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Once a Metro’s selections in the 2017 Mock MLS SuperDraft

Who will the Red Bulls take in this simulation?

MLS: SuperDraft Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls are a little light on the back line, so conventional wisdom is that they’ll be looking at center backs and fullbacks in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

There are currently two center backs on the roster, Aurelien Colin and Gideon Baah. That should be the starting pairing, but, based on past history, the squad badly needs depth at the position. There have reportedly been negotiations with Damien Perrinelle, Ronald Zubar, and Aaron Long, but none are under contract with the MLS squad as of right now.

The right back position could also use an upgrade, with Connor Lade rehabbing and Chris Duvall now under contract with the Montreal Impact. Despite a plethora of fullbacks with academy ties, the Red Bulls have yet to sign one (although they are rumored to be negotiating with Michigan’s Marcello Borges).

The 2017 SuperDraft isn’t stocked with top-tier talent, but there are some potentially solid depth players outside of the top 10. With the 17th and 39th picks, the Red Bulls could at the very least pick up development projects for its USL reserve team.

1st Round, 17th Overall Pick: Walker Hume – CB – University of North Carolina

Hume is an immense center back and ball winner, standing 6’5”. He’s also been surprisingly productive on the attack, contributing 20 goals and 10 assists over four collegiate seasons. Hume is one of the top center backs available in the SuperDraft, but prognosticators are split on whether he’s a first round talent. He’s a little on the older side at 23, but that could lend itself to maturity and readiness for the pro game.

Hume began his career with Rollins College before making the jump to the University of North Carolina. He led the Tar Heels back line to the College Cup semifinals, with an impressive 14 shutouts and 10 goals allowed. The Texas-native is surprisingly agile for his size and capable of feeding attackers with long passes.

2nd Round, 39th Overall Pick: Austin Ledbetter – CB – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Defensive depth and the ability to contribute immediately should be a priority for the Red Bulls, unless there are some yet to be revealed plans to upgrade the back line during the transfer window. Ledbetter made 79 appearances (78 starts) during his four years and, according to TopDrawerSoccer, is a “staunch defender with the ability to flex out.” After not scoring during his first three years of college, he exploded with six goals during his senior year.

Listed at 5’11”, Ledbetter doesn’t have ideal height for a center back, but his accolades are very impressive. He was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being selected to the All-West Region first team. The Cougars defense had allowed less than a goal per game, as they advanced deep into the postseason.


Full SB Nation Mock SuperDraft results listed below:

Round 1

1 (MIN) Jeremy Ebobisse

2 (ATL) Miles Robinson

3 (CHI) Brandon Aubrey

4 (HOU) Jackson Yueill

5 (CLB) Abu Danladi

6 (SJ) Nick DePuy

7 (VAN) Shamit Shome

8 (ATL) Jacori Hayes

9 (CLB) Chris Odoi-Atsem

10 (POR) Jonathan Lewis

11 (CHI) David Goldsmith

12 (DC) Julian Gressel

13 (RSL) Reagan Dunk

14 (SKC) Niko Hansen

15 (COL) Brian Wright

16 (SEA) Daniel Johnson

17 (NY) Walker Hume

18 (DAL) Colton Storm

19 (MTL) Brian Nana-Sinkam

20 (NE) Justin Schmidt

21 (TOR) Kwame Awuah

22 (SEA) Adonijah Reid

Round 2

23 (MIN) Eric Klenofsky

24 (COL) Zeiko Lewis

25 (MIN) Francis De Vries

26 (TOR) Chris Nanco

27 (TOR) Wuilito Fernandes

28 (SJ) Christian Thierjung

29 (VAN) Mike DeGraffenreidt

30 (HOU) Liam Callahan

31 (NE) Lalas Abubakar

32 (POR) Jordan Wilson

33 (PHI) Jorge Gomez Sanchez

34 (DC) Connor Maloney

35 (RSL) Nazeem Bartman

36 (HOU) Jakob Nerwinski

37 (DAL) Alec Ferrell

38 (NYC) Keith Traut

39 (NY) Austin Ledbetter

40 (DAL) Tanner Thompson

41 (MTL) Michael Amick

42 (PHI) Tucker Hume

43 (DC) Robert Sagel

44 (SEA) Souheib Dhaflaoui