2009 AFL Draft Review

My take on your team’s drafting effort this year.

For full profiles of many of these players see the profiles section.

For video footage of many of these players see the video section.

ADE: B (a solid effort with average selections)

Talia – good pick. Quality player that is ready to go as he is physically well developed and conditioned, fits well into Adelaide’s style of play and versatile enough to play in different spots.

Gunston – Unknown.

Shaw – So-so pick. Raw, athletic, outside wingman/flanker. Very speculative picks like some at this stage.

Craig – very good value. Strong, athletic undersized ruckman, that I think could be converted effectively into a key defender.

BRL: A (extracted very good value from their first 2 picks in particular)

Bartlett – very good value. Mainly going off reports, but he is rated highly by a number of good judges as a Quick and highly skilled small midfielder/half forward who was likely to be a bargain due to missing the 2009 season with an ACL injury.

Harwood – good value. Prolific clearance winning inside playmaker. Could potentially add more strength to

their midfield clearance winning quantity and quality, which is obviously a vital part of footy. Could definite push for games next year as he has senior experience under his belt.

O’Brien – OK pick. Haven’t seen much of him, but looks a neat player and is rated a decent prospect by a few good judges. Smart, well posied midfielder with good upside. Either way little to lose in the 70s.

Retzlaff – unknown.

CAR: B+ (good group of players with 2 ready to press for selection in their first season.)

Lucas – good value. Quality prospect with standout all-round athletic and footballing ability combined with very good form at WAFL League level. Should be ready to challenge for AFL appearances in his first season in an up and coming team.

Davies – decent pick. Physically developed, hard working medium rebounding defender. Could push for

games next year and definitely has a body that is quite well prepared for AFL. Strikes me as a good fit for Carlton.

Kerr – Sound pick. Don’t know much about him, but from reports is an athletic medium utility impact player. The draft is pretty slim at this stage and apart from Thomas I can’t say I really rated many of the other prospects on the board that got selected.

COL: B+ (picked 2 players that will help a lot in improving their weak clearance and contested possession counts and quality in Ball and Thomas.)

Ball – very good pick. Obviously a real quality and experienced AFL player that can come straight into a team that will contend for a premiership again next season whilst filling an important need in the midfield.

Sinclair – so-so pick. Athletic, hard at it, small midfield/utility. Pickings were slim and they selected the only other remaining drafted player I rated highly with their next pick.

Thomas – STEAL OF THE DRAFT. Powerful, creative, clean small midfielder. I expected him to go in the 2nd round, early 3rd at the latest, so it was a great surprise to see him last so late.

Buckley – OK pick. A recycled AFL player from Melbourne - athletic half back flanker with AFL experience. Not sure he will be more than depth, but that is a reasonable result at this stage of the draft.

ESS: A (good mix of versatile players of different sizes, small, medium and tall, 3 with good athletic ability that should fit well into their game-style)

Melksham – good pick. Around the right mark for him he is a highly skilled well rounded midfielder that has good all-round athleticism that should allow him to fit in very well in Essendon’s game-style once he develops more physically.

Carlisle – excellent value. A big KPP that can take a high grab, kick well and play either end with proficiency whilst having a lot of upside with a late and rapid growth spurt (22cm within 2 years) - I’d imagine some ‘growing pain’ complications may/have already develop due to this, but once his body is ready he has very good potential for a 2nd round pick.

Colyer – sound pick. About par value - not my personal choice, but in the mix for sure. He is an exciting, super quick and tough, but very small player that will need a bit of time ala Foley to build his body up to be competitive in the midfield. Should be another really good fit for Essendon.

Long – sound pick. Another I haven’t seen much of so I’m going mainly of limited footage and reports. Another athletic and skilful running player that play off a wing or half back again will complement the way Essendon play football. Some romanticism in the selection with him being Michael's nephew.

FRE: B (an interesting and varied looking draft with some upside, that seems to have touched some needs, but not quite convincingly enough for a team with such good position in the draft)

Morabito – good pick. Not my personal choice, but certainly in contention as a dynamic, powerful tall utility that has significant upside. Can come immediately into the side and will fit like a glove on Subiaco Oval with his style of play.

Fyfe – OK pick. I’m not sure a 3rd tall/roaming X-factor forward is a significant area that Fremantle need to be covered. I saw him as more a 3rd rounder, but whilst I believe there were better and more required prospects on the board (Bastinac, Stevens, Carlisle, Black in particular) he should still provide sound value to Fremantle– may take time to adjust to the hardness of senior footy.

Houghton – sound pick. Certainly a risk, but he does have good upside to be an athletic and skilled key forward. Will take time. Seemed a likely and expected selection in the lead-in.

