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New Writer Talks About Gaming

[Note from Adam:  For the third time this week, I would like to introduce you all to another new writer joining our team here at Vikings Gab.  Graham Bennett will surely bring some unique takes on the Vikings and all other things football.  I am excited to see what he can bring to the table.  Welcome, Graham!]

Whether you like to admit it or not, if you’re a gamer like myself you’ve probably been looking at this year’s off-season through a slightly different lens than your non-gaming friends.  If you know what I mean by that last sentence, this analysis is for you.

Today I’d like to breakdown the Vikings top three draft picks and discuss my predictions for how they might factor into your game plan in Madden 2011.

Chris Cook
Cook is a player who shows a fair amount of physical ability but may lack some of the knowledge to really read a receiver’s route and cut it off properly.  He is, however, a large defensive back standing at 6’2” 212lbs.  In Madden, he will likely have a low man coverage stat to begin, probably in the 60s, with  a zone rating in the low to mid 70s.

As the digital coach, you’ll want to leverage Cook’s height against jump-ball receivers like Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson because the receiver’s catch rating likely won’t come into play if the ball is tipped where it would against a heavy-hit corner who attacks the receiver’s body like Antoine Winfield or Cedric Griffin.

Toby Gerhart
Gerhart is going to have a mediocre speed and acceleration ratings for a HB (probably in the low to mid 80s) but his blocking and catching stats will be pretty decent, meaning he’ll be one of the most versatile players on your Madden bench.

If you’re like me and you love running play action passes based around the FB position, this kid is going to likely be the best candidate for the job.  Also, he’s going to be a screen threat and you might even consider utilizing him as a fourth or fifth receiver/tight end.

Everson Griffen
Griffen is likely to be in the overall 60s to begin with due to how late he was taken in the draft.  Of course, like all rookie prospects, this will change via online roster updates if he proves himself through the season.  His strength stats and power moves will likely be his best assets, and if you run a 4-3 scheme he’ll likely find use as a backup on both sides of the line.  If you run a 3-4, he’ll probably be delegated to third string.

While in reality his consistency was brought into question, his physical abilities are undeniable and in the past, Madden has had trouble simulating consistency problems.  My guess would be that the folks at EA Tiburon will likely give him a relatively low stamina so that he has little choice but to rest for a couple of plays.  If Mr. Overall 80 Ray Edwards doesn’t come back, don’t expect to see  Griffen in the starting line up, but I would seriously consider swapping him in if you play as a DE on defense.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all the rookies will likely have a low awareness stat and their overalls will suffer for it.  Awareness primarily affects how the AI controls the player so in the case of an offensive lineman or receiver who won’t be under your direct control for most of the play, it is more important than, say, a QB or running back who carries the ball most of the time.

Heck, when AP first entered the league he was a mid 80s overall, but almost all of his relevant stats (speed, acceleration, break tackle) were in the 90s.  He was so good, despite the low overall, that the Vikings became one of the most popular teams in ranked matches on Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network overnight and have been an online powerhouse ever since.

You can pre-order Madden 2011 today!


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