Jared Jansen (East Fremantle)
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 91 kg
Player comparison: Jobe Watson
Strengths: Tackling, clearances, dual midfielder
Weaknesses: Speed, disposal
Jared Jansen is unlike many other midfielders in the draft crop this year. He is a big bodied clearance midfielder who has shown an ability to dominate against people his own age. He has one of the biggest bodies out of all of the draft chances this year and he certainly knows how to use his height and bulk to his advantage.
Jansen dominates in the congestion of the centre square and is one of the better clearance winners in the draft. He uses his bullocking frame to barge through and pick up the loose ball and is certainly not afraid of body contact. He can also block to make it easier for his teammates to win the ball, as he showed in the Champs where he often played second fiddle to Patrick Cripps and took care of his man to allow him to pounce on the ball. His tackling is fantastic but it is what you would expect from a physical big man. He makes them stick and opponents end up looking on the ground for their teeth when they get up. When Jansen tackles or blocks you, you don’t get up and impact the contest.
A huge advantage with Jansen is that he is not purely an inside player as he has shown an ability to go forward and kick goals and he has a reasonable ability to spread and get easy kicks on the wings and flanks. As a forward he uses his frame to take marks and outbody his midfield opponent so he creates a mismatch or forces a defender to switch onto him. His goalkicking is shaky and he has kicked an inaccurate 11.11 this year so it is something he needs to work on because he is quite dangerous when he sneaks forward.
Jansen has a reasonable endurance base which allows him to run to space and play his part in counterattacks. He is often the linkup man in the middle and his skills are decent enough when under no pressure so he can play that role. However when under duress his disposal is sloppy, particularly by hand where he often loses control of the ball or turns it over in close and congested situations. This weakness can be focused on by having a big bodied midfielder follow him around which negates his clearance ability, something which teams have trialled in the WAFL Colts this year.
Another weakness Jansen has is his lack of pace. You wouldn’t expect somebody with such a large frame to be a line breaker but Jansen is particularly slow and would struggle to outrun most players. This puts pressure on him to dispose of the ball quickly which can cause turnovers, as outlined above.
Despite having a good season at Colts level, Jansen struggled during the Champs and averaged just 14 possessions at 62 percent efficiency along with 3.6 tackles. Whilst half of these were contested which excuses the inaccuracy of the disposal it was a rather poor return from somebody who averages 23 touches in the Colts. The poor Champs is likely to see him slide down the draft order, as he was talked up as a second to third round chance earlier in the season.
Jansen was selected by Geelong in the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft because he can come in straight away and play a role in the midfield. Geelong is going to lose some experienced and big bodies in the midfield in the next few years and Jansen can help to maintain the clearance rate and provide physicality in that midfield.