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Bede Briscomb rates your club’s AFL draft performance

The top 10 in the 2017 AFL draft assemble on stage at the Sydney Showgrounds on Friday night. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Bede Briscomb rates your club’s AFL draft performance

Bede Briscomb    

Wow. As I wrote in my mock draft, this year’s real version was set to be one of the most unpredictable of all time – and it didn’t disappoint.

Let’s assess each pick in the top 30, but before we do, congratulations to every player who got officially employed on Friday night!

I have used two measures. “Value” equals where the player was drafted compared to where most analysts ranked them in terms of overall talent and potential. And “Team fit” equals how well the player fits within the team’s list structure

1. BRISBANE: CAMERON RAYNER, midfielder/half-forward, Western Jets
Rayner is the only bloke in this year’s draft that has the chance of being the best player in the league one day. The Lions had to take him and they did.
Value: A+ Team fit: B

2. FREMANTLE: ANDREW BRAYSHAW, midfielder, Sandringham Dragons
A reach, I reckon, but the Dockers didn’t want North to snap him up at No.4. Will regret not taking Luke Davies-Uniacke.
Value: B Team fit: A

3. CARLTON: PADDY DOW, midfielder, Bendigo Pioneers
Just fits perfectly with Carlton’s future midfield structure. The impressive trajectory of Stephen Silvagni’s list, coupled with Brendon Bolton’s outstanding development of players is something Blues fans should be very happy about. The right men are steering the ship.
Value: A Team fit: A

4. NORTH MELBOURNE: LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE, midfielder, Dandenong Stingrays
Forget about Jack Higgins, this is the steal of the draft. Mark my words, Davies-Uniacke is a future All-Australian captain and Brownlow medallist. Not enough hyperbole for you? Try this. I would rather Davies-Uniacke at his age and contract than a Dustin Martin or Josh Kelly clogging up my list for a decade.
Value: A+ Team fit: A

5. FREMANTLE: ADAM CERRA, midfielder, Eastern Ranges
Cerra’s elite ball skills make him the perfect man to finish off clearances from Nat Fyfe, Connor Blakely and Lachie Neale.
Value: A Team fit: A

Doesn’t help one of the Pies’ biggest issues (kicking), but his line-breaking ability and goalkicking will lessen the load on Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliot.
Value: B Team fit: B

7. ST KILDA: HUNTER CLARK, midfielder, Dandenong Stingrays
Competitive animal who will be handy in a variety of roles.
Value: A Team fit: C

8. ST KILDA: NICK COFFIELD, defender, Northern Knights
Coffield’s dash and penetrating and precise kicking skills are sorely needed for the Saints. May allow Jack Newnes to play midfield full-time.
Value: A Team fit: A

The Dogs could have used a running half-back but that position is much easier to find than an athletic defender with great hands like Naughton. The Victorian-born prospect will be ready to go from round one.
Value: A Team fit: C

10. CARLTON: LOCHIE O’BRIEN, wing/half-back, Bendigo Pioneers
Silvagni went for team need with this pick and I can’t blame him because there was no glaring talent left on the board. O’Brien provides elite ball skills and can run all day.
Value: B Team fit: A

11. GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY: AIDEN BONAR, half-forward, Dandenong Stingrays
High risk, high reward for a team that can afford to screw it up. Bonar could be the difference in a final next year.
Value: B Team fit: A+

12. ADELAIDE: DARCY FOGARTY, half-forward, Glenelg
The Crows committed highway robbery on the rest of the league with this pick.
Touted as the No.1 pick to start the year and has enormous potential as a big bull in the middle that regularly hits the scoreboard.
Value: A+ Team fit: B

13. WEST COAST: JARROD BRANDER, swingman, Bendigo Pioneers
Given some thought he’d slip out of the top 20, this is a slight reach, but if the Eagles believe in him then what’s the difference? If he can hold his own down back it may allow Jeremy McGovern to push forward and create a devastating one-two punch with Josh Kennedy.
Value: B Team fit: B

14. SYDNEY: MATTHEW LING, half-back, Geelong Falcons
Ed Richards was still available so this is a reach. Richards is faster and classier than Ling, but perhaps not as ready for AFL football.
Value: C Team fit: B

15. BRISBANE: ZAC BAILEY, midfielder, Norwood
Surprised they didn’t select Lachie Fogarty, but Bailey is a similar player. He adds an element of hardness that the Lions didn’t get with Hugh McLuggage, Cedric Cox and Alex Witherden last year.
Value: C Team fit: B

16. WESTERN BULLDOGS: ED RICHARDS, half-back, Oakleigh Chargers
Excellent pick. Richards’ game is perfect for the tempo Beveridge wants his guys to play at.
Value: A Team fit: A

