Arguably the draft’s biggest bolter after what was an incredible draft combine from the South Fremantle product, where his endurance and speed were on full display. Jarrod Garlett is very similar to Hawthorn’s Bradley Hill. Although he’s the cousin of former Hawk Dayle Garlett, the pair are polar opposites.
Garlett is lightning quick, albeit lightly framed and a fraction undersized. He is damaging, polished and is full of excitement, with his bread and butter being his dash, disposal efficiency and defensive work. He breaks lines with his run and carry, and is good enough around goal to cause headaches for the opposition.
His National Championships games really threw him into the spotlight and onto the board for draft enthusiasts; subsequently, his combine results put him into late first-round calculations. The biggest tick of approval for Garlett was his 15+ beep test. It’s one thing for a midfielder to have extreme speed, but a blend of fitness and pace makes for an extremely damaging outside midfielder. Alongside his stellar kicking, he is certain to be a weapon.
More importantly, he overcame a calf injury just in time for the carnival – despite being a touch underdone – to really stamp himself as one of Western Australia’s best and most consistent. The carnival outlined his ability to play a number of varying roles, while also highlighting his vision and awareness at the top level. Equally as impressive was his desire to work back hard, focusing on the defensive side of his game.
Jack Lonie (Dandenong Stingrays)
Height: 174 cm
Weight: 67 kg
Position: Midfielder/half forward
Strengths: Speed, finding the ball, hitting the scoreboard
Areas needing improvement: Building his frame
Lonie was extremely impressive and consistent during the NAB Championships. He proved he could gather over 25 disposals on a few occasions, and he often found himself chiming in with three of four goals. Lonie is dangerous as he has the complete offensive arsenal. He can win his own ball on the inside, has a big enough tank to play on the outside, he is quick and he kicks goals.
Lonie is a high-volume tackler, and the quality of his tackles is great. With his speed, he can chase down most opponents. He could really become a solid role player if he develops into the Jarryd Blair role, with immense forward pressure. Like Blair, Lonie had great individual offensive talent, but his height meant that he had to develop into an equally damaging offensive and defensive weapon.
Lonie has the ability to change games instantly with his scoreboard pressure. He kicked more than three goals in a game only three times this season. But when he has a big day, they’re enormous. Against the Falcons early in the year, Lonie kicked 4.3, had 23 disposals, five marks and seven tackles. When he played the Falcons again late in the year, he had 5.2, 20 disposals and eight marks.
Lonie often has more than seven handball receives in a game, as his run and carry game style breaks lines. He has a steady balance of outside and inside work, so despite being 174 centimetres, he is a really valuable player as he can affect the game in three or four different ways.
Jayden Foster (Calder Cannons)
Height: 194 cm
Weight: 91 kg
Position: Key forward
Player comparison: Jack Gunston
Foster is a 19-year-old prospect who led the TAC Cup goal kicking in 2014, with 49 goals in 16 games. With an average of just over three goals per game for the Cannons, who finished second, most would assume that Foster is a dominant key forward. On the contrary, Foster is a role player, who capitalises on the opportunities he is given.
Foster of course shared a forward line with Peter Wright. Working alongside Wright allowed Foster to understand the value of spacing within a forward line. This was crucial, as you can see Foster understands where to lead and when he should double back. His reading of the play is immaculate, and combined with his separation off the lead, Foster can often find himself taking easy chest marks 30 metres out from goal.
Foster is great at ground level too. He often kicks opportunistic goals, so even when he isn’t getting much delivery, his output is still solid.
One of the best aspects of Foster’s game is his contested marking. His 25 contested marks in 16 games is very solid. Considering he plays out of the goal square, his forward 50 contested marking all of a sudden become extremely dangerous, as his set shots come from less than 40 metres out.
The most impressive aspect of Foster’s game is his goal kicking. His 49 goals came with just eight behinds. He is a sharp shooter, although those stats are skewed because he kicked many from close range.
At AFL level, Foster should be groomed into the secondary or third tall option, as he isn’t the type to build a forward line around. This is in fact a good thing, as his game works well around many different game plans. His skill set is adaptable to all different situations, which should see him as a very solid pick. The Bulldogs will be kicking themselves that they couldn’t take him as a rookie.
Daniel Butler (North Ballarat Rebels)
Height: 181 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Player comparison: Ben Lennon
Strengths: Outside running, goal kicking, tackling
Areas needing improvement: Winning the ball on the inside
It’s a surprise that Butler stands at only 181 centimetres. He plays like he’s 190 centimetres, as he out-marks every midfield opponent he matches up on. Butler is really quick, and though he’s not likely to run the length of the field, a 20 metre burst from him out of a pack breaks games wide open.
Butler is a goal kicking outside midfielder who relies on handball receives to get touches. At this stage, he struggles to win the inside ball, but with his impressive volume of tackles, that side of his game could become well-rounded. His frame is well built already, and with his quick burst of acceleration, if he learns to play on the inside, he could become a real threat around stoppages.
Butler is the kind of player who performs much higher than his standing in the draft rankings. Butler is excellent value as a late pick, as his ceiling is quite high.
Butler’s most eye popping stat for the year was his 17 tackles against the premiers in Oakleigh. Butler is a quality over quantity contributor, but he was remarkably consistent. Usually gathering around 16 disposals, Butler’s highest possession count was 22 and his lowest was nine touches. His nine goals from 13 games, whilst not incredible, was remarkably consistent.
