2019 AFL Draft Preview: Melbourne Demons
MELBOURNE heads into the 2019 AFL Draft with two top 10 selections, then the longest wait between picks of any club. The Demons will be able to collect a couple of genuine future stars, but may opt to trade down to pick up a third player in the first round if it can be done. With the knowledge that Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson will be heading north to Gold Coast, the Demons effectively have the first “live” selection to play with and consider in the lead-up to the draft. After such a terrific 2018 season, then a disastrous 2019 season – with injuries playing a huge role in that – the Demons will be keen to pick up a couple of players who can propel them back up the ladder more immediately than other clubs in the bottom six.
CURRENT PICKS: 3, 8, 97, 115.
NEXT GEN ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS – COMBINE INVITES: Nil.
Outside players with skill
FIRST PICK OPTIONS:
Having the first “live” pick, the Demons have a number of choices to pick from, including the consideration of placing a bid on GWS GIANTS Academy star Tom Green. Melbourne recruiting manager Jason Taylor told AFL.com.au that Green was one of three choices at the pick. He named Dandenong Stingrays’ captain and half-back Hayden Young as a potential pick, along with West Australian ruck Luke Jackson who has bolted up the draft order after a sensational season and Melbourne see him as a possible key forward who can help out in the ruck before transitioning into that down the track. Other names that might be in consideration are Gippsland Power’s Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders, and Norwood’s Dylan Stephens.
LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:
The Demons are in a good position to live trade with pick eight. Pick 8 is very flexible, with now both Geelong (picks 14 and 17) and Port Adelaide (picks 12 and 16) in the box seat to trade up should the Demons decide they want to split the pick. As for the rest, it is hard to imagine too many clubs lining up for picks 97 or 115.
Depending on what they end up doing with pick 8 in regards to keeping or trading it, the Demons could do a number of things. They could pick one of the three names that Taylor raised at the selection in Bendigo Pioneers’ Brodie Kemp, West Australian Larke Medallist Deven Robertson or Dandenong Stingrays’ small forward Cody Weightman. Picking Weightman would see him join forces with his Stingrays captain in Young if the pair are picked, while Robertson could team up with his state ruck in Jackson if they go with that combination. Weightman may be available at the picks 12 or 14 if they do split those picks, while it opens the door to potentially look at a tall in Fischer McAsey or Josh Worrell. If the Dees stick with the skilful talent, they would have to consider a bid on Liam Henry, while also keeping an eye on the movements of Trent Rivers and Will Day, both of whom are lovely users of the football.