AFL writer and
SEBASTIAN SAYS: The Crows addressed their need for midfielders by using their first pick on Matt Crouch, the brother of 2013 rising star nominee Brad Crouch. Matt is a major ball winner and it was surprising he was still there at pick 23. Riley Knight is a local kid and small defender that will need developing. We’ve already seen midfielder/defender Rory Laird and key backman Kyle Hartigan in 2013. In what was considered a shallow draft the Crows did well to address their midfield depth issues plus future plan for Scott Thompson’s replacement in the heart of the midfield.
23. Matt Crouch 180cms 78kgs Midfielder from North Ballarat Rebels, VIC
46. Riley Knight 180cms 72kgs Small defender from Woodville West Torrens, SA
76. Rookie upgrade Kyle Hartigan
86. Rookie upgrade Rory Laird
RATING: C – had limited opportunities to snare the best talent.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: With the mass exodus the Lions faced in the trade period came an opportunity to immediately improve their list with an abundance of top 50 picks (six) this year. They really needed cover in most areas and that’s what they got. The Lions saw their backline in major need of a rebuild and went for 6 defenders. With pick 7 they got the highly talented James Aish who was touted as a top five pick by many. Lewis Taylor at pick 28 and Tom Cutler at pick 33 should be considered steals. Darcy Gardiner was considered by many observers as the best key backman in this draft and Daniel McStay the second best — the Lions got both. Jonathan Freeman as a zone selection was a gift. They’ve done very well this draft, they just need to hold onto these kids now.
7. James Aish 187cms 75kgs Midfielder from Norwood, SA
22. Darcy Gardiner 192cms 85kgs Key defender from Geelong Falcons, VIC
25. Daniel McStay 194cms 88kgs Key defender from Eastern Ranges, VIC
28. Lewis Taylor 173cms 73kgs Small midfielder from Geelong Falcons, VIC
33. Tom Cutler 190cms 85kgs Medium defender from Oakleigh Chargers, VIC
34. Nick Robertson 191cms 88kgs Medium defender from West Perth, WA
62. Jonathan Freeman 198cms 96kgs Key forward from Aspley, QLD (zone selection)
75. Rookie upgrade Justin Clarke
RATING: A – massive draft for the Lions and should setup a very bright future if the Lions can keep hold of them all. Aish will be a genuine star. Nailed it!
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Not a massive draft for the Blues as they had only three live picks then two rookie upgrades. With pick 13 they went with Patrick Cripps who was destined to go anywhere from 10-25. Is pick 13 paying overs for Cripps? Time will tell. He is a big bodied midfielder that fills a brief for the Blues as he has the body to play senior footy immediately if required. Cameron Giles was the best key backman available at that pick (39) and should act as nice depth/backup for Michael Jamison, Lachie Henderson and Matthew Watson. Nick Holman is a nice sized midfielder with neat skills that is likely to develop in the VFL in 2013.
13. Patrick Cripps 190cms 90kgs Midfielder from East Fremantle, WA
39. Cameron Giles 195cms 93kgs Key defender from Woodville-West Torrens, SA
51. Nick Holman 187cms 78kgs Midfielder from Murray Bushrangers, VIC.
89. Rookie upgrade Ed Curnow
94. Rookie upgrade Tom Bell
RATING: B – only the three picks for the Blues. Many feel there was better talent available at pick 13 but time will tell. Giles is a good selection.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Backed up a very productive trade period with an even better draft. Recruiter Derek Hine set out to get the two best available players regardless of position at picks 6 & 10. When Hine was given the option of Matthew Scharenberg and James Aish at pick 6 and then Nathan Freeman or Ben Lennon at pick 10 they could hardly get it wrong in any way. They have got two genuine 200-game players there in the big midfielder Scharenberg and the explosive clearance player Freeman. Pick 65 was Tom Langdon who provides more depth to the defensive stocks with the departures of Heath Shaw, Jordan Russell and with the ageing Nick Maxwell. How Jonathan Marsh was available at pick 77 defies logic, at 192cms and 87kgs plus with the quickest time over 20m at the draft combine the Pies have a real bargain there.
6: Matthew Scharenberg 190cms 87kgs Medium defender/tall midfielder from Norwood,SA
10: Nathan Freeman 182cms 80kgs midfielder from Sandringham Dragons, VIC
65. Tom Langdon 189cms 85kgs Medium defender from Sandringham Dragons,VIC
77. Jonathan Marsh 192cms 87kgs Medium forward from East Fremantle,WA
87. Rookie upgrade Sam Dwyer
92. Rookie upgrade Adam Oxley
RATING: A – massive draft by the Pies to offset the loss of some club legends
SEBASTIAN SAYS: The thinking by many, including myself, was that the Bombers would go for ruck or key forward depth this draft with the losses of David Hille, Stewart Crameri and Scott Gumbleton. The Bombers disagreed however and went for small midfielders instead. Zac Merrett at pick 26 is the younger brother of current Bomber Jackson and Orazio Fantasia is a small bodied mid that will need time to develop.
