Luke McAlister’s Phantom Draft
Hi guys, I’m back again on the day of the draft to release my first and only phantom draft this season. I’ve ensured that the bidding calculations are as correct as possible. This year, in the profiles that follow each player, I won’t be including miscellaneous information about each player – things like stats and the like; everyone else seems to cover that. Instead I’m going to try and give some genuine insight into their qualities.
Pick 1 – Carlton: Jacob Weitering – KPD (195 cm, 94 kg, Dandenong Stingrays)
Jacob Weitering is simply the best player in the draft. An elite offensive minded centre half back, he possesses the best aerial read of the draft. At the next level, he can become the best intercept mark in the competition. One-on-one he also excels, capable of out-reading and out-playing his opponent. He also possesses a lethal kick, able to penetrate and create with ease. In Weitering, a club will get a 200-game bookend who will not only beat his opponent week in and week out, but create excellent offensive drive. Athletically he is very reasonable, with the only real slight weakness being that a quick key forward could beat him for pace occasionally.
Pick 2 – Brisbane: Josh Schache – KPF (199 cm, 101 kg, Murray Bushrangers)
Josh Schache is the dominant key forward in the crop. He is a powerful key forward who dominates more on physical presence than anything else, but that’s not to say he isn’t intelligent or athletic either. He’s got a solid endurance base for a key forward and also possesses a fantastic kick, especially when aiming at goal. Aerially he’s a very good mark, taking it in one grab and having good balance, rarely being knocked off the ball. While clean at ground level, he doesn’t move too well, being relatively slow with a poor turning circle. But with his level of dominance, he can afford that.
Pick 3 – Sydney: Callum Mills – IM (188 cm, 80 kg, North Shore)
Selected as an academy player, Mills will go very early despite playing very little football due to persistent injuries such as shin splints. He’s a big bodied and hard working inside midfielder with a gift for winning his own ball. Relative to other midfielders, he’s excellent overhead too. He knows how to find the ball and is a smart footballer. He’s also surprisingly athletic despite not looking it on the field sometimes, running good sprint times. The question is his kicking which is a bit iffy, but with time in the system should improve.
Pick 4 – Melbourne: Clayton Oliver – IM (187 cm, 86 kg, Murray Bushrangers)
There’s always one bloke who bolts from nowhere, and this year it’s Oliver. He was around but not really in the conversation until mid year, when he was noticed a bit more after playing some VFL football. His rate of improvement has been superb, which is often a sign of rapid improvement at the next level. A big bodied, hard working and somewhat explosive inside midfielder, Oliver also possesses great goal sense and a strong overhead mark. He already possesses some really likeable traits that the other midfielders don’t have this year, so he presents a real point of difference.
Pick 5 – GWS: Jacob Hopper – IM (185 cm, 85 kg, North Ballarat Rebels)
Tied to GWS via their academy, Hopper is a dominant and bullocking inside midfielder that influences every game. In terms of pure ball winning ability and inside nous, Hopper is the best in the draft. He positions himself so well in contested situations and is so clean and composed when winning the ball and consolidating it. He’s powerful while forward, kicking goals and dominating opponents. The only knock on him is that he’s not elite for speed nor a lethal kick.
Pick 6 – Essendon: Darcy Parish – BM (180 cm, 74 kg, Geelong Falcons)
If Parish is here when Essendon are on the clock, expect a quick selection. He’s a no-brainer. Parish has been hyped up and in the conversation for years now – being talked up as a top 5 pick since his stint in the 16s. Excelling as a bottom ager last year, Parish hasn’t dominated like one might have hoped this year, but he’s still done well. On the outside he’s silky; just so skilled, composed, classy and reasonably quick too. He works hard, finds space and does all the right things. But it’s the inside where he’s a bit of an unknown. Those that saw his academy games early in the season would think he’s got a real inside game with a hard edge and some mongrel – but after breaking his hand, he’s sat outside the contest a bit more. Having seen the academy game and just how dominant Parish can be on both sides of the contest, I’m sold on him. Essendon will be getting a franchise midfielder if they draft him.
