Editor’s Note: Brian Conlon, from LaxKingsTV, has put together a preview for the first round of the upcoming MLL College Draft. The Draft goes down this weekend in Philly at the US Lacrosse Convention, and Brian is playing GM, as he lays out the picks he thinks each team will make.
With the MLL Collegiate Draft less than a week away (FRIDAY!), teams are already beginning to brainstorm their picks. This year’s potential draft class is a good one, with names such as Marcus Holman, Scott Ratliff, Josh Hawkins, Mike Sawyer, JoJo Marasco, Will Manny, and other greats, all available. The MLL draft order for Round 1 is as follows:
1 – Ohio
2 – Hamilton
3 – Charlotte
4 – Chesapeake (from Charlotte from Rochester)
5 – New York
6 – Boston
7 – Denver
8 – Charlotte (from Chesapeake)
First on the clock is the Ohio Machine. The Machine finished the season with a 2-12 record, the worst in the league. Collectively, the Machine were outscored 175 to 231, a goal difference of -56. For the Machine to improve their record, they need to improve their offense. Five out of their Twelve loses were by 3 goals or less. For this reason, the Ohio Machine should draft…
Think about this line up: Chazz Woodson, Steele Stanwick, and Marcus Holman. This could potentially be the best attack lineup in the MLL. In 2012, a Jr. Marcus Holman brought in 39 goals, 33 assists in 17 games played. Combined with Stanwick and Woodson, he would be a deadly force, and it would make for a nice, diverse, attack.
Honorable Mentions: Scott Ratliff, the Machine also need defense, but in the second round they have three picks in a row, which leads me to believe they could wait to draft a defender then, and take a pure scorer early.
Second on the clock is the good old Canadian team, the Hamilton Nationals. Hamilton finished the season 4-10 in 2012, with six out of their ten loses coming by 4 or more goals. Two out of their Four wins come by a margin of only two goals or less. The Nationals are just like the Machine, needing a boost to their offense and defense, so they draft…
JoJo Marasco would be a great addition to the Nationals. The Nationals lack a big name midfielder, and JoJo would be able to fill this spot. Although he plays more of an O-Mid, he can slide down to attack or be a traditional midfielder. A great pick up for the nationals. JoJo had 12 goals and 19 assists in 2012.
Honorable Mention: Josh Hawkins. Hamilton needs defense and offense, and at first I thought Hawkins would be perfect. I realized Hawkins is more of a D-Mid, but could be used as a traditional midfielder, and I just can’t be sure as to how an MLL team would use him. #Dmidproblems?
Third pick in the draft is the Hounds. A brand new team in 2012, I thought it was a success for an expansion team. The Hounds had good attendance, and North Carolina loves em’. Charlotte went 5-9 in their first season, which isn’t that bad for a brand new team. The Hounds were competitive, and gave a lot of teams a good run for their money. With that being said, the Hounds need an overall well rounded player, who can play defense, offense and push transition. The Hounds should draft…
Scott Ratliff is one of my favorite players to watch. He can do it all with a pole: play defense, play offense, and push transition. More importantly, he can change momentum, be a leader, and bring fans to Charlotte. Ratliff would probably love to play for the Hounds, considering he was born in Georgia. That’s kind of local, right? Ratliff would bring transition, offense and defense to the Hounds. Ratliff had 12 goals and 7 assists, 88 ground balls and .200 faceoff %. All as an LSM.
The champions get the fourth pick, trading with Charlotte to get it, who originally got it from Rochester. The Bayhawks went 10-4 last year, going all the way to win the Championship, and outscoring their opponents 222 to 146. Although their offense is getting old, (JG Jr could still beat me up) for 2013 I think they are going to be fine. For this reason, the Bayhawks should draft…
Josh Hawkins is probably the best D-Mid in the game. This is a likable choice for the Bayhawks because their midfield defense is really what I didn’t like in 2012. Hawkins can improve this, since their offense really doesn’t need work. Hawkings had 6 goals and 2 assists in 2012, along with 63 gbs and 11 forced turnovers.
Honorable Mention: Matt White
New York Lizards
Formally known as the Long Island Lizards, the now New York Lizards have the fifth pick in the draft. The Lizards went 8-6 last year. In most of their wins, their offense was strong, along with their defense. When they lost, it all fell apart, and they didn’t play like they should. The Lizards have a great offense and defense, and one of the best goalies in the league. This pick could go anyway, so the Lizards should draft…
Will Manny lit it up at UMass last year. Manny had 44 goals and 33 assists in 2012 for the Minutemen. His speed allows him to get past pretty much any defender. With the Lizards drafting Manny, they add more speed and skill to their arsenal. Isn’t that what the game is all about?
Honorable Mention: Any player projected to go top 8! LI is solid and could take anyone. This is one of the harder picks to predict.
The Cannons get the Sixth pick in this year’s draft, just coming up short last year of getting into the championship. The Cannons, for the most part, had a successful season, finishing the season 8-6. Strong at the midfield with Paul Rabil, the Cannons have a relatively good defense, meaning the Cannons should draft…
The 6’0″ Attack plays a solid game. Schuss led the Buckeyes in scoring, assists, and points with 39 goals, 18 assists and 57 points. Schuss could fit the role of a Matt Poskay; a key attack player to go hand in hand with Rabil, and adding Schuss would really help their two man game. Schuss would compliment Rabil, and the rest of the Cannons’ offense well.
Honorable Mention: Mike Sawyer, another viable action for the Cannons
So close, but yet so far. In 2012, the Outlaws came so close to a championship, but could not beat the Bayhawks. Going 10-4, the outlaws had a strong season offensively. Mundorf had 59 points before having his season ended before the championship game. Matthews and Bocklet both put up good numbers on offense. The one thing Denver lacks, is a really great defense. With their pick, the Outlaws should draft…
Tucker Durkin is a great close defender at JHU, and has been starting since his freshmen year. An All-American, Durkin is 6’2, 210, and knows how to get things done. The Outlaws drafting Durkin would strengthen their defense exponentially.
With their first pick in the draft, the Charlotte Hounds took Scott Ratliff. Now that they have a great defender, offense and transitional player, they can focus on something else, their offense. With their recent additions of Carter Bender, Peet Poillion and draftees Eric Lusby and Tim Desko, they are heading in the right direction. The Hounds should draft…
Mike Sawyer was a beast with Loyola in 2012, winning a national championship with the GreyHOUNDS. Only behind Eric Lusby in scoring, assists and points, Sawyer had 52 goals, 10 assits and 62 points. By bringing in Sawyer, you have options. You can move him to midfielder, and he’ll still be a viable option, or you can move him to attack and have some pre-made synergy with Lusby. So many options.
Thank to Brian for the great predictions! We’re excited to see how all the rounds pan out. You can follow LaxKings on twitter at @LaxKings, and subscribe to us on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/LaxKingsTV