26. Zac Merrett 179cms 76kgs Midfielder from Sandringham Dragons,VIC
55. Orazio Fantasia 176cms 65kgs Midfielder from Norwood,SA
64. Rookie Upgrade Lachlan Dalgliesh
RATING: C – the Bombers were mere onlookers in this draft
SEBASTIAN SAYS: With ageing big men the Dockers really set out to add the best available talls at each of their picks. They, like many would have been very surprised that their number one target, local boy Cameron McCarthy was gone by their first pick (17), especially once Carlton passed on him at pick 13. With McCarthy gone they went for Michael Apeness, who at 17 might be considered paying overs. Still, Apeness is a keyforward/ruckman type that will suit the modern game and has the frame to play pretty early on in the season if needed. With their other picks they got another developing key forward in Alex Pearce and small midfielder Brady Grey, both from Tasmania.
17. Michael Apeness 199cms 101kgs Ruckman/Key Forward from Eastern Ranges,VIC
37. Alex Pearce 199cms 87kgs Key forward from Devonport,TAS
58. Brady Grey 179cms 82kgs Midfielder from Burnie Dockers,TAS
70. Rookie upgrade Matthew Taberner
RATING: C – not a spectacular draft by the Dockers and would be disappointed to miss out on the best local WA kids
SEBASTIAN SAYS: The Cats sprung the first surprise by selecting local Geelong boy Darcy Lang at pick 16. Could Lang be the next in a long line of special ‘underrated’ talents chosen by gun recruiter Stephen Wells? Lang is only small bodied but has shown plenty of promise and skill. It was a surprise that they passed on the likes of Blake Acres and Luke Dunstan with their first pick. Jarrad Jansen (medium forward) and Jake Kolodjashnij (key backman) both fill needs too. Kolodjashnij will probably be seen as a developing key backman that will succeed the likes of Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor once their careers are over.
16. Darcy Lang 181cms 77kgs Midfielder from Geelong Falcons,VIC
36. Jarrad Jansen 190cms 91kgs Medium forward from east Fremantle, WA
41. Jake Kolodjashnij 192cms 90kgs Key backman from Launceston,TAS
54. Rookie upgrade Joah Walker
63. Rookie upgrade George Burbury
RATING: C+ – Geelong will back themselves no matter the public opinion but time will tell if they could have taken better players at pick 16
SEBASTIAN SAYS: They already have young midfielder Jack Martin (taken in the 2012 mini-draft) who, if was available in the draft would have gone at pick one without a doubt. Martin is said to be better than Jaeger O’Meara at the same phase of development. With their first pick (5) in this draft they got the young Tasmanian half-back Kade Kolodjashnij who will add pace, height and run to the Suns backline. After pick 5 they took Jack Leslie, a young Victorian ruckman at pick 20 which was seen to be a surprise by many in the know, and then took small SA defender Sean Lemmens at pick 27 which then ended their night.
5: Kade Kolodjashnij 190cms 85kgs Medium defender from Launceston,TAS
20. Jack Leslie 199cms 94kgs Ruckman from Gippsland Power,VIC
27. Sean Lemmens 182cms 66kgs Small defender from Port Adelaide,SA
RATING: C – Kolodjashnij is a star but will the Suns regret not taking Scharenberg or Aish instead? After Kolodjashnij the other picks could be been as project players in many ways.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
SEBASTIAN SAYS: With already the best young list of talent in the AFL, the Giants added to that incredibly well in this draft. With picks 1 & 2 it was hard for them to get it wrong and they didn’t. Tom Boyd (1) and Josh Kelly (2) should be household names for many years to come. At pick 14 they surprised many by taking another key forward and the second best one in the draft Cameron McCarthy. Where and how will all their forwards fit in their future picture? Boyd, Patton, Cameron and McCarthy…how?? They then took a promising young WA ruckman in Rory Lobb and then a zone selection in Jake Barrett.