Pick 7 – Essendon: Aaron Francis – UTIL (191 cm, 92 kg, West Adelaide)
This is the pick that could shape the rest of the first round. Essendon seem keen on a taller type, but who? Weideman? Francis? Curnow? Whoever they pick will have a real knock on effect. I’ve gone with Francis – he’s a bombers fan, so what better to get a kid in who’ll love the club already. As a player, I think Francis is a freak – he’s quick and supremely agile – potentially the most agile player in the draft, as well as possessing a great leap. Aerially he’s dominant, reading the flight so well and cutting across to intercept regularly. He’s also good one on one. By foot he’s close to the best in the draft, possessing a long, penetrating kick. He can play back on a variety of opponents, but also forward to a high level; which is where Essendon may play him; his leading patterns are solid and he creates separation and makes things happen. What Francis gives you is options – and Essendon need them.
Pick 8 – Gold Coast: Wayne Milera – SF/OM (183 cm, 78 kg, Central Districts)
Milera’s exciting. He’s nippy but not quick in straight lines, however in every other regard he is quick; the game speeds up with him in it. He makes quick and smart decisions with ball in hand, using it well and making things happen. He’s got the quickest hands I’ve seen in a long time and has an incredible knack of just dancing through traffic. When forward, he kicks goals. When in the midfield, he sets them up. When in defence, he creates offensive movement. He just makes things happen.
Pick 9 – Melbourne: Sam Weideman – KPF (196 cm, 94 kg, Eastern Ranges)
Sam Weideman is someone I think is overvalued by virtue of the fetishisation of key forwards. Especially ones who can mark. Which Weideman, to his credit, can. Unfortunately, he’s a poor kick and athletically leaves a lot to be desired. He also hasn’t played much so the sample size to mark him down as a gun is small.
Pick 10 – Carlton: Harry McKay – KPF (200 cm, 95 kg, Gippsland Power)
Adelaide have been linked with McKay for some time, so expect them to pounce if he’s there for their pick – which is why Carlton will go now; it’s far likelier Adelaide pick McKay than Curnow. Having burst onto the scene this year, McKay is a big key forward who plays the game like someone a lot smaller. He’s very athletic, quick and agile as well as clean at ground level – ridiculously so for a 200cm player. He’s a nice user of the ball and has a good read of the ball in flight, possessing early signs of a contested game. At this stage he’s a little too soft in his play, lacking aggression and physicality – something that should change with time and size. Expect him to play as a centre half forward type doing his best work around the half forward and wing areas.
Pick 11 – GWS: Matthew Kennedy – IM (187 cm, 88 kg, Collingullie-GP)
Matt Kennedy is just a gun. That’s about the only way to describe him. He’s not been as involved in the system as most, which in a way makes him more appealing. He’s just a dominant strong bodied midfielder who can play up forward well. Overhead he’s elite, he’s well balanced with ball in hand and very spacially aware. On the inside he finds the best way to win the ball and moves in and out of traffic well. He gets from contest to contest with his high endurance. The knock is his kicking, which is at times shaky.
Pick 12 – Brisbane: Eric Hipwood – UTIL (202 cm, 84 kg, Aspley)
Capable of playing at both ends, Hipwood will end up at Brisbane via the academy system. Very tall for a key position player, Hipwood is raw, but has a lot to work with. He’s a smooth mover with good agility, speed and smart running patterns, and just finds a way to get things done. With his athleticism and size, he’ll take time but grow into an AFL player. Some see him as a forward but with his size, reach and closing speed I think he’ll be a very good defender long term. His kicking is technically okay and he makes good decisions with good intent, but in terms of execution he butchers it far too often.
