The Madden video game franchise always generates plenty of discussion at this time of the year, when individual player ratings begin to be released.
The Madden game makers clearly have some great expectations of Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts, whose 81 rating registers as the highest among all rookies in this season’s rendition of the game.
Top Madden 22 Rookie Ratings...— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) July 25, 2021
Kyle Pitts - 81
Trevor Lawrence - 78
Jaylen Waddle - 76
Pat Surtain II - 76
Zach Wilson - 75
Ja’Marr Chase - 75
DeVonta Smith - 75
Penei Sewell - 75
Trey Lance - 74
Justin Fields - 74
Pitts is the only rookie in the 80s and the highest rated rookie going into a season since Quentin Nelson was given an 83 rating in Madden 19. That year, there were actually five rookies who were rated 80 or above (Nelson, Saquon Barkley, Baker Mayfield, Roquan Smith and Bradley Chubb).
Last year, number 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft Joe Burrow was tied for the highest rating — 76 — along with Jeff Okudah and Henry Ruggs III. In Madden 20, New York’s Quinnen Williams had the highest rating among rookies with an 80.
Atlanta’s new starting TE is the highest rated rookie tight end ever going into a season, and the highest rated Falcons tight end since Austin Hooper registered an 85 in Madden 20.
Pitts had a stellar Junior season at the University of Florida, going for 770 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns and leading the Gators to the SEC Championship Game. That, along with his insane physical tools, was enough to convince the Falcons to select him with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — the highest that a tight end has ever gone. It’s fair to say the Madden expectations are matched by the lofty ones his own team seems to have for him in real life.
The ratings will be updated on a week-to-week basis when we get into the season. Maybe Pitts will finish up at 99.