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)
|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|