Ask any NFL fan about their favorite team’s draft and you will get some sort of response.
As a Browns fan I will give you all you need to hear and more. First, we needed to fix our offense with better receivers and someone to take over after Hillis’ departure.
The Trent Richardson pick was a good one at the time and still is; however, to give up the picks we did in order to get him I would have thought that we would be super smart about the ones we had left.
Then we took a 28 year old QB, Brandon Weeden at #22. In a league where you are looked at as old when you are 30 it is strange to see that as a pick with any sort of gainful longevity. Yet, even that pick wasn’t too terrible in the scheme of things. It was followed up with Mitchell Schwartz from Cal, a big and mean O-Lineman.
Then we took John Hughes! Yeah, you read right… 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire on the Cuyahoga JOHN HUGHES!… Actually, it is some sort of D-Lineman that is going to be a back-up for our talented middle D-Lineman Rubin and Taylor. I was confused by this pick to say the least… then my confusion turned to anger when I saw the other players taken after we traded down and move around in the draft to get a guy that wasn’t even projected to get picked in the draft on many experts’ boards.
Ever since Madden came out on the 360/PS3 generation of consoles it has had growing pains that have led many football gamers to get banned from forums for venting their anger (which will never happen on our boards, assuming you support your opinion without major profanity— which with Madden can be hard at times). The worst part about Madden for years had been Franchise Mode and bugs in Franchise Mode. That said, there are three major events for NFL fans:
- The NFL Draft
- Kickoff Week
- The Super Bowl
Improving The Draft (What’s Missing?)
There is a reason why the NFL Draft is #1 on that list. It gives people faith that for a moment, their team is going to get better. They might find their ‘Tom Brady’ or ‘Peyton Manning’. There are some players that coming out of college are looked at as ‘sure things’ like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and then you have big risks on guys like Vontaze Burfict (went to the halfway-house, AKA the Cincinnati Bengals after going undrafted) who have major character issues.
People go nuts for the draft and it is something that is often talked about more than the Super Bowl. Simply because it is something that every team has a chance to do and do well.
Madden has no personality or atmosphere for the Draft. It is difficult to see what other teams are doing in your Franchise Mode. One example is when a team trades up or down in the draft there is usually some sort of reaction by commentators (which also don’t exist in Madden’s Franchise Mode for the Draft) – in Madden you are greeted with a notice that a trade took place and which picks were involved… and then nothing… No highlight of who was so important that the team moved up to get them. You are also not going to see which players teams select during the draft because the Drafted Player Ticker resets after every pick, rendering it impossible to see how the draft is going or who is coming off the board in any sort of fluid manner.
If the Cowboys were to take a punter with the first pick in the draft you would probably see riots and hear commentators berate the management (Jerry Jones) of the Cowboys…. Not in Madden, take whoever you want because no one cares. Perhaps that is the real personality of Madden’s Franchise Mode – No one cares… and frankly, why should they?
Not to mention it is hard to really have any sense of immersion in a league that seems to exist without any sort of news feed that is easily accessible to let you know that certain players are under-performing. Then again, that is the hideous beauty of Madden’s Franchise Mode.
Minus the lacking atmosphere, here is a list of just some of the things that are missing from creating a true Franchise Mode experience worth paying $60 for every. single. year…:
- Player Morale and Personality – Players have no personality. Some teams are simply not desirable to play for, yet… that never comes into play with Madden, just sign the players without any real attention to what type of coach, owner or city they want to play in. Are they just about money are they loyal to loyal fans?… That doesn’t matter in Madden.
- Player Performance – This doesn’t matter from multiple levels in Franchise Mode. As far as the much vaunted online roster updates go, apparently a player is better on a week by week basis. However, when it comes to any sort of adjustment to a player after he throws for 500 yards and 6 TDs twice in three weeks, there is no such update to his throwing abilities or his much over-hyped OVR (Overall) Rating.
- Player Value – This rating doesn’t exist in Madden at all. This means that when you have a player that runs for 2000 yards two years in a row and then wants to be traded elsewhere you might not be able to get what you should for him because his OVR is 80 due to a low AWR (Awareness) Rating, even if he has 98 SPD, 97 JKE, 95 SPN, etc. The system of value for performance is a constant battle between gamers that state performance means little when potential is all that matters. My response is that performance is MEASUREABLE and potential will NEVER be.
This list will be expanded over the course of the next few months and years as Madden is sure to continue to grow and regress in quality and features. The first step for any game mode like Franchise Mode is ATMOSPHERE and IMMERSION and that should start with the most important day (weekend) of the NFL Year – The NFL Draft.