- June 22, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: “Possesses massive potential to grow into an outside midfielder”
Former elite junior tennis player Jackson Ross possesses one of the biggest upsides in the 2017 draft pool. While standing at 192cm puts him at an in-between height, Ross moves very well around the ground as an athletic half forward/wingman, where he can be damaging on the outside and hit the scoreboard. Ross finished the year on a high with some standout moments in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final loss and will be a real project player for any club that considers drafting him. The Haileybury College half forward/wingman booted 29 goals in the Victorian school boy APS competition, as an important player in their premiership season.
- Scoreboard impact
Ross’ potential upside for whatever club drafts him is very high and it makes him appealing to clubs. The former elite junior tennis player hasn’t played as much football in his career and despite narrowly missing out on Vic Metro selection earlier this season – he has shown at TAC Cup and school level that he isn’t too far behind the other potential draftees.
Ross’ versatility has been important in the attacking half of the ground. For Haileybury College, he was often played up on the wing as the sixth forward – playing across half forward and in the midfield. Ross managed to boot 45 goals throughout both the TAC Cup and APS seasons and did have an impact on the outside, running well.
Ross’ kicking was on show at the National AFL Draft Combine, where he scored 29/30 on the kicking test and a perfect 30/30 on the goal kicking test. Up forward, Ross impacts the scoreboard, using his long kick and has shown he can boot goals when required. For Haileybury, Ross kicked a number of bags of goals throughout the year, indicating he knows how to find the middle of the big sticks.
- Reading the game
An area for improvement for Ross is his consistency. At times, Ross can fade in and out of games – performing well in the opening half, before dropping after half time. If he can improve his consistency and put together a four quarter effort in an AFL environment, he should be able to develop into a damaging player.
Ross’ tackling numbers are another area that could improve as an outside midfielder, averaging just 2.7 tackles this season in the TAC Cup – lower than most of the other Eastern Ranges midfielders.
Reading the game is an area for Ross that has shown some improvement already in the last 12 months, but may be an area that will continue to be develop in a strong AFL environment. Ross is unlikely to begin at AFL level, so with gradual improvement in the State Leagues in his first year on an AFL list, there is plenty of scope for developing his footballing IQ.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 40+
Ross has shown improvement throughout 2017, as a key part of Haileybury’s APS school boy premiership. While he will no doubt pulsate clubs on where they would draft him – he has shown enough signs in 2017 to suggest he is worth a selection in the national draft. Ross’ mobility on the outside will make him an appealing prospect as a tall wingman who uses the ball well and can hit the scoreboard.
NAB League Boys