Preview 2019 AFL National Draft

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JeanLucGoddard

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
10,320
24,201
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I’m really hoping Schoenberg will be available, really think he’ll have a Lachie Neale type trajectory. Really neat skills, little bust of pace and a natural accumulator.

Any combinations of Schoenberg/Pickett/Rantall/Sharp would be ideal at pick 26 & 27.

Ryan Byrnes & Nick Bryan with our two later picks
Can we rookie Brian Ryrnes?
 

giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
63,298
113,234
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls
Clubs have taken notice of the ball-getter's results, with Rantall now in the mix with clubs holding picks in the second round.

Brisbane, Sydney, North Melbourne and Geelong have all been linked to the 18-year-old with their selections in the 20s and he looms as a pick-and-play prospect who can feed out the ball by hand.


His endurance is a big part of his game, and his gut running is elite. His game sense and inside work as a midfielder has grown and he brings teammates into the game."

 

roos_fanatic08

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2008
19,922
28,791
Vic
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Rantall has a exactly what we need, a big bodied mid that can cover the ground and run both ways. Very natural accumulator too.

Not many inside midfielder have his endurance base and agility. I still have no idea how he isn’t rated inside the top 10.

Here is a big call, he’ll be every bit as good as Brodie Kemp
 

Ether

Rookie
Oct 21, 2019
25
72
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Rantall has a exactly what we need, a big bodied mid that can cover the ground and run both ways. Very natural accumulator too.

Not many inside midfielder have his endurance base and agility. I still have no idea how he isn’t rated inside the top 10.

Here is a big call, he’ll be every bit as good as Brodie Kemp
Not opposed to taking Rantall if he's available but why do you compare him with Kemp? On paper he seems a different type of player. Kemp is much taller, tested as a fair bit quicker and can play as a mid or marking forward or back. Rantall a smaller mid with strong endurance.
 

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Apr 24, 2013
50,870
97,278
inside your head
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
The Unicornia Reactants
Rantall has a exactly what we need, a big bodied mid that can cover the ground and run both ways. Very natural accumulator too.

Not many inside midfielder have his endurance base and agility. I still have no idea how he isn’t rated inside the top 10.

Here is a big call, he’ll be every bit as good as Brodie Kemp

Going by the track watchers, he is a chance to be around at 26/27.

I reckon kids that do well at more than one sport are always worth a crack. It is usually a ball smarts trait.
 

roos_fanatic08

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2008
19,922
28,791
Vic
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Not opposed to taking Rantall if he's available but why do you compare him with Kemp? On paper he seems a different type of player. Kemp is much taller, tested as a fair bit quicker and can play as a mid or marking forward or back. Rantall a smaller mid with strong endurance.
Only comparing them because Kemp is talked about as one of the premier inside midfielders of this draft. Don’t get me wrong he looks good but Rantall with his elite endurance, awareness and agility with end up being every bit as good as him.
 

roos_fanatic08

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2008
19,922
28,791
Vic
AFL Club
North Melbourne


When Western Jets key-position player Emerson Jeka felt he needed to spark some life into an up-and-down 2019 season, he went to his head coach Ryan O’Keefe and asked for a change.

The 18-year-old had previously played the majority of his NAB League football in the forward line, where his strong marking, skills on both feet and speed and agility for his 197cm frame saw him rated highly among AFL recruiters.

Jeka had booted 12 goals in 17 games for Western across 2018-19 – including three in a Wildcard Round victory last year as a bottom-ager – before suffering a knee injury while representing an Australian under-18 team against the VFL’s Casey Demons at the MCG in April.

He sat on the sidelines for almost two months, eventually returning for one match with Western and then being called straight into Vic Metro’s line-up for its final two games of the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

After representing Metro while still “a little bit unfit”, the Altona Juniors (Western Region FL) product was keen to remind clubs of his capabilities ahead of the NAB AFL Draft on November 27-28.

“I’d just played forward in the Championships and as I came back (to the Jets) I wanted to show clubs my versatility by playing down back,” Jeka said at the recent NAB AFL Draft Combine.

“I think I’d shown everything I could up forward and the knee injury put some things into perspective, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to change it up.

“Ryan (O’Keefe) wanted me to stay forward, but I had a chat to him and the other coaches and after the first game I played down back, he was really happy with my efforts and we stuck with it. He was convinced, I guess.

“You don’t have to demand the football in defence – it just comes to you. I find that I read the ball quite well, so playing back did come naturally in some ways.”

