PLL Mock Draft: Midfield, Defense Dominate Round 1


Phil Shore has Thomas McConvey going No. 1 overall to the Atlas.

The Premier Lacrosse League College Draft will take place on Tuesday, May 9.

Putting together a mock draft is like putting together a large puzzle: you take the information you already know about the players and try to combine it with the (sometimes misleading) things coaches say as they try not to tip their hands.

There are bound to be surprises. During the PLL’s pre-draft media, every coach admitted they were talking with other teams about trading to move up or down in the draft. This mock draft keeps the eight teams where they are on May 4 before any trades potentially take place.


1. Atlas: Thomas McConvey, M, Virginia

New head coach Mike Pressler said he is looking to take a midfielder early. He also said the team doesn’t need a big, downhill dodger but more of a complementary player. That seemed like a coded way of saying, “We aren’t drafting Sam Handley,” who has been prognosticated for the top pick for quite some time. So, knowing they will be guaranteed to get either Gavin Adler or Will Bowen with their second pick, and it seeming like the Redwoods have interest in McConvey, the Atlas going for the guy who scored 60 goals for Vermont in 2022 and was the top pick in the NLL draft, joining Kevin Crowley, Lyle Thompson, and Jeff Teat as the only players selected first overall in both the pro field league (MLL or PLL) and the NLL.

2. Redwoods: Sam Handley, M, Penn

The Redwoods already have a lot of strong defenders as primary contributors, and head coach Nat St. Laurent said there are guys on offense they like for this pick, and particularly, guys that have been taken in the NLL Draft. It seemed like McConvey was a fit, especially with John Grant Jr. as the new offensive coordinator, but with him going first overall, the Redwoods take Handley and recreate the Rochester Rattlers “big boy” midfield line from yesteryear, using Handley with Myles Jones and Sergio Perkovic.

3. Atlas: Gavin Adler, D, Cornell

Adler was excellent in 2022 helping the Big Red get to the national title game, and he has been remarkable in 2023, often referred to as “The Eraser.” He’s first on Paul Carcaterra’s Big Board, and the Atlas will be happy to add him with the inevitable Tucker Durkin retirement within the next couple of seasons.

4. Chrome: Will Bowen, D, Georgetown

Head coach Tim Soudan said this could be the last year Jesse Bernhardt or Mike Manley play professional lacrosse, so adding defensive depth would be key, especially while they are in position to get one of the top four guys. Bowen is an imposing defender, similar in size to Manley. He’s got two USILA first-team All-American nominations to his name, and he’s picked up a lot of ground balls and caused a lot of turnovers in his career. Adding him to a defense with JT Giles Harris and in front of Sean Sconone would make for a very difficult defense to compete against.

5. Archers: Brett Makar, D, Maryland

Even with Warren Jeffrey returning, head coach Chris Bates said he would like to add to the defense. Additionally, the Archers are undergoing a roster shakeup, losing five impact players from the club’s original roster: Marcus Holman, Will Manny and Adam Ghitelman to free agency, and Scott Ratliff and Dominique Alexander to retirement. That leaves a leadership void, one a young player like Grant Ament could step into. Makar, the first Terp to wear the respected No. 1 jersey since 1993, could do the same.

6. Whipsnakes: Matt Campbell, M, Villanova          

For the first time in PLL history, the Whipsnakes didn’t make an appearance in the championship game. They made a big splash in free agency by signing Manny. Jim Stagnitta said he’d like to add a dynamic midfielder to take the pressure off his stars, and Campbell has been scoring in bunches this year. He’s scored four or more goals on five different occasions.

7. Chaos: Tucker Dordevic, A/M, Georgetown

The former Syracuse All-American has caught fire in April. In Georgetown’s final six regular season games, Dordevic scored at least four goals in five of them. Chaos head coach Andy Towers is set at defense, so he would like to add to the offense, especially considering they lost Mac O’Keefe in free agency. Dordevic gives them some positional flexibility to either compete for a spot on attack or play in the midfield. It doesn’t hurt that Chaos defender Jack Rowlett is an assistant coach for Georgetown.

8. Waterdogs: Payton Rezanka, SSDM, Loyola

As the defending champs, the Waterdogs don’t have many needs. They also signed most of their core to extensions this summer. After the retirement of Ryan Brown, they signed Jake Carraway. They did not, however, bring in a short-stick defensive midfielder to fill the void created by the retirement of Steve DeNapoli. While the teams ahead of them try to load up on the top poles and midfielders, the Waterdogs could strike first and get the best defensive midfielder in the draft.


9. Cannons: Owen Grant, D, Delaware

The Cannons allowed the most scores last season and had the worst scoring differential. They also have the two oldest players in the league, Brodie Merrill and Kyle Hartzell, who play defense. Getting one of the top four defenders with the ninth pick would be a steal.

10. Redwoods: Brian Tevlin, M, Notre Dame

The Redwoods would benefit from fresh legs in transition, especially after losing Pat Harbeson to retirement. Tevlin is arguably the best two-way midfielder in the college game and would fit in nicely with the other former Irish on the roster.

11. Atlas: Xander Dickson, A, Virginia

With Jeff Teat, Eric Law and Chris Gray on attack and Bryan Costabile and Romar Dennis at midfield, the Atlas, as Pressler noted, don’t need someone on the ball; they need a player that can work off it. Dickson is so good at getting open off-ball, and he would greatly benefit from being on the field with teammates who command so much attention.

