It was interesting to watch defenders to fly off the board early on in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. With all of them dropping off the board and the supposed thin aspect of this draft class, it was interesting to try and pick out who the Houston Dynamo would take - if they were going to take anyone at all.
It took about ninety minutes for the Dynamo to get on the clock, but by the time they did, they found that the prospects were perhaps better than they'd hoped. There were several Generation Adidas players still on the board, and Kinnear and Canetti took one in Wisconsin defender AJ Cochran.
Forget the similar last name to former Dynamo defender Ryan Cochrane - the comparisons I've been hearing are to Eddie Robinson. Big shoes to fill, no doubt, but it could be possible. At 6'3", he's considered by many to be the best aerial threat in the draft - and with the Dynamo's set piece woes lately, another big player is always welcome.
Some people are worried about his speed, but they also say that once he gets going, he's going. He could probably stand to improve his game, but he's young and that's expected. With Jermaine Taylor, Eric Brunner, and David Horst already in the fold, he'll have plenty of mentors - and don't forget about how Dom likes to develop centerbacks.
The Generation Adidas tag means that in his case, the Dynamo won't take a salary cap hit for three years - and with the allocation money lost due to no CCL berth, that's big. He may not get much first team time this year (again, the Dynamo will not be in CCL - that was always a good way to get young talent some much needed playing time), and it'll be interesting to see whether or not he'll be one of the loans out to USL Pro affiliate Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Yes, the Dynamo need back line help now. But a drafted player rarely helps out right away, and the year or two that it might take to develop Cochran will hopefully pack dividends for many years to come. With that in mind, let's give AJ Cochran a warm welcome to Houston, and hopefully, we'll be seeing him in orange for many years to come.