Gass: The definitive 2018 SuperDraft Depth Chart

Ahead of Friday's 2018 SuperDraft, MLSsoccer.com's David Gass breaks down the depth chart for position.

Goalkeepers

Eric Dick collects a ball at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Eric Dick (Butler): Great size at 6-foot-5 and reactions. Goalkeeper coaches liked him said his feet were better than expected.
  2. Ben Lundgaard (Virginia Tech): The former PDL Goalkeeper of the Year saved a penalty kick and the rebound, which was the best player by a 'keeper at the combine.
  3. Jeff Caldwell (Virginia): Backstopped one of the best teams in the nation at Virginia where he was the full-time starter for three years. More of a short-passing possession 'keeper who should transition to MLS well.

Left back

Tristan Blackmon at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Tristan Blackmon (Pacific): One of the top athletes at the position but has to improve in the attack at the MLS level. At 6-foot-2, Blackmon can also play at center back in a five-man backline.
  2. Niko de Vera (Akron): An undersized fullback, de Vera plays within himself on both ends. He's willing to push into the attack and is rarely beaten 1v1.
  3. Cory Brown (Xavier): A New Zealand youth international, Brown may project more as an undersized left center back. As a fullback, Brown doesn’t have the speed to fly forward but his high-level passing makes him dangerous.

Right back

Mark Segbers (in red uniform) at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Mark Segbers (Wisconsin): Converting from forward during his senior year, Segbers is a tricky dribbler who has already made great strides understanding the position in a short time.
  2. Lucas Stauffer (Creighton): Great technical player has strong fundamentals defensively in 1v1 defending. He showed at combine he can perform in a variety of formations and situations.
  3. Brandon Bye (Western Michigan): Converted from forward at the combine to fullback and proceeded to shoot up the draft boards. He has size, strength, and speed to be an MLS full back needs more time to learn the position.

Center back

Tomas Hilliard-Arce celebrates while with Stanford

  1. Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Stanford): A veteran as a three-time national champ and captain at Stanford. Not a passer but will battle with forwards and work within the team system to defend.
  2. Joao Moutinho (Akron): The hottest topic heading into draft is the position and upside of Mouthino. He has said left back is his top spot but most MLS coaches see him as a Michael Parkhurst-style center back.
  3. Wyatt Omsberg (Dartmouth): Coaches are very high on the tall Ivy league CB. Question marks around his lateral quickness to defend in tight spaces but he performed well at the combine testing.
  4. Graham Smith (Denver): Converted from CM his senior year Smith is a calming presence that can pass out of the back. Will have to prove he can play at the speed of MLS.
  5. Corey Brown (Xavier): On our fullback depth chart as well Brown reads the game well enough and is strong enough to hang around especially in a 5 man backline.
  6. Andre Morrison (Hartford): An aggressive CB who likes to step forward before attacks can develop. At 24 coaches will be worried about more progress.

Central Midfielder

Mo Adams at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Mo Adams (Syracuse): The English Generation adidas player is short but keeps the game simple is constantly reading the game and communicating to change his teams shape.
  2. Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Charleston):  The Divison II Player of the Year came into the combine as an unknown and didn’t put a foot wrong. He has great instincts in the tackle and simple and efficient with his passing.
  3. Pau Belana (Akron): A simple deep-lying midfielder who was part of one of the best units in the country.
  4. Chris Lema (Georgetown): The Red Bull Academy graduate reads the game well and can open play with long passing. He is most comfortable as a true No. 6.
  5. Ken Krolicki (Michigan St.): There are a lot of expectations for the Japanese/American holding midfielder. He struggle at the combine but coaches will hope his full body of work at Michigan State can be trusted
  6. Alex Roldan (Seattle): Cristian’s younger brother is very similar to his brother in that he can play as a No. 6, a No. 8 or left back.

Attacking Midfielder

Mason Toye (in black uniform) at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Mason Toye (Indiana): He's an incredibly talented and athletic young player but is he a center forward, winger or second forward in MLS?
  2. Rafael Santos (VCU): The Brazilian loves to get into the final third and keep the ball moving but is not very goal dangerous.
  3. Ricky Lopez-Espin (Creighton): His best position is up in the air but he might end up being a center forward. He is a big, powerful and technical player who had a sparkling US youth national team and is working his way back from injuries.

Winger

Francis Atuahene (in white uniform) at the 2018 Combine | photo by Andy Mead

  1. Francis Atuahene (Michigan):  The best of the Generation adidas attacking group, Atuahene has game-breaking speed.
  2. Chris Mueller (Wisconsin): The best playmaker in college but there is a consensus that he will move to the wing in MLS. A set piece and assist specialist, Mueller loves to connect with teammates and keep the ball moving.
  3. Edward Opoku (Virginia): Opoku is a lightweight Ghanian winger who has good 1v1 abilities but needs to increase the consistency in his final product.
  4. Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest): Another Generation Adidas winger, Twumasi is less explosive who likes to play more central linking with teammates.
  5. Brian White (Duke): The PDL Golden Boot winner has the size to play inside but the wing is his end fate. He has good speed and an eye for an assist he can play out wide of a 4-3-3 forward line.
  6. Gordon Wild (Maryland): A natural goalscorer, coaches wanted to see what he could do on the right wing coming in on his favored left foot. Wild will have to learn to work in possession deeper on the field.

Center Forward

Jon Bakero at Wake Forest | Courtesy of Wake Forest Sports

  1. Jon Bakero (Wake Forest): The MAC Hermann Trophy winner and the son of a Spanish national team/Barcelona legend. A creative genius that teams have fallen in love with pulls deep from forward to play his wingers through. Bakero is also a reliable finisher as well there will be question marks around his speed.
  2. Marcelo Acuna (Virginia Tech): A strong and active forward who works hard to set his teammates up. Acuna isn’t just a grinder as he possesses good feet and calm finishing ability.
  3. Mamadou Guirassy (NJIT): A strong center forward is great at laying the ball off with his first touch. Guirassy will press until the end of the game which would be a great asset off the bench.

Sam Stejskal's Mock Draft:

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