12. Chrome: Alex Mazzone, LSM/D, Johns Hopkins

The Chrome add more impactful youth to the defense, this time with an LSM that has had a strong grad season with the Blue Jays. Mazzone leads the team in ground balls.

13. Archers: Mike Sisselberger, FO, Lehigh

The Archers faceoff position has never truly been settled, and this season is no exception thanks to an injury to Justin Inacio. Bates is optimistic Inacio will get cleared at some point, but the chance to get the top faceoff athlete — and maybe someone to lock down the position permanently — will not be something the team passes on.

14. Whipsnakes: Petey LaSalla, FO, Virginia

Joe Nardella tore his ACL at tryouts late in 2022. The Whipsnakes have relied heavily on Nardella’s dominance, so they will take another of the top-tier faceoff prospects in LaSalla before it’s too late, especially considering the roster is solid everywhere else.

15. Chaos: Garrett Leadmon, M, Duke

Towers is all about team-first guys, and Leadmon has done whatever the Blue Devils have needed over the years. He’s been their defensive midfielder in the past, and this year, he’s fourth on the team in scoring and is the top scoring midfielder for the team.

16. Waterdogs: Kyle Long, M, Maryland

Mikie Schlosser was injured late in the 2022 season, and his status is unknown for the summer. Schlosser initiates a lot of offense, so the Waterdogs could use a playmaking midfielder. Long is an excellent passer, and being able to hit guys like Kieran McCardle or Jack Carraway would only make him more impactful.


17. Chaos: Tye Kurtz, A, Delaware

He’s a dependable player, starting every game of his college career, and has been an impressive goal scorer, posting consecutive 45-plus-goal seasons.

18. Redwoods: Ethan Rall, LSM, Rutgers

John Sexton is ready to play this season, according to St. Laurent, but it wouldn’t hurt to add depth, especially with an All-Big Ten selection who has picked up 100 ground balls and caused over 50 turnovers the past two seasons.

19. Atlas: Jeff Conner, M, Virginia

The Atlas continue to bolster the midfield, this time with a true two-way midfielder who can shoot and help on faceoffs. His ability to do multiple things can help him crack an already stacked lineup.

20. Chrome: Jack Myers, A, Ohio State

Soudan said reigning Rookie of the Year Brendan Nichtern will not miss the entire season due to military commitments; he also said he is happy with Jackson Morrill at X. Still, it would be a value move to draft Myers, who can platoon at X or add depth on the wing.

21. Archers: Chet Comizio, SSDM, Villanova

After the retirement of Alexander, the Archers will look to add depth to the position. Comizio has had an excellent season for the Wildcats and would be a great addition.

22. Whipsnakes: John Geppert, LSM, Maryland

An offensive midfielder in high school who transitioned to defensive midfielder and eventually LSM at Maryland, Geppert could learn under one of the best LSMs in the history of the sport in Michael Erhardt.

23. Chaos: Cam Wyers, D, Loyola

He’s an imposing force on defense whose started every game of his career and should fit in with the Chaos, especially as a first-round pick in the NLL by the Buffalo Bandits.

24. Waterdogs: Zach Cole, FO, Saint Joseph’s

Jake Withers is on the holdout list and will miss time between NLL and Team Canada commitments. Cole, who owns a 66.4 winning percentage in college, would come in and compete with Zac Tucci for reps.


25. Cannons: Chris Fake, D, Notre Dame

The reshaping of the Cannons defense continues, this time with a three-time All-American in Fake.

26. Redwoods: James Reilly, FO, Georgetown

The Redwoods select Reilly to take some pressure off incumbent starter TD Ierlan, especially after he also plays with the U.S. in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship.

27. Atlas: Levi Anderson, A/M, Saint Joseph’s

He’s got good size, positional flexibility and is a walking hat trick. In 14 games this season, he has 10 games of at least three goals, including an eight-goal effort in a win against St. John’s in March.

28. Chrome: Brian Minicus, A/M, Georgetown

A talented lefty, the Chrome bring in another talented scorer that can play on attack or out of the box.

29. Archers: Troy Hettinger, LSM, Jacksonville

He’s not Scott Ratliff, who retired this past offseason, but Hettinger can play in transition and can put the ball in the back of the net.

30. Whipsnakes: Wilson Stephenson, D, Duke

He’s leading Duke in caused turnovers for the second consecutive season, and this year, he is second on the team in ground balls.

31. Chaos: Elijah Gash, LSM, Albany

Towers and Co. can select another big, NLL defender who produced career highs in ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (18) in 2023.

32. Waterdogs: Quin McCahon, M, Notre Dame

The defending champs continue to add talent to the midfield, this time grabbing a two-way midfielder that has scored in eight of the team’s 11 games.


Most Recent

Bandits, Mammoth Set for Winner-Take-All Game 3

Just like a season ago, it comes down to Game 3 in Buffalo.

2023 Premier Lacrosse League Preview: Chrome LC

We're going team by team before the June 3 opener. Today, it's Chrome LC.

2023 Premier Lacrosse League Preview: Chaos LC

We're going team by team before the June 3 opener. Today, it's Chaos LC.

Calgary's Christian Del Bianco Named National Lacrosse League MVP

Del Bianco is just the second goalie in league history to earn the top honor.

Twitter Posts