The NFL Draft’s impact on Madden 08

Posted April 25th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Vince Young throw

The draft is always a fun time of the year for NFL fans. Obviously it’s a huge piece to the puzzle that will be the next season and beyond. However for fans of Madden it also represents an opportunity to see the additions that will be made to their favorite teams for the coming year. But how much does the draft matter in the next installment of Madden?

Generally, the big name players are going at the top of the draft to teams that were either poor or downright horrible the year before. Those draftees will make for important additions to those who play through multiple years of franchise, but for the contingent that generally sticks with head-to-head, they’re unlikely to be using those teams on a regular basis anyway unless they are a fan of one of those specific teams.

Even with a top 10 addition, ratings wise they aren’t going to offer much more right away than most of the guys they are replacing. Some may not even start right away.

Last year Reggie Bush came in with an 87 rating, the highest ever given to a rookie in Madden. He also was a versatile player that could be shifted around on the offense, and entered into an already above-average Madden offense. The Bush example though is rare though. Previously no rookie had ever been rated higher than 85 in the intial roster that comes with the game’s release.

Who has the most impact? RBs are really the only ones that seem to deliver right away. This is especially the case if they’re speedy. Then it mainly falls into specific players instead of positions. Someone like Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson has the makeup to outperform his overall rating in Madden right away. Also mobile QBs have an advantage at the start over pocket QBs.

Vince Young, who won Offensive Rookie of the Year and was chosen for the Madden 08 cover, ended Madden 07 with an 86 overall rating. As great of an impact he had, his overall rating was nothing remarkable. However he was much more explosive in the game since he also had mobility.

Most every other position will bring in the rookies with at most a few ratings points higher than the player from the past season who held that spot. LSU QB JaMarcus Russell may be drafted at #1 by the Raiders. Ratings wise he’ll likely fall in the 82-84 range. As crappy as the Oakland QBs were last season, in the final roster update Aaron Brooks ended up as a 79 and Andrew Walter a 76. Russell would be an improvement to the Raiders team in Madden, but it won’t be all that significant.

If the Browns end up taking Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, he’ll probably be in that 82-84 range also. But Madden 07 ended with Charlie Frye as an 81. Not much help there right away. Even though they were able to acquire Jamal Lewis, adding Adrian Peterson would be more instantly beneficial because you would be able to utilize both players on the field.

And thats just the top of the draft. Once you get outside of the first round, the rookies are generally going to fall in the 72-79 rating span. There just aren’t that many starters on teams ranked significantly lower to where the rookies are going to offer an instant boost.

Essentially rookies enter the year mediocre in the game, and then as they prove themselves to be better or worse EA adjusts with the roster updates. Thats the best way to do it since no one really knows how good a rookie is going to do until he steps on to the field.

So as you watch the NFL Draft this weekend and consider what the players mean to how the teams will shape up in the coming Madden 08, know that most of the picks aren’t going to matter much right off the bat. If you get deep into franchise they’ll develop, but for those who play head-to-head or online the big name free agents are going to have much more impact than the draft additions.