- Aug 31, 2008
- AFL Club
- Other Teams
1. History says that in every draft there are only a very small number of elite players, and then MANY players who might go from 5-20 depending on the teams needs. How often do you see 'the year xxxx draft revisited', and, apart from the top 3, players who were ranked top 5 are now assessed as 20th best, and vice versa. The idea that Pick 5 will improve us twice as fast as pick 10 just seems entrenched in some people's minds purely by its numerical value.
2. In sports such as the NBA, with 5 on court, one elite player can make a massive difference. This is simply not the case in the AFL, with 18 on the AFL. You need them all to be high quality. While getting elite talent is great, it's not the be all and end all. You are lucky if you have genuine game-changers (Buddy, Dusty, -cough cough Danger-), but you can make do without them, as a number of teams have shown. Other teams have shown that repeatedly getting them hasn't helped
Papley - 24 y/o - pick 14, in 2016
Wicks - 21 y/o - Cat B selection, in 2018
Lloyd - 27 y/o - pick 13, in 2013
Dawson - 23 y/o - pick 56, in 2015
Taylor - 19 y/o - pick 36, in 2019 (since cut)
Warner - 19 y/o - pick 39, in 2019
Gould - 20 y/o - pick 26, in 2019
Rowbottom - 20 y/o - pick 25, in 2018
McCartin - 21 y/o - pick 33, in 2017
Hayward - 22 y/o - pick 21, in 2016
Hewett - 25y/o - pick 32, in 2013
Florent - 22 y/o - pick 16, in 2016
Stephens - 20 y/o - pick 5, in 2019
McDonald - 19 y/o - pick 5, in 2020
Not including the likes of Heeney, Gulden, Campbell, Blakey and Mills who were gifted.
Just goes to show that if you draft smart and develop your players then you don't particularly need the top 10 picks to rebuild.
Though I think you need the elite talent to propel you into a contender as opposed to just being a strong team.
Our elite talent from our peak sides were all fairly high picks - Hodge, Burgoyne, Lewis, Roughie, Franklin, Rioli, Birchall all first rounders. Mitchell and Gunston second rounders. Fleshed out by guys like Breust, Gibson, Lake who were all late/rookie picks.