The game did manage to place players of correct relative positions with five teams in the first round, as Minnesota drafted a quarterback, San Francisco took a defensive back and Pittsburgh selected a linebacker last night as well. Yet EA's Madden 25 wasn't able to account for the eight trades that took place last night, in which Cleveland traded back from the fourth pick to the eighth spot, which is where they chose Gilbert, later selecting quarterback Johnny Manziel [#22].
Manziel wasn't the only passer that Madden missed on, as the Vikings hopped back in to the draft at the final pick in the first round by trading with Seattle to select Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater [#32]. Madden 25 picked Bridgewater first instead of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney [#1], Houston's real-life first overall draft pick selection.
Running our simulations one more time to account for the eight trades during the night resulted in a more accurate picture. While Madden's adjusted mock draft only got one selection right, Pittsburgh's choice of outside linebacker Ryan Shazier from Ohio State [#15], it doubled the number of positions it correctly expected teams to take (ten).
In last night's draft, three quarterbacks were chosen in the first round, though Madden expected five. Meanwhile, five wide receivers were taken by NFL teams, yet Madden 25 only saw fit to place one on a team, even after accounting for all of the trades. Of the few positions Madden and real NFL general managers seemed to agree on were cornerbacks and safeties, as last night's draft yielded five and four respectively, whereas Madden chose six and two.
Draft experts may not have expected the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Blake Bortles [#3] or Manziel tumbling down the draft boards, given that the popular choices for their draft positions were reversed and exhaustive lists like that of ESPN pegged the third-choice Bortles as the 18th-best player in the draft. But Madden did demonstrate that the NFL Draft isn't a perfect science that can be cracked by a video game just yet. It takes the deft touch and guidance of a real NFL front-office executive to make the good (and bad) professional sports franchise-altering decisions.
[Image: EA Sports]