Pick 13 – Adelaide: Charlie Curnow – KPF/MID (191 cm, 95 kg, Geelong Falcons)
The slide for Curnow is on – due to his behavioural concerns. Originally I had him at three, but he could end up as low as 15. The question I’ve got is – if Melbourne pass on him once, will they do it again? Especially with Weideman on the board? I’m gambling so – but Curnow’s talent is just too good to pass up. The other question is whether Carlton prefer him or McKay. And then whether the Crows pick Curnow up. This probably depends on their rating of Curnow’s character and how they rate Burton who may be there at 16. He’s a strong bodied and dominant forward who marks well around the ground and up forward. While slow, he’s got good endurance and can push into the red zone and burn his opponents. Through the midfield he’s got good touch and feel and long term could really dominate there.
Pick 14 – Carlton: Darcy Tucker – OM/SD (183 cm, 80 kg, North Ballarat Rebels)
Carlton are fans, so I suspect they’ll take him if all the tall timber is gone – which it is in my scenario. Tucker’s a quick, line-breaking outside mid who’s a good user of the ball. He had a great bottom aged year but struggled a bit this year with consistency and impact – but I still think he’ll make it; his smarts are good, his running patterns are solid and his skills are there.
Pick 15 – Richmond: Callum Ah Chee – SF/OM (181 cm, 72 kg, South Fremantle)
Some have fallen out of love with Ah Chee, citing his poor championships – but Pickett and Garlett last year were similar; flashes in the champs but nothing solid. The WA side lacked any real ball winning through the middle so an outside type like Ah Chee wasn’t getting the supply. He’s a player who serves as the cream on top instead of the substance. He’s a lovely kick, especially over short distances, and has good speed, agility and a vertical leap. When forward he finds the goals, and through the middle he’s a creative receiver. Surround him with a solid side and he’ll become the class on top, clubs desire.
Pick 16 – Adelaide: Harley Balic – BM (187 cm, 82 kg, Sandringham Dragons)
Harley Balic is a crafty and smart midfielder who can rest forward with good effect. Coming from an elite basketball bac kground, Balic excels with his poise, composure and spacial awareness as well as agility. He sees what’s around him and puts teammates into space. However he’s very slow for a midfielder in straight lines and his kicking is average at best.
Pick 17 – St Kilda: Jade Gresham – BM (178 cm, 77 kg, Northern Knights)
Gresham’s another one of the reliable pocket rockets we’ve had over the last few years, and could well make it to a similar level as Dion Prestia. He’s a hard working accumulator who can win his own ball and get it outside too, while also knowing where the goals are and aggressively attacking the ball. You just know he’ll make the grade. At the moment he’s a bit conservative with his kicking, something that will need to improve if he is to become a great, not just good, player.
Pick 18 – Hawthorn: Daniel Rioli – SF (180 cm, 69 kg, North Ballarat Rebels)
Rioli joins Clayton Oliver as the late bolter of the draft, but unlike Oliver, I’m not seeing it. Normally good small forwards go in the late second to third round. This is high for Rioli. But if he makes it – it’s a good selection. He’s electric, exciting, quick and knows where the goals are. He’s also relatively fit. But I feel like his combine has overinflated him; he struggled to dominate this year – which is enough for me to not like him as much. I’m not sold on his IQ like some are. He could well be good – but I’d be waiting a round for him.
Pick 19 – Brisbane: Ben Keays – BM (185 cm, 80 kg, Redlands)
Another academy kid going to Brisbane, Keays has excelled for two years now. He’s a dual All-Australian junior who can also excel forward. A gifted accumulator with a great burst, Keays occasionally struggles to hurt his opponent by foot but does like to run and carry and break through congestion. The knock on him for mine is that he’s not dominant inside, with his balance and strength lacking, nor is he a lethal user outside. He just sits a bit in no-mans land in terms of a future role.
Pick 20 – Gold Coast: Mitchell Hibberd – OM (190 cm, 86 kg, Clarence)
Having missed last year with an ACL, Hibberd burst back onto the scene this year and attracted fans with his athletic running and beautiful kicking. Overhead he’s solid and to compliment his athleticism and skills he’s also versatile; capable of playing off half back and in the middle.
