2020 Draft: Top 3 Prospects
By Joe Keegan | May 12, 2020
Grant Ament, A, Penn State
Ament is the best quarterback in this class. Before he has even put on a PLL uniform, there’s a case to be made that he’s the second best passer on the planet. A strong case.
When Ament drops his stick, he creates passing lanes that would never exist from an overhand release. His success rate on those skip passes is insane. Ament tallied 189 assists (on only 89 turnovers) during his career at Penn State. Only a handful of players were able to maintain a positive assist-to-turnover ratio in 2019; being +100 for an entire college career is absurdly efficient.
The Archers need a strong presence at X after losing Christian Cuccinello (fourth in points created from X in 2019 behind Jordan Wolf, Matt Rambo, and Connor Fields). Ament would plug right into the league’s most unselfish offense.
Defenses will test his dodge-to-shoot game. Slides are slower in the pros. On-ball defenders are allowed to be more physical. Ament has shown that he can beat those slow-to-go defenses in college, but they will be an entirely different beast in the pros.
Bryan Costabile, M, Notre Dame
Costabile was built for the professional game. His range extends well beyond the 15-yard two-point arc. When defenders sprint to contest those shots, he’ll hitch and run by them. And although he was never asked to play defense in college, many expect he can survive on that end – a key to limiting opponent’s transition chances.
He won’t see the volume of shots (9.1 per game as a junior) that he did in college, but Costabile will see better shots. As a dodger, he’ll be attacking short-sticks. And off-ball, he’ll be able to float to his spot for stepdown shots.
Any team would be happy to add Costabile on Wednesday night. There’s no such thing as being “too deep” in the midfield – especially entering a two-week tournament. Depth in the middle of the field is more important than ever.
Peyton Smith, FO, Marist
Smith won 62.1% of his faceoffs at Marist. Predicting success at the next level is especially difficult for faceoff specialists. The rules are different: heads are lined up farther from the ball, wings are closer, and violations are more costly. Depending on how coaches project Smith to faceoff in the pros, he could be worth a top three pick.
Upgrading from a 45% faceoff specialist to a 50% faceoff specialist would be like a team with an average defense drafting the entire Whipsnakes defense on draft day. If the Redwoods or Waterdogs think Smith can faceoff at 50% or higher, then he is worth the pick. No offensive or defensive player has the potential to impact their respective unit the way Smith could impact a faceoff unit.