Strategy Are we seeing a general change of tack towards proven players over picks ?

MemoryLane

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Trading for a player only happens if player agrees - so you are investing not only in proven talent but do it knowing the player wants to be there.

Trading for a pick is investing in promises of what they could be based on what they were. And that player has no choice so you risk losing them to boot.

Sure, if a Walsh or a Rowell come along and you can get pick 1, you take it everytime.

But if you can't get to the top 2, then fire your recruitment team and get one that can spot a great player in the 20s and 30s and beyond and give your list manager the licence to go after system players.

Pretty simple and cost effective I would have thought.
 

Ron The Bear

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The AFL as a whole has been ageing since the introduction of Gold Coast.

2011 24.44
2012 24.58
2013 24.76
2015 24.96
2016 25.18
2017 25.09
2018 25.07
2019 25.28

The competition has only previously been this old during and soon after world wars.

Clubs have been reluctant to embark on full rebuids as they could never compete on an equal footing against the expansion clubs' swag of high draft picks. List mangement has changed and the stronger clubs have been able to pick the eyes out of the ready-made player market, assisted by free agency. The traditional boom-bust cycle is no more, although the draft system will eventually drag clubs back to the pack. They just stay at the top longer now.
 

Gavin Excell

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Consider before 2010 there was an all time low in players moving clubs, there has been an increase.

Perhaps the compromised expansion drafts encouraged clubs to get inventive and they havent gone back to the preceding orthodoxy*

You can also see the total number of players drafted each year has not gone up much from pre 2010, even though the league is 12% bigger. I imagine players stay on lists longer.


But on the ‘Orthodoxy’ which some people still agree with
‘List cloggers’ ‘but will he be there for your next premiership’ etc etc.

It said that because theres a national draft, favouring the lower teams, your club takes a cycle, and while its down, it take as as many draftees as possible, even trading out assets in thir prime, aiming at a supposed time in the near future where all these kids develop together, then you ‘top up’ for needs and bingo, flag.
The other thing mentioned is limited lists meant a team couldnt maintain age profile in every type of player needed, which is true to a point
The priority pick era eccentuated this orthodoxy, and some very spectacular successes from teams who appeard to use this strategy well.

Before this ‘draft era orthodoxy’ the prevailing view was not that at all.

Id like to pose that the teams appearing to benefit from this strategy did so because they happened to need players arounf that 2001 draft, which was a bumper one. Teams which had five or more draftees, they were set up for a decade or more. St kilda geelong hawthorn. Carlton were excluded due to afl punishment, and despite lots of early draft picke priority picks since, ahave not done well
The average age also goes in cycles, but when you have a low average age, you wont be winning anything that year

My argument is if you go the cyclical strategy, and it coincides with good years, its ok. Otherwise, not so much and you may be locked into mining a poor quality vein for a long time, and the clubs internal cultural strength suffers

Now if you commit to taking each year on its merits, take mature trading opportunities as well as drafting each year rather than to some cycle, you keep your average age higher and are in the mix every year
You probably wont go down the ladder, so need to forget the first 10 or so picks, and then realise after that, pick 35 could be as productive as pick 15


In fact in 2001 hawks werent at the bottom of the ladder, but traded into 2001, which kind of goes against what I am saying. But i still maintain it right strategy, right time.
Trouble is how do you know at the time the depth of the draft year? I'm sure at the time 2001 was not seen as anything special. There is an argument those teams that went deep that draft were just v lucky rather than brilliant management
 

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Ron The Bear

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Those 'star players' missed much of the year, and it was the others that got us through.

The premiership side had 6 rookie picks in it (and 2 PSD).
There is no consistent team-building strategy apparent from the top 18 in the best & fairest count.

RankPlayerDraft
1stPrestia, Diontrade
2ndEdwards, Shane#26
3rdGrimes, Dylanpre-season draft
4thVlastuin, Nick#9 (compromised)
5thLynch, Tom J.free agent
6thMartin, Dustin#3
7thHouli, Bacharpre-season draft
8thLambert, Kanerookie draft
9thAstbury, David#35
eq 10thCastagna, Jasonrookie draft
eq 10thRioli, Daniel#15
12thEllis, Brandon#15 (compromised)
eq 13thBaker, Liamrookie draft
eq 13thStack, Sydneysupplementary pick
15thMcIntosh, Kamdyn#31
eq 16thBroad, Nathan#67
eq 16thGraham, Jack#53
18thBolton, Shai#29
 

AjsGuns

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People always bag the shit out of number #1 draft picks and say they rarely deliver. There are over 100 players taken in a draft (ND+PD), just because they are the first pick doesn't mean they will develop into the best player from that draft. However, with pick #1 you are virtually guaranteed a very good player if you don't draft a KPF IMO.

