WIth the upcoming MLS Superdraft on January 13th, it's time to start looking at a couple of the possible prospects that the Colorado Rapids might select with their 18th overall pick in the first round. I've gone around and asked a few people with the knowledge of their schools and players about the prospects I think are prime guys for the Rapids selection. Today's final edition is about Justin Meram from Michigan.
If saying that CJ Sapong was a question mark in terms of when he was going to be selected in the MLS Draft tonight, Justin Meram is even more so. With one of the best Senior years in college soccer after largely doing nothing special before, he's skyrocketed into the spotlight and has been mocked as high as the top 12 in some drafts and as low as - you guessed it - somewhere around the Rapids pick in others.
Looking at Meram's senior year at Michigan it's pretty easy to see why people have shot him up the charts as far as skill and draft position are concerned as the season went along. Michigan was a fairly lackluster team at the seasons start until Meram turned on the heat to the tune of 17 goals on the year. His amazing campaign this year was part of the reason he's now 3rd overall in goals in school history. Unfortunately his resume starts to fizzle out after this year.
A bad combine can help or hurt a player and after a mediocre start to the combine this week he kept the invisibility act up, getting outplayed substantially by his parter up top on the Jabulani team, CJ Sapong - although they are different styled players to be sure. Meram is supposed to be the sure finisher between the two of them, the guy with a nose for goal as opposed to CJ Sapong's attempts to be a target forward and bigger guy in front to get the ball to. The Rapids could certainly use one of those, but will Meram do the trick?
In every sport you see players get overrated by a fluke year in their respective college sport their senior year. Aaron Maybin in the NFL, Hasheem Thabeet in the NBA, a lot of players have a good year and then go on to have
Personally I am against picking Meram after watching his lack-luster combine. He may make a pretty good back-up forward off the bench in MLS eventually, but I think that's his celing. I could easily be wrong, but I've seen this sort of thing backfire on teams enough in every sport to be skeptical.