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Evan Washburn Grades the Draft

March 17, 2016
Now that the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft is in the books we sat down with CBS Sports Network lacrosse analyst and Inside the MLL host Evan Washburn to get his insight on who had the best draft selections.

“I think the biggest surprise of the draft for me was that Marcus Holman fell out of the first round,” Washburn said to “The other surprise was that Hamilton selected the same type of player in the first round with Chris LaPierre and Josh Hawkins going No. 2 and No. 5.”

Ohio Machine – Grade: A            First Round Selection: Peter Baum  No.1 Overall

Evan says: “Ohio did a really nice job of getting a lot of good offensive players and last season they were struggling for players who could break down defenders in a one-on-one situations. Obviously [selecting] Peter Buam was a no brainer, they had to do that, but to get Logan Schuss, Holman and Chase Carraro was a great feat. Those are three complementary players who can play both midfield and attack and who will instantly make the Machine’s offense so much better. I think last season the machine, aside from Conor Martin, Chazz Woodson and Steele Stanwick, lacked players who could consistently beat their man. Also a lot of the guys they got are local, including three Ohio State players, so you could get some committed players. They acquired the best available players, they may have not necessarily addressed depth at defense but overall Ohio just got better.”

Charlotte Hounds – Grade B+    First Round Selections: Tucker Durkin (No. 3), Mike Sawyer (No. 8)

Evan says: “I thought Charlotte had some really good selections in the top half of their draft. Tucker Durkin at No.3 was a great pick as he was available and he’s the best defenseman in the draft. That makes the defensive unit in Charlotte one of the best in the league when you look at Joe Cinosky, Ryan Flanagan now Durkin and Ricky Pages at long pole, that’s a physically imposing group. No. 8 Mike Sawyer was expected, a local kid, great finisher and now at the other end of the field you have Sawyer who can pair up with his Loyola teammate Eric Lusby and with Matt Danwoski organizing it all. I do question Owen Blye selected at No. 24, he’s an attackman who can also play midfield so I’m curious to see where he fits in, maybe he will add to the midfield which is an area I think they should have addressed. Later on they selected some local talent and added some depth but I think their draft strategy was more about their first three picks.”

Hamilton Nationals – Grade: B+       First Round Selections: Chris LaPierre (No. 2), Josh Hawkins (No. 5)       

Evan says: “Hamilton came into this draft with an organizational decision to make based on how many of their players have indoor conflicts and are not able to play many of the games early in the season. I was surprised that they used their first two selections to pick players who essentially play the same position in Hawkins and LaPierre. I am sure they will be two solid players from day one and throughout their careers but I am not convinced that they have offensive skillset to beat players consistently although they are two of the top five athletes available in the draft. Jason Noble is also a great selection as he has all the intangibles and skills needed to play in this league. As you look through the rest of their picks, I think they had 11, Casey Carroll, Garrett Thul, Reid Acton and Mike Poppleton are all players that I think will play big roles for this team and depending on their commitments they are players who could get this team to a good start of the season.”

New York Lizards – Grade: B+    First Round Selection: None (traded to Hamilton)

Evan says: “My grade for New York is an overall grade because I think they made the best move of the weekend by getting David Earl and Steven Waldeck in exchange for the fifth pick. Earl is someone who can do so many things and I think he will add so much to their midfield with Max Seibald and Stephen Peyser, he’s a high quality player who is a great wing dodger. Waldeck adds a great playmaker to their defense which is something they need. On top of that they got Mark Matthews in another trade and he is a guy who, if they can get him for a lot of games, can record points in bunches.  So an A for the trades they made and then they got a couple of good players in the draft itself. JoJo Marasco is a Syracuse guy who has a lot of talent. They have a lot of attack now and I would not be surprised if they make some other trades.”

Boston Cannons – Grade: B-       First Round Selection: Cameron Flint (No. 6)

Evan says: “Initially Boston got some good players. I do not doubt that they picked some talent and I thought they approached this draft better than most years. But I am not sure I see where they all fit in. Cameron Flint is a great pick up and Scott Ratliff could be a difference maker but they have a lot of long poles already Will Manny adds some depth to that attack unit and Lee Coppersmith can also do some things. Overall a harsh grade but I still think they did some good things by adding some depth and Flint who I think is a hell of a player.”

Chesapeake Bayhawks – Grade: B-          First Round Selection: Jesse Bernhardt (No. 4)

Evan says: “I think Chesapeake went into this draft with not a lot of needs based on the fact that their roster is healthy and has a lot of talented players. There’s a lot of age on their roster but I think they used their top two picks to acquire players that will play a significant role. Especially Jesse Bernhardt who I thought was a huge get I think he could be a difference maker in his first season. Kevin Cooper, Dominic Sebastiani and Adrian Sorichetti I think will be role players. They didn’t have many needs and didn’t use all their original selections but I think they got a potential all-star in Bernhardt.  Trading their picks they recognized they did not need a lot and later in the draft. They figured they would be picking players that would have no chance of making their practice squad in my mind. I think they thought: “why not trade picks now” and get those in future drafts when they may need to address some more holes. That was smart, why take players when you can get picks for future drafts when they may be more important to your overall organizational philosophy.”

Denver Outlaws – Grade: C         First Round Selection: Brian Megill (No. 7)

Evan s ays: “I think Denver’s organizational philosophy is one where they look for players who are going to fit their system as opposed to other teams that base their system off the players they have available. When you look through their draft picks Brian Megill is a great close defenseman and will be able to step in and make a difference right away, Davis butts at No. 19 I think is a bit of a stretch at midfield, Landon Carr I’ve only heard good things about but their remains a question about his availability. I think there’s some good selections here but overall I think I only see one or two players who will make an impact and can be consistent starters this season, but this is a team that has proved me wrong before.”

Rochester Rattlers – Grade: D    First Round Selection: None (Traded to Charlotte, went to Chesapeake)

Evan says: “Rochester was my biggest loser in the draft. I don’t necessarily agree with their plan. I think they got some players who are good but I don’t understand where they picked them. John Ranagan at No. 17 overall for example, I think he is a great athlete, with size and speed, but I don’t think he’s a great shooter which is very important in this league, you have to be able to beat your many and go for goal, with his shooting accuracy being an issue I think they selected him too early. Ryan Clarke, a DIII midfielder, is also someone who can play in this league but I question why they took him in the third round when they could have gotten him later in the draft. I thought they added some players later who can make a difference, Zach Palmer could be a great goal scorer, helping out Ned Crotty and the offense, but they have a lot of one-handed players and I don’t see where he will fit in. They didn’t have many needs going in but I don’t think they added depth or anyone who can go in and make a huge difference.”

Agree, disagree with Evan’s assessment? Let us know