Opinion 2023 AFL Draft Prospects

Who do you want for our first pick at the AFL Draft?


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TiAn_

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When you look at the real top line inside mids which do it all, they almost always come very very high in the draft though. Bont, Petracca, Oliver, Dusty etc, couple of exceptions ie Butters & Danger out of the top 10 & Neale & Fyfe etc later. But almost always come top 5 IMO.

Which is why I’m leaning towards Sanders, we may not get another chance up here and whilst we can win a flag with decent small forwards ie hopefully Clarke & AJ etc, I don’t think you can win a flag without a gun inside mid

Don’t disagree with your premise, but also we have Bont as our elite inside mid and should do for 3-4 years. I’m not sure another one is a pressing need. And as we’ve seen, compiling inside mids can have diminishing returns.

Collingwood just won with DeGoey (very early pick) and Mitchell (cheap trade). Obviously I’m on record as thinking Sanders is more in the mould of a Mitchell than a DeGoey (most don’t agree he’s like Mitchell or Macrae, I get it). So I don’t see him as being the type of mid you can only get at the pointy end of the draft. Another comp I’d have for Sanders is Deven Robertson, who slid from a potential top 10 pick to pick 21 a few years ago. Similar players imo.

Obviously if we draft Sanders I hope he ends up one of the best in the comp and I’ll gladly eat my words, etc.
 

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doggies ftw

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Don’t disagree with your premise, but also we have Bont as our elite inside mid and should do for 3-4 years. I’m not sure another one is a pressing need. And as we’ve seen, compiling inside mids can have diminishing returns.

Collingwood just won with DeGoey (very early pick) and Mitchell (cheap trade). Obviously I’m on record as thinking Sanders is more in the mould of a Mitchell than a DeGoey (most don’t agree he’s like Mitchell or Macrae, I get it). So I don’t see him as being the type of mid you can only get at the pointy end of the draft. Another comp I’d have for Sanders is Deven Robertson, who slid from a potential top 10 pick to pick 21 a few years ago. Similar players imo.

Obviously if we draft Sanders I hope he ends up one of the best in the comp and I’ll gladly eat my words, etc.
Yeah don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting Sanders is that level, or has that sort of upside more just pointing out that sort of player usually goes top 5. If our recruiters think he has that sort of gun inside mid upside then I’m keen.

I don’t necessarily agree that we don’t need a gun inside mid cos we have Bont though, Libba is so important to us and freeing up Bont for more of an open role is only a good thing, taking a bit of the heavy lifting off him on the inside. And also there’s the potential for him to move around the field a little bit more as he gets towards the twilight in his career.

I just can’t see where we bring in another top line mid in the next year or two with our midfield needing an overhaul to align with our young spine. So that makes me want a mid this year but yeah if we think Watson is a better prospect I’m more than fine with that.

If we get Baz back to his best alongside Bont & Sanders that’s almost the ideal starting midfield trio IMO and along with West chopping out that provides a solid enough base for a few years post Libba, Macrae & Adzy
 

doggies ftw

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I think Sanders will be an upgrade on Dunkley personally. Has a more penetrating kick and can kick goals on the run.

Also has more of an outside game from what I’ve seen as well as being hard on the inside.


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Yeah good call, I definitely can see a better Dunkley as his best. It’s not sexy but it’s pretty damn important. It’s such an interesting choice we’ll likely have between Watson & Sanders. Complete opposite end of the risk/reward spectrum. I’m extremely happy with either to be honest but I’m glad I’m not making that decision - either one could really hurt in 5 years time, ie you take Sanders and he’s a B grade mid and Watson is an absolute match winner, or you take Watson and he’s an avg small forward you’d be happy to have taken at pick 40 and Sanders is a dependable gun mid. List defining decision to be honest
 

TiAn_

Norm Smith Medallist
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Yeah good call, I definitely can see a better Dunkley as his best. It’s not sexy but it’s pretty damn important. It’s such an interesting choice we’ll likely have between Watson & Sanders. Complete opposite end of the risk/reward spectrum. I’m extremely happy with either to be honest but I’m glad I’m not making that decision - either one could really hurt in 5 years time, ie you take Sanders and he’s a B grade mid and Watson is an absolute match winner, or you take Watson and he’s an avg small forward you’d be happy to have taken at pick 40 and Sanders is a dependable gun mid. List defining decision to be honest

If it’s between those two, I think the club will take the lowest risk option and pick Sanders.
 