I agree the #1 pick is over-rated when it comes to draft value, but I think people are a little unfair on the caliber of player it delivers.

2000 - Nick Riewoldt. Absolute superstar and legend of our game.
2001 - Luke Hodge. 4x Premiership player and 2x Norm Smith, the best leader I have ever seen play the game. Would be the first picked if starting a team from scratch.
2002 - Brendon Goddard. Gun, in 2009 or 2010 some proclaimed he was the best player in the AFL, in reality he was probably top 5 or so. Played nearly 350 games. People forget how good he was because he was a w***er and wasn't his best at Essendon through the saga.
2003 - Adam Cooney. Brownlow medalist and was looking like one of the best players in the AFL, unfortunately was crippled by injury.
2004 - Brett Deledio. Multiple AA & BNF winner, carried the tigers for years.
2005 - Marc Murphy. Multiple BnF winner & AA. Captained his club for 6 years.
2006 - Bryce Gibbs. BnF winner and has currently played 265 games.
2007 - Matthew Kreuzer. Plagued by injury, but has shown he is a top 5 or so ruck when fit. Will manage 200+ games.
2008 - Jack Watts. Bad pick, #2 was Nic Naitanui and if you recall the draft there was a lot of conjecture about who would go #1.
2009 - Tom Scully. Another pretty poor pick.
2010 - David Swallow. This was a pretty weak draft but Swallow was probably close to one of the best 5 picked, captain of his club and will play 250+ games. The best players are probably Gaff (#4), Heppell (#8), Prestia (#9) or Lynch (#11).
2011 - Jonathon Patton. Crippled by injury.
2012 - Lachie Whitfield. Absolute jet.
2013 - Tom Boyd. Helped win the Bulldogs their 2016 flag, but could not live up to the expectations and crippled by mental health demons
2014 - Paddy McCartin. Concussions and diabetic.
2015 - Jacob Weitering. I still think he will turn out to be a good solid KPB.
2016 - Andrew McGrath. Still early, will be a good solid player - similar to Gibbs career IMO, might snag a BnF or AA one year. Most clubs would of taken McCluggage at #1 who is looking like a future star.
2017 - Cameron Raynor. To early on, but looks a player.
2018 - Sam Walsh. To early on, but looks like a future star of the competition.

There's the past 19 drafts. If you take out the 4 KPF's who all flopped for different reasons, you are left with 11/15 number #1 picks that you would be ecstatic or content with.

Green = exceptional player, has been within the best 2 players at the club during their career.
Blue = very good player, you would be content with this pick and expect 250+ games.
Black = pretty average player and dissapointing pick for #1, still probably a 200+ game players though.
Red = big misses, all seem to be KPF's.
 
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Pessimistic

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Trouble is how do you know at the time the depth of the draft year? I'm sure at the time 2001 was not seen as anything special. There is an argument those teams that went deep that draft were just v lucky rather than brilliant management
Mostly lucky. Hawthorn drafting deep in 2001 (they traded in) and 2004 for that matter was pretty unpopular among supporters. yet it really set up the club talent wise
 

Blues90

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Its not that draft picks dont matter.... they do. Its more the draft age is too young.. they dont stop growing or anything till 21.. so how can you correctly draft profile someone when in 3 years the bloke you had 30 picks later than your first flys past him because he just got a bigger body etc... also you still don't know the kind of people they will be as adults people change alot between 18 and 21and can affect the playing ability
 

blitzer

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People always bag the shit out of number #1 draft picks and say they rarely deliver. There are over 100 players taken in a draft (ND+PD), just because they are the first pick doesn't mean they will develop into the best player from that draft. However, with pick #1 you are virtually guaranteed a very good player if you don't draft a KPF IMO.

I agree the #1 pick is over-rated when it comes to draft value, but I think people are a little unfair on the caliber of player it delivers.

