I was working the "blue carpet" at the Madden Bowl days before Super Bowl XVIII, uh, Super Bowl 48 in New York City last year and Jimmy Graham strolled by. Knowing that he was on the verge of a contract squabble I told him, "You know, if you go on to Madden and switch your position to wide receiver, then the Saints would totally have to pay you that way."
Graham laughed. I couldn't really tell if it was one of those hardy, "Oh, that's a good one Adam" laughs, or a "You (expletive) (expletive), if you were on the opposing line from me, I'd light your scrawny (donkey) up you stupid, son of a (expletive)."
But I'm a comic and laughs are laughs to me, so I don't really care. I really was trying to save him some grief with such an ingenious idea. (Or at least I thought it was.)
With all of that said, I wondered if Madden would play coy with the tight ends this year and list them as pass catchers, but no such luck. The tight ends get a category of their own and as expected, Graham leads the league with a 97 OVR. From Donny Moore:
"It doesn't matter if he lines up at wide receiver or tight end. In 'Madden NFL 15' Jimmy Graham is just plain awesome. He is the top-ranked route runner and has the second-best hands (92 catch) amongst all tight ends. Plus his 85 SPD/87 AGI/88 ACC (not to metion Drew Brees at quarterback) is an unfair combination."
So wouldn't that make him a 99 OVR? I won't quibble because being a 97 means he ranks second among pass catchers, one ahead of Brandon Marshall and Rob Gronkowski (96 OVR). Which, a 96 for Gronk? Wow, I didn't realize they eliminated the INJ from the game. I must have missed that last year.
The rest of your top five include Vernon Davis 94 OVR, Jason Witten 92 OVR and Greg Olsen 88 OVR. Olsen snuck in there because I guess somebody had to. Just kidding. I like Olsen. Perhaps Jordan Cameron was viewed too much as a one-season wonder, but I might have given him the benefit of the doubt after his breakout season.
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