Play the EPL Draft! Which Players Would You Pick for Next Season?

UPDATED: As some of you may or may not know, the NFL Draft has commenced here in America. All the teams in the National Football League descend upon New York and spend the next several days drafting the best college football players in the land. So naturally I thought to myself that this would be something fun to try out with the EPL. Obviously since there is no draft for the EPL this would fall under the “Mock” category but it should be fun nonetheless.

And thanks to The Gaffer, we’re going to make it interactive and will award the best EPL draft selection winner with a package of Premier League goodies — including soccer books, a collector’s edition EPL Talk Magazine and a soccer-related DVD.

The Rules:

  • Players who were born in 1989 and after are eligible for the draft. They will be taken off their current squads and put into the draft pool,
  • Draft positions will be determined by the standings in the table as of today,
  • Academy Players will not be included,
  • Players selected will have played in the Premier League at some point in their career.

We will be doing two rounds for the draft. And you can play along too.

Step 1

Based on the above criteria, feel free to go through the squads of players available throughout the Premier League. Or, if you’re short on time, you can review the following select list to see if there are players you would pick:

Aaron Ramsey, Alex Kacaniklic, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andy Carroll, Carl Jenkinson, Chris Smalling, Connor Wickham, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, David De Gea, Davide Santon, Dedryck Boyata, Emmanuel Frimpong, Gareth Bale, Gary Gardner, Ignasi Miquel, Jack Robinson, Jack Rodwell, Jack Wilshere, James McClean, Jonjo Shelvey, Jordan Henderson, Josh McEachran, Junior Hoilett, Kerim Frei, Kieran Gibbs, Kyle Walker, Marc Albrighton, Mario Balotelli, Nathan Delfouneso, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, Raheem Sterling, Romelu Lukaku, Ryo Miyachi, Sebastien Coates, Theo Walcott, Tom Cleverly, Victor Moses and Wojciech Szczesny.

Step 2

For rounds one and two of the draft, the order of the picks will be based on the current league positions (from worst to best). Since Wolves is already relegated, newly promoted Reading will take their place as the first pick.

The order of the picks will be as follows:

Reading, Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, QPR, Aston Villa, Stoke, Norwich, Swansea, Sunderland, West Brom, Fulham, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle, Arsenal, Man City and Manchester United.

Step 3

Go ahead and name your picks in the comments section below. Go ahead and list your round one picks (from 1-20; Reading FC first, Man United last) and round two (from 1-20, again Reading FC first, Man United last).

Later today, I’ll be naming my Round 1 and Round 2 picks and will update this article accordingly.

The person who makes the best picks — according to the EPL Talk Podcast panel — will be announced as the winner on this weekend’s podcast and will receive a package of prizes from EPL Talk.

The deadline to enter your draft picks is tonight (Friday, April 27, 2012) at midnight ET.

And now live from The Royal Albert Hall in London, let the draft begin!

UPDATED: Here are my round one and two picks:

Round One:

Pick Player Age Position Team
1 Jack Wilshere 20 MID Reading
2 Wojciech Szczęsny 22 GK Blackburn Rovers
3 Gareth Bale 22 MID Bolton Wanderers
4 Mario Balotelli 21 FWD Wigan Athletic
5 Phil Jones 20 DEF Queens Park Rangers
6 Daniel Sturridge 22 FWD Aston Villa
7 Andy Carroll 23 FWD Stoke City
8 Chris Smalling 22 DEF Norwich City
9 David Hoilett 21 FWD Swansea City
10 Theo Walcott 23 FWD Sunderland
11 Danny Welbeck 21 FWD West Bromwich Albion
12 Jack Rodwell 21 MID Fulham
13 Josh McEachran 19 MID Liverpool
14 Romelu Lukaku 18 FWD Everton
15 David De Gea 21 GK Chelsea
16 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 18 MID Tottenham Hotspur
17 Kyle Walker 21 DEF Newcastle United
18 Tom Cleverly 22 MID Arsenal
19 Paul Pogba 19 MID Manchester City
20 Aaron Ramsey 21 MID Manchester Untied

Round Two:

Pick Player Age Position Team
21 Jordan Henderson 21 MID Reading
22 Ryo Miyachi 19 FWD Blackburn Rovers
23 Nathan Delfouneso 21 FWD Bolton Wanderers
24 Marc Albrighton 22 MID Wigan Athletic
25 James McClean 23 MID Queens Park Rangers
26 Davide Santon 21 DEF Aston Villa
27 Emmanuel Frimpong 20 MID Stoke City
28 Jonjo Shelvey 20 MID Norwich City
29 Kerim Frei 18 MID Swansea City
30 Sebastien Coates 21 DEF Sunderland
31 Gary Gardner 19 MID West Bromwich Albion
32 Ignasi Miquel 19 DEF Fulham
33 Connor Wickham 19 FWD Liverpool
34 Carl Jenkinson 20 DEF Everton
35 Raheem Sterling 17 MID Chelsea
36 Victor Moses 21 FWD Tottenham Hotspur
37 Dedryck Boyata 21 DEF Newcastle United
38 Alex Kačaniklić 20 MID Arsenal
39 Jack Robinson 18 DEF Manchester City
40 Kieran Gibbs 22 DEF Manchester Untied

Just a bit of insight on my picks for the draft, I went with age and upside when determining a lot of the picks above. I went heavy on what could benefit the team in the future with a little bit in mind for what could help the team now. Just keep in mind I tried to be as unbiased as possible with my picks and had the intention of having as much fun as possible.

If you would like a little more insight into why I made these picks you’re all more than welcome to tweet me @Morgan_Green


25 thoughts on “Play the EPL Draft! Which Players Would You Pick for Next Season?”

  1. Reading-Jack Wilshere
    Blackburn-Danny Welbeck
    Bolton-Gareth Bale
    Wigan- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    QPR-Romelu Lukaku
    Aston Villa-Jack Robinson
    Stoke-Junior Hoilett
    Norwich-Daniel Sturridge
    Swansea-Tom Cleverly
    Sunderland-Theo Walcott
    West Brom-Chris Smalling
    Fulham-Wojciech Szczesny
    Liverpool-Andy Carroll
    Everton-Mario Balloted
    Chelsea-Sebastien Coates
    Spurs-David De Gea
    Newcastle-Emmanuel Frimpong
    Arsenal- Ryo Miyachi
    Man City-Carlos Tevez
    Man. United-Jack Rodwell

      1. eligible players you don’t have in your top 40 though:

        Romeu, Caulker, Sinclair, Barkley, Diakite, Sigurdsson, Hanley, Clark, Bertrand, Livermore

        all would go before some you’ve listed at the end, IMO.

        1. I didn’t include Diakite and Sigurdsson only because they’re on loan to teams in the league. I wanted to keep it to players whose parent clubs are in the EPL. But I do agree with the Sigurdsson Opinion. He would easily be Top 10.

  2. 1st Pick 2nd Pick
    Reading: Wojciech Szczesny/ Nathan Delfouneso,
    Blackburn: Emmanuel Frimpong/ Jack Rodwell
    Bolton: Daniel Sturridge/ Dedryck Boyata
    Wigan: Danny Welbeck/ Aaron Ramsey
    QPR: Josh McEachran/ Marc Albrighton
    Aston Villa: Mario Balotelli/ Jonjo Shelvey
    Stoke: Phil Jones/ Nickolas Bendtner
    Norwich: Theo Walcott/Ross Barkley
    Swansea: Kerim Frei/ Jordan Henderson
    Sunderland: James McClean/ Chris Smalling
    West Brom: Paul Pogba/ Raheem Sterling
    Fulham: Junior Hoilett/David Ngog
    Liverpool: Ryo Miyachi/ Javier Hernandez
    Everton: Alex Kacaniklic/ Connor Wickham
    Chelsea: Tom Cleverly/ Kyle Walker
    Spurs: Andy Carroll /Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Newcastle: Kieran Gibbs/Oriol Romeu
    Arsenal: Romelu Lukaku/ Victor Moses
    Man City: Gareth Bale/Jake Livermore
    Manchester United: Jack Wilshere/ Grant Hanley