Pick 21 – North Melbourne: Ryan Burton – KPF (191 cm, 90 kg, North Adelaide)
On talent, I’d have Burton top three. He’s a gun. But it’s hard to justify picking a player who hasn’t played for fifteen months. He’s got a lethal kick and a crafty football brain – with his running and leading patterns exceptional. He’s also a reasonable athlete and has a solid ground level game. Aside from injury, the other concern is his size; he’s very much inbetween positions at his size.
Pick 22 – Hawthorn: Kieran Collins – KPD (194 cm, 100 kg, Dandenong Stingrays)
Hawthorn will soon need key defensive replacements, so Collins is a bit logical to replace the impending gap. Collins is a bit like former Crows full back Ben Rutten – he’s a big, physical unit who shuts his opponent down really well. But like Rutten, Collins has the turning circle of a Toyota Hilux. Having improved his offensive game out of sight this year, Collins now can intercept and create to a reasonable level.
Pick 23 – Carlton: Rhys Mathieson – IM (186 cm, 82 kg, Geelong Falcons)
I’m going to go against the grain here with Mathieson; I don’t think he’ll slide into the late 20s as some have it. He’s just too good. I think he’s a top 10 talent. He lacks a bit of polish and class, but he’s a scrappy ball winner who’s excelled at every level; why not AFL? Not every elite inside midfielder has an aesthetically pleasing style.
Pick 24 – Western Bulldogs: Riley Bonner – SD/OM (190 cm, 85 kg, West Adelaide)
Bonner is another victim of a stacked 11-35 range in this draft. He really could be a top 10-15 type if the cards fell differently. A tall, smooth and skilled half back, Bonner is reasonably quick and loves to take on the game with his run. By foot he’s elite off his left side, with his right side being elite among wrong feet too. He’s capable of playing forward too, and showed some real signs late season as an outside midfielder.
Pick 25 – Western Bulldogs: Ben McKay – KPD (199 cm, 95 kg, Gippsland Power)
Predominantly a key defender but capable of playing forward, Ben is the brother of Harry, a top ten chance. More physical than his brother, Ben struggled with motivation for a while but came back into the system and burst onto the scene as a big marking key position player. He’s not as athletic as Harry, but with more time in the system this could improve.
Pick 26 – GWS: Harry Himmelberg – KPF (194 cm, 87 kg, Eastlake)
Another GWS academy kid, Harry Himmelberg has burst onto the scene as an overaged player. He’s a hard working tall forward with really good endurance and movement. He reminds me of Cam McCarthy in a few ways – with that smart leading and hard running, often getting into the red zone. I think long-term Himmelberg might be suited more to a third tall role like a Tom T. Lynch, using his endurance to provide a solid link up option up the field. His kicking needs a bit of work.
Pick 27 – Fremantle: David Cuningham – OM (184 cm, 81 kg, Oakleigh Chargers)
Cuningham is another late bolter, having gone from not being discussed much to being well in the second round discussion – partially due to this continuing obsession with pace. He’s a nippy outside mid who can win his own ball at the clearance, also possessing great speed and a burst. Defensively he’s a bit lacking, and personally I don’t see it with him; he’s never really grabbed my attention; I just don’t feel he hurts the opposition enough nor does he get enough meaningful possessions.
Pick 28 – West Coast: Ryan Clarke – BM (185 cm, 84 kg, Eastern Ranges)
The only reason I’m picking Clarke here is that it’s just too late for him. He’s better than this, so surely a club pounces if he’s here. He’s a gut running inside leaning midfielder, capable of winning the ball and bursting out of congestion but just keeps on going, pushing through the red zone. He’s reasonably spacially aware in close and distributes well, and really works hard to accumulate. However his kicking can be very scrappy at times, along with his defensive efforts.
Pick 29 – Essendon: Aidyn Johnson – OM (184 cm, 75 kg, Bendigo Pioneers)
A horrible quad injury ruined his season, but Johnson still has the tricks to go in the second round. An outside midfielder who can push forward, Johnson is an electric line breaker who works hard to find opportunities to win and receive the ball. With ball in hand, he’s an excellent user. The issue is just that we haven’t seen much of him this year with his injuries.
