8. Portland Timbers: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, CB, UConn
When my No. 8 pick rolled around I was actually in a bit of a conundrum as both of my top choices were still available: Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Matt Hedges. Both are big central defenders who are considered to be MLS ready. My reason for going with Jean-Baptiste over Hedges, despite not being regarded as highly, is two fold. First, Jean-Baptiste is a Generation Adidas player whereas Hedges is not. Having the extra cap room along with a solid center back to develop was a top priority with my first selection. Second, Hedges did not have a great first day at the combine and I was a little worried how the added stress of the professionals would wear on him.
27. Timbers: Aldo Paniagua, M, International
With my second choice I ended up going after a relative unknown in international Aldo Paniagua, despite being well aware of the Timbers current lack of international roster spots. After a breakout first combine match, I came away very impressed with the young (22) attacking midfielder. Additionally, after some brief research I found that, despite being a midfielder, he has a certain penchant for the net. He scored in his first combine game, but he also scored in his last club game in Paraguay so clearly there's some consistent talent there. With a bit of work I think he could eventually be a nice back-up or replacement for Diego Chara should the need ever arise.
Geoff Gibson is the managing editor for Timbers blog Stumptown Footy.