1. Tom Boyd 199cms 103kgs Key Forward from Eastern Ranges, VIC
2. Josh Kelly 183cms 75kgs Midfielder from Sandringham Dragons, VIC
14. Cameron McCarthy 193cms 85kgs Key Forward from Sth Fremantle, WA
29. Rory Lobb 205cms 98kgs Ruckman from Claremont, WA
95. Rookie upgrade Zach Williams
97. Jake Barrett 182cms 82kgs Midfielder from Temora, NSW (zone selection)
RATING: A+ – Boyd and Kelly will be elite in the AFL for years, McCarthy was a surprise and Lobb was considered a top three ruckman in this draft
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Exactly what position did the Hawks see the area of depth in? Would they take Dayle Garlett? Those were the questions. In the end they got Billy Hartung for a steal at pick 24 and did end up with Garlett at pick 38. The 2013 premiers have done a great job since winning the flag by adding Ben McEvoy, Garlett and Hartung to their list. Garlett and Rioli will cause plenty of problems for defenders across the country. Hartung runs all day and uses the ball well, will see midfield time as Brad Sewell, Shaun Burgoyne, Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge’s careers wind down. James Sicily is a well-skilled medium forward and a reliable kick for goal.
24. Billy Hartung 177cms 75kgs Midfielder from Dandenong Stingrays,VIC
38. Dayle Garlett 181cms 75kgs Small forward from Swan Districts,WA
56. James Sicily 186cms 77kgs medium forward from Western Jets,VIC
59. rookie Upgrade Jon Ceglar
71. rookie upgrade Will Langford
RATING: B+ – bit part players on draft night but had an impact with Hartung the slider and Garlett the X-factor
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Paul Roos’ first draft as Demons coach and he identified the midfield as the main area for improvement and development. With pick 9 they landed the in and under Christian Salem who will be a very good player for Melbourne. Pick 40 was the small Jay Kennedy-Harris who is in the mould of former Melbourne favourite Aaron Davey as a small mid/forward type. Jayden Hunt is largely unknown by most draft analysts and is the surprise pick of the draft from local league football.
9: Christian Salem 183cms 81kgs Midfielder from Sandringham Dragons,VIC
40. Jay Kennedy Harris 173cms 68kgs small midfielder from Oakleigh Chargers,VIC
57. Jayden Hunt from Brighton Grammar,VIC
82. Rookie upgrade Mitch Clisby
RATING: B – Only one pick inside the top 30 of a shallow draft but hit the mark with Salem who should work out for the Demons to be a gun midfielder. Kennedy-Harris will be handy. Hunt an unknown quantity.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Pick 8 was a lock with father-son selection Luke McDonald who could play immediately due to the year of development he had with Werribee in the VFL in 2013. McDonald watched the draft from Utah with his already-Kangaroo teammates. At pick 30 they got the player considered a slider in Trent Dumont. Dumont was expected to go in the first round by many so the Roos would be very happy to get him at pick 30. Ben Brown has played for Werribee and is a capable ruck/forward type that could be the Drew Petrie replacement of the future.
8: Luke McDonald 188cms 85kgs midfielder from Werribee,VIC
30. Trent Dumont 183cms 83kgs midfielder from Norwood,SA
47. Ben Brown 199cms 99kgs ruckman/forward from Werribee,VIC
RATING: B+ – McDonald is a gun and Dumont could have gone earlier, Brown is a good depth option.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Port entered the draft at pick 21 where they went for Jarman Impey who is one of the most exciting players from this draft. Can be used as a small midfielder or as running backman and has even kicked goals as a clever forward pocket type. Excitement machine who loves to jump for his marks. Mitch Harvey is a local key forward who should develop nicely. Darcy Byrne-Jones and Karl Amon will both need time to fill out before getting serious game time, but both are clever running, well skilled players.
21. Jarman Impey 177cms 78kgs Midfielder from Murray Bushrangers,VIC
45. Mitch Harvey 197cms 92kgs Key forward from North Adelaide,SA
52. Darcy Byrne-Jones 180cms 69kgs small defender from Oakleigh Chargers,VIC
68. Karl Amon 180cms 73 kgs midfielder from Sandringham Dragons,VIC
RATING: C – Average. No early picks and, in a shallow draft, couldn’t be a major player on draft night. I thought Dumont or Hartung might have been the option for them at pick 21.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: In many ways the Tigers were in a position where all they could do was wait and see who fell to them from the potential top 10 talents. The young man that did was Ben Lennon and the Tigers would be ecstatic about that. Lennon is a dynamic, goalkicking midfielder to compliment the likes of Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio. At 188cms can start as a half forward and be given time to have the body ready for midfield action. Nathan Gordon and Sam Lloyd are both mature age recruits from the SANFL and VFL respectively that should provide depth for the Tigers.
