MLL Draft Preview: Denver Outlaws

The Denver Outlaws had some of the most successful rookies in the league last year.

Sure, not all of them were drafted by the Outlaws, but draftees Mark Matthews and Colin Briggs combined with Drew Snider and Chris Bocklet, whom the team acquired in trades, gave Denver a very talented first-year class.

Briggs was traded this off-season but the other three will be core members of the 2013 Outlaws squad. The Outlaws have already made several moves this off-season, bringing in Zack Greer, Jeremy Boltus and Justin Turri.

In the collegiate draft in January the Outlaws currently have eight draft picks, eight opportunities to add fresh blood to the team. Denver has previously shown they aren’t shy to make moves, so any player could be on their radar, but here are some players the Outlaws will most likely have their eyes on:

JoJo Marasco, M, Syracuse

Syracuse plays a very up-tempo style of lacrosse and Marasco is the leader of the squad. Major League Lacrosse, by virtue of the shot clock, is already an up-tempo style of lacrosse. The Outlaws, however, seem to really push the ball more. They’re extremely aggressive on offense. Marasco would be great in Denver’s transition game. He plays with good pace and is a strong passer. The Outlaws will certainly be looking for strong passers to get the ball into the sticks of Brendan Mundorf, Matthews and Bocklet. And should Denver need some goals from its midfield, Marasco is more than capable of doing that as well.

Marcus Holman, A/M, North Carolina

His versatility will come in handy in Denver. The Outlaws could use some depth at the midfield position, but should Mundorf go down with an injury like he did in MLL Championship Weekend, Holman can step in and play attack. He commands leadership – he was voted captain of UNC as a junior – and that kind of attitude will translate into the MLL, especially on a pretty young roster. He also had a strong junior season, leading the Tar Heels in scoring (39 goals, 35 assists, 74 points).

Mike Sawyer, A, Loyola

While Eric Lusby saw a lot of the accolades and attention in the NCAA Tournament, Sawyer was just as productive, if not more so, throughout the entire season. He finished second on Loyola in goals (52) and points (62). Even more valuable to Denver is his shot. The Outlaws lost a strong shooter when they traded away Peet Poillon. Sawyer could help fill in those shoes with his powerful cannon and good range.

Cameron Flint, M, Denver

In his bio on the Denver University website, it reads that one reason Flint chose Denver over schools like Loyola, Cornell and Harvard is because of its location. Well, he could stay in Denver if the Outlaws drafted him and the organization certainly likes to keep Denver players in-state (and as many west coast players as possible too). They could use some depth at the position and Flint would be a solid addition. He finished sixth on the team last year in points (with seniors and MLL draft picks Matthews and Alex Demopoulos leading the way). Flint will be relied on more heavily this season from a statistical standpoint and he will need to improve his shooting percentage (.235) but he could be a solid pick-up later in the draft.

Jason Noble, D, Cornell

He’s the twin brother of Jeremy Noble, who plays for Denver University. Jason has been a fixture on the Big Red since his rookie season, starting all but two games he’s played in. He’s a takeaway machine (his sophomore season he ranked 21st in the country in cause turnovers per game) and does well to pick up the loose ball. Lee Zink was sensational last year, winning MLL Defender of the Year, and Matt Bocklet also played quite well. But they could use another long pole, especially if injury strikes like it did last year with Eric Martin. Noble would be a very nice compliment playing next to Zink.