How do you rate our draft haul?

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Hi Mantra,

Whilst I agree that we don't have quality small forwards I also feel our game plan does not allow for them to excel like other clubs.

Take the Pies who all push up into defensive or into the middle of the ground and then once they get it dart back towards goal and into space. Sounds familiar, well they copied the Tigers game plan.

Take the Dogs who do the opposite in that we push our defenders up very high, in front of the forwards, so once we get the ball and are in the middle our forward line is crowded, we bomb it to Naughts and hope for a crumb. We rarely have space for small forwards to run into.

This is also highlighted by a few of our midfielders who just cannot gut run at the pace required in modern football. Tweak the game plan, move certain players from the middle of the ground and the forward line would function better.
Sounds like a coaching problem to me. Maybe what we really need is a non-hippie coach who recognizes what works in the modern game. Richmond set a bar by winning three flags, and Craig McCrae obviously took what he learned there and applied it to Collingwood.
 
I remember Clay Smith and Liam Picken having a pretty big impact as forwards in the 2016 finals series despite not being “natural forwards” or drafted with that positional background. Caleb Daniel also had 11 score involvements in the first final that year playing on a HFF.
I'm not suggesting certain midfielders can't play forward, or that we shouldn't rotate certain midfielders through the forward line, but there is value in having at least 3-4 quality small/medium forwards in a side.

We won the flag from 7th in 2016. Does that mean we should always aim for 7th? Were we right to choke the top 4 spot in 2021?
 
I'm not a draft watcher, I don't have specific names for you.

I simply take issue with the demographic of the list. We need small forwards, but continue to not recruit them.

I don't understand why we need to re-list a plodder like Lachie McNeil instead of giving a chance to whoever the next best small forward was.
The flip side to this is how many genuine small forwards can you play with Naughton, Marra, Lobb, Weightman and potentially Darcy and English floating through with the occasional Bont as well.
 

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We obviously had holes in our list and have addressed them:
  • player with more ink than the rest of the last combined - Harmes. Tick
  • injured high draft pick who grew up a Dogs supporter - Coffield. Tick
  • Tasmanian gun from private school - Sanders. Tick
  • third (not second!) sibling to counteract the 'dud brother' curse - O'Driscoll. Tick
  • wingman with confusing surname based in Ballarat to at least play in all Mars games (also from private school) - Freijah. Tick
  • nostalgic Warragul/Gippsland pick of a 30yo toolie masquerading as a schoolie - Smith. Tick

I don't see any problem...? 🤔
 
The flip side to this is how many genuine small forwards can you play with Naughton, Marra, Lobb, Weightman and potentially Darcy and English floating through with the occasional Bont as well.
Lobb should not be in the side.
Bontempelli and English are rotation players who spend the vast majority of their playing time in different positions.

Naughton and Ugle-Hagan are the two main tall forwards. Weightman is the only dedicated small forward. Zero good medium sized forwards.

Should be making room for at least two quality contributors up forward, but hey we need to make room for Lachie McNeil to come back I guess.
 

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I'm not trying to wind you up mate but I would say Naughton is definitely NOT a natural forward.

He is a natural athlete who learned all his skills playing in defence as a junior and in his first year at the Dogs. It was just that pre-Croft (2024), pre-Lobb (2023), pre-Darcy (2022), pre-JUH (2021) and pre-Bruce (2020) we had no decent tall forward prospects and Bevo threw him forward in the 2019 pre-season to see how he'd go. The rest is now history.

I'm not for a minute suggesting we move him back to defence. What I'm saying is that he's an exceptionally gifted footballer who has seized the challenge thrown at him and now loves being the alpha KPF.

That's been our good fortune ... in more ways than one.

He does a lot right as a KPF (how else do you kick 150 goals in 3 seasons) but he's still learning the trade IMO.
The arguments been done to death and probably not the thread to get into it but I just think it’s a bit of a cop out tbh, I’m not saying he’s the finished product obviously he’s spent a lot less time there than most but this ‘not a natural forward’ is tripe. No ones a natural forward, all these guys work extremely hard and have different skill sets which translate to different parts of the game.

There’s plenty of gifted athletes in the AFL, how many gifted athletes have we tried in our forward line over the years? How many have gone even 1/5th of replicating what Naughty has done?

Fact is Naughty has had 249 shots at goal (not including the complete misses) in 3 seasons. This is not completely down to being a gifted athlete who takes a couple of contested marks a game. This is because he puts himself in good positions to hit the scoreboard, like any good forward.

He’s not a good kick of the footy, he’s definitely a good forward. Whether that comes naturally to him or he works hard for it is literally completely irrelevant. Point is it’s just a shit lazy argument
 
What's the concern? English has no history of injuries in game right? Totally invincible, especially when Naughton knees him in the head.

He doesn't need a break either. There was no issues when Darcy was injured against Sydney
 
The arguments been done to death and probably not the thread to get into it but I just think it’s a bit of a cop out tbh, I’m not saying he’s the finished product obviously he’s spent a lot less time there than most but this ‘not a natural forward’ is tripe. No ones a natural forward, all these guys work extremely hard and have different skill sets which translate to different parts of the game.

