My concern is always when I see a player described as a "medium forward who may run through the midfield in the future". Those kind can tend to dominate underage leagues, but struggle come the AFL unless they're very special (EG: A top 5 pick like DeGoey). They just get caught in-between positions, so to speak.
I always think of Ben McKinley, Ben Lennon & Stewart Crameri as the prototypes of that description! Let's hope this kid is more (a fit) Taylor Garner instead.
Put it this way, I'll be keeping a close eye on the comparison between Taylor & Zac Foot (who went to the Swans 5 picks later) in coming years!
AFL draft: Curtis Taylor headed to North Melbourne at pick no. 46
Tim Michell, Moonee Valley Leader
36 minutes ago
SENIOR premiership player at 16. AFL player at 18.
Curtis Taylor realised his AFL dream on Friday when he was selected by North Melbourne at pick no. 46 in the AFL national draft.
The Calder Cannons forward, who has been compared to West Coast’s Mark Le Cras, endured a nervous wait after being a late invite to attend the first round of the draft on Thursday.
HOW TAYLOR BENEFITED FROM SENIOR EDFL EXPERIENCE
Tipped as a potential top-20 selection, Taylor had to wait until about 90 minutes into Friday’s proceedings before his name was read out.
The elusive mid-sized forward featured in Keilor’s Essendon District league Premier Division flag in 2016, kicking a crucial goal and showcasing his ability on the big stage.
“He’s just got a real appetite for the game which is what you have got to have if you want to make your dream turn into a reality,” Keilor coach Mick McGuane, who plucked Taylor from under-16 football, said.
“All the hard work and sacrifices based on what you have to do to match your talent and your skill set gives you every opportunity to get picked.”
McGuane said he first recognised Taylor’s talent when he dominated an EDFL under-14 fixture for the Blues.
“He was incredibly brave, and I am not talking just at the contest,” McGuane said.
“Just in terms of his work rate and his effort to shoulder the responsibility of trying to get his own team over the line.
“That was a signature game for me, for a young kid, to say one, ‘he’s got what it takes because he’s competitive’.
“He might not have had the depth of talent around him to get the job done, but he single-handedly tried to lift his group to win a premiership that day.”
Calder coach Ross Smith said the Roos would benefit from Taylor’s versatility.
“(He’s) someone that can certainly play in the middle but can also go forward, is a good mark and can kick goals,” Smith said.
“In my time, he hasn’t played a lot down back. But he’s a good clearance player, he’s got good clean hands.
“He can certainly take a mark and he’s a reasonable kick at goal as well and a good size. He’s probably a little bit in the Mark Le Cras mould.”
Taylor booted 14 goals in 12 TAC Cup matches this year, averaging 17.9 disposals, 2.7 tackles and 4.8 marks.
“I am absolutely over the moon. I am really stoked,” he told Fox Footy.
“It was a long wait, just waiting with mum and dad. But now that it’s happening, I am that excited to get into it.”
Listed at 186cm and 79kg, Smith said Taylor would be a forward capable of pinch-hitting in midfield at the elite level.
“Maybe he’s a little bit bigger than Mark (Le Cras) but he seems to be that sort of player,” Smith said.
“What Curtis has got is his ability to go through the middle which I haven’t seen Mark Le Cras do a lot of.”
His best game of 2018 was against Greater Western Victoria Rebels in Round 8, when he had 29 possessions, 10 marks and four tackles.
Taylor was the third Calder Cannon selected on Friday after Rhylee West (Western Bulldogs, pick 26) and Jack Bytel (St Kilda, pick 41).
Definitely some joy in this pick up, we all thought it was Tarryn + Bailey plus scraps at the end so to have the luck and strategy at the time to secure not only a freebie but one so highly rated is an awesome feat by the club. The kid has literally no pressure on him, looks ecstatic to be a Roo and I think will be a big favourite. Our selectors copped some grief throughout the whole window so kudos to them for playing the long game and reacting well, especially not affecting our position next season as well.