Eagles draft performance over recent years

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Eddie_Sandbrah

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Sep 6, 2023
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There's a lot of talk and resentment on here regarding the Eagle's poor drafting. My gut feel has always been that it's slightly under par, but nowhere near as bad as many people make out. It's very easy to spot a gun player who was taken 10 players after a player we choose than turned out less than average. It's very easy to say, "why didn't we take Chad Warner!?".

Historically, the footy community thinks some stupid s**t. Just ill thought out surface level stuff that is easy to digest and repeat. We're starting to learn that because the #1 pick is unlikely to end up the best player, it's a stupid reason not to take the best player. We now know that taking outside mids in the top 10 is a mugs game. We also know not to spend top 10 picks on KPDs, as you can get them in the 20s and 30s. We know that most successful list profiles are built on an elite midfield taken at the top of the draft, a strong KPF or two, and the rest of the team are role players. We know the vast majority of players will play well in good sides, but poorly in bad sides.

We know the rough percentages of draft success. The chances of finding that A+ player is way higher in the top 5 than anywhere else. But what about later in the draft? One thing that is really obvious, is that when you're using data sets of 10 or so drafts, you can see that the closer you move to the pointy end of the draft, the more likely you will find a better quality player. It's not perfectly linear, but fugg me if it doesn't look like a Christmas tree.

So if the top 12 is the Sunset Strip, laden with stars, then the rest of the draft is The Valley. An endless wasteland of s**t with occasional gems. I could have split them up by rounds, but there's an obvious flaw in that, which is the huge gaps between the top 5, and picks in their teens. This is a much wider gap than a mid 20s pick and a mid 30s pick. So why did I choose 13? My gut says the number is somewhere between 13 and 15. I chose 13 because the Eagles have two fails in Brander and Venables and I wanted them included.

So about these numbers:

This is all drafts between 2009 - 2019, from pick 13 onwards.
I've graded players A+, A, B, C, and F. Some people may disagree with some rankings (it's hard to maintain a consistent base), but it's a case of swings and roundabouts.

The AFL average number of picks in this period is 43. All clubs hover around this except Suns (26) and GWS (29). I figure it is because these clubs had more picks in the top 12 than anyone else.

The AFL dud rate, which is a percentage of picks from #13 onward that end up being duds is 76%. So let's be clear here, you have a 1 in 4 chance of a player having a reasonable career after pick 12. All the clubs hover around this 76%. GWS and Hawks have a crazy good 55%, Sydney near as good with 56%, Fremantle good with 62%, and Gold Coast the worst with 88%. The stark difference between GWS and GCS can only be down to who sits in the seat. That campaigner at the Suns needs to go to Specsavers.

The average position of each clubs draft picks is similar. The AFL average number of picks inside 30, is 10. The outliers are Melbourne only 4, Hawthorn 7, and those greedy Lions had 17. There were only 7 A+ players out of a total of 776. Fremantle had two in Neale and Fyfe.

So how do the teams rank?

AFL Average
Avg. Picks42.83
A+7
A32
B89
C89
F559
Dud rate76%
Average Pos43.76
Avg. Inside #3010


Warren Buffet Level

Fremantle

Picks50
A+2Lachie NealeNathan Fyfe
A1Sean Darcy
B3Ed LangdonAlex PearceMatt Taberner
C13
F31
Dud rate62%
Average Pos52.90
Inside #3010


Sydney



Rene Rivkin Level

Hawthorn



Melbourne

Picks37
A+1Max Gawn
A1Jack Viney
B5Charlie SpargoBayley FritschAlex Neal-BullenHarrison PettyJeremy Howe
C6
F24
Dud rate65%
Average Pos49.59
Inside #304


Geelong



The Index

West Coast

Picks45
A+0
A3Oscar AllenJeremy McGovernJack Darling
B3Liam RyanWillie RioliTom Barrass
C4
F35
Dud rate78%
Average Pos47.76
Inside #3012


Adelaide

Picks41
A+0
A3Jake LeverRory LairdJack Gunston
B3Tom DoedeeBrodie SmithDaniel Talia
C2
F33
Dud rate80%
Average Pos51.51
Inside #3012