Pick 30 – Essendon: Tom Cole – SD/BM (186 cm, 80 kg, Bendigo Pioneers)
Another Bendigo boy, Cole is a very reliable player; you put him anywhere and he’ll thrive in any role. He just does his job – and it’s admirable. He’s a good user of the ball with some nice IQ traits, has a good spread of inside and outside capabilities and has the runs on the board at senior level for Geelong in the VFL. My concern is that he’s a jack of all trades and master of none.
Pick 31 – North Melbourne: Brayden Fiorini – OM (187 cm, 76 kg, Northern Knights)
Another outside midfielder, most teams around this mark have been linked with Fiorini, so it’s a game of who’s serious and who’s not. He’s a lovely left foot kick with some good football IQ as well, capable of accumulating well and making the right decisions. I’m just not sure on his linebreaking and running game; I’m a bit hesitant to advocate the selection of outside players who don’t win their own ball nor run it.
Pick 32 – Sydney: Josh Dunkley – IM (189 cm, 85 kg, Gippsland Power)
Having nominated Sydney to the surprise of many, I’m going with them matching this bid for him. However I’m also wary of a potential ‘deal’ to let Dunkley go if a Victorian club matches; essentially meaning that if Dunkley goes interstate, it’s only to Sydney. We’ll see. As a player he’s a bit rough, with his ball winning exceptional and his marking very solid, but that’s about it. He’s not at all athletic and his kicking is very poor. One dimensional at this stage, which, at his size, could work for him – but it’s not selling me.
Pick 33 – Collingwood: Mason Redman – UTIL (186 cm, 77 kg, Glenelg)
Mason Redman is a ripper, quite simply. Just a natural footballer who’ll thrive wherever he goes. Excels in IQ related areas, with his composure, positioning, poise and running patterns elite. He runs and carries and is also solid overhead. When forward, he just keeps getting into really dangerous positions and makes things happen.
Pick 34 – St Kilda: Bailey Rice – SD/BM (184 cm, 84 kg, Dandenong Stingrays)
A small defender with a really nice kick and some real creativity, Rice will end up at the Saints via the father/son rule. I also think Bailey could end up in the midfield, with his ball winning deceptively good. He’s got a rare blend of aggression and inside ball winning ability as well as kicking, which on a midfielder is lethal.
Pick 35 – North Melbourne: Luke Partington – BM (181 cm, 78 kg, Norwood)
I’m not sure I really understand the slide on Partington; he’s a really, really good footballer. He just finds the ball wherever he plays; and it’s not like he’s one of those inside accumulators with nothing else; he’s got a lot of strings to his bow. He’s a nice kick but not elite, he’s quick, he’s agile, he’s a hard worker and his IQ is good. He regularly makes the right decisions and looks to take the ball through the right areas. His inside game is good with his clearance work much improved. I think he becomes a very good AFL player.
Pick 36 – Gold Coast: Brandon White – SD (189 cm, 80 kg, Dandenong Stingrays)
Another Dandenong defender in the mix, White is a really nice third or fourth defender to have. He’s quick and he’s very disciplined in shutting down his opponent. He’s someone who can rebound well and take the kick-ins with a thumping kick, while also doing a defensive job. His endurance needs some work as does his ability to involve himself in the game to use his natural abilities.
Pick 37 – Western Bulldogs: Sam Skinner – KPD (197 cm, 94 kg, Gippsland Power)
An unfortunate ACL robbed us of the chance to see what he could do, Skinner is a versatile key position player, showing signs both forward and back. He’s a competitive monster, with his strength and marking a real highlight. However his movement and skills could use a little work.
Pick 38 – West Coast: Jesse Glass-McCasker – KPD (196 cm, 92 kg, Swan Districts)
In a lot of ways, Glass-McCasker is what the modern KPD should be. He’s very raw, but very, very athletic. He’s quick, agile, has a great leap and closes down his opponents well. As a stopper he will be very useful once he gets his endurance to standard. His skills need a lot of work though, at this stage he’s very much an athlete first.