  3. 1st/2nd

    Reading: Gareth Bale/Ciaran Clark
    Blackburn: Phil Jones/Victor Moses
    Bolton: Daniel Sturridge/Rafael da Silva
    Wigan: Tom Cleverley/Jordan Henderson
    QPR: Chris Smalling/Samba Diakite
    Villa: Jack Wilshere/James McClean
    Stoke: Oriol Romeu/Connor Wickham
    Norwich: Danny Welbeck/Marc Albrighton
    Swansea: Aaron Ramsey/Gylfi Sigurdsson
    Sunderland: Theo Walcott/Grant Hanley
    West Brom: Paul Pogba/Scott Sinclair
    Fulham: Kyle Walker/Kieran Gibbs
    Liverpool: Andy Carroll/Steven Caulker
    Everton: Ross Barkley/Karim Frei
    Chelsea: Junior Hoilett/Ryan Bertrand
    Spurs: David de Gea/Joe Allen
    Newcastle: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain/Jake Livermore
    Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny/Ryo Miyaichi
    Man City: Romelu Lukaku/Raheem Sterling
    Man Utd: Jack Rodwell/Josh McEachran

    1. whoops, forgot Balotelli…put him in there 5th for QPR. He’d go a bit higher based on skill, but QPR would be the first team crazy enough to think they could handle him!

  4. Kody,

    Is that about my selection?
    It’s not that he’s low, its that every club gets one 1st pick, and then a 2nd pick.
    So Bale’s a 1st pick.

  5. btw, anyone who doesn’t think Bale would be first pick under this scenario is delusional. UEFA CL team of the season last year, it was like 10 Barca players and Bale.

  6. 1. Reading – Gareth Bale / Andy Carroll
    2. Blackburn – Kyle Walker / Dedryck Boyata
    3. Bolton – Danny Wellbeck / Nathan Delfouneso
    4. Wigan – Paul Pogba / Kerim Frei
    5. QPR – Mario Balotelli / Connor Wickham
    6. Aston Villa – Jack Wilshere / Emmanuel Frimpong
    7. Stoke – Tom Cleverley / Jordan Henderson
    8. Norwich – David de Gea / Junior Hoilett
    9. Swansea – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain / Marc Albrighton
    10. Sunderland – Jonjo Shelvey / Victor Moses
    11. West Brom – Daniel Sturridge / Sebastian Coates
    12. Fulham – Theo Walcott / Ignesi Miquel
    13. Liverpool – Romelu Lukaku / Gary Gardner
    14. Everton – Jack Rodwell / Jack Robinson
    15. Chelsea – Phil Jones / Davide Santon
    16. Tottenham – Josh McEachran / Wojciech Szczesny
    17. Newcastle – Kieran Gibbs / Alex Kacaniklic
    18. Arsenal – Aaron Ramsey / Carl Jenkinson
    19. Manchester City – Chris Smalling / James McClean
    20. Manchester United – Ryo Miyachi / Raheem Sterling

  7. Anyone who thinks bale is actually as good as all the media hype over the last 18 months is also delusional, in my humble opinion of course.

    1. These aren’t mutually exclusive, though. He can be not as good as the media makes him out to be, and good enough to warrant a top pick in this draft.

  8. Round One
    Reading-Gareth Bale
    Blackburn-Phil Jones
    Bolton-David De Gea
    Wigan-Danny Welbeck
    QPR-Tom Cleverly
    Aston Villa-Daniel Sturridge
    Stoke-Mario Balotelli
    Norwich-Theo Walcott
    Swansea-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Sunderland-Kieran Gibbs
    West Brom-Chris Smalling
    Fulham-Victor Moses
    Liverpool-Romelu Lukaku
    Everton-Jack Wilshire
    Chelsea-Kyle Walker
    Spurs-Junior Hoilett
    Arsenal-Wojciech Szczesny
    Man City-Jack Rodwell
    Man United-Aaron Ramsey

    Round Two
    Reading-Andy Carrol
    Blackburn-Jordan Henderson
    Bolton-Marc Albrighton
    Wigan-Nathan Delfouneso
    QPR-Jonjo Shelvey
    Aston Villa-Josh McEachran
    Stoke-Paul Pogba
    Norwich-Sebastian Coates
    Swansea-Kerim Frei
    Sunderland-David Santon
    West Brom-Dedryck Boyata
    Fulham-Ryo Miyachi
    Liverpool-Connor Wickham
    Everton-Carl Jenkinson
    Chelsea-Jack Robinson
    Spurs-Gary Gardner
    Newcastle-Ignasi Miquel
    Arsenal-James McClean
    Man City-Alex Kacaniklic
    Man United-Raheem Sterling

    1. Mark,

      I realize there isn’t much relativity to the EPL but it’s meant for fun and there are prizes available. You’re more than welcome to test your knowledge and see how you stack up against the others who have taken part.


