Ask anyone who's being honest, and they'll tell you that the MLS SuperDraft is highly unpredictable. Sure, there is often a consensus around the top couple picks -- and this year it seems to be that most believe Cal defenders Steve Birnbaum and Christian Dean will go 1-2 -- but once it gets past the third pick it's really a guessing game.
So, the idea that any one mock draft is going to tell you much is probably a bit of folly, especially if you are trying to know who the Sounders might get at No. 13. That said, it's useful to take a look at multiple drafts and see if we can't find a theme developing, maybe not as to who the Sounders are going to take but who might be available at least.
With all that said, I thought it would be useful to go through the various mock drafts and see what kind of players the Sounders will be looking at.
Who they picked: Aodhan Quinn, F/M, Akron
The reasoning: "A quality man that can help is perfect."
Who I would have picked: Pedro Ribeiro, M, Coastal Carolina. Shockingly, Ribeiro went No. 23 in our mock draft, which frankly is not going to happen. If he's available, I just can't see the Sounders passing up on a talent like this. He's 6-foot-4, finished off his collegiate career with 11 goals and 7 assists in his senior seaosn and has great feet. He'd be a perfect fit as an outside mid in a diamond or as a backup to Osvaldo Alonso. Also available: Mamadou Diouf, Joey Dillon, Reinaldo Brenes, Jared Watts, Kyle Venter.
MLSsoccer.com - Simon Borg
Who he picked: Schillo Tshuma, M/F, Maryland
The reasoning: "Has the skill and speed to be effective there."
Who I would have picked: Tshuma would be a great pick here. He's arguably the best pure winger in the draft and, even if the Sounders are going to deploy the diamond, they need some tactical versatility. He could also slot in as a forward. Keep in mind that no other draft had him available at this point, though. Also available: Quinn, Brenes, Dillon and Diouf.
MLSsoccer.com - Matthew Doyle
Who he picked: Dillon, DM, Georgetown
The reasoning: "The cupboard is truly bare behind Ozzy Alonso at d-mid."
Who I would have picked: Steve Neumann, M, Georgetown. He was gone by this point in every other mock draft, mainly because Neumann offers the kind of upside you don't pass up this late. There are doubts about his ability to physically adapt to MLS, but he's got the kind of passing ability that would be a great fit at the tip of the diamond and potentially give the Sounders a real backup for Clint Dempsey. Also Available: JJ Koval, Watts, Venter, Quinn, Brenes, Diouf.
MLSsoccer.com - Nate Sulat
Who he picked: Dillon
The reasoning: He's a solid backup for Alonso.
Who I would have picked: Quinn. From what I've seen, he's got the skills to play in MLS and he definitely has the kind of head he needs. I don't think the Sounders would pass on him. Finished off his college career with a seven-goal season that included five goals in his final six games. Also available: Watts, Venter, Koval, Brenes, Diouf.
Soccer by Ives
Who he picked: Nikita Kotlov, M, Indiana
The reasoning: Calls it a reach but says the Sounders need midfielders like Kotlov, "who can provide service and also score goals."
Who I would have picked: Quinn. If the Sounders are going to reach, they are going to reach on a player they know well, not on some random dude from the Big 10 they've only seen a couple times. Also available: Watts, Sweat, Koval, Brenes, Diouf.
Top Drawer Soccer
Who they picked: Sweat, FB, South Florida
The reasoning: "Seattle needs reinforcements at left back. Sweat is the best option."
Who I would have picked: Quinn. Are the Sounders thin at LB? Yes. Are they going to draft for need there? No. I'm not sure there's any good reason to think that Sweat is going to be an upgrade over Dylan Remick, who they picked last year and seem to still like. Also available: Franco, Venter, Watts, Diouf, Dillon.
Who they picked: Koval, M, Stanford
The reasoning: "Koval is the top man standing. That's analysis, folks."
Who I would have picked: Quinn. I'll admit that Koval seems like an intriguing pick, if for no other reason than the Sounders will have seen him play a bunch because he's teammates with Aaron Kovar and Jordan Morris. So, if Koval is really any good, the Sounders should know. He had just two goals and two assists, but did start all 21 matches. Also available: Watts, Venter, Brenes, Diouf, Sweat.
Quinn was available in literally every mock draft I looked at and the Sounders seem to really like him. Sounders U23 coach and youth academy director Darren Sawatzky spoke very highly of Quinn, lauding him for his leadership especially.
People like to say that the Sounders are really unpredictable when it comes to the draft -- and that was a common refrain in these mocks -- but one thing they tend to do is pick players with whom they are familiar. Quinn is definitely that, and he has a lot of attributes the Sounders are looking for, namely leadership and creativity. Unless a talent like Schuma or Neumann unexpectedly fall down the board, I actually think Quinn will be a guy the Sounders are targeting.