I played the role of Carlos Bocanegra for the SB Nation Mock MLS SuperDraft and made Atlanta United’s selections. The mock draft covered the first two rounds, and since Atlanta traded its second round pick to Colorado for an international slot, we only had the #2 and #8 picks to deal with. Here’s who I selected, with a little bit of explanation on what I was thinking with each pick.
#2- Miles Robinson, center back, Syracuse
Robinson’s stock keeps rising at the MLS Combine that Atlanta is fielding offers for the #2 pick right now. Since we were not able to trade picks in the SB Nation Mock MLS SuperDraft, I made the best pick for the club at the time. Even if Minnesota had not selected Jeremy Ebobisse, I would have taken Robinson here.
Potential national team center backs do not grow on trees, and it is very hard to pass up the opportunity to get one. With Robinson on a Generation adidas deal, this pick is a no-brainer for a team that needs additional options on the backline. Even if Atlanta United adds more center backs during the transfer window, a player like Robinson has incredible value.
#8- Jacori Hayes, midfielder, Wake Forest
Hayes is one of the biggest wild cards in the SuperDraft this year, mainly because most people do not know where he will play in MLS. Some think he will be in the middle of midfield, others think that his lack of size will push him out wide.
A smaller, technical midfielder with pace is a great fit for Tata Martino’s system. He would provide depth at all central midfield roles and on the wing. When building a team from scratch, grabbing a player who can be in the mix at five different positions is an important addition. If Hayes turns into a Darlington Nagbe type of player as some of predicted, getting him with the #8 pick is a steal.