Top 5 Best 2021 NWSL Draft Picks

Top 5 Best 2021 NWSL Draft Picks 

January 18, 2021

The Top 5 Best 2021 NWSL Draft picks highlight youth and talent. The 2021 NWSL Draft presented a unique set of circumstances this year since the majority of first round picks didn’t even play a Fall 2020 season but here are the Top 5 Best Picks assessed by Travis Clark from TopDrawerSoccer:

Snap judgements can still be made off the available evidence for each player’s past performances and it does seem likely that several picks could end up proving savvier than normal.

No. 2 – Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)

Perhaps going with Brianna Pinto here might have been a safer pick. Rodman represented easily the highest risk, highest reward among draft-eligible players. The U20 standout excelled in the ECNL for a dominant SoCal Blues side before spending a semester at Washington State – leaving before playing a game. The Spirit doubling down on youth is what makes this a favored pick of mine, even if the organization wasn’t able to get the most out of Mallory Pugh during her time here. Rodman has a decent way to go, but if she can adjust quickly, could fashion herself into a key player sooner than one may expect.

As a strong proponent of the #PlayYourKids movement, here’s hoping Rodman finds success. A front line of Ashley Sanchez, Rodman and Tara McKeown (another first round pick of Washington) could be a lot of fun.

No. 12 – Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns)

Expected to play the spring season, Coffey’s uncertain timeline surely was a factor in her slipping down to this spot in the draft. A creative talent that should thrive alongside some of Portland’s high-flying attacking talent, the Throns need to make a strong pitch to Coffey to make sure she signs a contract when she’s doing playing at Penn State.

No. 23 – Taryn Torres (Sky Blue FC)

Few players improve at their programs like Virginia graduates do. And while Torres may not have a high ceiling, she showed the ability to play a deeper role for the Cavaliers after spending time as a more attack-minded player in club soccer. She battled an injury in the 2020 fall season, limiting her to just a few appearances. With Pinto snapped up at No. 3 and Torres on the way, it was a good day for the New Jersey club’s central midfield.No. 28 – Jimena Lopez (OL Reign)

It was a bit of a strange one to see Lopez fall this far, although the Texas A&M star potentially requires an international spot to play. An attacking left back that could also play further up the field on the wing, Lopez emerged as a creative force in her ability to both score goals and create them from wide spaces. Reign, with an extra international spot, agreed with the assessment and picked the first-round caliber talent in the third round. She could always end up signing with a club in Mexico or Spain, and elect to eschew this chance with OL Reign. Still, it’s a good pick and a worthwhile dice roll.

No. 31 – Emily Smith (Racing Louisville)

A tremendous soccer mind and technically talented central midfield, Smith in the fourth round is a great pickup. Like a lot of college players, how she’s able to adapt to the higher level of speed and physically will determine her success. And Smith could certainly look to stay for the spring season and move abroad this summer. But she has spent her first three seasons of college soccer going up against the best attackers in the Pac-12 while helping California greatly improve, so there is plenty of reason to believe that she could be a success for the expansion franchise.

No. 28 – Jimena Lopez (OL Reign)

It was a bit of a strange one to see Lopez fall this far, although the Texas A&M star potentially requires an international spot to play. An attacking left back that could also play further up the field on the wing, Lopez emerged as a creative force in her ability to both score goals and create them from wide spaces. Reign, with an extra international spot, agreed with the assessment and picked the first-round caliber talent in the third round. She could always end up signing with a club in Mexico or Spain, and elect to eschew this chance with OL Reign. Still, it’s a good pick and a worthwhile dice roll.

MORE:2021 NWSL Draft Results

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