MLL Mock Draft: Round One

We’re two weeks away from the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft.

Like most pro sports it’s always intriguing to see which college stars will be selected to play at the next level and what kind of fit they will be with their new team.

Mock drafts are always tough. The human element of the front offices mean there could be plenty of surprises, such as trades and sleeper picks. But here I go, taking my best shot at predicting how I think the first round will go.

1. Ohio Machine – Peter Baum, A, Colgate: The Machine needs offense. While Ohio has more playmakers at attack than they do on midfield the team can’t afford to pass on the 2012 Tewaaraton winner. Denver had an abundance of attackman last season and it worked out alright for them. Baum will be another great piece to add to Steele Stanwick, Chazz Woodson and Jimmy Connolly.

2. Hamilton Nationals – Tucker Durkin, D, Johns Hopkins: The Nationals could use an upgrade on the defensive end. This is the perfect situation for them. He’s the top defenseman in this year’s class. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s physical. He’ll add life to the Nationals defense.

3. Charlotte Hounds – Brian Megill, D, Syracuse: Many predict Will Manny will be in the top three, but the Hounds have a lot of talented offensive players, such as Matt Danowski, Peete Poillon, Eric Lusby and Stephen Berger. They really need help on defense though. Megill is a nice consolation prize after Durkin. He’s been a starter at Syracuse since his freshman year, providing a stable force on that unit.

4. Chesapeake Bayhawks (from Charlotte from Rochester) – Will Manny, A, UMass: Chesapeake doesn’t really have any holes. So best player available it is. And it won’t hurt the team to get younger, especially at attack. Manny’s dodging ability will be a plus for this team and learning the tools of the trade behind John Grant, Jr. will only help his development.

5. New York Lizards – Marcus Holman, A/M, North Carolina: The Lizards still have the rights to Rob Pannell. They traded for Jack Reid. So a guy like Holman will fit in nicely with them. He’s versatile and is coming off a junior season in which he led the Tar Heels in scoring as a junior. He’ll be another nice young piece to add to an already slew of talented young guys.

6. Boston Cannons – Scott Ratliff, LSM, Loyola: The Cannons are in a tough spot here. They need to really score big in this draft and add some integral talented young players. They could use a more natural defenseman or a midfielder, but guys at those positions would be a little bit of a reach. Loyola’s Mike Sawyer could be a possibility, but Boston already has a lot of talented attackman. So they’ll go with Ratliff to add a young long-pole to the mix. Ratliff is quite athletic and can score with the long-pole.

7. Denver Outlaws – Mike Sawyer, A, Loyola: Denver lost a strong shooter when they traded Peete Poillon and Sawyer could help alleviate that loss. Denver has a lot of attackman, but last year the rookies played all over the offensive side of the field so they’ll find a way to fit Sawyer, and his 52 goals as a junior, onto the field.

8. Charlotte Hounds (from Chesapeake) – Jesse Bernhardt, LSM, Maryland: Charlotte will continue to add talented long-poles to its roster with the selection of Bernhardt. He’s a good mix of athletic and strength that the team will welcome.