GWS



Western Bulldogs

Picks50
A+0
A2Josh DunkleyTom Liberatore (F/S)
B7Cody WeightmanEd RichardsTim EnglishBailey DaleCaleb DanielLachie HunterLiam Picken
C5
F35
Dud rate70%
Average Pos53.22
Inside #3013


Brisbane



Mum & Dad Level

Collingwood

Picks42
A+0
A3Josh DaicosBrodie GrundyJarrod Witts
B2Brayden MaynardIsaac Quaynor
C4
F33
Dud rate79%
Average Pos56.05
Inside #308


Essendon

Picks42
A+1Zach Merrett
A0
B4Mason RedmanKyle LangfordJayden LaverdeJordan Ridley
C5
F32
Dud rate76%
Average Pos51.00
Inside #3010


Port Adelaide



Richmond



Nick Leeson Level

Carlton

Picks44
A+1Patrick Cripps
A0
B2Tom De KoningZach Tuohy
C5
F36
Dud rate82%
Average Pos54.61
Inside #3011


Gold Coast

Picks26
A+1Touk Miller
A0
B1Charlie Ballard
C1
F23
Dud rate88%
Average Pos43.35
Inside #3011


North Melbourne

Picks47
A+0
A1Nick Larkey
B2Ben McKayBen Brown
C5
F39
Dud rate83%
Average Pos48.47
Inside #3011


St Rabble

Picks46
A+0
A0
B4Jade GreshamBlake AcresSebastian RossJamie Cripps
C5
F37
Dud rate80%
Average Pos52.22
Inside #3010
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Here's every pick, divvied up by club (for reference purposes)

Warren Buffet Level

Fremantle



Sydney

 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Sep 6, 2023
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Rene Rivkin Level

Hawthorn



Melbourne



Geelong

 

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Eddie_Sandbrah

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Sep 6, 2023
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The Index

West Coast



Adelaide



GWS



Western Bulldogs

252015Josh DunkleyWestern BulldogsA
412010Tom Liberatore (F/S)Western BulldogsA
152019Cody WeightmanWestern BulldogsB
162017Ed RichardsWestern BulldogsB
192106Tim EnglishWestern BulldogsB
452014Bailey DaleWestern BulldogsB
462014Caleb DanielWestern BulldogsB
502012Lachie HunterWestern BulldogsB
862009Liam PickenWestern BulldogsB
282106Patrick LipinskiWestern BulldogsC
482015Bailey WilliamsWestern BulldogsC
1072012Jason JohannisenWestern BulldogsC
702011Luke DahlhausWestern BulldogsC
222010Mitch Wallis (F/S)Western BulldogsC
532019Louis ButlerWestern BulldogsF
622019Riley GarciaWestern BulldogsF
262018Rhylee WestWestern BulldogsF
372018Laitham VandermeerWestern BulldogsF
452018Ben CavarraWestern BulldogsF
782018Will HayesWestern BulldogsF
742017Callum PorterWestern BulldogsF
492106Lewis YoungWestern BulldogsF
702106Fergus GreeneWestern BulldogsF
262015Kieran CollinsWestern BulldogsF
352015Marcus AdamsWestern BulldogsF
262014Toby McLeanWestern BulldogsF
272014Lukas WebbWestern BulldogsF
392014Declan HamiltonWestern BulldogsF
622014Zaine CordyWestern BulldogsF
422013Matt FullerWestern BulldogsF
602013Mitch HoneychurchWestern BulldogsF
842013Brett GoodesWestern BulldogsF
222012Nathan HrovatWestern BulldogsF
512012Josh PruddenWestern BulldogsF
1002012Tom CampbellWestern BulldogsF
172011Clay SmithWestern BulldogsF
392011Michael TaliaWestern BulldogsF
492011Daniel PearceWestern BulldogsF
572011Tory DicksonWestern BulldogsF
732011Matthew PanosWestern BulldogsF
742010Jayden SchofieldWestern BulldogsF
882010Zephaniah SkinnerWestern BulldogsF
892010Tom HillWestern BulldogsF
1022010Brodie MolesWestern BulldogsF
1102010Andrew HooperWestern BulldogsF
152009Christian HowardWestern BulldogsF
312009Jason TuttWestern BulldogsF
632009Lukas MarkovicWestern BulldogsF
762009Shane ThorneWestern BulldogsF
922009James MulliganWestern BulldogsF


