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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
|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|
|11||Danny Welbeck||21||FWD||West Bromwich Albion|
|15||David De Gea||21||GK||Chelsea|
|16||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||18||MID||Tottenham Hotspur|
|17||Kyle Walker||21||DEF||Newcastle United|
|19||Paul Pogba||19||MID||Manchester City|
|20||Aaron Ramsey||21||MID||Manchester Untied|
|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|
|31||Gary Gardner||19||MID||West Bromwich Albion|
|36||Victor Moses||21||FWD||Tottenham Hotspur|
|37||Dedryck Boyata||21||DEF||Newcastle United|
|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