Your Club’s 2018 Draft Verdict

Written by Schwarzwalder on November 27 2018

** Article originally appeared on afl.com.au on 24/11/18.  Written by Callum Twomey & Riley Beveridge **
Adelaide Crows

Who they picked: Chayce Jones (9), Ned McHenry (16), Will Hamill (30), Lachlan Sholl (64)

CROWS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Crows went small with their first-rounders, choosing the versatile Jones and tenacious McHenry with their early choices. Hamish Ogilvie and his recruiting team rate natural footballers – competitors who understand the game – and the pair certainly do that. They are elite athletes. Jones was a standout at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and can play anywhere from half-back to half-forward, while McHenry will likely start as a small forward whose intensity is huge. Adelaide went into the night with four top-21 picks and saw one of them as being on the table if the right offer came in – and it did when the Blues gave up their top pick next year for No.19 and the Crows’ first-rounder next year. After trading back down the second round, they added speed with Hamill across half-back, while they were keen on Sholl as a hard-working accumulator. ­– Callum Twomey

Ned McHenry and Chayce Jones became Crows on Thursday night. Picture: AFL Photos

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Brisbane Lions

Who they picked: Ely Smith (21), Tom Berry (36), Tom Joyce (40), Connor McFadyen (42), Noah Answerth (55)

LIONS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Lions filled their need for speed through the midfield with Smith. A bolter of sorts, the 188cm onballer is strong, competitive and will complement a group that already features Dayne Zorko and Lachie Neale. The Lions also continued to pair mates at the Gabba, selecting Berry – the brother of midfielder Jarrod – with pick No.36. He was a surprise selection to many at their second pick, but they’ll be rapt to get another quality character at the club. They also attempted to claim Jarrod Cameron – the younger brother of Charlie – with pick No.39, forcing West Coast to match a bid on its Next Generation Academy prospect. Joyce gives the Lions extra depth through the midfield, while Academy prospect McFadyen slipped through to pick No.42 – later than they might have expected. Answerth is a 19-year-old prospect who missed his chance in 2017, having been ruled out for the year with a back injury. – Riley Beveridge

Jonathan Brown presented Ely Smith with his Brisbane guernsey. Picture: AFL Photos

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Carlton

Who they picked: Sam Walsh (1), Liam Stocker (19), Finbar O’Dwyer (66), Ben Silvagni (70)

BLUES’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: It was the expected and the unexpected from the Blues. They started the night by taking Walsh at No.1, and it was the obvious and right call. He is the midfielder they need, a hard runner, accumulator and class act. He will let nobody down. Carlton looked set to have a long wait between picks, but rated Stocker highly and once he started to look like being available it made the trade with Adelaide to give up its first pick next year to grab the Sandringham Dragons ball-winner. Both will play regular senior footy next year and add to a midfield already containing Patrick Cripps and Paddy Dow. It will depend where the Blues and Crows finish next season before assessing how that deal went. Carlton addressed its needs there before grabbing O’Dwyer and then father-son tall defender Silvagni with its last pick. ­– Callum Twomey

Liam Stocker joined the Blues after Carlton traded picks with Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos

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Collingwood

Who they picked: Isaac Quaynor (13), Will Kelly (29), Atu Bosenavulagi (77)

MAGPIES’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: Collingwood was slightly hamstrung by the fact it had Next Generation Academy and father-son prospects in Quaynor and Kelly coming through. However, fortunately, both fill needs at the Pies. In Quaynor, the club gets a versatile running defender who can play tall and small in the backline. In Kelly, it gets the key position defender it has long craved. There was a significant gap before Collingwood’s next pick, with the Pies using that selection to recruit another Academy member in Bosenavulagi. A rugby union convert, the ‘grandson’ of the club’s cheer squad leader Joffa is a great story who has impressed since crossing to footy with his speed and attack on the ball. – Riley Beveridge

Next Generation Academy member Isaac Quaynor is now a Magpie. Picture: AFL Photos