Brisbane

612014Harris AndrewsBrisbane LionsA
302011Elliot YeoBrisbane LionsA
372019Keidean ColemanBrisbane LionsB
152017Zac BaileyBrisbane LionsB
182017Brandon StarcevichBrisbane LionsB
172106Jarrod BerryBrisbane LionsB
142015Eric HipwoodBrisbane LionsB
252013Daniel McStayBrisbane LionsB
882012Jack CrispBrisbane LionsB
222019Deven RobertsonBrisbane LionsC
362018Tom BerryBrisbane LionsC
242015Ben KeaysBrisbane LionsC
222013Darcy GardinerBrisbane LionsC
952009Pearce HanleyBrisbane LionsC
332019Brock SmithBrisbane LionsF
592019Jaxon PriorBrisbane LionsF
212018Ely SmithBrisbane LionsF
402018Tom JoyceBrisbane LionsF
422018Connor McFadyenBrisbane LionsF
552018Noah AnswerthBrisbane LionsF
412017Toby WoollerBrisbane LionsF
432017Connor BallendenBrisbane LionsF
542017Jack PayneBrisbane LionsF
232106Alex WitherdenBrisbane LionsF
242106Cedric CoxBrisbane LionsF
552106Jacob AllisonBrisbane LionsF
712106Corey LyonsBrisbane LionsF
392015Rhys MathiesonBrisbane LionsF
472015Sam SkinnerBrisbane LionsF
442014Liam DawsonBrisbane LionsF
652014Josh WattsBrisbane LionsF
732014Jaden McGrathBrisbane LionsF
812014Josh McGuinnessBrisbane LionsF
862014Josh ClaytonBrisbane LionsF
282013Lewis TaylorBrisbane LionsF
332013Tom CutlerBrisbane LionsF
342013Nick RobertsonBrisbane LionsF
622013Jonathan FreemanBrisbane LionsF
742013Justin ClarkeBrisbane LionsF
242012Marco PaparoneBrisbane LionsF
332012Michael CloseBrisbane LionsF
1012012Niall McKeeverBrisbane LionsF
472011Patrick WeardenBrisbane LionsF
692011Mitchell GolbyBrisbane LionsF
252010Patrick KarnezisBrisbane LionsF
282010Ryan LesterBrisbane LionsF
322010Josh GreenBrisbane LionsF
652010Claye BeamsBrisbane LionsF
272009Callum BartlettBrisbane LionsF
472009Ryan HarwoodBrisbane LionsF
732009Jesse O'BrienBrisbane LionsF
842009Bryce RetzlaffBrisbane LionsF
912009Matt MaguireBrisbane LionsF
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Mum & Dad Level

Collingwood



Essendon



Port Adelaide



Richmond

 

Eddie_Sandbrah

Team Captain
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Nick Leeson Level

