Review 2009 - Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft

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AFL clubs and AFL fans were blessed and cursed in the 2009 draft.

If you are a Melbourne or Port Adelaide fan, you are most likely still feeling the curse. But if you don the sash, scream yellow and black or are looking for a three-peat, you can sleep well at night.

If you can guess where the likes of Nat Fyfe and Jack Gunston were drafted without cheating, I will be very impressed. I couldn’t do it.

Like the 2008 draft, it is too early to judge and rate these players according to their entire careers – most of them have only played five seasons. So instead I will be redrafting them based on their first years in the system, combined with their future stardom potential.

2009 draft
Pick 1: Tom Scully (Melbourne)
Pick 2: Jack Trengove (Melbourne)
Pick 3: Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Pick 4: Anthony Morabito (Fremantle)
Pick 5: Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
Pick 6: Gary Rohan (Sydney)
Pick 7: Brad Sheppard (West Coast)
Pick 8: John Butcher (Port Adelaide)
Pick 9: Andrew Moore (Port Adelaide)
Pick 10: Jake Melksham (Essendon)

Redrafted

Pick 1 (Melbourne) – Nathan Fyfe
Nat Fyfe is 90 kilograms and 190 centimetres of elite AFL material. He was astoundingly selected at pick 20 (let that sink in for a few seconds) by the Dockers in 2009. Fyfe has probably overtaken Gary Ablett as the best player in the competition. He is already a superstar at just 23. He is almost unmatchable and unbeatable on the field.

Fyfe can destroy you in the midfield with his ball winning, ball efficiency and tackling. He can push forward and take a highlight grab and kick a few goals. Or, if that wasn’t good enough, he can be put down back to steady the tide. In just five seasons, he’s won two best and fairest awards at Fremantle, an All-Australian slot in 2014, as well as the ALFPA’s MVP, and came second in the Brownlow last year.

Did I mention he hasn’t even played 100 games yet? He’s averaging ridiculously scary numbers over his career – 25 disposals, five marks, four tackles and almost a goal a game.

Pick 2 (Melbourne) – Dustin Martin
‘Mr Don’t Argue’. Martin was the third overall pick in this draft, taken by the Tigers. Martin, like Fyfe, has been a star since his debut. He’s barley missed a game, playing 114 games and kicking 122 goals. Martin is dynamite. He is a lively midfielder who bulldozes through packs and can finish on the run, or by the snap, or through a snap shot. You get the point.

Martin is what they call a complete midfielder – because he can do it all. He almost left the Tigers for Greater Western Sydney a couple seasons back, but since then he has elevated himself to one of the most exciting, pulsating midfielders in the game. Twenty-three disposals, four marks, three tackles and a goal a game aren’t too bad career averages. Right?

Pick 3 (Richmond) – Daniel Talia
Let it be said, Richmond would be incredibly happy with their original selection and this is just a hypothetical (so don’t come at me Richmond fans). Daniel Talia is the best fullback in the game (Rance is a close second). Adelaide picked up a beauty with their 13th selection in 2009, adding a young, raw defender to their ageing back six.

Talia is level-headed, poised fullback who does his job each week, on the opposition’s best forward, without a fuss. He spoils, he marks and in 2013 he conceded an average of only one goal per game. Adelaide would be thrilled with the seamless transition from Ben Rutten to Talia in defence.

You get the feeling he’s a quiet achiever, so I’ll sing his praises. Rising Star Winner in 2012. Adelaide best and fairest winner in 2014. All-Australian in 2014. And only 82 career games. Wow.

Pick 4 (Fremantle) – Jack Gunston
‘Mr Set Shot’? Adelaide selected Gunston with their 29th pick in the 2009 draft. Or is ‘Mr Bargain’ more suited? After 14 games and some homesickness, Gunston was traded to the Hawks in 2012. And hasn’t he thrived since the move home. In 85 career games, Gunston has kicked 164 goals, 143 coming in the brown and gold.

Gunston is a smart footballer, who reads the play incredibly well and always seems to find space in the forward line. He’s deceivingly quick, but his trademark is his accuracy in front of goal. At Hawthorn, he’s averaged two goals a game, which is pretty impressive considering Hawthorn’s forward line. Gunston would be the ambassador for requesting a trade, life hasn’t been too bad for him – he’s now a double premiership player and should be an All-Australian in no time.

Pick 5 (North Melbourne) – Ben Cunnington
Well done North Melbourne, who absolutely hit the nail on the head with their draft pick in 2009. Cunnington has been a steady performer for the Roos since his debut, but has just only made himself known in the past two seasons. Cunnington isn’t flamboyant by any means, but he is a hard working, inside midfielder who will win the ball for his team. He will do everything he can to win the clearances and will tackle and apply pressure all day long.

Cunnington has now played 105 games and has transformed into one of North’s most important players. He’s numbers aren’t overwhelming, he’s averaged 18 touches and five tackles a game. However, he has only just hit his prime and will be a name we keep hearing for years to come. He reminds me of Luke Ball. Last season was his breakout year, he won North’s best and fairest.