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Essendon

Who they picked: Irving Mosquito (38), Noah Gown (60), Brayden Ham (72)

BOMBERS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Bombers lost a couple of small forwards during the off-season in Travis Colyer and Josh Green, so identified that area as something they wanted to boost. With their first pick they placed a bid on Irving Mosquito, a Hawthorn NGA prospect. The Hawks declined to match, leaving the Bombers to acquire the speedy indigenous goalkicker. He could be their next cult hero alongside Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. They picked up his Gippsland teammate Gown with their next pick – a roaming tall forward who enjoyed a strong end to the season. Ham was eligible for the draft last year and is a utility who played his best footy as a forward for the Falcons this year. ­– Callum Twomey

Irving Mosquito is a Bomber after Hawthorn declined to match their bid. Picture: AFL Photos

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Fremantle

Who they picked: Sam Sturt (17), Luke Valente (32), Lachlan Schultz (57), Brett Bewley (59)

DOCKERS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: Complemented an exchange period where it added Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb to its forward stocks with Sturt, a nice 189cm playmaker inside 50. He’s agile, smart around goal and can take a mark – in a similar mould to Sydney’s Will Hayward. Schultz, a mature-aged prospect out of the VFL, will also aid that mix in Fremantle’s forward line. Bewley, Schultz’s Williamstown teammate, was another plucked from the VFL with a later pick. Both will provide a young group with more experienced bodies. The Dockers also got a great character in Valente, a classy, yet tough midfielder who captained a strong South Australian side to the national championships title in 2018. – Riley Beveridge

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon presents Sam Sturt with his Dockers jumper. Picture: AFL Photos

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Geelong Cats

Who they picked: Jordan Clark (15), Benjamin Jarvis (48), Jacob Kennerley (50), Darcy Fort (65), Jake Tarca (68), Oscar Brownless (74)

CATS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Cats had targeted line-breakers out of defence and got exactly that in Clark. While he’s not necessarily quick, the West Australian is clean and can use his effective foot skills to help shift the ball further up field. They were a bit cheeky in bidding for Bailey Scott at pick No.49 – he was eligible to the Cats before nominating for the Kangaroos as a father-son prospect. They then bundled Jarvis and Kennerley with third-round picks. Fort gives the Cats a little more draft depth, before the club traded back into the draft to nab Tarca. Brownless was one of the last players selected, a great story as a father-son pick. – Riley Beveridge

Jordan Clark has battled glandular fever, but was taken by the Cats at pick 15. Picture: AFL Photos

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Gold Coast Suns

Who they picked: Jack Lukosius (2), Izak Rankine (3), Ben King (6), Jez McLennan (23), Caleb Graham (71)

SUNS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: In taking Lukosius the Suns might have found a long-term replacement for Tom Lynch and in grabbing King, they could have found the man to fill the hole left by Steven May. They grabbed the two most versatile talls in the draft and the two best-performed. In between, they took the only back-to-back All Australian in the pool in Rankine, who is also the draft’s most exciting. From the wreckage of both of their captains leaving the club this off-season, the Suns have stocked up on huge talents. They were keen on another SA boy in McLennan, so traded up to pick 23 to grab him as an intercepting defender, before adding Academy prospect Graham, who can play at both ends as a key position, with their last.  ­– Callum Twomey

Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Ben King were taken in the top six picks. Picture: AFL Photos

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GWS Giants

Who they picked: Jye Caldwell (11), Jackson Hately (14), Xavier O’Halloran (22), Ian Hill (24), Kieren Briggs (34), Connor Idun (61)

GIANTS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: With three first-round picks at their disposal, the Giants targeted the best available midfielders. They had considered trading up to nab Caldwell, ultimately securing him with their first selection at pick No.11. Hately is another big-bodied onballer who can win his own footy, while O’Halloran completed the set nicely. All three will add to the GWS midfield stocks in 2019. Having claimed WA speedster Hill, the Giants were forced to match a bid on Academy prospect Briggs at pick No.34. He gives the club a 200cm big man as one of few quality rucks in the draft pool. They traded back into the draft at pick No.61, giving two future fourth-round picks to the Saints in order to nab Idun – a versatile defender who can shift forward if needed. – Riley Beveridge

