When Toronto FC traded the Bobby Convey to the New York Red Bulls it allowed them to get back into the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. By getting their hands on a first round pick they now have the chance to add some talent to their roster and the good news is that General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko should be familiar with a lot of the players who will be available having worked on the Generation Adidas contracts in recent years.
Toronto should be looking at this draft as a good chance to add depth to their squad and one area where they could use that is in the middle of their defence. Adding a big body like A.J. Cochran out of Wisconsin would just mean one more talented young defender for Ryan Nelsen and Steven Caldwell to work with in 2014 and beyond.
Cochran is coming off his junior year which means he would have to sign a Generation Adidas contract to be available in the draft this year. His inclusion would make an already deep pool of talent at CB even deeper which is why he might just be on the board long enough for a team like TFC to snap him up.
His five career goals for the Badgers are nothing to get excited about as most of them came virtue of Cochran being a big target in the box at 6-3. His value is completely on the other side of the ball where he is regarded as solid defender. He was named Big 10 Defender of the Year for his performance in 2013 and he has everything that you look for in a young defender including the size, strength, and composure that should allow him to transition smoothly into the pro game.
The biggest question mark about Cochran at this point is if he will actually be available come draft day as it would likely mean including two CBs in the Generation Adidas class this year. If it does happen teams that need a quality defender should be lining up to try and land the MAC Hermann semifinalist and former US U-20 international.
What Toronto FC will be looking for in the draft: they are making moves to round out the starting lineup but things are still thin in a number of positions. TFC should be looking for solid depth in this draft with defence and midfield being the priority.
Who experts say TFC will pick: by the time you get down to 15th each mock draft varies a fair bit. Names like Mackenzie Pridham, Kyle Venter, Joe Sofia, and Joey Dillon appear in the first five mock drafts I came across.
Why I'm invariably wrong: Cochran may not sign a GA deal and even be available in this draft. If he does the chances of him falling to 15th overall would be quite slim as a number of teams ahead of TFC will be looking to add quality defenders and he will be one of the best in the draft.
Why I'm smarter than the pundits: Toronto FC are in need of help at CB as things get thin behind Caldwell, Henry, and Agbossoumonde. Picking a player like Cochran (even it they have to trade up to do it) would be a big boost to their defensive depth and he is a player who was considered for the GA class in the past so will be familiar to Bezbatchenko.
Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)
|1. D.C. United||Black and Red United||Patrick Mullins|
|2. Philadelphia Union||Brotherly Game||Steve Neumann|
|3. Vancouver Whitecaps||86 Forever||Andre Blake|
|4. Columbus Crew||Massive Report||Steve Birnbaum|
|5. FC Dallas||Big D Soccer||Christian Dean|
|6. Union||Brotherly Game||Marlon Hairston|
|7. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Damion Lowe|
|8. Chicago Fire||Hot Time In Old Town||Grant Van De Casteele|
|9. San Jose Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Eric Miller|
|10. Montreal Impact||Mount Royal Soccer||A.J Corrado|
|11. Colorado Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Schillo Tshuma|
|12. New England Revolution||The Bent Musket||JJ Koval|
|13. Seattle Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Aodhan Quinn|
|14. LA Galaxy||LAG Confidential||Fifi Baiden|
|15. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||AJ Cochran|
|16. Houston Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Mamadou Diouf|
|17. Portland Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Reinaldo Brenes|
|18. Real Salt Lake||RSL Soapbox||Ben Sweat|
|19. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Marco Franco|
|20. Chivas USA||The Goat Parade||Enrique Cardenas|
|21. Sounders||Sounder at Heart||Taylor Peay|
|22. New York Red Bulls||Once a Metro||Pete Caringi|
|23. Crew||Massive Report||Pedro Ribeiro|
|24. Toronto FC||Waking the Red||Joey Dillon|
|25. Union||Brotherly Game||Jared Watts|
|26. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Kevin Cope|
|27. Union||Brotherly Game||Kyle Venter|
|28. Earthquakes||Quake, Rattle and Goal||Mackenzie Pridham|
|29. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Jimmy Ockford|
|30. Whitecaps||86 Forever||Nikita Kotlov|
|31. Revolution||The Bent Musket||Victor Chavez|
|32. Dynamo||Dynamo Theory||Kristopher Tyrpak|
|33. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Rafael Diaz|
|34. Red bulls||Once a Metro||Alex Martinez|
|35. Rapids||Burgundy Wave||Zach Bolden|
|36. Timbers||Stumptown Footy||Mark Sherrod|
|37. Impact||Mout Royal Soccer||Michael Calderon|
|38. Sporting Kansas City||The Daily Wiz|