Mock Drafts are at the very best a crapshoot when it comes to actually getting things right. In most cases they start to go horribly off course somewhere around the 5th pick and even for the best prognosticators out there trying to nailed down the 15th pick is next to impossible. That does not mean mock drafts are useless though as they are at the very least good for driving discussion.
This year there seems to be a trend growing around what Toronto FC will do with the number 15th pick. In almost all of the major mock drafts that I have come across the club is taking a central defender. It seems to fit a need for the team as well as falling in line with taking the best player left on the board as this year's draft is quite deep at CB with a number of seniors and Generation Adidas players presenting good options for clubs like Toronto FC who are in need of additional depth at that position.
So which players are the top mock drafts suggesting Toronto FC will select. Lets take a quick tour:
Their mock draft makes use of three different drafters which creates there different mock drafts in one! Simon Borg has Toronto going with the last GA talent left on his board as they nab Damion Lowe at 15th to add cover at CB. Matt Doyle is the exception of the bunch as he has TFC going with Steve Neumann as he has the talented playmaker as someone who could potentially slip on draft day and wind up falling to a club like Toronto. It is back to defenders with Nate Sulat though as he has TFC going with New Mexico senior Kyle Venter who would bring some size and strength to the middle of the defence.
The Sportsnet draft put together by Thomas Michalakos is another one that expects TFC to add a defender at 15th overall. Their choice is a bit of a surprise though as they have AJ Cochran slipping down to 15th which would be a potential steal for TFC to land the GA prospect at that stage in the draft. His dominance in the air and strong left foot would be a welcome addition to Toronto's defence and he could potentially share time with Doneil Henry in his first season.
Drew Epperley has the entire Generation Adidas class going in the top 10 of his mock draft which leaves Toronto plenty of seniors to pick from. This draft is another one that has them going with a defender this time selecting Kyle Venter who is arguably the second best option among the senior CBs. His size and toughness should put him in position to contribute in 2014.
Ives has a whole lot of defenders being taken early in his draft. With a number of seniors and all the GA prospects outside of Damion Lowe already off the board he has Toronto going with one of the best names in the draft, Grant Van de Casteele. He combines size, smarts, and maturity into a package that should help him hit the ground running when he reaches the next level. He was a key member of Notre Dame's strong defence the past four years. Ives is one of the few who also includes a second round and he has TFC grabbing Toronto native Mackenzie Pridham at 24th overall.
The guys over at TDS had Mackenzie Pridham heading to Toronto in their first version of their mock draft but have since changed that pick and followed the trend having TFC grab a defender as once again they suggest Kyle Venter could be heading to BMO Field. They do still see Pridham going to Toronto though just now with the 24th pick in the draft.
The guy who did the mock draft on behalf of TFC for SB Nation does not really know what he is talking about but I figured I might as well include who I went with since it got kind of buried in all the excitement of recent weeks. In the first round I had no choice but to go with AJ Cochran as he slipped right down to me at 15th and was easily the most attractive talent left on the board and it helped that he fit a need for TFC. In the second round I again looked for a player who fit a need a grabbed one of the best defensive midfielders in the draft by selecting Joey Dillon. Both players are unlikely to be available at 15th and 24th respectively but if they are they would certainly be tempting options for TFC.
So in the 8 different mock drafts that we looked at there is only one drafter that has TFC doing something other than selecting a central defender at 15th overall. Their are a variety of different names that the experts see them going with but the most common of the bunch seems to be Kyle Venter out of New Mexico who seems to be the most likely to be left on the board at 15th unless someone else slips.
Now we will just have to see how accurate these experts are come draft day. If TFC do go with a defender it should not come as a surprise to anyone.