In 2014, MLS doubled the size of the draft. The event had always been something of a crapshoot, teams struggling to find depth and even competent contributors beyond the first 10 or 15 picks. But by killing off the Supplemental Draft in the same stroke, the idea was to open the event up to hidden gems.
Seeing them for what they were, the league shielded the third and fourth rounds behind a conference call and has kept this format ever since. And now that we have a decent-sized chunk of data from three consecutive drafts, we can pull back and take a broader look at the players, depth and minutes bursting out of the third and fourth rounds.
And at least so far, the returns are damning. Perhaps something to keep in mind as MLS teams prepare for the 2017 draft in LA next month.