Later today, EA Sports is set to reveal their Madden 23 cover athlete, and plenty of speculation has already run rampant on who might grace the cover this NFL season. Of course, the first, and most obvious choice, is to give Hall of Fame head coach John Madden the honors. I don’t think anyone would be upset with that.
In my opinion, HC John Madden will likely be on the cover of this year’s limited edition version of Madden 23. However, I still think they will go the traditional route and announce a cover athlete for the standard edition of the game, and some of the names that have surfaced should not surprise anyone.
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp have already been rumored to grace the cover. But what about the Miami Dolphins? Certainly, a handful of Miami’s current roster would deserve this honor, right? Right.
Here are three Miami Dolphins players who are more than deserving of being named the 2023 Madden cover athlete.
(Please Note: There is less than a .000069% chance one of these players is on the cover of Madden 23. EA would never give that honor to a Miami Dolphins player. And TBH, I believe in curses and would prefer to see someone like Bills’ QB Josh Allen on the cover. For research purposes, of course!)
Cornerback, Xavien Howard
Shutdown cornerback Xavien Howard was the first name that came to mind when I thought about which Dolphins player was most deserving of gracing EA’s iconic cover. Since 2017, Howard has 27 interceptions —15 of those have come in the last two seasons. However, the developers at EA still appear to be sleeping on Howard. Sure, he has a superstar X-Factor, but to only be rated a rumored 89 overall?! Come on, man!
Of course, again, these ratings are not official. But Howard is much closer to being a top-5 cornerback in the NFL than top-15. So if EA were to take the time to focus on defensive back play in this year’s game (as they should), there might not be anyone more worthy of the cover than Miami’s Xavien Howard.
Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill
I’ll be honest. My life changed forever when the Dolphins completed a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill. And to this day, I still struggle to believe the trade happened. After all, there aren’t many football players that possess Hill’s video-game-like speed. He is genuinely one of the most dynamic players in football and on the virtual gridiron. He’s like an aged Gouda to Miami’s cheesy offense.
Last season with the Chiefs, Hill caught a career-high 111 receptions for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns. His receptions and yards may take a hit this season in Mike McDaniel’s offense, but I see that touchdown number going up.
Then again, if EA wanted to put Hill on the cover, they probably would’ve done it while he was in Kansas City. Nevertheless, he’s the closest thing to a human joystick in today’s NFL and a player I’d love to see on the cover of Madden.
Left Tackle, Terron Armstead
Initially, I had put WR Jaylen Waddle’s name here, but then I decided left tackle Terron Armstead deserves his day in the sun. Not only was he rated a 94 overall in Madden 22, but he was well regarded as the hottest free agent on the market this offseason. Best of all, his presence on the cover would mean EA made changes to the offensive line, something that desperately needed to be fixed since Madden 2009
It won’t happen, but Armstead on the cover with his sunglasses, large chain, and Dan Marino throwback would be worth every penny.
BONUS: Wide Receiver, Jaylen Waddle
Like Hill, you could make a case for second-year wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to be on the cover of Madden 23. Last season, the former fifth-overall pick out of Alabama broke the NFL record for rookie receptions with 104 catches on 140 targets. His speed, like Hill’s, can best be explained as video-game-like, and although we don’t know who officially runs faster, it’s hard for me to imagine there’s a significant gap between the two players.
Howard, Hill, Armstead, and Waddle are all deserving of being on the cover of Madden 23 (IMO).
TLDR: None of these players will be on the cover of Madden 23, but it sure was fun to speculate. If I had to pick one player out of this list, I’d choose Xavien Howard. Not only is he the most talented player on the roster, but EA also needs to focus heavily on the defensive back play— making Howard the perfect cover athlete.
Which Miami Dolphins player would you most like to see grace the cover of this year’s Madden? Do you plan on buying Madden 23 after all the changes the Dolphins have made this offseason? Will you get the game for Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X? I think I keep calling Xavien Howard the best player on the roster by default — since he’s been here longest and has played at an #elite level for the Dolphins for many years. Let us know in the comments section below!