12. Ben Lennon 188cms 77kgs Midfielder from Northern Knights,VIC
50. Nathan Gordon 186cms 86kgs Midfielder from North Adelaide,SA
66. Sam Lloyd 180cms 83kgs medium forward from Frankston, VIC
93. Rookie upgrade Ricky Petterd
RATING: B+ – with the picks they had they added depth to their list. Thought they could have gone for a key backman to provide cover but the Tigers have to back Alex Rance, Dylan Grimes and Troy Chaplin and hope for no injuries now. Lennon is a jet.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: With three picks inside the top 20, the Saints had the potential to really set a large part of their future up. They didn’t miss a beat by taking Jack Billings (3), Luke Dunstan (18) and Blake Acres (19) on draft night. Billings will start as a small forward whereas Dunstan and Acres are ready made midfielders ready to play. Dunstan has huge leadership potential and should take over from Hayes and Montagna in the future as the midfield grunt. Acres is a nice height for a mid and would not have been out of place anywhere in the top 15. Saints have done well and Alan Richardson should be happy with his first draft.
3: Jack Billings 183cms 78kgs medium forward from Oakleigh Chargers,VIC
18. Luke Dunstan 185cms 83kgs midfielder from Sturt,SA
19. Blake Acres 189cms 84kgs midfielder from West Perth,WA
83. Rookie upgrade Tom Curren
RATING: A – only had 3 live picks and made them count. Billings over Scharenberg though? Time will tell.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: Zak Jones is the ultimate Sydney type of player to take the reins from Jude Bolton. Hard at it and really tough, Jones is worthy of pick 16 and Sydney will love him as part of their workman-like culture. Sydney had a brief to also replace Shane Mumford with a young ruck option to develop behind Mike Pyke as the number two. They did that by taking Toby Nankervis, regarded by many as the most natural of the ruckmen in this draft. George Hewett gives polish and skill by foot and Aliir Aliir is a young key backman from a Sudanese background that provides great rebound and dash.
16. Zak Jones 181cms 76kgs midfielder from Dandenong Stingrays,VIC
32. George Hewett 185cms 79kgs midfielder from Nth Adelaide, SA
35. Toby Nankervis 200cms 100kgs ruckman from Nth Launceston,TAS
44. Aliir Aliir 196cms 90kgs Key backman from East Fremantle,WA
80. rookie upgrade Brandon Jack
90. rookie upgrade Dane Rampe
RATING: B+ Jones is the ultimate ‘bloods’ type, Hewett’s skills are very tidy, Nankervis will be a future number one ruckman and Aliir is a good project defender that can learn from their current backs well.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: No mean feat for new coach Adam Simpson to replace Daniel Kerr, Adam Selwood, and also plan for the retirement of Darren Glass. These were West Coast’s main aims and they did that by taking Dom Sheed, midfield ball magnet; Malcolm Karpany, who is an exciting small midfielder with great pace; and Tom Barrass, who rebounds well for a key backman. West Coast got their man in Sheed seen by many as a lock at pick 11 pre-draft. Dylan Main is a local young forward that will take time to develop.
11: Dom Sheed 184cms 83kgs midfielder from Perth,WA
31. Malcolm Karpany 176cms 72kgs midfielder from Woodville-West Torrens,SA
43. Tom Barrass 192cms 81kgs key backman from Claremont,WA
49. Dylan Main 189cms 77kgs medium forward from Sth Fremantle, WA
61. Rookie upgrade Jamie Bennell
74. rookie upgrade Jeremy McGovern
85. rookie upgrade Simon Tunbridge
RATING: B+ – Did well to fill their needs with their picks and upgraded rookies in positions they couldn’t fill via the draft. Sheed could lead the club one day and oozes class.
SEBASTIAN SAYS: With only one first round pick they had to get it right. The jury will be out to see if taking Marcus Bontempelli before the likes of Kade Kolodjashnij, Scharenberg and Aish was a sound decision. Bontempelli was regarded as nothing more than a third round pick until a blistering second half to the 2013 season that saw him rise up the predicted draft order. The Dogs will back themselves to turn Bontempelli into a Scott Pendlebury clone but will that be too hard a task for the kid? Matthew Fuller and Mitch Honeychurch are both smaller mids that will provide depth in that area for Brendan McCartney. I still think the Dogs lack key position players and might have done better to address those areas.
4: Marcus Bontempelli 192cms 83kgs Midfielder from Northern Knights,VIC
42. Matthew Fuller 180cms 84kgs midfielder from Norwood,SA
60. Mitch Honeychurch 175cms 67kgs midfielder from Eastern Ranges,VIC
84. rookie upgrade Brett Goodes
RATING: C – Bontempelli will be good, but unfortunately for him until he does something spectacular the debate will rage Bontempelli, or Aish or Scharenberg? Both are currently more credentialed so Bontempelli is starting behind them both. Did they address the areas that require improvement such as key backs and key forwards?