part to his connection with the younger generation of football fans.
He's quickly ascended to commercial status as he's appeared in national tv spots for both Madden and Pizza Hut. His working relationship with the game and his jubilant personality make him a prime candidate for next year's Madden cover.
5 Aaron Donald
Defensive players in the NFL rarely get the love that their offensive counterparts do. Outside of Khalil Mack, there's not another defensive player in the NFL that's as popular or well-known as Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams. In order for a defensive player to get the Madden cover he not only has to be dominate, but his team has to at least play in the Super Bowl. Given the Rams' current issues that may not happen, which means Donald's chances of landing the cover aren't super high right now.
4 Deshaun Watson
Imagine getting kicked in the eye and seconds later delivering a touchdown pass to your tight end during a crucial possession in the game. Deshaun Watson managed to do that this season, only adding to his archive of highlight plays that will be replayed for years after he retires. His chances of landing the cover ride with how well the Houston Texans do in the playoffs if they make it this year. One thing's clear though, he has the superstar presence and likability to be the face of almost anything.
3 Lamar Jackson
Anyone who loves Madden remembers when Michael Vick appeared on the cover of Madden 2004 and his in-game character was virtually impossible to defend. Lamar Jackson is currently doing that to NFL defenses and his improvement in passing from the pocket and willingness to put on some muscle mass shows he's dedicated to always improving.
If he continues to shred NFL defenses every week in the air and on the ground it'd be hard to deny him a spot on the Madden cover in 2020.
2 Russell Wilson
At the end of the day, the NFL and Madden are quarterback-centric and will almost always choose them as the face of the brand. Russell Wilson happens to be a quarterback alongside being the best example of what a role model in sports should be. He always says the right thing and conducts himself with a true sense of professionalism. It also helps that he's on pace to have his single best season as a professional quarterback in the NFL. An MVP trophy might make his case for Madden cover athlete unavoidable.
1 Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey is currently the NFL's biggest workhorse. With Cam Newton suffering an injury that has kept him out most of the 2019 season, McCaffrey has taken on an even bigger workload for the Carolina Panthers. It also helps his case in terms of landing the Madden cover that his popularity is growing exponentially. He's quickly becoming a face of the league as his play on the field is matched by the mature and caring personality he showcases off of it every single day.