TiAn_

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IMG_1877.jpeg
 

doggies ftw

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That’s a fair call, I really do think his athletic profile is pretty decent, his lateral movement especially seems pretty good - he definitely is leaning way too much into a handball first mentality, and I get if that’s the case at juniors it’s only going to get harder in the AFL but I do really think he has it in him to be able to transition the ball from inside to outside a little bit more, there’s plenty of highlights of him doing it well but it needs to be more of a focus. I’m pretty hopeful that it’s just a mindset thing and in a professional environment it’s brought out in him - technically his skillset is very sound too IMO, great overhead mark, tackler, good kick of the footy etc just about using his strengths more dangerously I guess.
 

_Cerberus_

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Sanders seems to be a popular name on the "who do you want your team to NOT draft" thread.

"Poor Kick"
"Won't ever be his teams best midfielder"
"Just dump kicks all the time" (like Smith)
"Slow"
"Will play 200 games, but nothing special"
 

_Cerberus_

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Anyone know why Croft was moved out of being a defender in his lower age groups, to playing forward for under 18s? Have asked some of our more knowledgeable draft posters on here in recent weeks, but no reply.

Simply part of his development? Coaches saw "tall guy = forward"? Struggled as a defender, so was trialed as a forward?
 
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_Cerberus_

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Just read Twomeys draft rankings. Interesting to see that there is now 4 rucks inside his top 30, and a couple others have been talked about on here as potential developmental types deep in the draft. Would not be surprised if a couple of gems are round by teams outside of the top 25. Cannot recall the last time this many ruckman were ranked highly.
 

doggiesin08

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Just read Twomeys draft rankings. Interesting to see that there is now 4 rucks inside his top 30, and a couple others have been talked about on here as potential developmental types deep in the draft. Would not be surprised if a couple of gems are round by teams outside of the top 25. Cannot recall the last time this many ruckman were ranked highly.
Reckon there will be good value for drafting rucks in the next 2-3 years as a heap of clubs already have their “young developing ruck” spot on their list filled.
 

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Sanders seems to be a popular name on the "who do you want your team to NOT draft" thread.

"Poor Kick"
"Won't ever be his teams best midfielder"
"Just dump kicks all the time" (like Smith)
"Slow"
"Will play 200 games, but nothing special"
Everyone loved Gourdis and questioned Fyfe's kicking in some draft threads. Most of this board didn't want Naughton (hoping Coffield would slip) and were hoping for Aish over Bont too.
It just happens sometimes. We're all just nuffies making decisions on a few videos really. The scouts who watch hours and hours of the kids to tend to get a decent handle on player strengths and weaknesses.

Sanders is easily a 200-250 games no. 2 midfielder for whoever picks him up. I like to look for lateral movement from inside mids and he showed that a few times at the champs, and would often take the short 45 inboard rather than just blast long so I think his vision is ok when kicking. If we took him I'd be very satisfied.
 

Euku

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It will be Watson Sanders or Curtin, we will choose Watson first if there between Sanders and Curtin I don't know, happy as with whoever we get , the later picks are the most intriguing probably something like pick 50 and 55 after all said and done, I hope Macauliffe and Aiden O'Driscoll
 

stefoid

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Can you guarantee a pick 1 or 2 I don't think so the AFL like screwing us.

yeah, its the Ward situation again, train up a gun mid thru their early shaky years, and just when they start being able to contribute 100%, they go off to another team and we are back to drafting another young kid, exactly at the wrong time for our age profile thru the guts.

Its a serious consideration.

From a selfish spectator POV Id love to have one of those magical mercurial small forwards playing for us for the enjoyment of watching them play. I love watching naughton launch and take screamers and jamara hit the lead at 100 miles an hour. Our forward line could be the envy of the league and an absolute entertainment machine with some decent coaching.

Perhaps what we really need to do is draft Watson who is potentially a round 1 starter, and trade a decent mid from another side next year.
 
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Oct 12, 2012
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yeah, its the Ward situation again, train up a gun mid thru their early shaky years, and just when they start being able to contribute 100%, they go off to another team and we are back to drafting another young kid, exactly at the wrong time for our age profile thru the guts.
Just don't mention Scully..oops...
 

Munnez

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It will be Watson Sanders or Curtin, we will choose Watson first if there between Sanders and Curtin I don't know, happy as with whoever we get , the later picks are the most intriguing probably something like pick 50 and 55 after all said and done, I hope Macauliffe and Aiden O'Driscoll
Aiden O'Driscoll has quite the athletic mix very good endurance but still some quite good acceleration. Would like to get him with one of our later picks to develop as a winger.

