The Major League Lacrosse College Draft is Friday, January 22 at 8:30 p.m. at the US Lacrosse Convention Center in Baltimore. Part four of our draft preview is the 2016 MLL First Round Mock Draft. While Mock Drafts are shooting darts in the dark, here are a few names that may pop up early in the draft that you should keep your eye on.
- Atlanta Blaze—Myles Jones, Midfield, Duke
The worst kept secret in lacrosse will come out on draft night. The newest franchise in the MLL has one of the smartest coaches in league history in John Tucker. There is no way he passes up on the most dominant player in college. The Blaze went heavy at attack in the expansion draft and will now take the best midfielder available. Jones will make an instant impact on a team that will not resemble a first year franchise.
- Charlotte Hounds—Matt Kavanaugh, Attack, Notre Dame
The Hounds were weak at attack last season. Charlotte also has two of the next three picks to address their offensive needs. They can use someone who is a dynamic scorer who can shoot on the run and create his own opportunities. Kavanaugh is very versatile and will give Charlotte an additional scoring threat who can put the ball on cage in many different ways. That being said, I would not be surprised if they take Syracuse’s Dylan Donahue here for those same reasons. Kavanaugh and Donahue are really similar so Charlotte has a lot of options here.
- Florida Launch—Matt Landis, Defense, Notre Dame
The Launch had by far the worst defense in the MLL last year and desperately needs to give young star Tucker Durkin some help. Landis would still need to add a little muscle to his 6’2” 195 lbs frame, but he is an excellent on-ball defender with good footwork and stick skills.
- Charlotte Hounds—Deemer Class, Midfield, Duke
After taking Kavanaugh with the No. 2 pick, it would be tempting to take Donahue and try to swing a trade with someone to get more picks, but I think you go with value here. Class plays at Duke so he would mesh well with the many other Blue Devils on the roster. He has been a consistent starter and is a proven scorer from the midfield.
- Denver Outlaws–Brandon Mullins, Defense, Syracuse
The Outlaws defense struggled last season and needs a makeover especially now with the retirement of Jesse Swartzman. Dillon Ward is ready to step in as a full-time starter in net so selecting a shutdown long pole like Mullins makes sense. He has anchored the Syracuse defense over the last few years as they have been one of the best in the nation. Mullins is the most athletic defenseman available this year and can develop into the guy that takes the top attack matchup each week.
- Boston Cannons—Matt Dunn, D, Maryland
The Cannons have some holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but they will focus on defense with this pick. Dunn provides them with a strong, physical defender who can be in the lineup right away.
- Ohio Machine—Kyle Bernlohr, Goalie, Maryland
The top goalie prospect Bernlohr is a product of Western Reserve Academy in Akron, Ohio. Scott Rodgers is still the No. 1 goalie now that Brian Phipps is gone, but Machine Head Coach Bear Davis is a big proponent of developing players for the long term and he can grab his goalie of the future right here.
- Rochester Rattlers—Greg Coholan, Midfield, Virginia
The Rattlers got pilfered in the Expansion Draft and were hit hardest in the midfield. The “Big Boy” midfield unit that had a stellar 2014 season, really struggled in 2015. GM/Head Coach Tim Soudan will be very happy if Coholan falls to him at this spot. Coholan can shoot, dodge, and feed the ball. Plus, he hails from Irondequoit High School in suburban Rochester. Soudan will not pass up a talent that was raised right in his back yard.
- Boston Cannons—Dylan Donahue, Attack, Syracuse
Boston would love to add another playmaker and if Donahue is still on the board, he would fit in great with Will Manny and Davey Emala. Donahue is an elite scorer and is at his best on the man-up unit. He spent fall ball playing behind cage this season, working on his shot and footwork which will only increase his value as he gets set for the MLL.
Brendan McDaniels is a color analyst for the MLL Television broadcasts. Follow Brendan on Twitter @McDanielsSports.