Who should the Denver Outlaws draft in the second round?

By Topher Adams | May 7, 2024

The first overall pick will set the tone for Denver’s 2024 PLL Draft class. But the Outlaws, fresh off a last-place finish, need to land not just one, but several immediate contributors on draft night. 

Fortunately for head coach Tim Soudan, his team also owns both the ninth and 11th overall selections – plenty of ammunition to turn around a squad that won just one game last season.

“Picking one, nine and 11, I think we get three guys that start and are impactful right away,” Soudan said ahead of the draft, which begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN+.

Two years ago, Soudan did this perfectly. He drafted Logan Wisnauskas first overall and Brendan Nichtern in the second round. Both players were All-Stars as rookies, Nichtern won PLL Rookie of the Year and the team made the playoffs. 

“We picked Wisnauskas No. 1 two years ago, and he was really good when we had Nichtern,” Soudan said.

Now, the Outlaws need to do it again. With three of the first 11 picks in the draft, Denver is in a position to add two immediate impact players, in addition to their superstar first pick.

Brennan O’Neill or Connor Shellenberger will likely be Denver’s new Batman in the first round. Here are the potential Robins available in Round 2:

The Dream: Matt Brandau, Yale

Denver needs a true X attackman. Nichtern is on the holdout list, and Jackson Morrill was traded to the Whipsnakes last season. Shellenberger could be that replacement, but if O’Neill is the pick at No. 1 overall, the Outlaws still need a quarterback behind the cage.

Brandau – the leading scorer in college lacrosse this season – would be the perfect fit. The Yale star racked up 101 points in 15 games this season to close out an illustrious collegiate career. But will he be available in the second round? 

Brandau is also one of the most malleable offensive pieces in the draft. He’s two-handed, an efficient passer and an effective goal-scorer. While primarily an on-ball creator for the Bulldogs, he’s also been a strong off-ball finisher. 

Even if Shellenberger goes first overall, Brandau would still be a massive addition for the Outlaws. He could slide in on the right wing or run out of the box and be a high-level contributor to complement Shellenberger and Wisnauskas.

The Midfielders: TJ Malone, Penn State; Graham Bundy, Georgetown

Sam Handley and Justin Anderson are the only locked-in contributors in Denver’s midfield. With Colin Heacock off to the Whipsnakes, there are several open spots in the Outlaws midfield. Even if Denver opts for another position at No. 9, a midfielder would be in play with the 11th pick, which the Outlaws acquired in the Morrill trade.

“There's going to be some middies that can be impactful for us right away,” Soudan said. 

Malone could’ve been a pro last year. Chaos extended a training camp invite to the Penn State star in 2023, but he opted to return to Happy Valley. That decision paid off with a second Big Ten Player of the Year award and an NCAA tournament appearance.

While he starts at attack for Penn State, Malone projects as a midfielder at the next level. He has an explosive first step and the ability to attack from X, the wing or up top. His skillset could make him the long-awaited heir to Ned Crotty in midfield.

Malone is a tricky fit for the Outlaws roster if O’Neill goes No. 1, however. O’Neill and Wisnauskas are both left-handed players who play in similar spots to Malone. If Denver picks Shellenberger, Malone would be a more comfortable fit.

Bundy would give Denver another powerful midfielder to partner with Handley. The Georgetown All-American is a dangerous goal-scorer with a hammer of a shot.

His shooting ability from range adds a different weapon to the Outlaws’ midfield unit. Handley is a playmaker, and Anderson is a versatile dodger. Bundy could be a field-stretching shooter and secondary initiator.

Denver also owns the third pick in Round 3 (No. 19 overall) and the first pick in Round 4 (No. 25).