You want some 2021 All-PLL projections? Then that’s what you’re gonna get.
Look, I’m a content creator for the people. If what the people want is more hot takes about the PLL-MLL merger, then fine, I’ll do it.
The initial idea was to talk about MLL players who could crack the top 50 in the PLL, but I’ve already discussed my gripes, to some extent, with the way that particular list works. Like any award handed out by players, it’s got plenty of inherent favoritism, personal relationships and more built in there, which doesn’t necessarily end up reflecting the actual top-50 guys in the league.
Instead, I’m going with the All-Pro concept. There are few things more subjective than these sorts of All-American, All-Pro type teams, but at least we get to look at which MLL players might be one of the tops at their positions entering the league. We’ll be doing First Team, Second Team and Third Team All-PLL projections forward to the 2021 season. Also, some honorable mentions, because some positions are too stacked to not show extra love.
What a player did in 2020 is obviously a factor in these All-PLL 2021 projections, but just because a player had a down year (or even a great year) in the bubble(s) doesn’t mean it’ll affect their position too greatly here. Players will be listed by their 2019 team, and a lot of these could change with the merger. Just for now, that’s the team they’re technically on, even if that team no longer exists.
Again, I am but one humble lax blogger. These teams aren’t guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate. Still, I feel pretty confident in saying that this is a strong representation of the best talent in the PLL (the new one that also includes MLL, plus incoming college talent). That said, if you’d like to be Mad Online™ about my lacrosse opinions, please send all your hatred to me on Twitter (@RyderCochrane).
Third-Team All-PLL 2021 Projections
Randy Staats, Cannons
Matt Kavanagh, Redwoods
Michael Sowers, Duke
Alright, let’s get this out of the way right at the start, because I know some people’s eyes just widened reading that last part. No, I have no idea if Michael Sowers is going to get to play this summer. June 4 is a real quick turnaround from a college lacrosse season. I don’t care. Michael Sowers is super f—— good, you guys. Like, I’m not sure we’re properly considering his dominance because of Princeton’s lack of a playoff appearance during his time there. He’s got the best career PPG numbers since 1980. Lyle Thompson is the only other player from the 2000s in the top 10, and he’s ninth. Sowers is second. Grant Ament finished his rookie season voted as the 12th-best player in the league, and Sowers was blowing him out in 2020 for the Tewaaraton race. I expect huge things from Sowers. Putting him third was, for me, more about his ability to play a full summer season (and whether he’ll do it. Here’s to you, Pat Spencer’s theoretical professional lacrosse career) than it is about his abilities.
As far as the other two, we’re looking at immensely talented players who didn’t have great 2020s. Randy Staats, when he’s on, is a top-five offensive player. He’s a giant but with a smaller man’s touch with his passes and feel for the game. Kavanagh, ever since his Notre Dame days, has never been the biggest stats guy, but few players are as good in clutch moments. Kavanagh is a player’s player, a guy who everyone respects. Staats is a wild card, but I think that the new circumstances could get him locked in and lead to another MVP-level season.
Mike Chanenchuk, Whipsnakes
Sergio Pervokic, Redwoods
Christian Mazzone, Archers
Justice for Christian Mazzone! Not to keep harping on it, but I cannot believe that Mazzone was snubbed for the PLL Top 50. He was crazy efficient and effective in his first season for the Archers. Rutgers has been quietly producing some top-tier pro lacrosse talent in recent years.
Speaking of efficient midfielders, Mike Chanenchuk, meanwhile, remains an elite two-point threat and helps the Whipsnakes stretch out defenses with his shooting ability. Meanwhile, the Motor City Hitman rounds out the third-team midfield. Perkovic was a finalist for midfielder of the year in 2020 but was voted only 30th by his peers. I expect that to be good motivation for him this offseason. He’s obviously a cannon shooter, but rounding out the rest of his game would make him a top-three middie in the league. I’m excited to see what he looks like in 2021.
Connor Farrell, Chrome
The Milkman delivers. Or, at least he has in the pros. Farrell outdueled several other guys in consideration for this spot in 2020 and finished with a 62% win rate, the only player other than Nardella to finish above 60%. His 34 ground balls were also second in the PLL last summer. His eight turnovers are a bit of a blemish, but he’s still an elite faceoff man.
SHORT STICK DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD
Tyler Warner, Whipsnakes
Soon, we’re going to have to start referring to him as Tyler Warner, M.D. The Whipsnakes star is a fantastic defender who has helped the champions produce the PLL’s top defense two seasons in a row. He also racked up 16 ground balls last season, which is a crazy high number for just six games, and as a non-faceoff short stick.
LONG STICK MIDFIELD
Joel White, Chrome
This all assumes that White is back for 2021 after he was out for 2020, but White is arguably the OG modern LSM, and he’s still fantastic at the position. White finished 2019, his only PLL season so far, as the 24th-ranked player in the initial PLL Top 50. Honestly, he should probably be the second-ranked guy here, but I’m hedging just slightly because he missed 2020, and I’m not 100% certain about his status for 2021.
Michael Rexrode, Outlaws
Eddy Glazener, Redwoods
Cade van Raaphorst, Atlas
Poor van Raaphorst, who balled out in a major way for an Atlas defense that generally collapsed around him at every turn while Tucker Durkin was out. He still managed to co-lead the PLL in caused turnovers, rack up 21 ground balls (more than any other close defender), and did his best to keep his team alive.
Glazener, meanwhile, seems to continue not to get the respect he deserves, but he’s a wonderful team defender and one of the most important pieces on the Redwoods. Finally, Michale Rexrode comes over from the MLL as one of the best close defenders in the new player pool, leading the Outlaws in caused turnovers for the last two seasons in a row.
Sean Sconone, Hammerheads
Sconone, the best goalie from the MLL, should 100% be taking somebody’s job by the time June 4 rolls around. He reminds me a lot of Blaze in terms of size and playstyle, and that should translate well as he moves over to a PLL roster. The Hammerheads needed him to make more than 15 saves a game, and he did so, helping bolster a weaker defense and still managing to post a 57% save rate. That said, if someone can pry Dillon Ward loose from the Chaos bench, he’d be my choice for the third spot here. As always, #TradeWard.
A Curtis Dickson, Chaos
A Justin Guterding, Chrome
A Jules Heningburg, Redwoods
A Rob Pannell, Atlas
A Bryce Wasserman, Cannons
M Brent Adams, Redwoods
M Connor Buczek, Atlas
M Jake Frocarro, Chaos
M Myles Jones, Redwoods
M Jordan MacIntosh, Chrome
M Mikie Schlosser, Outlaws
FOS Max Adler, Outlaws
FOS Trevor Baptiste, Atlas
SSDM Dominique Alexander, Archers
SSDM Jake Bernhardt, Whipsnakes
SSDM Pat Harbeson, Redwoods
SSDM Jack Near, Redwoods
LSM CJ Costabile, Bayhawks
LSM Ryland Rees, Waterdogs
LSM John Sexton, Redwoods
D Jesse Bernhardt, Chrome
D Tucker Durkin, Atlas
D Jarrod Neumann, Chaos
D Ben Randall, Lizards
D Tom Rigney, Outlaws
G John Galloway, Chrome
G Dillon Ward, Chaos
All-PLL 2021 Projections Series
Tuesday – First Team
Wednesday – Second Team
Thursday – Third Team & Honorable Mentions