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Could Blake Bortles be the first overall pick by the Texans?
Until the combine most of the talk was Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater would be taken first overall by the Houston Texans. I am seeing mock drafts with the Texans taking him or an idea Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports/Sirius XM NFL Radio (which I listen to daily) is promoting that the Browns will trade up to the #2 spot to take him. Either way, this would be a huge surprise pick being that most fans probably don't know much about this QB out of Central Florida. Let's take a look at his college career as well as his Madden 15 ratings projections.
First off, Bortles has the build of an NFL quarterback at 6'5" and 232 lbs. He excels at play action and bootleg plays running outside the pocket. He was 22-5 as a starter at UCF and the 2013 ACC Offfensive Player of the Year. He threw for over 3,500 yards this past year and completed 68% of his passes. He lead his team to victory over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.
As a comparison to the other quarterbacks we've previewed - Bortles should be very close to them as far as his throwing accuracy but should be higher in throwing power. Manziel will have the edge in speed, acceleration, and elusiveness. Bortles might be the better all around quarterback. The draft will ultimately determine who is the better rated quarterback so we will revisit these projections after the draft.
Blake Bortles Madden 15 Ratings Projection:
Bridgewater to the Cleveland Browns?
This week we continue our look at the top rookies in the 2014 NFL Draft by analyzing QB Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville. Last week I previewed QB Johnny Manziel and later this week I'll preview another QB who's climbing some mock drafts - Blake Bortles.
As for Bridgewater, he finished his junior year at Louisville completing 71% of his passes and throwing 31 touchdowns while only losing one game during the season. He was the Sugar Bowl MVP in 2012. As of now, he is a favorite at the #4 pick for the Cleveland Browns but could always go earlier with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars at the #1 and #3 spots respectively and both of those teams are also in need of a starting QB.
Bridgewater's experience in a pro-style offense at Louisville could be the determining factor if he is successful at the NFL level. Of course, the ability to make reads in Madden is ultimately up to the user so qualitative factors such as these are hard to translate to Madden ratings. Physically, he is nothing spectacular at 6'2" and 214 lbs. He does not have superior arm strength and is not an elusive QB outside of the pocket. He's more of a traditional stay in the pocket and make short accurate passes type QB.
Teddy Bridgewater Madden 15 Ratings Projection:
XP for Russell Wilson and Bruce Irvin for a Season
Someone (supaB) in our connected franchise asked, "Why are you guys wasting your XP on the development trait instead of progressing your players?" I was guilty of this so I thought about it and decided I had never actually dug into the numbers to see how much more XP I was getting for upgrading from average development speed to superstar. I decided to start with two players, Russell Wilson and Bruce Irvin. Here'swhat I found from progressing them through 1 season.
Let's start with Russell Wilson who is already superstar development rating. For the record, I had none of the coach XP boosts and did not complete any practices during the season. I am also starting from Week 1 of the regular season and very minimal XP was gained for these players during the pre-season.
The image below shows Wilson's weekly goals. For a 90 OVR player, this is still a fair amount of XP to be gained each week if you achieve the goals.
Week 1 - This was a game I simmed. Wilson did not meet any of his goals for the week and gained 43 XP.
Week 2 - I played this game myself. I made sure Wilson hit all three goals and took him out of the game. He finished with 324 yards passing, 3 TD's and 24 completions. XP gained for the week was 2,401. 2,186 of this came from goals but that left 215 XP unaccounted for. It looks like around 200 XP is gained for each game regardless of performance.
Week 3 - Back to simming. Wilson gained 93 XP and did not meet any goals.
I'm not going to go through each week because I don't want you falling asleep. Wilson rarely met any goals simming and averaged 709 XP gained per week. I was interested to see if playoffs games actually boosted XP. Luckily the Seahawks made the playoffs and got the bye week. Notice in the description of the goals it says "The amount of XP you earn is influenced by how important each game is. Playoff games earn more XP".
So do you earn more XP for playoff games?
During the regular season you can see how much XP was gained for Wilson's goals above. 700, 700, and 349 XP per goal. The Seahawks had a bye week so there were no goals for a Wildcard game. For the divisional round, Wilson's goals earned 250, 502, and 502 XP. That's a 28% decrease across the board for achieving your goals for a divisional playoff game compared to the regular season. Wilson ended up gaining 2,623 XP for the Week.
For the NFC Championship game the XP for goals increased. Wilson was now going to earn 400, 803, and 803 XP for each goal. That's a 60% increase from the Divisional Round but just marginally more than the regular season games. The Seahawks won this game and made it to the Super Bowl and lost. Wilson gained 2,569 for the NFC Championship win and 15,624 for losing the Super Bowl.