Could hold down a wing longer term if he makes the grade. Like what he could bring to the side.
 

Bonti 5416

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One is a proven defender at recent level, the other is more speculative, in hope raw attributes can be converted from a forward to a defender again.

Murphy has runs on the board at under 18 level, proven man on man ability, and intercept ability despite his slight build. Croft hasn't played defence since he was a kid/under 16s. If Croft wasn't a father son, and we had pick 15 and wanted a defender. I'd pick Murphy every time, because I would be more sure of what we are getting. (O'Sullivan will go top 10)

We are banking on Croft being able to convert back into a defender, only out of necessity due to our stacked forward line.

You have a good read on draftees more then most on here. I am curious if you know why he was moved out of being a defender? Wasn't good at it? Coaches see tall boy and think "tall = forward"?

But of course we are taking Croft now, as he is a free hit, so zero complaints. Murphy/Wilson would have been my two preferences if we still had our first pick. Croft has the attributes to play defence, but whether they translate to man on man ability, and read of the ball who knows. Think he will be two years away from playing, still a pretty slight build. Thankfully Jones has a couple of seasons left in him, thus time on his side.

And we get a good player at pick 5, out of Watson or Sanders. So trade period worked out well in the end.

Matt Croft (his old man) was a great defender. Sort of like Dale Morris for most of his career where he never got the luxury of playing second or even 3rd tall which is what his height suggested he should have been. Still, week in week out he admirably punched above his weight in a pretty terrible bulldogs side. Jordan going down back is meant to be. 200cm, looks an aggressive type, agile for size and can run all day. That is the prototype key back athletic profile with a full time personal coach in his old man plus doggies coaches to teach him the trade. Will take until Jones retires to see anything I think but i think he will be much better than Zane Cordy ever was down back.
 

Bonti 5416

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Best available:

Mekercher
Curtin
Watson
Duursma
Sanders

My preferred dogs order:
Mekercher
Watson
Sanders
Curtain
Duursma
 
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Libba39

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Anyone seen the highlights package of a guy called Hastie?
Not projected to be in the top 30 but I like the cut-of-his-jib because you can't train someone to have that kind of awareness (bit like a pendlebery if you ask me).
 

TiAn_

Norm Smith Medallist
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One is a proven defender at recent level, the other is more speculative, in hope raw attributes can be converted from a forward to a defender again.

Murphy has runs on the board at under 18 level, proven man on man ability, and intercept ability despite his slight build. Croft hasn't played defence since he was a kid/under 16s. If Croft wasn't a father son, and we had pick 15 and wanted a defender. I'd pick Murphy every time, because I would be more sure of what we are getting. (O'Sullivan will go top 10)

We are banking on Croft being able to convert back into a defender, only out of necessity due to our stacked forward line.

You have a good read on draftees more then most on here. I am curious if you know why he was moved out of being a defender? Wasn't good at it? Coaches see tall boy and think "tall = forward"?

But of course we are taking Croft now, as he is a free hit, so zero complaints. Murphy/Wilson would have been my two preferences if we still had our first pick. Croft has the attributes to play defence, but whether they translate to man on man ability, and read of the ball who knows. Think he will be two years away from playing, still a pretty slight build. Thankfully Jones has a couple of seasons left in him, thus time on his side.

And we get a good player at pick 5, out of Watson or Sanders. So trade period worked out well in the end.

Just an FYI that Murphy hadn’t played in defence until this year, so may not have spent much more time there than Croft over the journey. If you look at their Coates League stats, Croft found the same amount of ball forward as Murphy did in defence. I think that reflects well on Croft.

I think a fair bit can be gleaned about Croft’s talent level by his ability to play well forward this year. Given he succeeded forward (I.e. he’s not a failed junior forward switched to defence) I’m pretty confident of Croft being a strong prospect as a defender.
 

Bulldogs Legend

Norm Smith Medallist
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Matt Croft (his old man) was a great defender. Sort of like Dale Morris for most of his career where he never got the luxury of playing second or even 3rd tall which is what his height suggested he should have been. Still, week in week out he admirably punched above his weight in a pretty terrible bulldogs side. Jordan going down back is meant to be. 200cm, looks an aggressive type, agile for size and can run all day. That is the prototype key back athletic profile with a full time personal coach in his old man plus doggies coaches to teach him the trade. Will take until Jones retires to see anything I think but i think he will be much better than Zane Cordy ever was down back.
Croft senior went all right as a forward as well, he was the quintessential swingman of his day. If my memory is correct he kicked a bag against Nth in his last game at Marvel
 
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