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



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