Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Jets CB
There wasn’t a better rookie last year than the Jets’ cornerback Ahmad Gardner, better known as “Sauce.” EA doesn’t do a ton of defensive players on the Madden cover, but it’s done them when it’s either made gameplay sense–like when Ray Lewis was on the cover of Madden 2005 because Tiburon introduced the Hit Stick–or just when the defender is that good–like Madden 15 when Richard Sherman landed on it during the peak Legion of Boom era in Seattle.
So a defender is unlikely, but among them, Sauce is perhaps most likely, as he’s got the youth vote, the likely skyrocketing overall Madden rating, and he plays in the big New York market, even if he happens to be on the franchise that’s traditionally seen as lesser than the stadium-mate Giants. Full disclosure: I previously thought about giving Micah Parsons my lone defender spot on this list, but I think Sauce’s trajectory is still at a point where EA can latch on to its figurative rocket ship before it’s exited the atmosphere, where as Parsons is already a certified star.
Stick around for more Madden NFL 24 chatter as we approach the official reveal, which should occur sometime in June ahead of a presumed August launch on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.