Carlton



Gold Coast



North Melbourne

732106Nick LarkeyNorth MelbourneA
212015Ben McKayNorth MelbourneB
472013Ben BrownNorth MelbourneB
462018Curtis TaylorNorth MelbourneC
492018Bailey ScottNorth MelbourneC
422012Mason WoodNorth MelbourneC
172010Shaun AtleyNorth MelbourneC
252009Aaron BlackNorth MelbourneC
312019Charlie CombenNorth MelbourneF
342019Jack MahonyNorth MelbourneF
352019Flynn PerezNorth MelbourneF
692018Joel CrockerNorth MelbourneF
232017Will WalkerNorth MelbourneF
622017Kyron HaydenNorth MelbourneF
722017Tristan XerriNorth MelbourneF
772017Billy HartungNorth MelbourneF
342106Declan WatsonNorth MelbourneF
362106Josh WilliamsNorth MelbourneF
312015Ryan ClarkeNorth MelbourneF
332015Mitchell HibberdNorth MelbourneF
432015Corey WagnerNorth MelbourneF
602015Declan MountfordNorth MelbourneF
162014Sam DurdinNorth MelbourneF
252014Daniel NielsonNorth MelbourneF
362014Ed Vickers-WillisNorth MelbourneF
302013Trent DumontNorth MelbourneF
152012Taylor GarnerNorth MelbourneF
382012Ben JacobsNorth MelbourneF
482012Mitchell WilkinsNorth MelbourneF
582012Daniel CurrieNorth MelbourneF
632012Taylor HineNorth MelbourneF
782012Sam GibsonNorth MelbourneF
932012Aaron MullettNorth MelbourneF
1052012Majak DawNorth MelbourneF
182011Brad McKenzieNorth MelbourneF
402011Tom CurranNorth MelbourneF
742011Luke DelaneyNorth MelbourneF
842011Cameron PedersenNorth MelbourneF
272010Kieran HarperNorth MelbourneF
692010Cameron DelaneyNorth MelbourneF
712010Ben MabonNorth MelbourneF
982010Ben SpeightNorth MelbourneF
212009Ryan BastinacNorth MelbourneF
372009Jamie MacMillanNorth MelbourneF
412009Ayden KennedyNorth MelbourneF
532009Brayden NorrisNorth MelbourneF
802009Cruize GarlettNorth MelbourneF


St Kilda

 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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A few takeaways:

  • I wasn't at all surprised that 75% of all players draft after 12, fail
  • Fremantle surprised me. During that 11 year period, they drafted better than anyone after pick 12. No flags though.
  • I'm surprised we're in the bunch 5 - 10. I thought we would be just below par
  • Saints and North. Those campaigners are farking youseless. Seriously, Saints draft 4 decent players in 11 years. The AFL needs to send them a letter with body only consisting of "Brah?".
  • Tabernacle is a bit of a stretch at B grade. I keep seeing and meaning to change it. Can't be unseen now.
 
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Rowan18

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It goes to show that trading is as important as drafting. Our 2018 flag was as much a result of trading as finding players ourselves (JK, Yeo, Redden, Jetta, Cripps were all traded in).
 

Rowan18

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I think you missed Andrew Gaff for WCE. That might move us up a rung (I assume he is A grade given he was dual AA).
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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I think you missed Andrew Gaff for WCE. That might move us up a rung (I assume he is A grade given he was dual AA).
I didn't miss him.

This is all picks from #13 until the end of the draft, in years 2009 - 2011.


The reason being is all the criticism comes for those 2nd and 3rd round picks. Lot's of people say it's why we are so poor. So I want to check and get some sort of proper understanding as to just how bad we were choosing in 2nd, 3rd round etc. Surprisingly, we weren't that bad.
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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It goes to show that trading is as important as drafting. Our 2018 flag was as much a result of trading as finding players ourselves (JK, Yeo, Redden, Jetta, Cripps were all traded in).
Yep, but the timing has to be right too. St Kilda have been perennial list toppers and it gets them nowhere. You have to have elite talent before you should start bringing in players from elsewhere. Fremantle are world champions at coughing up good players.
 

Barrybran

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Jackson Nelson played 100 games for the club. He wasn't a superstar but that's certainly not an F. Neither are Jake Waterman, Petrucelle or Rotham.
 

Jupes

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todd marshall is the same calibre player as gov?? o_O
 

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Eddie_Sandbrah

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todd marshall is the same calibre player as gov?? o_O
There's a bit of a gap between top of A and bottom of A. Marshall is a KPF, mush harder to play and there for way more valuable than a KPD. I did sometime look at Marshall there and wonder if he deserved it. But put him down to B from A and it doesn't really make much difference. You're going to find other players who I've graded B, that you think are A.
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Yeah, no. Not even close. Don't get me wrong - ideally all of these players would be depth but if your depth players are F's, you're in trouble. They're not F's.
A player who is a fringe player and never really cements their spot and plays, 50, 70, 80, and even 100 games in Disco's case, are F's for the sake of this assignment.

