MLS Mock Draft: Rapids take Schillo Tshuma with No. 11 pick

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Might one of the top attacking players still be available this late? If he is, the Rapids won't be able to pass.

Another forward? Why not? The Rapids might be given a few odd looks if they pick up Maryland forward Schillo Tshuma in the SuperDraft, but as a team that is currently in flux when it comes to their forward depth, another name in the pot can't hurt.

Tshuma spent the majority of last season acting as second fiddle to Patrick Mullins, but was still able to put together six goals and an assist in 2013, including a duo of goals in a huge game against No. 2 North Carolina. It was his freshman year that got eyes on him, when he put up 10 goals and two assists in 24 appearances. He's got all the speed in the world, doesn't mind getting into the box and makes good runs, three of the traits that perfectly fit the offense based on quick breaks down the field that Colorado instituted last year.

Plenty of positives point in the direction of the Rapids. He fills a minor need, perfectly fits the offense that the team has put together and is Generation Adidas, which is a godsend for a team that is currently struggling with the salary cap like the Rapids are.

What Colorado will be looking for in the draft: Unlike last year, when the Rapids went into the draft with some definite needs (big forward, Jeff Larentowicz replacement, defensive depth), they can really do whatever they want in this draft. The general consensus seems to be that they need a right back, a back-up goalkeeper and maybe another defensive midfielder, but they might very well just go BPA if nobody that looks like an immediate starter at right back (which is, by far, their most pressing need) is available.

Who the experts say Colorado will pick: The experts all seem to be keying in on Jared Watts right here for the Rapids. The reasoning is that with Hendry Thomas possibly out, they'll need someone to step in there right away at the back of Colorado's 4-2-3-1 next to Nathan Sturgis.

Why I'm invariably wrong: The Rapids might not agree with me when I say that they still need another forward or two, and Charles Eloundou out of Cameroon is a similar type of player, so the Rapids might not feel they need another international player of that archetype.

Why I'm smarter than the pundits: The Watts pick makes sense in practice, but there's a minor storyline people are missing. Though Hendry Thomas might be gone next season, Shane O'Neill is likely to return to the defensive midfield spot that he started out in back when he joined the team in 2012. It's almost certain that wherever he'll play on the field, he's going to be a starter. With him moving up the field, it would probably be just a bit too crowded for Watts to get any meaningful minutes in, and Thomas still hasn't left yet. Tshuma would go into a very crowded forward corps as well, but one that he should easily be able to climb his way up, since there are so many question marks on the forward line past the starting three of Gaby Torres, Vicente Sanchez and Deshorn Brown. Speed killed for the Rapids all last year.

Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)

First Round

Team Blog Pick
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

Second Round

Team Blog Pick
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

Romena Bowie
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