Highly regarded among many clubs, Declan Hamilton had a really strong championships, averaging 16 possessions at 76% efficiency from all six games. However, given the vast array of Victorians featuring heavily again in this draft period, Hamilton is one who has unfairly been overlooked in terms of what he offers at the next level.
Better known as the nephew of Darren and Andrew Jarman, Hamilton is quite a versatile player who has excelled in stints particularly across half back, along with cameo appearances through the midfield. His awareness in congestion makes it seem as though he has a sixth sense: he just knows when to expect contact, when to sidestep and when to pull the trigger on a risky handball or kick that opens up a passage of play.
Hamilton also has a really strong endurance base, often doing a lot of unrewarded running. On top of that, he also works well into space to always create an option, while his repeat efforts are worth noting. Hamilton is a really smooth user of the ball. His kicks are low and sharp, and his handballs have a lot of pace on them. Whilst Hamilton hasn’t been a volume accumulator, his football intelligence and use of the ball make him a solid player who can hurt teams.
Height: 184 cm, Weight: 74 kg, DOB: 23/03/1996
Club: Sydney University
Plays like: Isaac Smith
An athlete with a rare combination of speed and endurance, Jack Hiscox is a champion 800 metre runner: however, he’s turned his hand to football where his few seasons within the Academy system have seen him flourish in an professional environment.
His pace and endurance is the cornerstone of his game, but that’s not all he’s got to offer. He is smart with the football, he’s evasive and he backs his speed and acceleration to create separation on his opponent.
He has terrific goal sense when within range, but he’s also clever enough to lower his eyes and hit up a leading target. Breaking the three-kilometre time trial record with a 9:18 run, while managing to record the second-best beep test result in combine history with 16.1, Hiscox’s endurance is unrivalled. Although he may take a few seasons to really come on and develop, he’s going to be a real find for the Swans.
Oscar McDonald (North Ballarat Rebels)
Position: Key defender/forward
Height: 196 cm
Weight: 88 kg
Plays like: Matthew Scarlett
Oscar McDonald is tall and athletic, who thrives when picking off forward 50 entries with his tremendous ability to take intercept marks. McDonald is an offensive threat too, as he rebounds strongly. Best described as a general in defence, McDonald, the younger brother of Melbourne’s Tom, is extremely versatile as a defender, and unlike most key defenders, he loves to back himself and use the ball by foot.
He hits the ball flat and hard, and has a really nice turn of speed, being deceptively quick over his first few steps. The Rebels have also used him as a key forward, where he’s shown he can be equally as damaging. He has a fantastic leap, strong hands, really good work rate and rarely ever goes to ground.
McDonald loves to play in front of his man, often a few metres ahead, much like Matthew Scarlett used to. Simply, he’s a super smart footballer, and led the TAC Cup competition for contested marks this year. Taking home the coaches award in the TAC Cup, McDonald took big scalps throughout the year, including Darcy Moore, Peter Wright and Paddy McCartin.
Toby McLean (Oakleigh Chargers)
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Plays like: Jamie Elliott
Toby McLean gives you a bit of everything, and is probably the closest player to Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott. He has a silky sidestep that sucks in opponents that allows him to zip past, while also having that huge leap and contested mark that defies his size. McLean averaged just under six marks per game, and just under one contested mark per game as well.
McLean is best known for his hangers that he takes constantly at the Chargers. He is an excitement machine who is crafty and dangerous around goal, kicking goals with consummate ease. He has a wonderful natural goal sense. You know that if he is running into space into the forward 50, he will most likely hit the scoreboard, no matter how difficult the situation. He has this rare aura where you always feel like he is about to pull off something miraculous whenever he is close to the ball.
He has pace, a good goose step, sells candy and darts through congestion, whilst also being able to stand up in tackles to kick miraculous over-the-shoulder goals. His strengths comes down to his sheer balance. He’s quite strong on both sides of his body, and stands up in tackles due to his low centre of gravity. He is a nightmare for defenders, because he simply gets around them like they’re witches hats.
He also has exceptional agility, poise and vision which enable him to find angles others don’t see. His move to the midfield late in the TAC Cup season resulted in him easily eclipsing the 30 disposal mark in many games. The most pleasing thing to come out of McLean’s year was his growth as a midfielder. His 32 goals for the year are impressive enough for a full time forward. However, in McLean’s last 10 games for the season, he averaged 26 disposals and 1.8 goals.
McLean’s skills translate to the middle and up forward at AFL level, and his work ethic should see him as a success story in the top flight.
Speed, speed, and more speed. It’s the hallmark of Boekhorst’s game. The mature-age midfielder had a break-out season at league level for Swan Districts this year, averaging 21 disposals and running amok in the midfield. Boekhorst’s ability to break away from opponents is the feather in his cap. He tucks the ball under his arm, and rates elite for meters gained, and was one of the highest rating WAFL players this year for bounces per game.
He loves to give and get, and is sublime by foot going inside 50 to hit up a target, or go the journey himself. He navigates congestion well with a terrific side step, owing to his solid agility. After he’s broken away, when he’s in space he’s a really handy user of the ball.
He’s got good composure and makes the right decision with his disposal. He likes to move the ball long and direct, but his vision to execute a switch through the middle of the ground, squaring the ball up from a wing is something he does with ease. He’s shown enough to suggest that he has an inside game, and has often been utilised at the stoppages and centre square. Silk on the outside, Boekhorst averaged a solid 73 per cent disposal efficiency from his 19 senior outings, but needs to work on his defensive game.