Last week we examined the draft strata into which the Portland Timbers fall, and just what kind of players the team might end up with. This time we will take a look at the most recent mock drafts boards and the picks that they have projected.
The pick: Aodhan Quinn
Didn’t you hear? Timbers head coach Caleb Porter is getting the Akron band back together, so Quinn should start booking his plane ticket to the Rose City now. He's a natural winger in the 4-3-3 who's already got three years of Porterball under his belt, and provides depth at a spot where the Timbers are currently one injury away from being really thin.
The pick: Aodhan Quinn
Caleb Porter needs some depth in his attacking midfield area, it doesn't hurt that Quinn is a guy he is very familari with too.
The picks: Ben Sweat (17), Taylor Peay (26), Mark Sherrod (36)
A centerback would be a good pick here if any of the top ones slide, but with six already off the board, Caleb Porter grabs a very promising left back prospect in Sweat, who could easily wind up going several picks earlier.
The picks: Grant Van de Casteele (17), Reinaldo Brenes (26), Aodhan Quinn (36)
Portland desperately needs help in the back line and although Porter may be tempted to grab an Akron player here, Van de Casteele is too good to pass up. The Notre Dame center back brought his stock up big time during the Irish's College Cup run. Portland may not need to draft a center back depending on if Akron center back Bryan Gallego decides to sign with the Timbers during the offseason.
So, who is this Aodhan Quinn, other than TopDrawerSoccer.com's 17th best player in the 2014 draft? And why do so many people think that the Timbers will take him?
Quinn, 22, is a forward and midfielder with Caleb Porter's former college side, Akron. In his three years with the Zips, Quinn scored fourteen goals and dished fourteen assists, with seven of those goals coming in the 2013 season, making him Akron's second leading scorer after fellow senior and Portland Timbers U-23s player Reinaldo Brenes. More importantly, Quinn was named the MAC Men's Soccer Player of the Year in 2013, a testament to his abilities at the center of the pitch.
Quinn's 2011 highlight reel:
Quinn could easily become the understudy at the attacking midfield slot to Diego Valeri, or, with some work, could be a projected false-9 striker in much the same way that Gaston Fernandez is expected to play if he joins the Timbers.
There are some strikes against Quinn. Despite being a known commodity in the college soccer community thanks to his time at powerhouse Akron, there has been relatively little buzz surrounding the striker. More seriously, Quinn was a Seattle Sounders U-23's player in 2012 and 2013, a team that failed to beat the Timbers U-23s in six meetings.
Beyond Quinn, the mock drafts all agree that the Timbers are in need of some young talent at the striker position, and with only two strikers currently on the roster, Maximiliano Urruti and Jose Adolfo Valencia, it is hard to disagree. The central defender position is also a big need for the Timbers after they purged their team of all their young center-backs over the offseason. With so many picks this year, the Timbers are in a position to draft for the future, but are unlikely to find a player available that can step directly into their line-up.