Jye Caldwell and Jackson Hately have joined the Giants. Picture: AFL Photos

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Hawthorn

Who they picked: Jacob Koschitzke (52), Mathew Walker (63)

HAWKS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: With the Hawks’ key defensive stocks a little thin, and James Frawley ageing, they were in a good place to pick Koschitzke, who was the best remaining tall defender and a player some clubs rated inside the top-30. If not for injury towards the end of the season it’s likely that’s where he would have been selected. He can also switch into attack. The Giants were always unlikely to match a bid on their Academy prospect Mathew Walker, so when the Hawks put in their bid they got him. Walker has had injury issues but is a powerful half-forward with a nice leap who was very highly rated as an under-16. Given their draft position, the Hawks should leave satisfied. ­– Callum Twomey

Jacob Koschitzke, the cousin of former Saint Justin, will fill a defensive need for the Hawks. Picture: AFL Photos


Melbourne

Who they picked: Tom Sparrow (27), James Jordan (33), Aaron Nietschke (53), Marty Hore (56), Toby Bedford (75)

DEMONS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: Sparrow brings pace, which is what the Demons were looking for. The midfielder/forward is also ranked as one of the toughest players in the pool, which fits the Melbourne mould under recruiting manager Jason Taylor. Jordan was a late-season bolter but they liked his efforts playing senior footy in Yarrawonga, while Hore brings in some depth as a medium defender who has senior experience. The Dees would have been rapt a bid didn’t come on Bedford, allowing the club to use its last live pick on the NGA product and talented small forward. ­– Callum Twomey

Tom Sparrow, pictured at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, is now a Demon. Picture: AFL Photos

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North Melbourne

Who they picked: Tarryn Thomas (8), Curtis Taylor (46), Bailey Scott (49), Joel Crocker (69)

KANGAROOS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Kangaroos knew what they were getting going into this draft, having already nominated Thomas, Scott and Crocker as Next Generation Academy and father-son picks. However, they were also smart in trading a future third-round pick to get back into the draft before bids for Scott and Crocker came, nabbing one of its biggest sliders in Taylor at pick No.46. A bid for Thomas came earlier than expected at pick No.8, but the Kangaroos have put a lot of time into the midfielder who has long been rated as one of the most talented players in this year’s draft. Having claimed Scott, a bid never arrived for Crocker, forcing the Kangaroos to trade back into the draft to secure the father-son prospect. – Riley Beveridge

North matched Adelaide’s bid for Tasmanian star Tarryn Thomas. Picture: AFL Photos

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Port Adelaide

Who they picked: Connor Rozee (5), Zak Butters (12), Xavier Duursma (18), Riley Grundy (73), Boyd Woodcock (76)

POWER’S DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Power were clearly looking for pace and class with their top-end selections, and they found it in all three. Rozee is dynamic, can play all over the ground and is a penetrating, damaging kick, while Butters’ appeal lie in his kicking and finishing skills in the forward half. Duursma is another versatile option, a little like Rozee, who can play across half-back and through the midfield, and offer zip when he gets the ball. All three of Port’s first-round picks use the ball well and are quick, so they’re an exciting mix. Port was only going to use its late picks if they rated players still left, and they grabbed raw key defender Riley Grundy, the younger brother of Collingwood star Brodie, before taking small forward Boyd Woodcock.  ­– Callum Twomey

Connor Rozee was taken by the Power with pick five in the draft. Picture: AFL Photos

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Richmond

Who they picked: Riley Collier-Dawkins (20), Jack Ross (43), Fraser Turner (58), Luke English (62)

