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Friday Featured Athlete: The Madden 20 99 Club Athletes

Friday Featured Athlete: The Madden 20 99 Club Athletes

The 99 Club is a select group of athletes who are rated at a 99 in the upcoming Madden 20 video game. There are four total players who have earned the highest possible rating from EA Sports prior to Madden 20's official release.


The first athlete to be named to the Madden 20 99 Club was two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. Since being drafted at No. 13 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, Aaron Donald has become one of the game's best defensive players. He's earned 5 Pro Bowls and has proven to be an unstoppable force for opposing offensive linemen. Aaron Donald was one of the main reasons for the Los Angeles Rams making it to the Super Bowl as he compiled 59 tackles, 20.5 sacks and caused four fumbles.

In Madden 20, some of Aaron Donald's best ratings are strength (99), power moves (99), pursuit (98), block shedding (97) and finesse moves (96). The Madden 20 team have debuted Superstar X-Factors that provide in-game bonuses for select players. Aaron Donald's Superstar X-Factor is named "Fearmonger", which allows for the chance to pressure the quarterback while engaged with a blocker. Good luck to everyone trying to block Aaron Donald both in Madden 20 and in real life.



The second member announced to join the Madden 20 99 Club was Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. Although he might not always receive the same media coverage as other defensive stars, it's hard to deny Bobb Wagner's domination on the football field. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the eighth-best football player.  Perhaps the craziest stat in football, PFF noted that Bobby Wagner missed just one tackle across 892 total defensive snaps and 139 tackle attempts.

EA Sports announced Bobby Wagner will have 99 ratings for tackle, pursuit and a 98 rating for hit power. All three marks are the highest-rated attributes for a defensive player in Madden 20. The Superstar X-Factor for Bobby Wagner is "Shutdown" which provides in-game bonuses of tighter coverage and more interceptions on contested catches. Bobby Wagner continues to shine for the Seattle Seahawks and can be a dominant building block for any Madden 20 defense.



Last offseason, the Oakland Raiders traded star Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears in one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory. Since joining the Chicago Bears defense, Khalil Mack has proven to be one of the most disruptive defensive players in football. In 14 games last season, Khalil Mack had 47 tackles, 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, an interception and a defensive touchdown.

EA Sports gave Khalil Mack a 94 rating in jumping, 94 rating in tackling, a 95 pursuit rating and rated him as a 97 for power moves. Khalil Mack's Superstar X-Factor is named "Unstoppable Force", an in-game bonus that "increases win rate and block shed speed against one-on-one pass blocks."



The final player to be named to the Madden 20 99 Club was Houston Texans star DeAndre Hopkins. Last season, DeAndre Hopkins put up 1,572 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns across 16 games. He was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl (third overall) and earned back-to-back First-Team All-Pro honors.

Pro Football Focus noted that DeAndre Hopkins set the PFF record for most catchable targets without a drop (115). The Houston Texans star also lead the NFL in Most Contested Catches (40 of 91 attempts) last season.

DeAndre Hopkins becomes the only offensive player in the Madden 20 99 Club. The EA Sports team gave him 99 ratings in catching, jumping, spectacular catch, catch in traffic and release attributes. All are the best in Madden 20. DeAndre Hopkins' Superstar X-Factor is called "Double Me" which allows the Houston Texans superstar to win aggressive catches vs. single coverage.

Please say a quick prayer for all those defenders (both virtual and real) that have to line up against "Nuk."

(Images via The Checdown & EA Sports)

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