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MLS Mock Draft: Colorado Rapids Select Michael Boxall With Final Pick Of First Round

18. Michael Boxall (Colorado Rapids)

Chris "UZ" White (Burgundy Wave): The Rapids could go so many ways with this pick, it's really hard to predict especially considering Gary Smith likes trading picks on draft day. With Julien Baudet leaving the squad for Seattle, the Rapids could use depth all along the defense but specifically could use a big guy at center back. Boxall fits that at 6'2'' and should quickly take over Baudet's big man off the bench role. Fairly polished from playing so much time in New Zealand including the U-20 World Cup for them, he should hopefully be able to adapt to the MLS fairly quickly in either the development league or on our bench. He won't need to start right away but under the tutelage of Drew Moor could become a good CB in MLS fairly quickly, adding to the young, talented defense that the Rapids have already put together. Tyrone Marshall being there will also push Boxall to try his hardest to earn that spot, competition makes everyone better. Although depth at left and right back is also lacking for the Rapids it's pretty obvious that anything they try and get - even this late into the round - would most likely be a reach. Gary Smith strikes me as a guy who wants the best players available and Boxall is one of them.

Drew Epperley (WV Hooligan): I had a feeling Colorado would go this direction after seeing McInnes go to Dallas. With Julien Baudet gone to Seattle, the Rapids need to bolster their defensive depth for a busy 2011. He'll have plenty of time to learn under some solid MLS veterans which is good thing for a young rookie. Colorado went for the best player available that fits their needs here as well. Can't argue with that.