There’s plenty of gifted athletes in the AFL, how many gifted athletes have we tried in our forward line over the years? How many have gone even 1/5th of replicating what Naughty has done?

Fact is Naughty has had 249 shots at goal (not including the complete misses) in 3 seasons. This is not completely down to being a gifted athlete who takes a couple of contested marks a game. This is because he puts himself in good positions to hit the scoreboard, like any good forward.

He’s not a good kick of the footy, he’s definitely a good forward. Whether that comes naturally to him or he works hard for it is literally completely irrelevant. Point is it’s just a s**t lazy argument
So in other words, you are completely incapable of seeing the glaring differences between what Naughton brings to a side, compared to what a Hawkins/Tex Walker/Jarryd Roughead brings.

Ok. :neutral:
 
The arguments been done to death and probably not the thread to get into it but I just think it’s a bit of a cop out tbh, I’m not saying he’s the finished product obviously he’s spent a lot less time there than most but this ‘not a natural forward’ is tripe. No ones a natural forward, all these guys work extremely hard and have different skill sets which translate to different parts of the game.

There’s plenty of gifted athletes in the AFL, how many gifted athletes have we tried in our forward line over the years? How many have gone even 1/5th of replicating what Naughty has done?

Fact is Naughty has had 249 shots at goal (not including the complete misses) in 3 seasons. This is not completely down to being a gifted athlete who takes a couple of contested marks a game. This is because he puts himself in good positions to hit the scoreboard, like any good forward.

He’s not a good kick of the footy, he’s definitely a good forward. Whether that comes naturally to him or he works hard for it is literally completely irrelevant. Point is it’s just a s**t lazy argument
Personally I'd say when it comes to leading patterns and the like Naughton is not what you'd consider a natural forward. Doesn't mean he isn't a good forward and like you say has a lot of other strengths that make him effective.

Jarmarra I would consider more natural but he is also a worse shot at goal right now. I think Jamarra as the focal point does elevate Naughton's game and allows him to use his skills with less impediments.
 
So two consecutive top 4 finishes, including a top of the ladder finish counts for little? Because they won the flag on the back of three close finals? Strange rationale.
Well I don’t believe I said any of that. I’m not saying it’s not a good game plan, but clearly there is more than one way to play good football if all of their games are that close.
 
Well I don’t believe I said any of that. I’m not saying it’s not a good game plan, but clearly there is more than one way to play good football if all of their games are that close.
But all their games aren't that close, they just happened to play three close finals and win them all. They were clearly the better team than Brisbane in the Grand Final too. They're certainly better team than we are right now, and have a far better coach.
 
I think a good half forward line would change our dynamic. My biggest issue with our style is we aren’t fast enough or clean enough to link up like the good clubs (this is an issue with our wings as well - however this can be addressed Treloar full time wing and I think Gallagher has all the tools).

The players we have been playing at half forward have been slow mids or 2 touch players.

I don’t mind Cody at half forward, but Arty and Carke are a mile away from consistent best 22 players.

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t believe we will be keeping up with the game playing mids at half forward and I don’t think the specialist forwards (West, arty or Clarke) have shown enough that they could be premiership players in 2024.

I reckon we have the pieces of the puzzle everywhere else (question marks on the lockdown small defender aswell).
I don’t disagree mate, our forward line is definitely a work in progress.

I just don’t think it’s fair to say we haven’t been trying to address it - we’ve spent a lot of assets on forward half players & wings over the last couple of years and there wasn’t really anyone available this year that would have been a better fit.

I completely agree we need to move away from slow mids at half forward but I think we just have to work with what we’ve got on the list for the mean time until we actually have a better idea of what we’ve got. AJ & Clarke are still a while away but they’re closer than any of the players we could have taken at pick 45 this year.
 
I remember Clay Smith and Liam Picken having a pretty big impact as forwards in the 2016 finals series despite not being “natural forwards” or drafted with that positional background. Caleb Daniel also had 11 score involvements in the first final that year playing on a HFF.
Let's not forget how good Bailey Smith played as a high HF in the 2021 finals series. Arguably his best football.
 
I'm not suggesting certain midfielders can't play forward, or that we shouldn't rotate certain midfielders through the forward line, but there is value in having at least 3-4 quality small/medium forwards in a side.

We won the flag from 7th in 2016. Does that mean we should always aim for 7th? Were we right to choke the top 4 spot in 2021?
I’m going to side step the second part of that because it’s not constructive.

I’m on board with adding to our small forward stocks if there are good options available at the right price, but it sounds like that just wasn’t the case with our picks. If O’Driscoll projects as a better small forward than an alternate “specialist” should we not draft him just because he can also play on the wing? We could put another Ben Cavarra on the list but it won’t achieve anything.

If Lachie McNeil is getting put back on the list it says a lot about our recruitments teams perspective on the quality of those still available. I’d rather they just take a punt anyway, but given you don’t follow the draft that’s probably a good indicator for what’s out there.
 

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