      Morgan Green

  9. Gareth Bale – Reading
    Theo Walcott – Blackburn
    Daniel Sturridge – Bolton
    Mario Ballotelli – Wigan
    Phil Jones – Qpr
    Jack Wilshere – Aston Villa
    Jack Rodwell – Stoke
    Chris Smalling – Norwich
    Danny Welbeck – Swansea
    Tom Cleverly – Sunderland
    Alex Ox Chamberlain – WBA
    David De Gea – Fulham
    Junior Hoilett – Liverpool
    Kyle Walker – Everton
    Victor Moses – Chelsea
    Wojiech Scezny – Spurs
    Kieran Gibbs – Newcastle
    Andy Carroll – Arsenal

    Josh McEchran – Man City
    Aaron Ramsey – Man Utd
    Romelu Lukaku – Reading
    Nathan Delfonseou – Blackburn
    Ryo Miachi – Bolton
    Conor Wickham – Wigan
    Frimpong – Qpr
    Paul Pogba – Aston Villa
    Kerim Frei – Stoke
    Sebastian Coates – Norwich
    Dedryck Boyata – Swansea
    Ignasi Miquel – Sunderland
    James Clean WBA
    Marc Albrighton – Fulham
    Alex Kakanalic – Liverpool
    Jack Robinson – Everton
    Jonjo Shelvey – Chelsea
    Gary Gardner – Spurs
    Davide Santon – Newcastle
    Raheem Sterling – Man City
    Carl Jenkinson – Man Utd

  10. Round 1
    Reading: Mario Balotelli
    Blackburn: Romelu Lukaku
    Bolton: Tom Cleverly
    Wigan: Danny Welbeck
    QPR: Daniel Sturridge
    Aston Villa: Aaron Ramsey
    Stoke City: Andy Carroll
    Norwich City: Phil Jones
    Swansea City: Gareth Bale
    Sunderland: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    West Brom: Theo Walcott
    Fulham: David Hoilett
    Liverpool: Emanuel Frimprong
    Everton: Victor Moses
    Chelsea: Jack Rodwell
    Tottenham: Kyle Walker
    Newcastle: Jordan Henderson
    Arsenal: Jack Wilshere
    Manchester City: Stefan Savic
    Manchester United: David De Gea

    Round 2
    Reading: Wojciech Szczęsny
    Blackburn: Chris Smalling
    Bolton: Conor Wickham
    Wigan: James McCarthy
    QPR: Martin Kelly
    Aston Villa: Rafael
    Stoke City: Davide Santon
    Norwich City: Marc Albrighton
    Swansea City: Nathan Delfouneso
    Sunderland: James McClean
    West Brom: Sebastien Coates
    Fulham: Ignasi Miquel
    Liverpool: Frederico Macheda
    Everton: Kerim Frei
    Chelsea: Oriol Romeu
    Tottenham: Josh McEchran
    Newcastle: Dan Gosling
    Arsenal: Carl Jenkinson
    Manchester City: Gary Gardner
    Manchester United: Paul Pogba

    I think the top offensive players, goal scorers and creative players, will go first unless it’s a sure fire defender. Most of the teams picking high in the draft will likely need goals more than defense. sexy football baby!

  11. I understand this is a project in fantasy, but it would seem that the PL would actually find itself using a draft similar to MLB then the NFL. The NFL has a built in free feeder system in college football. and its localized. MLB is an international game and raws from youth leagues, like the PL. Many PL clubs have affiliate clubs to ship out younger players for loans… and the MLB has a draft that would be similar to the PL, on unknown players. In todays world football even a talented 13 year old is known by the best clubs already. actually a draft would be good for the development for the 13 to 18 yo players…

  12. This is one for the Americans, I have looked at the rules and I still don’t know what you’re suppose to do

    Best player in 3 yrs time though will be Josh McEachran. I’ll put £20 on it

  13. The NFL Draft is a footnote compared to the headlines coming from world of real football when the two best teams with dozens of world-class players, including Ronaldo and Messi, crashed out of the Champions League.

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