2000 - Nick Riewoldt. Absolute superstar and legend of our game.
2001 - Luke Hodge. 4x Premiership player and 2x Norm Smith, the best leader I have ever seen play the game. Would be the first picked if starting a team from scratch.
2002 - Brendon Goddard. Gun, in 2009 or 2010 some proclaimed he was the best player in the AFL, in reality he was probably top 5 or so. Played nearly 350 games. People forget how good he was because he was a w***er and wasn't his best at Essendon through the saga.
2003 - Adam Cooney. Brownlow medalist and was looking like one of the best players in the AFL, unfortunately was crippled by injury.
2004 - Brett Deledio. Multiple AA & BNF winner, carried the tigers for years.
2005 - Marc Murphy. Multiple BnF winner & AA. Captained his club for 6 years.
2006 - Bryce Gibbs. BnF winner and has currently played 265 games.
2007 - Matthew Kreuzer. Plagued by injury, but has shown he is a top 5 or so ruck when fit. Will manage 200+ games.
2008 - Jack Watts. Bad pick, #2 was Nic Naitanui and if you recall the draft there was a lot of conjecture about who would go #1.
2009 - Tom Scully. Another pretty poor pick.
2010 - David Swallow. This was a pretty weak draft but Swallow was probably close to one of the best 5 picked, captain of his club and will play 250+ games. The best players are probably Gaff (#4), Heppell (#8), Prestia (#9) or Lynch (#11).
2011 - Jonathon Patton. Crippled by injury.
2012 - Lachie Whitfield. Absolute jet.
2013 - Tom Boyd. Helped win the Bulldogs their 2016 flag, but could not live up to the expectations and crippled by mental health demons
2014 - Paddy McCartin. Concussions and diabetic.
2015 - Jacob Weitering. I still think he will turn out to be a good solid KPB.
2016 - Andrew McGrath. Still early, will be a good solid player - similar to Gibbs career IMO, might snag a BnF or AA one year. Most clubs would of taken McCluggage at #1 who is looking like a future star.
2017 - Cameron Raynor. To early on, but looks a player.
2018 - Sam Walsh. To early on, but looks like a future star of the competition.

There's the past 19 drafts. If you take out the 4 KPF's who all flopped for different reasons, you are left with 11/15 number #1 picks that you would be ecstatic or content with.

Green = exceptional player, has been within the best 2 players at the club during their career.
Blue = very good player, you would be content with this pick and expect 250+ games.
Black = pretty average player and dissapointing pick for #1, still probably a 200+ game players though.
Red = big misses, all seem to be KPF's.
Its quite interesting how badly the KPF's have fared on this particular list - even though generally speaking there really aren't that many gun KPF's that haven't come from the pointy end of the draft (or f/s back when you could grab em cheap with 3rd rounders).

Will say I reckon Patton was just plain bad luck - he definitely would have been a gun if he had no knee injuries.
Watts and Boyd I don't think were good picks. I think Watts wasn't the right kind of personality to handle being the #1 pick. There's a reason clubs tend to go the safe option with pick 1.
McCartin - Was pretty unlucky but I'm not sure how good he would have been anyway.

Talls always carry more risks because they tend to need a lot of development either in terms of putting on some muscle or building up their endurance or both. I also think its harder to judge them in the draft stage because they are playing on skinny kids in systems which favour attacking (so they get to compete one on one a lot more). Then they get to AFL and have to play on strong, athletic men with game plans that are often defensive in nature against opposition that will have extra players blocking their space.
 

telsor

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Its not that draft picks dont matter.... they do. Its more the draft age is too young.. they dont stop growing or anything till 21.. so how can you correctly draft profile someone when in 3 years the bloke you had 30 picks later than your first flys past him because he just got a bigger body etc... also you still don't know the kind of people they will be as adults people change alot between 18 and 21and can affect the playing ability
True to a degree, but really, what option do we have? It's not like we have a college system like in the US (and never will have), and leaving them at 2nd tier comps will disadvantage those from outside Melbourne/Perth/Adelaide....either they have to move to one of those cities (unlike their peers), or they develop in even lower grades. (any other option would take a LOT of money and probably still wouldn't even things up entirely)

That said, the clubs aren't totally clueless about this, and a lot of what they look for are the things that will apply regardless (good vision, how they handle pressure, etc) and they tend to allow for development and the probabilities and possibilities of what might come.

I remember a few years back, a kid called Matt Arnott...At 18, he was built like he grew up in a steroid factory and was a dominant force in the TAC cup by just muscling kids out of his way and putting the fear of god into them with his tackling...Based on that, he was probably worth a first rounder, but recruiters saw through it, and he ended up being taken by Richmond with their last pick.
 

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