Jeka averaged 12 disposals and five marks per game stationed in defence during a four-match block late in the home-and-away season but then returned to the forward line for Western’s two finals, kicking two majors in an elimination-final triumph over the Northern Knights.
 

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giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
63,298
113,234
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls

pupstar

All Australian
Aug 12, 2017
781
921
cairns
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Only comparing them because Kemp is talked about as one of the premier inside midfielders of this draft. Don’t get me wrong he looks good but Rantall with his elite endurance, awareness and agility with end up being every bit as good as him.
Now that Flanders is obviously out of the question I am keen for us to have a bit of a look at both Jeremy Sharp and Cooper Stephens. Thoughts guys.
 

tiltraise

Club Legend
Feb 12, 2008
2,553
3,162
arden street
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Now that Flanders is obviously out of the question I am keen for us to have a bit of a look at both Jeremy Sharp and Cooper Stephens. Thoughts guys.
Both good options imo however id be surprised if either make it to #26 which will be pushed down a few spots due to academy bids.

Hopefully we can get Freo's #22 in a pick swap deal (27&50>22) as this would give us a decent chance at one of those.
 

giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
63,298
113,234
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls
AFL DRAFT WATCH: Cooper Stephens


A broken leg suffered in Round 3 of the NAB League Boys season wasn’t going to stop Geelong Falcons midfielder Cooper Stephens from pushing his case for selection in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.

The 18-year-old didn’t play another match this year after his leg was caught in an awkward position under the weight of a Dandenong Stingrays tackler at Queen Elizabeth Oval in April.

Luckily, 188cm Stephens had enjoyed a strong run of form late in his bottom-age 2018 season to announce himself as one of the 2019 draft pool’s top contested-ball-winners, but his lack of game time this season makes him hard to place among his peers ahead of November 27-28’s draft.

However, the Colac (AFL Barwon) product has completed a “pretty flawless rehab” of the fibula fracture and was even able to take part in physical testing at the recent NAB AFL Draft Combine.

All the while, recruiters will also have seen Stephens focusing on his off-field development, using his roles as Falcons co-captain and Vic Country vice-captain at the 2019 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships to build his football knowledge.

“You obviously have that initial period (post-injury) when you’re a bit disappointed, but I think getting into a positive mindset as soon as you can is really valuable,” Stephens said at the AFL Draft Combine, where he recorded the equal-best result in the endurance-based Yo-Yo Test.

“There was still work to be done. It wasn’t like I couldn’t do anything to influence my draft selection, so I didn’t sit there doing nothing and just dwelling on it – I was still active and involved with the groups.

“I went into a few coaches’ meetings at Vic Country and I sat on the bench with a headset on game days and relayed a few messages to the midfielders, just encouraging the boys and keeping them calm and focused.

“I had a similar role at Geelong. I was just observing and listening in to try and learn as much as I could. I think I’ve always kind of been a leader within the group and I do really like that coaching aspect of it.”

Stephens averaged 23 disposals per game for the Falcons in their final four outings of 2018, feeding off the likes of subsequent AFL draftees Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless in Geelong’s midfield.

He won at least 22 touches in both of his completed NAB League Boys matches this year, but Stephens thinks the closing stages of last season remain the best indicator of what he’s capable of on the field.

“My game kind of came together then, both inside and outside the contest,” Stephens said.

“As much as I’m an inside player, I did also find a bit of the ball on the outside where I could use my legs and my kicking. Getting the ball out to Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry makes you look pretty good as well.

“That period definitely gave me the confidence that I was up to the level and I could play against anyone in the draft pool this year.

“The draft is a bit of an unknown for me, though; I’m not sure where I’m going to fall. I suppose at the start of the year there wasn’t much talk about me anyway, so as long as I get picked at the end of November, I’ll be very happy.”





NAB LEAGUE ‘FAST FIVE’ QUESTIONS

Most influential person on your football at Geelong:

“(2017-18 head coach) Daniel O’Keefe. He let me train with the group as a 16-year-old even though it (2017) was a premiership year and that was really cool. In my bottom-age year, he was really valuable and worked with me pretty closely.”



Most valuable lesson learned in the NAB League:

“Just how much it pays off to work really hard. I played with Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless last year and had the chance to watch them and observe how hard they worked. Trying to jump on their coattails was awesome for me and I improved so much just by being with them.”



