Devon SMITH (ESS) MID/FWD, $335,800, BE: 61.84
Age: 26yrs 9mths
2020 Season: 9th
Draft Pick: Rd1 Pick 14
SC history (2019-12): 68.7, 97.9, 79.9, 81.8, 89, 91.2, 70, 63.4
SC % ownership: 48.7%
Devon Smith is currently enjoying his fullest pre-season in five years and feels he is moving better than he has in that whole time. He had surgery after Rd8 last year on his PCL and has been to the US as part of his recovery program to see the same guy (Bill Knowles) who has also put together recovery programs for Patton, Docherty and Ward in the last 12 months. All are currently travelling well, with Ward a little behind the others.
Devon Smith has also stated in this off-season that he ‘expects’ to return to the same sort of MID/FWD time ratios that he had in 2018 (when he averaged 97.9). Heppell, Stringer and others have all expressed how impressed they are with his pre-season to date. Expected to play throughout the Marsh Series, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on him for role and movability. He’s 26 so should be coming into his prime for SC output. While a full pre-season may not mean a return to 2018 levels, with a PCL (rather than ACL) and a full recovery, we might not expect him to be far off it.
What do we need?
Ideally, we want him to become a keeper but he doesn’t have to, to be a worthwhile pick. If he averages just 86.3 …
Because of his starting price, it is his on-field points that we are after; the ‘nominal’ cash-gain is an added bonus.
Given the positive news coming out of Windy Hill, I’m fairly confident he will get sufficient midfield time to safely average the above. If he averages significantly more than that, then you likely have yourself a keeper for under $340k. If he doesn’t, you’ll be able to safely start upgrading as early as Rd6 with two trades due to his relatively high sale-price. As I’ve tried to explain before, upgrading early adds a significant, compounded points value to your overall score for the year.
If he doesn’t work out for any reason, his price point could leave you in no-man’s-land; you might as well book a holiday in Devon and enjoy the English summer, leaving footy, winter and your SC-season behind. He and ESS can say all the positive things they like, but we should wait to see the action over the next few weeks before diving in.
Devon. A beautiful county in southern England.
You’ll want to be pretty confident he can average over 86 for at least six weeks if you’re backing him in. I likely will, but will be looking for further evidence through the Marsh Series and beyond, before I do.
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