If i was going to defend any player it would be Gaul. He lacks some speed and might not have the endurance to last a full 90 but he's 6'5 and has scored a variety of goals in his career at Bradley (http://enbsports.blogspot.com/2012/0...ryan-gaul.html). I potentially put him in the same category as a Cooper, Dichio, or Casey and at worse an Alan Gordon.
Past 6'0+ forwards drafted include - Rob Friend (2003), Alan Gordan (2004), Nate Jaqua (2003), Will Bruin (2011), Teal Bunbury (2010), Danny Mwanga (2010) and not sure how good yet Omar Selgado (2011), Bright Dike (2010)
Big target man have a history of surviving in the MLS so in terms of "value for pick" I might have Gaul as the player with the most potential in the draft.
In terms of Hoffman I don't know if you can evaluate his college stats properly (http://enbsports.blogspot.com/2011/1...-chandler.html ). Personally I'm actually more impressed with his performance in the 2011 PDL with Orange County
At UCLA he was both injured early in his career (which should put some doubt in people scouting him) and was also only a full-time starter in 2011. In 2011 he did score 18 goals on only 24 shots on target which historically shows luck or great service oppose to a player who creates goals on his own. Also of his six assists, two were secondary assists which personally i don't count (only MLS and NCAA have a history of awarding two assists on a goal) and i think all 4 were passes well in the box.
I'm working on something evaluating all the past superdrafts and seeing how statistics in the NCAA resonate in terms of draft selection and how well they do during thier MLS career. Hoffman and other forwards in this draft remind me of players such as John Cunliffe (7th pick in 2007) John Garey (3rd pick in 2006), Diego Walsh (7th pick in 2003), Matt Taylor (4th pick in 2004) who had great final college years statistically in terms of goal scored but failed to do so in the MLS and basically regarded as useless. Only Alecko Eskandarian unanimous first pick of 2003 was able to show some return based on his hype.
This being said I imagine Hoffman will be picked far ahead of Gaul and I'll have to find the thread in a few years saying "I told you so"