Entry Draft Spotlight: Liam Byrnes
Liam Byrnes is the best help defender in this Entry Draft class. Watch him play, and you’ll notice nothing but head swivels, finger points, and a foot in the paint at all times.
The 2019 MLL Defensive Player of the Year can play any defensive role: Cover man at X, organizer slotted onto an off-ball attackman, or above the arc at LSM. Bank on Byrnes as an organizer in the PLL.
Byrnes’ anticipation is uncanny. He sees hedges and arrives where the offense wants to reverse the ball to. His early arrivals either buy teammates time to recover or prevent passes entirely.
Byrnes goes above and beyond his help responsibilities. He’s always ready to re-slide when one of his teammates further along on the carousel gets hitched and run by.
That help after help is rare. It’s impromptu. Instincts like that are promising in an uptempo game that features multiple actions squeezed into a 52-second shot clock.
Every defense in the league is attempting to cook up the same chemistry that the Whipsnakes, Redwoods, and Archers have. A vocal on-field leader – that middle linebacker type player with the green dot on his helmet – can clean up missed second slides and late closeouts. Byrnes is that type of defender.