TIGERS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict:This was a draft all about midfielders for Richmond. All of the pre-draft hype had the Tigers linked to the best big-bodied onballer. While the Blues might have snuck in and stolen Liam Stocker from their grasp at pick No.19, the Tigers pounced on the next best prospect in Collier-Dawkins. They added to their midfield depth with Ross, who demonstrated throughout the year his ability to find the footy at TAC Cup level with Oakleigh. Turner and English also add a bit on the outside, with the latter’s versatility and endurance his biggest assets. They’ll be happy with the injection of depth. – Riley Beveridge

Riley Collier-Dawkins with his mothers Chris Dawkins (l) and Jacinta Collier. Picture: AFL Photos

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St Kilda

Who they picked: Max King (4), Jack Bytel (41), Matthew Parker (47), Nick Hind (54), Robert Young (67)

SAINTS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: It was a mixed draft for the Saints, with the club going with three mature-agers. St Kilda has one of the youngest lists in the competition and wanted to add some senior bodies to its group. Parker is a ball-winner from WA, Hind is a speedster from the VFL and Young is a really aggressive small forward who will be able to create opportunities. The Saints will want them to all make an impact next year. King might not do as much, as he comes off his knee reconstruction, but he was the right choice at that selection. He could be a superstar. Bytel’s back injury saw him push back down the order but he will join a group of strongly-build midfielders at the Saints. ­– Callum Twomey

Max King will give St Kilda marking power in attack. Picture: AFL Photos

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Sydney Swans

Who they picked: Nick Blakey (10), James Rowbottom (25), Justin McInerney (44), Zac Foot (51)

SWANS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: A canny trade with the Eagles enabled the Swans to claim Academy prospect Blakey with pick No.10, without trading away their early second-round selection. It allowed the Swans to also pounce on Rowbottom, one of the draft’s bolters who enjoyed a superb second half of the year in the TAC Cup. In Blakey, the Swans get a natural footballer who stands at 195cm and can play both as a tall forward and through the midfield. McInerney is an unknown quantity, having only broken into Northern Knights’ TAC Cup team late in the year, but will help Sydney’s speed. They got more outside pace with Foot at pick No.51. – Riley Beveridge

The Swans managed to snare Academy selection Nick Blakey for a steal with pick No.10. Picture: AFL Photos

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West Coast Eagles

Who they picked: Xavier O’Neill (28), Luke Foley (31), Bailey Williams (35), Jarrod Cameron (39)

EAGLES’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: The Eagles started the draft with two picks in the early 20s but managed to get creative and trade back down the order, where they grabbed O’Neill and Foley. Foley was on their radar before they had pushed back down the draft, so they were pleased to get him there. Williams was something of a surprise, because it was hard to see where he would fit in. But the Eagles added him knowing the tall forward/ruckman can learn off their strong key forwards. A few spots later they matched Brisbane’s bid for NGA forward Cameron, who is the younger brother of the Lions’ Charlie. Cameron will add to their troupe of small premiership forwards and will be given time to develop as Liam Ryan and Willie Rioli take centre stage.  ­– Callum Twomey

Luke Foley is staying home in Western Australia with the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos

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Western Bulldogs

Who they picked: Bailey Smith (7), Rhylee West (26), Laitham Vandermeer (37), Ben Cavarra (45), Will Hayes (78)

BULLDOGS’ DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of your club’s newest players

Verdict: An already deep Western Bulldogs midfield got a boost. The Dogs had considered trading down from pick No.7, but ultimately settled on Smith – who was the best available onballer still on the draft board at that stage. They were forced to match a bid on West at pick No.26, but get another hard-nosed midfielder in the son of seven-time best and fairest winner Scott West. Down back, Jason Johannisen will get a mate in Vandermeer, who also has pace on his side and can use the ball efficiently out of defence. They traded out of the third round of the draft, but not before securing one of the VFL’s most consistent players in Cavarra. They partnered him with another VFL gun in Hayes. – Riley Beveridge

Hard-working Bailey Smith is now a Bulldog. Picture: AFL Photos

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