AFL Draft review: Essendon

IN one of the biggest surprises in the draft Essendon snared young gun – Irving Mosquito from Hawthorn’s Next Generation Academy and drafted plenty of other up and coming youngsters. While they did not feature in the first round of the draft Essendon still got their hands on some talented players with the likes of Noah Gown and Brayden Ham also making their way to the club.

National Draft:

 

Irving Mosquito – Small Forward

The electric small forward has bucket loads of class, speed and knows how to hit the scoreboard. Likened to that of superstar Cyril Rioli, Mosquito will be a great asset up forward for the Bombers. Paired with the likes of big full-forward Joe Daniher the two could make for a very damaging forward line with Daniher dominating the airways and Mosquito controlling the ground. While his offensive efforts are impressive with his silky pick-ups, turns out of trouble and explosiveness off the mark, Mosquito impresses just as much with his defensive pressure. He worries opponents out of going for the ball and forces turnovers credit to his smothering defence inside the forward 50. With plenty of development still to come Mosquito has a high ceiling with a possibility for the live-wire to play through the midfield in the future.

Noah Gown – Key Position Forward

After spending time playing down back, Gown has been a revelation up forward and has plenty to offer the Bombers. With an impressive vertical leap and good speed, Gown is sometimes underrated for his athletic abilities but he has shown that through development and training he is capable of exponential growth given the chance. Gown can apply plenty of defensive pressure with his follow up work across the ground which will be a good find for Essendon. He has good hands under pressure, a nice kicking action and has good leading patterns which will make him more dangerous as time goes on.

 

Brayden Ham – Medium Utility

The Geelong Falcons product is a good pick up for the Bombers who have cleverly recruited players to fill needs. Ham has a plethora of skills with his agility, endurance and speed key features of his game. With plenty of inside midfielders at the club Ham will provide that dash on the outside and has a high impact per possession influence which could be vital on the big stage. Lightly framed, Ham will need to put some time into the gym to bulk up and prepare for AFL level, but overall will be a good addition to Essendon.

 

Rookie Draft:

 

Tom Jok – Tall Utility

After spending time with Collingwood’s VFL side Jok has found himself at the Bombers and offers plenty of talent. The 21-year-old has plenty of speed and a big tank which will be handy for Essendon. His strong hands and ability to rotate through different positions will also be important for the club as he provides versatility.

Matt Dea – General Defender

After spending plenty of time with Essendon, Dea was re-rookied by the club and looks set to spend some more time there. He has great leadership qualities and offers plenty of experience to the line-up. Dea is renowned for his ability to read the play, impact the contest and his strong hands. Pair this with his experience and it makes him an important piece of the puzzle at Essendon.

 

Summary:

The Bombers targeted a range of players some gifted with speed others with strong hands under pressure providing the club with great variety across the board. Essendon took a slightly attacking method to the table come draft day stealing live-wire Irving Mosquito from Hawthorn with their first pick which did not come until pick 38. With the Hawks unable to match the bid the Bombers took home some serious talent in the form of Mosquito. They also recruited some experience after securing Tom Jok who showed his worth for the Magpies VFL side and keeping Matt Dea around at the club.

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