DRAFT ANALYSIS: "An electrifying utility who covers the ground well and has good versatility."
Daly Andrews is a draft prospect who arrived in draft calculations relatively late, enjoying a really strong first half of the TAC Cup season to earn a place in Vic Metro’s side. He only managed the one game after concussion ruled him out, but he was ultra-impressive in that sole game, picking up 19 disposals, four marks, six inside 50s, two clearances and three rebounds. On that day he kicked at 69 per cent by foot, showing he has the capability to use the ball well, but this is still an improvement at TAC Cup level where he was prone to errors by foot. What he offers an AFL club is his acceleration and evasion through traffic. While he is not in the top bracket on players in terms of tests, he would go close to that bracket on-field, which is where it is important. Along with his athletic strengths, he has versatility on his side – seemingly able to slot into any third of the ground – as well as his ability to cover the ground and have a penetrating kick. He does have areas he needs to improve on to take his game to the next level, but he has some nice traits that AFL clubs will take into consideration.
- Penetrating kick
Andrews has unbelievable athleticism through his acceleration and evasion, which was shown in the recent National Draft Combine testing when he recorded 2.96 seconds on the 20m sprint. This was an improvement on his pre-season testing when he could not quite crack three seconds. His agility has remained the same at 8.5 seconds, but he has shown out on the field he is one of the better evaders, and he can do it with ball-in-hand. He does have the tendency to tuck the ball under the arm and take off, with few able to catch him once he is off. The fact he covers the ground well, and his endurance which has improved throughout the year, means he can have bursts throughout the four quarters to have an impact when required. At the same draft combine, Andrews improved his Yo-yo test result from 20.8 to 21.2 and is now firmly in the top group of runners to go with his speed.
Secondly, Andrews has a penetrating kick which when he can get within range of goal, can be deadly. He can break down zones or set up attacking plays in the forward half, and he is a more effective kick when he gets onto it and is able to clear distance inside 50. The main trademark of Andrews’ game is to win the ball, take off with the ball, then bomb the ball long inside 50. While there are areas he does need to sharpen up, he has the willingness to take the game on and the athletic prowess to do it repeatedly.
- Kicking consistency
- Inside game
In terms of Andrews’ improvements, he has a number of things he could work on to maximise his potential. His kicking consistency is the main thing, averaging 50.9 per cent by foot in the TAC Cup with a 37 per cent contested rate is low. His penetrating kick can help him out, but over short or medium distances, at times he can rush it and end up turning the ball over. There are plenty of players in the same boat where kicking over different lengths will be worked on to try and provide the same result. Secondly, he could build his inside game further and use his acceleration and evasion to work his way out of traffic. He has the traits to play in that role, he just needs to add some size to his frame and that might be a role he could pursue in the future. Finally, his tackling numbers are very low, averaging just 1.8 tackles per game, which is another element he can improve to his game, providing greater defensive pressure.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late/rookie
Daly Andrews is a superb athlete with a penetrating kick who can cover the ground well. He has the versatility to play anywhere on the ground, and once he can build on his improvements such as kicking consistency and tackling, as well as add to his lighter frame, Andrews could be a really valuable half-back or wingman at AFL level. Given the improvements needed, he is expected to be a late-to-rookie consideration, but he has the athletic traits that will no doubt have clubs have his name on their boards, and it will be interesting to see where he lands to inject some speed into the team.
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