Pick 6 (Sydney) – Jake Carlisle
Essendon drafted Carlisle with their 24th pick in this draft. He’s only played 74 games to date, but Carlisle is fast becoming one of the AFL’s most versatile and dynamic key position players. 2012 and 2013 were great seasons for Carlisle, like Talia, he probably over took Dustin Fletcher as the number one defender in the Bombers line-up. He was consistent and reliable on the last line of defence for Essendon.

However, in 2014, Bomber Thompson flicked the switch, and Carlisle became a permanent forward after small cameos in previous games. It was an up and down season as he adjusted to his new role, but Carlisle showed glimpses of brilliance and dominance in 2014. He kicked a respectable 27 goals for the season, including an eight-goal day out against the Bulldogs.

Carlisle, still very young, needs to assert himself in the forward line like he did in defence. He’s a great mark and I think that if he embraces his role as a forward he could lead Essendon (along with Joe Daniher) deep into the finals action.

Pick 7 (West Coast) – Tom Scully
The buzz around a number one draft pick will always be loud, but Scully hasn’t quite fulfilled the prestigious title. But in saying that, I do truly believe Scully can be a great midfielder. He controversially switched to GWS in 2012, leaving Melbourne fans in a rage. He’s on a $6 million contract but hasn’t played like it… yet.

I think GWS are on the way up and I think Scully will play a pivotal role in their rise. He’s a run and carry player with speed, composure and a pretty potent left foot. He’s been the club’s vice captain for the past few years, and will hit his 100th game milestone later this year. Though adversity and injuries have trumped his career so far, he has still managed to average 20 disposals, four tackles and three marks a game. I think he has a lot of unfulfilled, untapped potential that we are only starting to see glimpses of.

Pick 8 (Port Adeliade) – Sam Reid
Like Carlisle, Sam Reid is another of the up-and-coming versatile key position players in the game. Reid was taken at pick 38, by the Swans in 2009. Before Buddy Franklin and Kurt Tippett arrived, Reid was a promising young forward who was a great contested mark, could lead up to the ball and kick goals. However, in 2014, Reid transformed himself into more of an all-rounder, swingman type of player. He moved down back throughout the season to help Heath Grundy and Ted Richards (a position he will probably cement in a few years) as well as having stints in the ruck.

Reid is a physical, athletic player who needs a bit of polish, but in a few seasons time could dominate at either end of the ground. He’s played 81 for 78 goals. I’m rating him very highly for such an inexperienced player, but that is because I can see how the Swans are trying to develop and use him, and I think he will flourish because of it. Also a member of Sydney’s 2012 premiership team.

Pick 9 (Port Adelaide) – Lewis Jetta
Sydney selected Jetta with their 14th draft pick in 2009. When Jetta is on, he is on. But when he is off, and it has been an occurrence throughout his career, he is way off. His inconsistency over his 109 games has played a role in him being redrafted Pick 9, and not Pick 5 for example.

Jetta is a live-wire, crowd favourite and provides Sydney with their run and carry, speed and skill when moving the ball forward. When firing, Jetta will break open the game with his electrifying run down the wing and finish with his damaging (at times) right boot, whether it be to hit a teammate on the chest or to kick an inspiring goal with an even better celebration.

Season 2012 was a great year for him, he led Sydney’s goal kicking (45 goals) and won a premiership, but since then he has sort of plateaued. I think he can get back to his 2012 best, but it has to come this season. There was a time when he was as dangerous as Cyril Rioli, Eddie Betts and Dale Thomas all at the same time. Needs to dig deep and bring it back.

Pick 10 (Essendon) – Allen Christensen
Geelong drafted Christensen with their 40th overall selection in 2009. Christensen is young and inexperienced, but let me make my case. Beginning just his fifth AFL season, Christensen is a big-bodied, tough midfielder who loves the contest. He’s becoming a very good stoppage player, who can fish out the ball, tackle and provide run and carry. He is also an exciting small forward at times, and has kicked 62 career goals.

Christensen knows how to find the ball, averaging 19 disposals, four tackles and almost a goal a game over his career. He’s battled a few injury concerns but he is a clever, mature player who knows how to play this great game.

His first six rounds up at his new club have been disappointing. But, Brisbane have been disappointing, so it hasn't been an easy gig. He will be a leader there and will hopefully blossom. I will also mention he is a premiership player with the Cats in their 2011 flag.

My next three redrafted picks
Pick 11: Jake Melksham (originally Pick 10)
Pick 12: Ben Stratton (originally Pick 46)
Pick 13: Jack Trengove (originally Pick 2)

An underwhelming top ten has turned out to be quite an exciting future for the players drafted in 2009.

If you are a Melbourne supporter, you would have to be filthy, knowing that Nat Fyfe and Dustin Martin could be wearing the red and navy this season. Port Adelaide ‘butchered’ their two top ten picks, but the likes of Richmond, Essendon and Geelong are starting to reap the rewards of theirs in 2015.