Pick 39 – Port Adelaide: Alex Morgan – SD/OM (181 cm, 79 kg, Oakleigh Chargers)
An overaged player, Morgan lost his passion last year but he’s come back this year with a bang. He’s really, really quick and knows how to use that speed, breaking the lines and dancing through traffic with ease. He’s also got a really good read of the game and nice skills; off half back I think Morgan is a perfect player; able to rebound with both speed and skill.
Pick 40 – Fremantle: Mitch W. Brown – KPD (196 cm, 93 kg, Sandringham Zebras)
After excelling in the NAB Cup and VFL this year, expect a team needing a KPD to hand former Geelong player Mitch Brown a second chance.
Pick 41 – Brisbane: Corey Wagner – SD/BM (180 cm, 74 kg, Aspley)
Corey Wagner is one who’s flown under the radar a bit but has a lot to like about him. He can play back, off a wing or even inside at times. He looks quick, has a real burst and inside and out can hurt the opposition. I really like Wagner, and I reckon he could surprise on draft day.
Pick 42 – Melbourne: Will Snelling – IM (173 cm, 78 kg, West Adelaide)
Another small midfielder, what Snelling lacks in size he has in work-ethic. He loves getting in and under and doing the dirty work, winning the ball and using it well. Has good spacial awareness and is happy to run the ball, with his endurance and gut running a highlight.
Pick 43 – North Melbourne: Ben Crocker – SF/OM (185 cm, 84 kg, Oakleigh Chargers)
Crocker is the kind of player who can be a matchwinner, but also at other times falls in and out of the games. He’s a hard worker with really clean hands, capable of linking up as a high half forward and making things happen. He’s also got some really good goal sense.
Pick 44 – Hawthorn: Stephen Tahana – SD/IM (183 cm, 77 kg, North Adelaide)
Maybe I rate Tahana more than others, but he’s got scope to be an excellent role player in my eyes. He’s got some real speed and agility and uses this to shut down his opponent and limit their influence. Through the middle he’s a hard worker and a nice ball winner. I think he’s underrated.
Pick 45 – Port Adelaide: James Parsons: UTIL (189 cm, 77 kg, Eastern Ranges)
James Parsons just makes things happen. At his size he’s a rangy athlete, with his speed and agility a highlight. At times he can make time stop around him, possessing a lethal sidestep and burst. However, he falls in and out of games far too often which is why he’s this late.
Pick 46 – Brisbane: Reuben William – SD/OM (182 cm, 79 kg, Zillmere)
Reuben is one of my personal favourites. A Sudanese kid, his relentless run and attack on the footy is a real highlight. He just wins the ball and attacks, using his speed and incredible agility to dance around the opposition and gain ground. He’s clean at ground level and learning to win his own ball. His IQ is improving out of sight, as is his kicking – but it still needs a lot more work.
Pick 47 – Melbourne: Kurt Mutimer – SD/OM (185 cm, 82 kg, Dandenong Stingrays)
Another I really like, Mutimer’s another player who hurts the opposition by both running and kicking. Having played more in defence, he’s one who may move to the wing with time. His kicking is very solid, with penetration and range, and he’s deceptively quick. For mine, he’s one who’s fallen under the radar with so many guns in the Country and Dandenong teams.
Pick 48 – GWS: Matthew Flynn – Ruck (199 cm, 101 kg, Narrandera)
I haven’t seen too much of Flynn, and when I have it’s been his bad days. So I’m tentatively not a fan. But those that have seen his good days report a competitive beast; something that bodes very well for a ruckman.
Pick 49 – Western Bulldogs: Nick Coughlan – KPD (195 cm, 83 kg, Murray Bushrangers)
Another overaged player, Nick Coughlan was overlooked last year but has impressed this year in the Footscray VFL side’s defence.
Pick 50 – Richmond: Hisham Kerbatieh – SF (178 cm, 80 kg, Calder Cannons)
Kerbatieh is an exciting goal sneak who’s done the job at every level he’s played at. Perhaps a bit selfish at times, but most good smalls are. He’s quick, agile, skilled and has great goal sense.
