After Andre Blake, there seems to be a bit of a drop off in goalkeeping prospects in the 2014 MLS Draft. Most pundits (actually, all of them) seem to have Rafael Diaz penciled in as the second on the list. Really, nobody past Blake seems to be getting a whole lotta love from the draftniks of America, but if Colorado is looking for a decent third or second-string guy behind Clint Irwin and Matt Pickens or whatever other veteran goalkeeper they have around, they could do worse than Diaz.
The knock on Diaz is his height, standing at a kinda-tall-but-not-really-that-tall 6'0''. Other than that, he had a pretty good career with the St. John's Red Storm, posting 32 shutouts during his four-year career. He's a three-time All-Big East selection and had a 0.84 GAA and a .794 save percentage, both pretty good for the college game. Since he'd be either second or third (probably third) on the depth chart at goalkeeper, he'd have time to get better with the Rapids, as well.
What Colorado will be looking for in the draft: From the second round on, Colorado probably won't be looking for any real difference makers. At that point, it just becomes a depth shuffle. They need a back-up goalkeeper, maybe another forward, maybe another center back. Depending on who they take in the first round, it'll be a crap-shoot.
Who the experts say Colorado will pick: Any number of players, with Diaz among them.
Why I'm invariably wrong: The knock on Diaz seems to be his size, and there's no telling if
Oscar Pareja and co. whoever happens to be our coach come Draft time has a preference for big goalkeepers. Diaz might also not need to be taken this high, and there's not even much of a need to take a keeper this high in the draft anyway with Clint Irwin the de facto starter and Matt Pickens still serving as back-up. There's also plenty of chance that there will be two outfield players that the Rapids like that fall down to their second-round picks (this is the MLS draft, after all) and they'll put a new 'keeper to the side.
Why I'm smarter than the pundits: I'm probably not, on this one. A few seem to agree with me, in fact!
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|