Earlier this summer, Rob Gronkowski was revealed as the star of the Madden ’17 cover, and as if Patriots fans needed a reason to select No. 87 in the game, they now have game statistics on their side.
Gronk was one of just four players to earn a Madden rating of 99. The ratings, which came out from EA Sports last week, gave 99-ratings to Gronk, Luke Kuechly of the Panthers, J.J. Watt of the Texans and Von Miller of the Broncos.
As shown by his overall rating, Gronk is a well-rounded player, according to EA Sports. With an 88 strength rating, 94 spectacular catch rating, 98 catch in traffic and 88 strength rating, he "excels in all areas of the game." With numbers like that and the cover on lock, it's no surprise that Gronk was rated the game's top tight end.
Gronk wasn't the only Patriot with high praise in the video game. The Patriots overall was ranked the top AFC team, complete with an overall rating of 87. The top Patriots by overall rating are Gronk, Tom Brady, Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and Julian Edelman.
Tom is the game's third best quarterback, just behind Aaron Rodger and Cam Newton. Patrick Chung and Stephen Gostkowski also ranked third in strong safeties and kickers respectively.
A pair of linebackers was shown some Madden '17 love, as well. Jamie Collins takes the No. 5 spot for the game's middle linebackers, and Dont'a Hightower also grabbed the five spot in the outside linebacker category.
While fans will have to wait until the regular season begins to see how their players stack up in real life, gamers will be able to see the virtual Patriots in Madden '17 action on Aug. 23.