Pick 51 – Gold Coast: Sam Menagola – BM (188 cm, 88 kg, Subiaco)
He’s already had two chances, but perhaps it’s third time lucky for Menagola, who absolutely stormed the house down in the back half of the WAFL season. A high level endurance athlete with nice size, Menagola adds some experience to the Gold Coast unit, something they lack a bit of.
Pick 52 – Essendon: Blake Hardwick – SF/IM (181 cm, 79 kg, Eastern Ranges)
Blake Hardwick is a small forward who’s kicked many bags this year. At times he plays like an undersized key forward with his sheer power and strength; a skill that makes me think he’d make a good inside midfielder too. He’s got a good burst and can beat his opponent on the lead with his speed, as well as really nice skills. I think he’ll make it.
Pick 53 – Carlton: Jack Silvagni – KPF (191 cm, 83 kg, Oakleigh Chargers)
As we’ve heard a thousand times, Jack is the son of Stephen Silvagni. He’s a talented third tall forward with some Gunston-esque traits, but I find at his size he doesn’t get involved enough in the game. He’s much better down back I reckon, which is where he may well settle.
Pick 54 – Carlton: Pass
Pick 55 – Fremantle: Nathan Broad – SD (191 cm, 83 kg, Swan Districts)
I know nothing about him. But this seems to be what some reckon will happen. Why not?
Pick 56 – West Coast: Greg Clark – OM/SF (194 cm, 88 kg, Subiaco)
There were stupid people claiming Clark was the next Bontempelli earlier in the year. Unbeknown to the aforementioned idiots, Clark is nothing like Bontempelli. He’s tall and he’s fit. And that’s about it. Can find the ball a bit and isn’t an awful user but for his size he’s got a poor inside game and he’s quite slow. Unable to free his hands while being tackled. I think his future is as a third tall forward, not a wingman.
Pick 57 – GWS: Lachlan Tiziani – UTIL (189 cm, 79 kg, Murray Bushrangers)
Another member of the GWS academy, Tiziani is an athletic utility with a particularly strong leap. He looks best forward but can play in defence or through the middle, his mix of reasonable skills and great athleticism bode well for him. Did okay when he played some NEAFL games.
Pick 58 – GWS: Pass
Pick 59 – Collingwood: Declan Mountford – IM (182 cm, 72 kg, Claremont)
Some have Mountford going a bit higher than this, but I’m not really sold. He’s a relatively nippy midfielder who can win his own ball and also spread well, but at his size I don’t feel that ball-winning will translate to the next level. Super fit, he gets from contest to contest easily. I’ve seen quite a bit of him and haven’t really had him grab my attention; I certainly wouldn’t have picked him as a speedster despite his speed testing being fantastic.
Pick 60 – Geelong: Kieran Lovell – BM (173 cm, 80 kg, Kingsborough)
A prolific accumulator despite his small stature, Lovell has his fair share of fans. I am not one of them. His kicking; often claimed as a strength, is very average for mine, both conservative and often butchered. He has good goal sense though and solid running patterns, though does run around for the cheap one out the back too often. At his size, I’m not sure he’ll be a strong ball winner at the next level, but this late he’s a solid pick for Geelong who’ll be looking for some more depth.
Pick 61 – St Kilda: Matthew Allen – KPF (193 cm, 97 kg, Glenelg)
Dominated under 18 and reserves level football in SA, but didn’t impose himself in the championships as he’d have liked. As a key forward he’s undersized and slow but a solid mark and a long, albeit shaky at times, kick. For mine I don’t feel he has the tricks to be a forward at the next level, but his set of skills might bode well as a big bodied inside midfielder were he to pursue a transition to that role.
Pick 62 – GWS: Pass
Pick 63 – North Melbourne: Nash Holmes – IM (181 cm, 81 kg, Gippsland Power)
Nash Holmes is a gifted inside midfielder with a real touch around the contest. Hard as nails, he’ll win you hard ball regularly, as well as pop up for the odd goal too. He’s someone I think is pretty likely to make the grade.
