As I mentioned over the weekend, I had been racking my brain as to how I wanted to do our SuperDraft coverage this year. With FC Dallas having a fairly low first round pick, and no second round picks at the moment, it will be tough to really project what Oscar Pareja and Fernando Clavijo will actually do with this draft.
In the past, the team has picked high enough that doing individual scouting reports of the players made sense. But this time around we will be going through the various groups on the field to project the talent that could be available for FCD to select next month.
Up today is a look at the top center backs worth drafting. While some may be out of our reach, you never truly know how the draft will go until the thing actually starts. Heck, two years ago Walker Zimmerman was projected as the top pick and he fell to FCD at seven, so anything is possible.
The Homegrown Option
Boyd Okwuono (North Carolina) - There really isn't a ton else to say about Boyd that we haven't already covered here the last couple of seasons. He has been a four year starter for UNC and while his HGP status is up in the air at the moment as to whether or not FCD will sign him, we still have to consider the fact that he could very well sign at any point between now and the Combine.
Best of the Rest
Skylar Thomas (Syracuse) - It may be a tad shocking to see Thomas fall all the way to 19 with Toronto having three picks in the first round, as well as Vancouver sitting there (Montreal is high enough that they could land a good GA prospect at #3). But should Thomas fall, he would be a wise pick at 19. Some would say he was one of the best defenders in the college game this past year for the Orange. He is another big body at 6'3", and if he could get a little more muscle on him he could be a great project for Pareja to work with.
Tim Parker (St. John's) - Parker is going to be one of those hidden gem type defenders in this draft due to the fact that St. John's never went very far in the post season while he was there. His one-on-one ability is intriguing but more so is he ability in the air both on the defensive and offensive side of the ball.
Anthony Manning (St. Louis) - Another big prospect at 6'4", Manning is a big kid that loves to do work on both ends (he scored five goals this past season). Scouts have told me that his vision on the field is impressive but also his ability to stay composed on the ball is going to help him at the next level.
Ramon Martin del Campo (UC Davis) - A US U-23 defender that can play on both the outside and in the middle. I think he is one of those guys that could easily slip to the latter part of the first round, or even second round for that matter.
Axel Sjoberg (Marquette) - If anything, just his size alone is worth looking at for a center back in MLS. At 6'7", Sjoberg (pronounced WHO-berg) is easily one of the biggest prospects in the pool. Plus, just the name Axel would be an instant fan favorite for me.
Aaron Simmons (UCLA) - The Mansfield, TX product is the last one on our list. Simmons may be a reach for the late first round but I'm throwing him in there for the third round pick that FCD occupies at the moment. He can play both center back and defensive midfield, giving Pareja some flexibility in taking him.