Bruce Irvin XP Progression
I also wanted to look at a defender and a player with normal progression. Irvin met that criteria so I went with him. His weekly goals for the season are below.
Week 1 - This was a sim and Irvin did meet the goal of "175 passing yards allowed". The Panthers finished with 174 yards passing; however, Irvin only gained 30 XP for the week. Maybe they rounded the 174 up to 175 and didn't grant the goal XP.
Week 2 - I played this game and Irvin finished with 3 tackles and 1 sack. The defense held the 49ers to 66 rushing yards and 114 passing yards. Irvin only gained 130 XP. He met the criteria for completing 2 of the goals and should have gained 596 XP at a minimum.
Week 3 - Irvin and the defense allowed less than 125 yards rushing yet Irvin only gained 30 XP for the week.
This trend continued each week. The defensive goals with "Allow less than "X" yards" are clearly broken and are not rewarding XP. For the playoff games, Irvin also saw a drop in potential XP earnings in the division round and an increase for the conference championship. Irvin averaged 22 XP per week during the regular season - not achieving any goals since he never made 4 tackles in a game and the other goals did not reward XP.
Is Gatorade Development worth the 25,000 XP?
I wanted to level up Irvin but since he barely gained any XP all season, I had to choose someone else. I went with LG Carpenter since he started off the regular season of season 2 with 44,414 XP. You can see his goals below when he was just normal development speed.
Normal Development Speed
I simmed 4 weeks with him at normal development speed. He met the goal of 150 team rushing yards 3 out of the 4 weeks. He averaged 203 XP in addition to the 1,000 XP he received from the goal XP. In Week 1 he also gained another 1,062 XP and I have no clue where that came from - possibly a milestone goal.
Quick Development Speed
I purchased the quick development speed package. The XP earned for each goal went to 825 XP for 5 yards per rush average, 660 XP for 3 rushing TDs, and the 150 team rushing yards goal stayed at 1,000 XP. That was a 31% increase in XP gained for the other 2 goals with an absolute total potential increase in XP of 353. So you are looking at an XP gain of 353 per week from Normal to Quick development. He averaged 183 XP gain per week from non-goal related XP gain (basically, XP from just playing in the game). So there is no substantial increase from regular XP gain and only 31% increase in goal based XP gain. In other words, if you pay 25,000 XP to go from Normal Development to Quick Development, it will take you 70 weeks to repay the XP you spent (25,000 XP divided by 353 XP per week) and that is assuming you meet your goals every week. This is not a good return on your investment. You are looking at over 4 seasons here.
Superstar Development Speed
After purchasing the superstar development speed this study became even more depressing. The XP gained from goals actually DECLINED to 691 XP for 5 yards per rush average, 553 XP for 3 rushing TDs, and stayed at 1,000 XP for 150 team rushing yards. That is a decrease of 16% for the two goals that declined and an absolute loss of 241 potential XP points per week. So you are spending another 25,000 XP to earn less XP. Clearly, a huge bug - or maybe a superstar is not supposed to develop faster?
Update: Someone pointed out that you also get discounts on packages from buying the development packages. I checked this and you get a 5% discount from going to normal development to quick and another 5% discount for going to super star development. I think this would cut your repayment period to around 3 seasons. Again, this is best case and assuming you do all your practices and meet all your weekly goals. If you get milestone goals that have huge XP bonuses or make the Super Bowl, the repayment period will be shorter.
A few takeaways are below. This XP progression system still needs a lot of work even after the second year of the re-designed franchise mode. I really like the XP progression system but it is broken currently based on the results of this small unscientific study.
- You have to meet your weekly goals and complete your practices each week if you want to progress. You don't earn enough XP otherwise. This is a no brainer but some people don't complete their practices and wonder why they don't have XP.
- Don't waste your XP on buying development speed packages. You do not gain enough XP to make this a cost effective purchase. Just spend the XP to develop your players. It is possible that it could help your players from regression as fast as they age but I still don't see the math that could make this worthwhile. I wasted a lot of XP in my CFM doing this and feel pretty dumb now.
- Some XP goals are broken. The defensive goals for yards allowed do not grant XP. If you want to level up a specific player on defense, you will have to focus on other goals such as number of tackles, number of sacks, and interceptions.
I'd love to hear you thoughts on this and what you have seen in your connected franchises. I am hoping we can bring this to the developer's attention so it can be fixed in next year's franchise mode.
06 March 2014 - 05:07 AM
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21 January 2014 - 06:57 AM