Pick 64 – Fremantle: Josh Schoenfeld – OM (187 cm, 75 kg, Peel Thunder)
You can’t miss Schoenfeld, with his bright red hair and lethal aerobic capacity, he’s everywhere. Runs an elite beep and has elite endurance, he works hard to receive and impact the game.
Pick 65 – West Coast: Marcus Adams – KPD (192 cm, 95 kg, West Perth)
Marcus Adams is one of the biggest units you’ll ever see. He’s a strong and physical key defender who can also play forward and through the middle. His kicking is very scratchy though and needs serious work.
Pick 66 – Sydney: Pass
Pick 67 – Hawthorn: Pass
Pick 68 – St Kilda: Callum Moore – UTIL (193 cm, 87 kg, Calder Cannons)
An enigmatic player, Moore has elite athleticism and has shown some real signs as a third tall forward. However his kicking is awful in terms of technique and execution. With his style, he may end up more of a lock down defender but if his kicking doesn’t improve, it’s still a scary thought having the whole field ahead of him.
Pick 69 – Collingwood: Yestin Eades (184 cm, 82 kg, North Ballarat Rebels)
A really interesting player, Yestin Eades moved from WA to Victoria for some unfortunate personal reasons. The move into a better environment worked wonders for him, with his level of football this year very solid. He has an interesting kicking technique, dropping it from a high position but at times almost throwing it down instead of dropping it onto the boot, which allows for some creative kicking. He’s a really hard working player with some solid athleticism who makes things happen. I think he can go places.
Pick 70 – Gold Coast: Pass
Pick 71 – Essendon: Nick O’Kearney (181 cm, 70 kg, Calder Cannons)
The big slider of the year, O’Kearney has gone from elite talent to ‘meh’ in mere months. It’s not hard to understand why, though – he’s vanilla. Does a lot right, but has very little elite about him; and clubs want elite players. He’s an ok kick, ok athletically, reasonable with his smarts and courage and has a good work rate and inside/outside balance. But nothing that screams elite.
Pick 72 – GWS: Pass
Pick 73 – GWS: Pass
Pick 74 – Collingwood: Pass
Pick 75 – Collingwood: Pass
Pick 76 – Geelong: Jordan Dawson (189 cm, 85 kg, Sturt)
I’m a massive fan of Jordan Dawson, who had a really unfortunate championships suffering from concussion and a back injury. He’s a really versatile third tall forward who can play up the ground and potentially in defence too. When forward he finds space and makes things happen, and up the ground he’s a really solid link up player. He just finds space to help transition with such ease. He’s working on an inside game; but I really like what I see from him.
Pick 77 – Port Adelaide: Pass
Pick 78 – Richmond: Oleg Markov – SF (188 cm, 75 kg, North Adelaide)
After missing last year with two bouts of a broken collarbone, Markov has come back this year and really put his name in front of recruiters. A very athletic medium forward who can push up the field, he’s got an excellent leap and makes things happen.
Pick 79 – North Melbourne: Pass
Pick 80 – Fremantle: Pass
Pick 81 – West Coast: Pass
Pick 82 – Essendon: Pass
Pick 83 – Geelong: Tom Doedee – SD (187 cm, 83 kg, Geelong Falcons)
Tom Doedee is someone who projects as a really solid role player. In defence he’s very athletic and can close down an opponent but knows how to rebound too. Defensively he takes his job seriously and gets it done.
Pick 84 – Richmond: Pass
Pick 85 – Richmond: Pass
Pick 86 – Essendon: Pass
Pick 87 – Geelong: Tyrone Leonardis – SD (183 cm, 82 kg, Northern Knights)
I feel like Leonardis has been forgotten a bit, but he can really play. A small defender or outside midfielder, he’s got some real speed and agility as well as a solid rebounding left foot. He takes the game on by foot and with his run, and gets in good positions.
Pick 88 – Geelong: Pass
Pick 89 – Geelong: Pass