Teammate you’ve most enjoyed sharing the NAB League journey with:

“Jesse Clark. He’s probably the main one, having been co-captain with him this year and playing a lot of footy with him through the whole Falcons process.”



Most difficult NAB League opponent:

“Liam Stocker (ex-Sandringham Dragons, now Carlton) was the one I struggled with the most (last year), because of his body size and skills out of the stoppage. That was a really good learning day for me.”



Most memorable NAB League moment:

“It would probably be the last month of last season. Sam, Ned, Oscar and myself were playing really good football and I think the group in general really jelled together.”
 

giantroo

Bleeding Blue and White
Sep 23, 2005
63,298
113,234
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Chicago Bulls
AFL DRAFT WATCH: JAY RANTALL

Habits developed while representing Australia in basketball allowed Jay Rantall to transition seamlessly into the NAB League with the GWV Rebels this season.

The 18-year-old reached a peak in his junior basketball career by playing for his country at last year’s FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Argentina as well as the Under-16 Asian Championships in China earlier in 2018.

Rantall maintained a presence at local football club South Warrnambool (Hampden FNL) through his junior career but only fully committed to the oval ball late last year, upon realising he’d “fallen in love with footy”. Less than 12 months later, he’s a genuine prospect for selection in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft on November 27-28.

With no previous experience in the football talent pathway, Rantall emerged as a hard-nosed 184cm midfielder this season. He averaged 25 disposals and seven tackles per game as well as kicking 11 goals across 12 matches for the Rebels, later claiming GWV’s best-and-fairest award and NAB League Boys Team of the Year honours.



* Visit the ‘Highlights’ section of the NAB League app to watch Jay Rantall’s 2019 season highlights.



Rantall’s elite sporting background clearly helped him adapt quickly to Victoria’s top under-age level and he soon appeared in all four games for Vic Country on the national stage in June and July’s NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

“I’m pretty hard-working, so I knew if I did the work over the summer and then kept working throughout the year then anything could be possible,” Rantall said at the recent NAB AFL Draft Combine, where he topped the standings in the endurance-based Yo-Yo Test and 2km time trial.

“I had the ultimate goal of getting drafted, but I like to chop things down into smaller blocks.

“I had the goal at the start of the year to just play my first game at the Rebels. I achieved that and then I wanted to make the Vic Country squad. I made the squad and then I wanted to play all four games at the Championships.

“In basketball, you often have to play game after game pretty quickly, so you need to focus on one thing and then change focus to your next goal. That’s probably transferred to footy for me.”

Rantall’s professionalism is also clear to see in his running capacity, a trait he nominates as his current biggest strength.

While his game sense and skills took a while to become natural, that fitness allowed Rantall to feel he belonged in the upper echelons of junior football far sooner than many other converts to the sport.

“I think my background in high-end basketball helped me coming into an elite environment like the Rebels,” Rantall said.

“I thought I knew what it took to get your body right and I tried to lead that within the group. I knew not to cheat in your recovery and about what to put in your body.

“The Under-18 Championships then gave me a lot of internal belief to come back to the NAB League and help lead the side and become one of our most influential players.

“Once I stepped out on the MCG and played my first game for Vic Country (against Vic Metro in June), I felt like I belonged at the level and that all the hard work had taken care of itself.”





NAB LEAGUE ‘FAST FIVE’ QUESTIONS

Most influential person on your football at GWV:

“(Head coach) Marc Greig and (Talent Manager) Phil Partington have been great to me, but I worked pretty closely with Ash Baker, the midfield coach. He really guided me along the journey and helped me grow as a player on the field.”



Most valuable lesson learned in the NAB League:

“Just how switched on you have to be. You can’t have lapses within the game, because if you’re out of it for 10 minutes as a team, the goals can just pile on and you get to a point where you don’t really want to be.”



Teammate you’ve most enjoyed sharing the NAB League journey with:

“There are plenty of them. Being a Rebels player, you go up to Ballarat on the bus every Thursday with some mates from Warrnambool. We were already close mates, but you get even closer with a bus trip once a week.”



Most difficult NAB League opponent:

“Sam Flanders and all of the Gippsland Power boys. They were just a really good side – a competitive bunch who were strong and didn’t mind a bit of chat on the field. Sam is a good mate of mine and he’s a very competitive person.”

Most memorable NAB League moment:

“The win against the Bendigo Pioneers (by four points in Round 16) sticks in my head. It was a pretty good team win. We were down early but we chipped away and came back. They had a shot after the siren to win it but kicked a point.”
 

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