Guess what 100 games for Disco means? 100 games for us to work out he's s**t and not going to cut it.
 

Kegs15

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Good resource and I'm fully aware I'm the armchair critic who didn't put the time in themselves to actually create anything but is sitting back nitpicking so just wanted to preface my post with that ;)

I think the overall ratings leads to a bit of undervaluing draft picks for me - especially when it comes to filling a premiership squad.

Mike Pyke is probably the example that best illustrates my point - AA calibre? No. Super long career? Certainly not. But list-wise was incredibly important to Sydney especially in their 2012 win - he was the best ruck on the ground that day, played a blinder from memory, and with Mumford injury prone for them he wasn't someone who you'd give a pass mark to for playing 22 games - he was someone you'd give a pass mark to if the Swans in general never went without a competitive ruckman - that was his role for the list. Not every player on the list can play 200 games but if you get 100 very solid games, a premiership and consistent coverage from a late-picked Canadian I wouldn't classify that as dud at all.

Premierships are won on the fringe players coming in and playing a role (look at Collingwood this year or Vardy/Sheed/Schofield being last picked in our flag year) - you draft and plan for 35 ish playable players, if your 28th picked player is really solid and can perform a role I wouldn't consider them a dud. Steven Armstrong for us in 2006 for instance - flash in the pan, overtaken by LeCras, but good enough to be a premiership player in our side and perform really well on the day. I wouldn't grade him an F. Will Langford for Hawthorn you've graded an F - not a great career sure but 3 goals and 21 touches in a winning grand final I reckon is a pass any day, I'd gladly pay a late pick for a player who just has a few good seasons when we're in contention and helps guide us there.

You've got De Boer as F for GWS - they picked him up specifically as a mature aged player to play a really specific role, they didn't expect him to play 15 seasons and win a Brownlow, and he exceeded their expectations (at a time where they really didn't need another 18 year old coming through, they needed what he brought), and they were in contention partly off the back of that.

Then you've got Willem Drew who's had 400 disposals in a season twice in his career already and played a good role for port this year - too early to give players like that an F.

A player who is a fringe player and never really cements their spot and plays, 50, 70, 80, and even 100 games in Disco's case, are F's for the sake of this assignment.

Guess what 100 games for Disco means? 100 games for us to work out he's s**t and not going to cut it.

Basically I think I disagree with you on your definition of an 'F' - an F to me is a player that doesn't contribute to success. O'Neill I'd say probably didn't make West Coast a more successful team and actually is an F. But sometimes recruiters aren't expecting an all Australian, they're maybe going for a mature age contributor, a backup ruck or to fill a list hole for a few seasons while a better player develops and if that player meets or exceeds those expectations (as Pyke at pick 101 for instance did) then I couldn't see them as an F


Edit: someone like an Orazio Fantasia who you pick at 55, then in a trade he nets you pick 29 and a future 3rd in an overall increase in capital, I'd also rate as having done something to make your list better even if he stinks it up at the 2nd club. Lots of ways to gain value (though obviously it's Essendon so my point about contributing to success is probably moot here)
 
Last edited:

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Good resource and I'm fully aware I'm the armchair critic who didn't put the time in themselves to actually create anything but is sitting back nitpicking so just wanted to preface my post with that ;)

I think the overall ratings leads to a bit of undervaluing draft picks for me - especially when it comes to filling a premiership squad.

Mike Pyke is probably the example that best illustrates my point - AA calibre? No. Super long career? Certainly not. But list-wise was incredibly important to Sydney especially in their 2012 win - he was the best ruck on the ground that day, played a blinder from memory, and with Mumford injury prone for them he wasn't someone who you'd give a pass mark to for playing 22 games - he was someone you'd give a pass mark to if the Swans in general never went without a competitive ruckman - that was his role for the list. Not every player on the list can play 200 games but if you get 100 very solid games, a premiership and consistent coverage from a late-picked Canadian I wouldn't classify that as dud at all.

