January 9, 2013

LM's Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Mock Draft

Peter Baum appears to be a lock at No. 1, but the big question is which direction the Hamilton Nationals go with the second pick. Johns Hopkins defenseman Tucker Durkin is one option.
© Jim O'Connor

by Phil Shore | LaxMagazine.com

The 2013 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft takes place Friday during the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, and the excitement has increased as draft night approaches. Multiple MLL coaches and general managers from the league's eight teams have deemed this edition a deep draft.

"If you do your homework and get a little lucky you can get a guy in the fifth round who has first-round talent," New York Lizards coach Joe Spallina said.

Not accounting for potential trades, here's a look at how the first two rounds could shake out.

Check back to LaxMagazine.com on Friday night for a live blog and a full event recap of the draft from Philadelphia.

The Skinny

Most teams seem to be searching to add offensive midfielders, but there aren't many to be had in this draft. The depth lies in the attack position and defense. Another thing teams will be looking for in this draft is athleticism.

"The one area it's deeper than anyone thought or expected is the short-stick d-middies and the athletes that are available," Denver Outlaws coach Jim Stagnitta.

There has been much position specialization over the past few years, but with so many good athletes it seems like two-way middies are making a return.

"One thing we're all excited about is with the [NCAA] rule changes with the up and down speed there are more guys that can hold their own at both ends of the field," said Wade Leaphart, the Charlotte Hounds Director of Player Personnel Wade Leaphart said.

The toughest part, however, may be waiting to see all the new selections in action while they finish out their college eligibility throughout the spring, then join MLL teams come summer. This is now the third straight year MLL is holding its collegiate draft prior to the spring season.

"You're looking to supplement the talent you already have," Machine general manager John Algie said. "You might not have these guys in the first half of the season, if at all. It really comes down to how you planned for the season with the supplemental draft."


First Round
 

1. Ohio — Peter Baum, A, Colgate

The 2012 Tewaaraton Award winner is a tremendous talent, able to score in multiple ways from various positions on the field. For a team that struggled to score at times, a potential attack unit of Baum, Steele Stanwick and Chazz Woodson is very exciting.

   
 

2. Hamilton — Tucker Durkin, D, Johns Hopkins

The Nationals struggled defensively last year and although they have some young players developing on the backline, an upgrade is still necessary. Durkin, a two-time All-American, is a big, strong and talented defenseman that would be a huge pick-up for Hamilton.

     
 

3. Charlotte — Brian Megill, D, Syracuse

"I wouldn't say there's [we have] an overbearing need but offensive midfield and long-pole are probably where we're looking to improve the most," Leaphart said. Megill, a starter at Syracuse since his freshman year, is a durable player that checks extremely hard and would be a welcome addition to a defense that allowed the second-most goals in the league last season.

     
 

4. Chesapeake (from Charlotte from Rochester) — Will Manny, A, UMass

As the defending champions, the Bayhawks don't really have any holes. They could stand to get younger at every position, however. Manny was a Tewaaraton Award finalist last year and scored 44 goals last season to help the Minutemen have an undefeated regular season. He'll continue to get better underneath the wings of John Grant, Jr. and Drew Westervelt.

   
 

5. New York — Marcus Holman, A/M, North Carolina

"Attack is probably the deepest position [in the draft]," Spallina said. "It's not necessarily a need of ours, but if [a guy] can play some attack and middie we might look at him. Really it's helpful if a guy can fill a lot of holes." Holman does just that. He led the Tar Heels in scoring last season (39 goals, 35 assists) and his versatility will be a welcome addition to the Lizards.

   
 

6. Boston — Jesse Bernhardt, LSM, Maryland

The Cannons already needed defensive help before they traded veteran Jack Reid to the Lizards. Bernhardt is athletic, has good footwork and is a physical player that won't back down from anybody.

     
 

7. Denver — Scott Ratliff, LSM, Loyola

"[We need to add] some depth and some added athleticism and size to the middle of the field and we need to bring in a couple more defensemen, that's our approach going in," Stagnitta said. The team had a few injuries on defense last year and long-pole Matt Bocklet just underwent shoulder surgery. Ratliff has an NCAA championship ring and can get up and down the field, scoring 12 goals last season. He could be fun to watch in Denver's high-octane offense.

     
 

8. Charlotte — Mike Sawyer, A, Loyola

The draft isn't very deep when it comes to offensive midfielders. The Hounds also traded away two attackmen in the offseason. Getting Sawyer, a 52-goal scorer last season and has a lot of range on his shot, and teaming him with Matt Danowski and college teammate Eric Lusby would be a smart move for the Hounds.


Second Round

 

9. Boston (from Ohio) — Chris LaPierre, M, Virginia

"Depth at the midfield is always important," Cannons general manager Kevin Barney said on Lacrosse Lounge. LaPierre's strength is on the defensive side of the ball, but he's big (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and very athletic, going from box to box. The Cannons could really use a midfielder of his caliber after last season's disappointments with Bill McGlone and Martin Cahill.

     
 

10. Hamilton — Cameron Mann, M, Jacksonville

The Hamilton-native is a proven difference-maker on offense. He led the team with 41 points last season and ranks first in school history in points (113) and ground balls (130). He should fit in nicely next to All-Star David Earl.

     
 

11. Ohio (from Rochester from Charlotte) — Chase Carraro, FO/M, Denver

The Machine was in the bottom three in faceoff winning percentage and, unlike Charlotte and Rochester, made no strong move to really upgrade the position. So Carraro, the best faceoff guy in the class with a 60.4 winning percentage, is the pick here. He also can do some damage on offense which is a plus.

     
 

12. Ohio (from Rochester) — JoJo Marasco, M, Syracuse

The Machine struggled to score and create offense from the midfield position last season. Marasco can play both ways, move the ball efficiently from defense to offense and is a good dodger. He's got a good work ethic and should make an immediate impact with Ohio.

     
 

13. Ohio (from Rochester from New York) — John Kemp, G, Notre Dame

The Machine allowed the most goals in the league last season and suffered through a lot of inconsistency with its goalies. Bring in 2012 first-team All-American Kemp and his .637 save percentage and that issue should be rectified.

     
 

14. Boston — Josh Hawkins, M, Loyola

Hawkins is an Amherst, Mass., product and the Cannons would be very happy to get the athletic and physical midfielder on their sidelines. He's a ground ball machine.

     
 

15. Hamilton (from Chesapeake from Ohio from Denver) — Zach Palmer, A, Johns Hopkins

Another Canadian, Palmer led the Blue Jays in points (53) and assists (26). His scoring numbers have increased every season, something Charlotte's Leaphart said is good to see in the in the development of potential prospects.

     
 

16. Chesapeake — Jason Noble, D, Cornell

The Bayhawks are a little long in the tooth on defense so grooming the future is a must. Noble has started all but two games in his career and is a good takeaway defender – he ranked 21st in the country in caused turnovers per game as a sophomore in 2011.

     
Check back to LaxMagazine.com on Friday night for a live blog of all eight rounds (64 picks) and a full event recap from the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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