Crichton – very good value. A skinny, but tenacious and creative athletic medium midfielder that applies very good defensive pressure. Once he is physically ready he should fit in well at Fremantle with the style of play

Harvey is trying to promote. Has played senior footy in Tasmania, but unlikely to get more than a small taste at most.

Roberton – sound pick. I’ve only seen him a few times and only on tape - a reliable, smart medium-tall defender with outstanding endurance. I think Fremantle are well stocked for his type (unless their intention is to mould him into a key defender, which seems unlikely at this stage). About the right range for mine, but many good Vic judges have him rated a fair bit higher.

Bollenghagen – Unknown. I will admit to not seeing him play, so I’m going solely of reports, but he is said to be a pacy HBF/outside midfield with good decision making skills and a long and accurate left foot. Looks to have the body shape to potentially come in for a taste of AFL next season. I thought they could’ve added some more grunt to their midfield with Josh Thomas still on board, but it’s hard to say without knowing much about Bollenhagen.

GEE: A (didn’t have the best position but made a very good fist of it and picked up some good players that should also fit in well)

Menzel – sound pick. Smart, classy, hard running rebounding defender/lead-up forward. Seems a very good fit at Geelong. May get a taste of AFL action next year.

Duncan – very good value. Smart, classy, hard running medium utility with good WAFL League form. Will likely push for selection next year. Strikes me as a really good fit at Geelong.

Christensen – good value. Smart, ball-winning small midfielder. A local product that won’t have to relocate. Unlikely to play next year - will take time to build up his body and improve his condition.

Vardy – good value. High marking, well skilled, big bodied tap ruckman. Whilst not totally sold on him, he is a ruckman and they are notoriously slow developers.

Cowan – OK pick. Neat, composed, hard running outside midfielder. Not a huge fan . Unlikely to play next year - will take a bit of time to build up his body.

HAW: B- (had the worst position out of all clubs with their first pick at 39, but managed to do OK.)

Grimley – unknown.

Stratton – sound pick. Adaptable, very athletic medium-tall negating defender. Should push for AFL games next year given he is a mature aged player with experience at state league level throughout 2009.

Williams – decent pick. Hard running, tough midfield/utility that uses the ball well. Should fit in well at Hawthorn and is versatile enough to find a place in the team in a number of spots. Could get a taste of AFL action next year.

Hooper – sound pick. Has demonstrated he has the talent to be an electric, X-factor small forward. His commitment to the game and behaviour off-field will be the main question that needs to be answered. Pickings were slim, so hard to fault going for a player that has shown he can be AFL quality.

Duryea – sound pick. Haven’t seen much of him - he is a zippy mid/HFF that has a very neat and penetrating left foot. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

NM: A (a very good draft that made full use of their good position inside the top 25 in particular.)

Cunnington – very good pick. One of my personal favourites this year – super tough but clean skilled, hard working medium midfielder. Should push for games early next year and may even play round 1. Great fit at North.

Bastinac – good value. Smart, neatly skilled outside midfielder that can play inside too with a great engine. Again suits North’s needs well and further bolsters the midfield unit. Maybe a bit skinny, but likely to at least get a taste of AFL.

Black – very good value. Athletic, agile, hard working, late starting tall or key utility that has shown siginificant improvement over the course of the year. Could very easily come into the side next year and play AFL early in his career as he impacted very well at WAFL league level late in the season. Should be able to fill a key role at either end.

MacMillan – sound pick. Neat, composed medium utility – doesn’t fit in as well as the previous selections, as I see him more of a half back type which North have in abundance, but certainly not a bad selection at this point in the draft. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Kennedy – sound pick. Athletic, neatly skilled lead up medium-tall forward/utility. Adds good depth to the forward line prospects. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Norris – unknown. Haven’t seen him play before so going solely of reports – hard running medium flanker with super endurance. Not sure where he fits into North’s squad - seems unlikely to play AFL next year.

MEL: A (blessed with the best position in the draft and 2 monties, but nevertheless they made good use of it)

Scully – easy pick. Highly talented and virtually flawless midfielder. No brainer. Should play AFL regularly next year, likely from round 1.

Trengove – easy pick. Highly talented and virtually flawless midfielder. No brainer. Will play AFL regularly next year, likely from round 1.

Gysberts – not a fan of this pick. He always seemed rated highly but I have never been a particularly big fan. Medium midfielder with a soundly rounded game. I would’ve probably gone for Lucas/Jetta, if a midfielder was a preference or Black/Talia if a key position player (the former could’ve been taken at 18 alternatively).

May play a few AFL games next year.

Tapscott – good pick. Could start round 1, certainly physically ready to play regular AFL next year.

Gawn – unknown. Seems unlikely to play AFL next year, like most first year ruckman.

Fitzpatrick – great value. Unlikely to play AFL next year, will likely need more time to build up his body.

