MLL Draft Needs: Denver Outlaws

Photo Credit:  Di Miller

The 2015 MLL Collegiate Draft is coming up this Friday January 23 and we take a look at what positions the Outlaws will consider in their nine draft picks.  Being the 2014 MLL Champions, of course they have the eighth pick in each of the eight rounds, however they also have a third round pick in the seventh round courtesy of the Chesapeake Bayhawks.

According to Outlaws Head Coach B.J. O’Hara, during my recent interview when I asked him what they look for in their draft choices he said, “We try to be a little more position specific; try to identify where our greatest needs are; and order our draft that way.”

Considering that statement, just what positions do the Outlaws need to key in on?  They need to fill the void left with the retirement of Lee Zink, which is a going to be a monumental feat to achieve.  They’ve got several key players on their Protected Man Roster who currently play in the NLL:  John Grant Jr.; Cam Holding; Zack Greer; Chris O’Dougherty (currently on IR); and Eric Law (when he comes off the inactive roster).  They’ve also got newly acquired Geoff Snider, now playing for the Calgary Roughnecks, and Dillon Ward, playing for the Colorado Mammoth right now.

If you look at the players drafted during the Supplemental Draft in December, they picked up four additional attackmen:  Buggs Combs; Jeff Froccaro; Corey Elmer; and Patrick Harberson.  On defense they drafted five:  Tim Henderson; Matt Harris; Matt Callahan; Ryan Licht; and Ethan Vedder.  Midfielders include:  Luke Cometti; Greg Downing; and Aaron Prosser.  On goal Johnny Rodriguez; and Brian Feeney were chosen.

If the Outlaws make their picks based upon the current roster, they will be looking at attackmen as their first choices.   The reasoning behind this is simple.  You have John Grant Jr.; Zack Greer; and Eric Law all out until their teams are done with the NLL season.  They’ll also need to consider another faceoff guy with Anthony Kelly and Geoff Snider being the main guys, and Snider out until the end of the NLL season.

They are strong in the midfield category with only one player currently playing in the NLL, Cam Holding, so I don’t see them going after any midfield positions.  The same goes for the goalie position.  There’s only one goalie in the MLL Collegiate Draft this year and with the Outlaws recent trade acquiring Dillon Ward from the Florida Launch; and drafting Johnny Rodriguez, and Brian Feeney, it’s obvious they won’t be looking at that position.

The defense will be bit different however.  The Outlaws have locked in Matt Bocklet; Dillon Roy; Michael Simon; Ken Clausen; and Chris O’Dougherty (currently playing for Vancouver).  They’ve got some good prospects in their Supplemental Draft picks, but you have to take into consideration the loss of Lee Zink.

Coach O’Hara had an interesting comment regarding the Collegiate Draft he said,

It’s like looking into a crystal ball because these guys haven’t even played their senior year in college and it’s not an exact science by any stretch.  There are guys who go onto have great senior years that aren’t even drafted, and there’s guys that go high and end up getting hurt or having a down year for whatever reason. So it’s a little bit risky drafting this early, but that’s the fine line were on.

As of now, here’s the Denver Outlaws current roster:

Attack—Chris Bocklet; John Grant Jr.; Eric Law; and Zack Greer from 2014 and all on the Protected Man Roster.  Supplemental Draft Picks at Attack—Buggs Combs; Jeff Froccaro; Corey Elmer; and Patrick Harberson.

Midfield—Jeremy Sieverts; Cam Holding; Jeremy Noble; Drew Snider; Justin Pennington; Colin Dunster; Cameron Flint; Noah Molnar; Dom Sebastiani; and Anthony Kelly all on the Protected Man Roster.  Supplemental Draft Picks at Midfield—Luke Cometti; Greg Downing; and Aaron Prosser.  Newly acquired Geoff Snider.

Defense—Matt Bocklet; Chris O’Dougherty; Dillon Roy; Michael Simon; and Ken Clausen all on the Protected Man Roster.  Supplemental Draft Picks at Defense—Tim Henderson; Matt Harris; Matt Callahan; Ryan Licht; and Ethan Vedder.

Goalies—Jesse Schwartzman on the Protected Man Roster.  Supplemental Draft Picks Johnny Rodriguez; and Brian Feeney.  Newly acquired Dillon Ward.

This will be a very interesting Collegiate Draft for the Outlaws.  They already have so much talent, and still have their open tryouts on March 7.  No matter whom they choose in the draft, they will have a huge pool of talent to work with for the upcoming 2015 season.  They’ve got an excellent coaching staff; key veteran leaders; and have made great choices each year with 2014 finally being their year.

Can they do it again in 2015?  That is the question on everyone’s minds.  2014 is over and now it’s time to start thinking about 2015 and putting another strong team on the field.  They want to bring home another championship to Denver and they’ll keep that in mind when it comes time for each of their picks this Friday.