Trengove and Anthony Morabito, without injury concerns, very well could have featured in the redrafted list.

So, did I get this right? Who would you redraft as the top ten picks in the 2009 draft?

--

Head to Fans Unite now to redraft your top 10 - http://www.fansunite.com.au/2015/05/14/11002/revisiting-the-2009-afl-draft
 

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democritus

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#2
Would probably have Mitch Duncan and Jasper Pittard in the place of Reid and Christensen.

If we're including the rookie draft Barlow would have to get a gig too, Crameri on the cusp of the top 10.
 
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Would probably have Mitch Duncan and Jasper Pittard in the place of Reid and Christensen.

If we're including the rookie draft Barlow would have to get a gig too, Crameri on the cusp of the top 10.
I didn't include any rookie drafted players.

To be honest, I wrote these articles closer to round 1. So based on the first six rounds of this season, I would have to agree with you.

Duncan and Pittard have been great
 

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#4
Interesting redo.. What's interesting about this draft is the amount for misses in the top 10.

With only Martin and Cunnington really repaying the clubs that spent high picks on them.

Having said that they are the only two of the top 6 that year. That have not had some serious injuries to
overcome.

It's one of those strange drafts were the original top 10.
Are being over taken by many of the players taken in the next 10.
Just goes to show top 10 picks don't always guarantee the best players in that draft year.

Best 3 original top 10 Best 3 picks 11-20.
D.Martin N.Fyfe
B.Cunnington D.Talia
T.Scully/G.Rohan L.Jetta/J.Melksham
 
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Belnakor

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#5
It's one of those strange drafts were the original top 10.
Are being over taken by many of the players taken in the next 10.
Just goes to show top 10 picks don't always guarantee the best players in that draft year.
seems to be about 50% of drafts are like this.

makes you wonder why clubs cry about 1st round priority picks.
 
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#11
I think brad shepherd will come up a fair way in the rankings by the time we come to the end of his career. Last 18 months he has finally been fit enough to get some consistent footy in; has relished a role off the HB.

Is never going to bridge the gap for missing out on Fyfe for us, but at least he is holding his own.

Colyer is starting to improve also. Very very improved player.

My top 10.

Fyfe
Talia
Martin
Gunston
Cunnington
Duncan
Carlisle
Christensen
Lewis Jetta
Stratton

Probably next 3: Reid, shepherd, colyer, and maybe 5 others, you could really throw a blanket over them.

Looking at that draft, it surely has to be one of the most injury riddled draft.

Trengrove
Morabito
Menzel
Cowan
Gawn
Bartlett
Markovich
Vardy
Rohan

All have had severely injury riddled/ruined careers. And that's in 6 years! :( sucks to see so many young guys ruined by injury.
 

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#14
Looking at that draft, it surely has to be one of the most injury riddled draft.

Trengrove
Morabito
Menzel
Cowan
Gawn
Bartlett
Markovich
Vardy
Rohan

All have had severely injury riddled/ruined careers. And that's in 6 years! :( sucks to see so many young guys ruined by injury.
Markovic wasn't injured.

He was just shit.
 

dlanod

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lol to op Scully at 7? He's a journeyman at best
Obviously haven't been watching this year. Been very good so far - he's not going to dominate on his own but with a good midfield around him he's been a great complementary player. It's just unfortunate that he was expected to almost run the Melbourne midfield and then GWS two-handed with Jones/Ward. I'd definitely have him above Reid, who's been even more up and down than Scully, but I'd consider bumping Jetta above both as more of an impact player.
 

philthy05

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#17
Yep pittard should be top ten on that list. Is a gun. Butcher just decimated by injuries and Moore is actually coming along nicely , had the dreaded op early but last two years has been a consistently dominant midfielder at sanfl level. Would have played 22 games at most clubs. Still to establish himself at afl level though , and is fighting with a whole bunch of prospects at port for a spot (young , ah chee Amon ). Should have a bit of opportunity soon with Cornes retiring, would have played the past few weeks in fact if he didn't get three weeks for touching an ump on the shoulder (more than Lewis got for his hit on Goldstein).
 

Silvagnis

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#22
Don't blame Ratts! That's why you employ a "Recruitment Team"
Thankless job with injuries, attitude, environment and development the factors that stop players from fulfilling the potential they showed as juniors.

Lucas was a lock to be a first round pick like the hyped teenagers taken last year.
 

00Stinger

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#25
For what the 2009 draft lacks in depth it more than makes up for in top end talent

The top 3 have a combined 7 All Australians, 2 AFLCA Awards, 3 AFL MVP's and 2 Brownlow medals between them. They are also arguably the 3 best players in the league. Add an extra three All Australians when you add Talia #4 & Gunston #5

1. D.Martin
2. N.Fyfe
3. M.Gawn
4. D.Talia
5. J.Gunston
6. M.Duncan
7. B.Cunnington
8. T.Scully
9. B.Stratton
10. D.Astbury
Unluckies- D.Grimes, J.Melksham, J.Carlisle, L.Jetta, Z.Tuohy & M.Barlow
 
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