PTA: A (sound effort with plenty of early selections to help them out)

Butcher – good pick. Athletic, agile tall pack marking key forward. Port need a big presence up forward post Tredrea, and Butcher should be able to provide that for them in the future. Should at least get a taste of AFL next year.

Moore – sound pick. Hard working, athletic, ball winning medium utility. Not sure what role Port intend on using him in, but should be a more than handy player whatever the situation. Likely to play at least some AFL next year.

McMillan-Pittard – OK pick. Slimly built, skilful, running medium HBF/wing. I’m not his biggest fan, but I am basing my opinion solely on his U18 championships games and will admit I have probably not seen his best work which seems to have come mostly at TAC Cup level – he is rated highly by those that have seen much more so take my opinion on him with a grain of salt! Unlikely to play AFL next year – needs to be better physically prepared.

RIC: A- (a more than decent draft with good potential, but also risk)

Martin – good pick. Powerful, ball winning midfielder with the best footskills in this year’s draft. Will play AFL next year and likely to start from round 1.

Griffiths – good pick. that is a walking injury at the moment. I do worry given they don’t seem to have a great track record of managing injured players – I hope I’m wrong about this as I would like to see Griffiths be the young key forward Tigers’ fans have been waiting for. May play some AFL next year if his condition is good enough.

Astbury – OK pick. Versatile 3rd tall utility with a good engine and sound skillset. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Dea – Unknown. Said to be a raw, athletic medium sized utility player. Seems unlikely to play AFL next year.

Taylor – Very good value. High grabbing, X-factor medium-tall forward (with his reach could be a potential 2nd tall option ala Micky O) with cat-like agility at ground level. Very good upside. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Webberley – sound pick. Said to be a hard running, rebounding defender. Rated by some good Tassie judges as their best mature aged prospect and likely to play AFL next year as a mature ager with sufficient experience at state league level.

Nason – Unknown. Said to be hard running medium forward flanke. Likely to play AFL next year as a mature ager with state league experience.

STK: B+ (a few decent selections with great upside considering their tough position in the draft)

Winmar – good pick (one of my personal favourites from this year!). I rated him highly, but didn’t expect him to be taken as high (prior to late mail). St Kilda always seemed a great fit as a team well positioned to take a risk and having time on their hands so he could develop his fitness and build to the levels required for AFL football. Some more romanticism - 2nd cousin to former Saint great of the same title. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Smith – Good pick. An ex-North and former F/S player that was super highly rated as a junior talent, but has had a career so far derailed by injury. The Saints are well positioned to take risks with such a strong list already and said to have the best fitness manager in the biz (David Misson) so it would seem a very good fit for both parties. If he is fit, he should be playing next year.

Pattison – so-so pick. Likely to play AFL next year, probably in a back-up/emergency role.

Johnson – Unknown. May play AFL next year as he is a mature age player.

SYD: A (an exciting mix of players with X-factor, including 2 AFL ready prospects with sufficient state league experience)

Rohan – sound pick. Dynamic, athletic, X-factor medium forward/utility. Good fit at Sydney and likely to at least get a taste of AFL next year.

Jetta – very good value. Smart, dynamic, athletic, medium wingman/half forward. Likely to play at least fairly regular AFL next year due to his age, experience and performances at state league level despite his physical size.

Reid – sound pick. Athletic, raw key defender. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Sumner – sound pick. Evasive, long kicking small wingman/half forward. Unlikely to play AFL next year.

Dennis-Lane – very good value. Athletic, clever, small forward with a keen sense for goal. Likely to play at least fairly regular AFL next year due to his age, experience and performances at state league level despite his physical size.

WCE: B (OK, but from a team that has been the envy of most others on most recent draft days perhaps a little


Sheppard – sound pick. Athletic, clean skilled, running medium half back/wing. Likely to play at least some AFL next year due to his experience and performances at state league level.

Weedon – OK pick. Smart, clean, creative medium utility. Seems to be drafted as a small forward option. May get a taste of AFL next year.

Stevens – sound pick. Tough, hard working, ball winning midfielder. Likely to play some AFL next year (as long as he is over his OP) with his physical maturity.

WBD: C+ (difficult position to start from, went very left field with their first rounder.)

Howard – unknown. Said to running medium half back with a very good left foot and motor. Not sure what to make of this selection! I guess we'll see...

Tutt – good pick. Tough, hard running small defender with a penetrating kick. I'm probably alone in thinking he may push for an AFL debut next year (would’ve been more likely in a weaker team).

Markovic – unknown. Mature aged player, so it would seem he would be a chance for AFL games next year (possibly in a back up role?).

Thorne – unknown. Said to be an exciting, agile wingman with a penetrating kick. Could be a chance for some AFL games next year given he is mature aged.

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