2013 Draft Profile: Lewis Taylor

Lewis Taylor (Geelong Falcons)

Height: 173 cm
Weight: 73 kg
Strengths: able to create time and space, can drift forward as well as being an elite ball winner, great leadership qualities.
Weaknesses: Can sometimes rush his disposal instead of lowering his eyes looking for a target.
Player Comparison: Joel Selwood

The Geelong Falcons have had a stellar year so far in this TAC Cup season. Having just lost just two matches and sitting two games clear on top of the ladder, the Falcons have put together a team that knows how to win. A player that has provided a big presence down at Geelong is star midfielder, Lewis Taylor.

Lewis Taylor is a ready-made AFL player at this point. He is a prolific ball winner and is able to create space and time for him to get the best possible disposal. Being an elite ball winner, this enables Taylor to work hard and be able to create more space for himself. His ball winning ability also allows his teammates to break wide for an easy run into their forward 50.

Although almost a permanent midfielder, Taylor has the ability to drift down forward and create a presence that worries defenders. He is not a tall player, so when the ball goes to ground, he is able to pick it up and either find a teammate, or be able to slot home a goal. This ability is huge as a midfielder, as it makes the opposition accountable for Taylor all over the ground.

Taylor has emerged this season as one of the most prolific players in the country. This was further shown when he was selected to represent Vic Country in this years’ National Championships. One of Taylor’s top qualities as a player is that he is a natural leader, and is always the one to encourage a player after a goal or a mistake. This was recognized by the Vic Country coaches and managers, and he was was named the Vic Country captain for this years Championships.

With his performances Taylor put himself into top 10 draft contention in these Championships, gathering 24.7 possessions a game going at 78 per cent disposal efficiency, as well as averaging five clearances. There is no doubt about it, Taylor has the skill to be a top 10 player, and many teams could use him to replace an out going midfielder.

Throughout the AFL, there are several players that Taylor has the same qualities of, but the player that Taylor best compares with is Geelong captain, Joel Selwood. Lewis plays the game just like Selwood in the sense he is hard at the football and racks up the disposals. He is also able to use the ball at high disposal efficiency like Selwood. Taylor will no doubt be drafted this season and the team that selects him will benefit greatly.

In seeing the games that Taylor has played, it is very hard to see any weaknesses in his game. The only real weakness is that he can sometimes rush his disposal if he cannot create the space he does. He can bomb the ball long instead of lowering his eyes and hitting a target short. This isn’t a large weakness, especially when you have as much of the ball has Taylor does, although, if he worked on lowering his eyes, his disposal efficiency would rise and become elite for an dual midfielder.

Lewis Taylor has been on many AFL teams radars this season. His ability to win the footy at a contest appeals to almost every AFL club. He creates space not just for himself, but for his teammates also through his immense talent. He is also a ready-made leader. Taylor would fit perfectly at a young team that needs some leadership such as GWS, the Bulldogs or Melbourne.

With Taylor unlikely to be in the top few picks, a team like Richmond, Port Adelaide or in the case of Bound For Glory News Rising Stars phantom draft’s case, Collingwood could be in the prime position to snare him. If he ends up at the Pies he will complement the likes of Josh Thomas and Jarryd Blair who will win that contested ball but also run incredibly hard on the outside, to take the workload off Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams and Dale Thomas.

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