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Revolution SuperDraft Preview: Names to Know in 2014

Although there's a good chance that all of New England's draft picks will spend the season with the Rochester Rhinos, there's still an argument to be made for drafting what we need as opposed to the "best available" player. Regardless, here are some names you should know as we gear up for the Combine this weekend and the 2014 SuperDraft next Thursday.

Joe Robbins

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to the MLS SuperDraft, and they are the two sides of the same argument that comes up every year around this time: drafting for "Need" versus drafting the "Best Available" player. I've made it pretty clear in the past that I am of the former camp rather than the latter. Maybe it's because I believe that the modern college product can usually be a pretty effective contributor on an MLS team, even if their minutes are limited initially. But I do see the counter-arguments to this position.

For the New England Revolution, their situation is perhaps a bit unique in 2014, leading me to believe that there is even more of an argument for Jay Heaps and his staff to draft Need instead of Best Available. That situation is simply the fact that the core of this Revolution squad is very young. I believe you can make the case that the Revs Front Office staff have put together a team that are not only going to be immediate contributors (as we clearly saw in 2013) but also the future of this franchise. It's because of this that I think the Revs needs to look to the draft to add those additional future pieces but in key areas of the pitch where we don't currently have a youth contingent for the future.

In the center of the park, the Revs have a young trio of Kelyn Rowe, Scott Caldwell, and now Paolo DelPicollo. For attackers, we've got Diego Fagundez and Dimitry Imbongo. Across the back line, there's A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell, and O'Brian Woodbine. Generally speaking, we've got some future pieces in most areas (although there are certainly question marks amidst those names). With this in mind, the Revs should be looking to this year's MLS SuperDraft to add to areas where we are in need, with the hopes that the additions will at least be significant future prospects if not immediate contributors in 2014.

Personally, I believe the Revs are looking good on defense. This class may be deepest at the center back position, but the Revs are in really good shape there (especially if you believe that Farrell's fate is eventually in the center). But New England could certainly use some central midfielders (of the defending variety, preferably) and some attackers.

There is a good chance that the Revolution will be making some additions up top in the coming weeks, but that doesn't mean they should steer clear of strikers in this year's draft-far from it. Names like UConn's Cyle Larin and Mamadou Diouf, Maryland's Schillo Tshuma, and Georgetown's Steve Neumann stand out from the pack as the best of the bunch. Going even a bit deeper, since New England drafts later in the draft this year compared to the past few, there's UCLA's Victor Chavez, Cal Poly's MacKenzie Pridham, or Bradley's Wojciech Wojcik to consider.

If the Revs stick with the same system in 2014, then they'll need depth on the wings, too. Indiana's Nikita Kotlov, Wake Forest's Luca Giminez, and Akron's Robbie Derschang could help New England fill that need.

In the midfield, the Revs are likely aware that they need to add some steel to compliment Scott Caldwell's passing precision and creativity. Andy Dorman showed well in that role late in 2013, but at 31, New England will want to add an option for the future. Georgetown's Joey Dillon, Stanford's J.J. Koval, VCU's Romena Bowie, and Coastal Carolina's Pedro Ribiero all seem to fit this role and could be worth aiming for in next week's draft.

If the Revolution do indeed draft for need (or future need, if you will) in 2014, then the names above will likely find their way to the top of Jay Heaps' scouting list. With the combine set to kick off this Thursday, Revs fans may want to keep their eyes on the names above as well.

For some bonus fun, here's a summary of every MLS Mock Draft I could find on the web thus far and who the pundits have the Revs taking this year:

Top Drawer Soccer:

Pick #12 - Marlon Hairston - M - Louisville

Pick #19 - Mamadou Diouf - F - Uconn

Pick #31 - Robbie Derschang - M (winger) - Akron

Soccer By Ives:

Pick #12 - Steve Neumann - F - Georgetown

Pick #19 - Joey Dillon - M - Georgetown

Pick #31 - Reinaldo Brenes - F - Akron

Pick #50 - Wojciech Wojcik - F - Bradley

Pick #12 - MacKenzie Pridham - F - Cal Poly

Pick #19 - Kevin Cope - D - Michigan State

Pick #12 - A.J. Corrado - M - Indiana

Pick #19 - Mamadou Diouf - F - Uconn

Pick #12 - J.J. Koval - M - Stanford

Pick #19 - Mamadou Diouf - F - Uconn

Pick #31 - Akeil Barrett - F - Tulsa

Pick #12 - A.J. Corrado - M - Indiana

Pick #19 - Mamadou Diouf - F - Uconn