With the NFL Draft right around the corner and speculation growing on what every team will do once they are on the clock we are going to shift to our only option of NFL Draft Day in gaming.
Madden’s draft and draft presentation has improved over the last few years. Are there some short-comings? Sure. Regardless, today we are going to focus on how to make your team better through the draft in Madden.
First Up Is Scouting. Personally, I am hoping for a drastic change to this in Madden 15 as Madden 25 basically lets you ‘buy’ individual scouting reports for players throughout the season. Here is your best bet for good scouting.
Spread The Love – I am all but convinced that if you put more scouting into one prospect over others that the AI takes that into account and will have a team swipe that player from under your nose. This happened to me with numerous players (and drafts) while running my Browns. Make sure that you are scouting only the initial ‘Grade’ for players in order to make it cheaper (and more realistic) to get an idea of their THP and THA.
Awareness (?) – If you take a look at our last article you will see that awareness is key in terms of how a player performs. One of the things about the AWR rating is that while it almost always makes the player play better – you can also upgrade this rating with relative ease until you get into the 80’s-90’s. I personally make it a house rule to never scout awareness. Why? Because I have always felt that it is a window to the Overall Rating and I never liked knowing it until after the draft.
Position Specific Ratings – This is and should always be the first thing you look at when it comes to any player. Why is it third on this list? Mostly because I feel that the categories above are more holistic in terms of how to look at scouting as a body. When it comes to position specific ratings you can simply check out the article posted for Madden 13 (as we said, not much has changed).
Finally we come to the actual draft.
Write Your Own Big Board Down – For some reason, you can’t rank your favorite players scouted in Madden 25. I can promise that every team in the NFL does this as it is basically the most important aspect of the draft outside of determining your weaknesses/needs. Get a piece of paper and pencil and at the end of the season (after free-agency) go look at your scouting screen. Take the time to write down and RANK your favorite players as they fit your needs. You should take into account where you think they could be taken ahead of you and whether you would want to trade up for them if you must.
Determine Your Needs – As you play through each season you will start to find that certain players might become your favorites. On the other hand, you might start noticing how many times your QB is getting sacked because your Right Guard is such garbage. These are the moments when you need to either write down on your big board (see above) or take a mental note as you enter scouting/the draft. Do you really need that QB? Do you really need another 6’4″ 220lb WR (that seem to over-populate the Madden draft classes)? Decide what you need and stick to that list. If you don’t see anyone of value – trade down.
Trading Down – This used to be a more broken feature of Madden games in the past. Trading down should always be an option if you don’t see a player you truly want/need in the draft. If you think you can take that player only a few picks later you might want to consider trading down. On the other hand, you might want to reconsider how far down you trade if you do see players you want. The way Madden’s drafting logic seems to work it is as if they are reading your mind and that player is always gone just a few picks from your own.
Strike While The Iron Is Hot – One of the biggest lessons I learned in Madden (and in real life) is that if a team likes a certain player and truly wants him on their team – even if he is projected a round later… or two? Take him. Madden is a video game and you should enjoy these risks. There are numerous prospects that are ‘projected’ to go in the 3rd or 4th round that always get taken by the CPU in the 2nd or 3rd round every single draft. If you see ‘Leon Sandcastle and realize that it is the Deion Sanders clone projected to go outside of the first round and you need a CB… Take the guy – please. This will be the same for Jerry Ricecake in Madden 15, I can almost promise this.