17. RICHMOND: JACK HIGGINS, forward, Oakleigh Chargers
Another beauty. Higgins is a smart footballer and you can never, ever have too many of those.
Value: A+ Team fit: C

18. BRISBANE: BRANDON STARCEVICH, midfielder/half-forward, East Perth
With Starcevich and Zac Bailey, it’s clear the Lions were targeting toughness, but why not take Lachie Fogarty (Cam Rayner’s close mate who Kevin Sheehan described as the most ‘readymade’ player in the draft)?
Value: C Team fit: C

19. GOLD COAST: WILL POWELL, midfielder, Claremont
I don’t think Gold Coast know what they are doing. First they trade the No.2 pick for a guy who told the world he was going to them no matter what, and then they draft a guy who was likely available in the 40s (and maybe even 50s). I haven’t seen much of Powell so this may come back to bite me, but why not take Fogarty or Constable? Two big-bodied ball magnets that Geelong, a historically smart team, drafted.
Value: D Team fit: B

Because the Tigers’ ruck stocks are very thin, it was wise to opt for the low downside, low upside pick of Coleman-Jones. If they drafted Sam Hayes and Nankervis went down it would be a nightmare as Hayes is nowhere near ready for the big stage.
Value: C Team fit: A

21. WEST COAST: OSCAR ALLEN, forward, West Perth
Was screaming at my TV when the Eagles passed on Allen at No. 13, but it worked out well in the end. Despite not drafting a great mid, the Eagles improved mightily on Friday.
Value: A Team fit: B

22. GEELONG: LACHIE FOGARTY, midfielder, Western Jets
How do the Cats do it? Geelong get a player who will contribute right away and push out the ordinary bottom six who are inhibiting them from winning a flag.
Value: A Team fit: A

23. NORTH MELBOURNE: WILL WALKER, midfielder, Sandringham Dragons
A reach but he should still improve their midfield depth.
Value: C Team fit: B

24. GEELONG: TIM KELLY, midfielder, South Fremantle
The Cats want to win now and Kelly’s maturity, grunt and clearance work will help that.
Value: A Team fit: A

25. RICHMOND: NOAH BALTA, swingman, Calder Cannons
I love this pick. He doesn’t have any game sense, but pair him with Alex Rance and he will learn. You can’t teach athleticism.
Value: B Team fit: A

26. WEST COAST: LIAM RYAN, forward, Subiaco
Ryan adds flair and electricity to the Eagles but doesn’t improve the massive hole in the midfield.
Value: B Team fit: B

27. GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY: Brent Daniels, midfielder/half-forward, Bendigo Pioneers
See Higgins, Jack. The “We Already Have A Good List Let’s Just Take A Smart Footballer Strategy” always works out.
Value: B+ Team fit: A

28. GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY: Sam Taylor, defender, Swan Districts
Adds depth to the Giants defence.
Value: B Team fit: B

29. MELBOURNE: CHARLIE SPARGO, midfielder, Murray Bushrangers
The Dees didn’t go with the “We Already Have A Good List Let’s Just Take A Smart Footballer” strategy but they did go with the “We Already Have A Good List Let’s Just Take A Guy Who Tackles A Lot” strategy, and that too is wise.
Value: B Team fit: B

30. CARLTON: TOM DE KONING, ruck, Dandenong Stingrays
I guess the Blues needed a ruck, but couldn’t they have just signed a journeyman on the cheap? I’m disappointed they didn’t select Charlie Constable given they are so thin in the middle.
Value: D Team fit: C


What about Hawthorn?
The Hawks didn’t have high picks but they still managed to fleece the rest of the competition by drafting a bull (James Worpel) at No. 45 and one of my favourite players in the draft, and a guaranteed ball magnet, Dylan Moore at pick 67. It goes to show the massive disparity of smart coaches and managers across the 18 clubs.

What about Port Adelaide?
What an off-season the Power have had. Sam Hayes was a top 10 pick for most of the year and they got him at 47. They can stash the fluid-moving, skilful ruckman while Paddy Ryder continues to dominate. Getting Vic Metro captain Joel Garner will add depth to their backline, which is important considering the flakiness of Jasper Pittard’s 2017 season.

What about Essendon?
Jordan Houlahan adds electricity and flair to their forward line but that’s about it. Nothing really changed for the Bombers on draft night.

  1. In Carlton’s case Kreuzer is not getting any younger, Phillips and Lobbe are the journeymen you talking about and are just back-ups, hence it was time to project a young one who would be ready by the time Kreuzer goes. He’s actually a forward/ruck more than the reverse. I think it’s the way rucking is heading where rucks need to be multi-faceted. In a few years Carlton would hope to have De Koning and Harry McKay, now 204cm, as their ruck duo, both key forward/rucks.

  2. Any chance of another article rating the rest of the draftees? I know it gets harder as you go down the list but would be interesting to see your ratings. I really like your dual rating system.

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