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Grading the 2023 PLL College Draft

Before I get into this article, I want to leave this disclaimer; I have mixed feelings about draft grades. We only know the talent of a draft class once they step on the field. Whenever I see them for other pro sports, I think the guy writing the articles is an idiot, so I thought it would be a good idea to do it myself for the 2023 PLL College Draft.

Expect high grades for all clubs considering how deep the talent pool is. With only eight professional teams, there are All-Americans and conference players of the year left undrafted each year. A complete four-round PLL draft is equivalent to one round of the NFL draft with 32 total picks. Fourth-round picks are first-round talent.

With that said, let’s dive into my grades for the 2023 PLL College Draft!

View my 2023 PLL Mock College Draft right here.

Atlas: A+

Round 1: Gavin Adler D, Cornell

Round 1: Brett Makar D, Maryland

Round 2: Xander Dickson A, UVA

Round 3: Peyton Rezanka SSDM, Loyola

Round 4: Kyle Long M, Maryland

You can just read all the names above and grade this class yourself. With No.1 and No.3 overall, Atlas went with two defensemen likely to be first-team All-Americans in Adler and Makar. They’re both blue-chip prospects and projected as day-one starters. After addressing offense with their previous three first-round picks, they add stars to the defense. Xander Dickson will put up great numbers immediately working off-ball in this offense and probably steps in as a day-one starter on the midfield; he also has one of the greatest off-ball players of all time as a mentor in Eric Law. Kyle Long is a dangerous passer from the midfield, which all PLL teams need. I can’t believe the Atlas came out of the 2023 PLL College Draft with this studded rookie class.

Whipsnakes: A+

Round 1: Tucker Dordevic A, Georgetown/Syracuse

Round 2: Petey LaSalla FO, UVA

Round 3: Garrett Leadmon M, Duke

Round 4: Elijah Gash LSM, Albany/ St. Ambrose

The haul for the Whipsnakes addressed every area of the field for them. I think Tucker Dordevic was the best offensive player in this class. Dordevic starting alongside Rambo and Zed, will keep PLL defenses up at night. Petey LaSalla looks to be a plug-and-play PLL FOGO. What stands out most about his game is his ability to score and scrap out groundballs which fares well in the league. Leadmon can play both ways, and there’s always room for that in the pros. Gash was my biggest sleeper of this draft. Anytime you watch Albany play, he stands out on tape, running people over and scoring goals in transition.

Redwoods: A-

Round 1: Owen Grant D, Delaware

Round 2: Brian Tevlin SSDM, Notre Dame/Yale

Round 3: Cole Kirst M, Syracuse/Lehigh

Round 4: Zach Cole FO, Saint Joseph’s

Similar to the Whipsnakes, the Woods addressed every area of the field with the 2023 PLL College Draft. Grant can play close or LSM. The Team Canada member is a rare talent at the defensive position that brings a certain amount of flash to his game. I’m surprised to see the Woods add another Notre Dame player. Tevlin is another Swiss army knife who quickly finds his way to the field. Despite passing on Sam Handley, the Woods still landed their Ford diesel truck with Kirst, who has been a standout on a loaded ‘Cuse offense. Zach Cole was a steal in the fourth round for FO depth.

Chaos: A

Round 1: Will Bowen D, Georgetown/UNC

Round 2: Brian Minicus A/M, Georgetown/Colgate

Round 3: Tye Kurtz A, Delaware

Round 3: Nick Rowlett FO, Michigan

Round 4: Levi Anderson A/M, St Joes

We will call this the Jack Rowlett class, as the Chaos landed two players he coaches at Georgetown, along with his younger brother. Chaos lost key pieces on offense in free agency, and they filled these voids in the draft by adding talent who fit into their scheme. Additionally, they bolstered the defense and faceoff positions. Bowen may be the best defenseman in this class; his game doesn’t seem to have any flaws on top of having prototypical PLL size; at No.7, he couldn’t be passed on. Minicus brings elite quickness to draw slides and feed while carrying a dangerous shot.  Kurtz has a flair for the dramatic, which thrives in the Chaos offense. Rowlett is a quick twitch FOGO who can immediately compete in the pros. It wouldn’t be a Chaos draft without one Canadian. Anderson has drawn comparison to Dhane Smith, who he now gets to play alongside.

Waterdogs: A-

Round 1: Thomas McConvey M, UVA/Vermont

Round 2: Alex Mazzone LSM/D, Hopkins/Georgetown

Round 3: Chris Fake D, Notre Dame/Yale

Round 4: James Reilly FO, Georgetown

Whenever I look at a Dogs draft class, it feels like they drafted players groomed to be Waterdogs. McConvey has a complete game, and he can play any role. He will fit in well alongside the other multi-skilled stars on this offense. The Waterdog’s defense is positionless, with defensemen bouncing between close and LSM. Mazzone is precisely that and was the best defensive talent available at No.16. Fake had no business being a third-round pick. At one point, he was regarded as the best defenseman in college lacrosse. They were rounding out the class with the last pick and got a top faceoff prospect in Reilly.

Chrome: B+

Round 1: Sam Handley M, Penn

Round 2: Troy Hettinger LSM, Jacksonville

Round 3: Jack Myers A, Ohio State

Round 4: Cross Ferrara A, Salisbury

The surprise of the draft was the slide of Sam Handley. Widely regarded as the consensus No.1 pick for most of the year, he falls into the Chrome’s lap at No.4. He reminds me of another 2023 No.4 draft pick, Anthony Richardson. Both freak athletes with limitless talent. Hettinger is a prototype PLL LSM having shown the ability to push transition; he put up 29 during his time with Jacksonville. Myers was the best player available in the third round and could have gone in first. After 448 career points and counting at powerhouse Salisbury, Ferrara could be one of the best offensive players in the class. Always good to see a D3 player get his name called.

Archers: B

Round 1: Mike Sisselberger FO, Lehigh

Round 2: Connor Maher SSDM, UNC

Round 3: Piper Bond SSDM, Penn

Round 4: Cam Wyers D, Loyola

Archers keyed in on the defensive side of the ball in the draft. Drafting Sisselberger No.5 overall contributes to that as they hope to get the ball to the offensive side of the field more often. They opted to fill the most significant need on their roster at the faceoff position, adding the top specialist talent in the draft and passing on Dordevic and Bowen. Maher and Bond keep the Archers deep at one of the most challenging positions at SSDM. Wyers started every game in his Loyola career and will be valuable for the Archer’s defense. Archers revamped their offense in free agency and added to the rest of the roster through the draft.

Cannons: B-

Round 2: Matt Campbell M, Villanova

Round 4: Grant Ammann D, Highpoint

Cannons had great picks to add depth to both sides of the ball. However, there were only two of them. Both traded picks in this draft belonged to the Cannons, one of them being No.1 overall. Most projected Campbell to be selected in the first round as he is one of the best true midfielders in the class. He can do everything on the field, and Villanova’s offense ran through him the past four years. He will be on the Cannon’s first-line midfield on day one. Ammann enjoyed a breakout season this past year, and at 6’3″, he looks like the part. No fret for the Cannons anyway; plenty of potential stars went undrafted they can add. They also should have first waiver priority, which is an additional draft pick.