Premierships are won on the fringe players coming in and playing a role (look at Collingwood this year or Vardy/Sheed/Schofield being last picked in our flag year) - you draft and plan for 35 ish playable players, if your 28th picked player is really solid and can perform a role I wouldn't consider them a dud. Steven Armstrong for us in 2006 for instance - flash in the pan, overtaken by LeCras, but good enough to be a premiership player in our side and perform really well on the day. I wouldn't grade him an F. Will Langford for Hawthorn you've graded an F - not a great career sure but 3 goals and 21 touches in a winning grand final I reckon is a pass any day, I'd gladly pay a late pick for a player who just has a few good seasons when we're in contention and helps guide us there.

You've got De Boer for GWS - they picked him up specifically as a mature aged player to play a really specific role, they didn't expect him to play 15 seasons and win a Brownlow, and he exceeded their expectations (at a time where they really didn't need another 18 year old coming through, they needed what he brought), and they were in contention partly off the back of that.

Then you've got Willem Drew who's had 400 disposals in a season twice in his career already and played a good role for port this year - too early to give players like that an F.



Basically I think I disagree with you on your definition of an 'F' - an F to me is a player that doesn't contribute to success. O'Neill I'd say probably didn't make West Coast a more successful team. But sometimes recruiters aren't expecting an all Australian, they're maybe going for a mature age contributor, a backup ruck or to fill a list hole for a few seasons while a better player develops and if that player meets or exceeds those expectations (as Pyke at pick 101 for instance did) then I couldn't see them as an F
You used a lot of words to say nothing.
 

Kegs15

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You used a lot of words to say nothing.

Given I don't think I was disrespectful in my post, you responding like this kind of reads like "I'm just annoyed that people have disagreements with the large post I made"

If you did only just feel like I posted nothing, then surely you would have just not replied to it? It's a footy forum in the offseason, we're all basically posting nothing round in circles anyway
 

Eddie_Sandbrah

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Given I don't think I was disrespectful in my post, you responding like this kind of reads like "I'm just annoyed that people have disagreements with the large post I made"

If you did only just feel like I posted nothing, then surely you would have just not replied to it? It's a footy forum in the offseason, we're all basically posting nothing round in circles anyway
You've missed the point of my post and want to squabble over where the line is that constitutes an F. Where that line is, doesn't change anything. The order will still be the same.
 

Kegs15

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You've missed the point of my post and want to squabble over where the line is that constitutes an F. Where that line is, doesn't change anything. The order will still be the same.

I read your post as you making 2 points:

A: Where we rank against the other teams, which I agree with, maybe a few spots would shuffle but largely wouldn't change

And B: on the value of a pick from 13 onward, with you saying the value is lower than what people might expect given that 76% are duds. Or taken another way, on the likelihood of getting a passable player.

I wasn't disagreeing with point A, and think your post gives an interesting look at where clubs sit relative to each other.

However I think on B the likelihood of getting a serviceable player with those picks onwards is a fair bit higher than 24% because I have very different metrics on what I consider serviceable (as you said in an earlier post, F is for Fringe and Fail, and I think fringe and fail are two very different things). I (and I suspect recruiters) rate the value of say pick 14 higher than you do and thought that was worth discussing.

This is a footy discussion board and you've posted something that inherently sounded like a discussion piece. If point B wasn't a point you were trying to make then just say "yeah it might change up player to player, this was more a comparison than a valuation of draft picks in general" and I'd be like ok gotcha sure. But given how you worded your OP with the whole "chances of finding a player later in the draft" stuff I think it's fair that people would be keen to discuss that side of it too.

Don't just auto-dismiss anything you don't like, better to either engage with it on a genuine level or just ignore it :thumbsu:
 

Tony_Clifton

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I find your work very interesting. From your original post you said you gave the ratings A+ through to F. What resources/metrics did you use to assist in giving the ratings? Draftguru/PAV maybe? Because you'd have to be a savant of some kind to do this by gut feel for it.

And being a Freo nuffy is Sam Switkowski being given an F a mistake because even Tom Sheridan cracked a C. Having a guess here but was total games played the reason for Tom Sheridan ranking higher.
 

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