Draft Expert Knightmare's 2021 Draft Almanac

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briztoon

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Great context to your earlier comment and understood 👍

I will say GWS rated Gibcus very highly but we were unable to tempt Fremantle or Richmond to trade back to our Pick 15.

From what I’ve been told our Board had Darcy as top player for need/talent and Callaghan was actually number 2 so we were not leaving without him. That would be a big call given the immense known ability of Horne-Francis and Daicos. Callaghan’s height is the key point of difference.

Apparently Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hawthorn, Richmond and Freo all made enquiries to trade up to our selection specifically to get him. He looks quite untapped but the sample is limited so hopefully what has been seen is enough.
A couple of points to unpack here.

It’s unlikely that GWS didn’t rate Horne-Francis or Daicos ahead of Callaghan, but they took a pragmatic approach to their rankings and bidding.

JHF was unlikely to be on board at GWS’s first selection, and as GWS’s recruiter mentioned in an interview, Darcy was clearly seen as a need, while Daicos was not.

I mentioned in discussions that GWS should have traded back with Gold Coast, obtaining future draft assets, and selected Mac Andrew, and draft a KPD at their second pick.

Apparently Melbourne were trying to trade up to Brisbane’s pick 16, so I’m surprised GWS didn’t trade their second pick back, as I’m pretty confident Leek Alleer would still be available at pick 19.
 

weltschmerz

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What would you have suggested the Dogs do if Darcy hadn't come along and we'd retained our first rounder? 18-ish, you ranked Matt Johnson clearly the best available but he'd be waiting a long time to get a spot in our midfield.
 

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Knightmare

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A couple of points to unpack here.

It’s unlikely that GWS didn’t rate Horne-Francis or Daicos ahead of Callaghan, but they took a pragmatic approach to their rankings and bidding.

JHF was unlikely to be on board at GWS’s first selection, and as GWS’s recruiter mentioned in an interview, Darcy was clearly seen as a need, while Daicos was not.

I mentioned in discussions that GWS should have traded back with Gold Coast, obtaining future draft assets, and selected Mac Andrew, and draft a KPD at their second pick.

Apparently Melbourne were trying to trade up to Brisbane’s pick 16, so I’m surprised GWS didn’t trade their second pick back, as I’m pretty confident Leek Alleer would still be available at pick 19.

GWS didn't move back because they knew Richmond were looking at options for their defence and had Fahey as one of those they were considering. That's why they took Leek at 15. GWS wanted Leek before Fahey, so they get both of their men.
 

Knightmare

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What would you have suggested the Dogs do if Darcy hadn't come along and we'd retained our first rounder? 18-ish, you ranked Matt Johnson clearly the best available but he'd be waiting a long time to get a spot in our midfield.

If there was no Darcy, as I said for the Giants, as in their situation there would be no clear best-22 path for Johnson, Alleer would have been my target, with the Dogs needing that key defender.

With Alleer gone, I would have likely traded out that first rounder to enhance my 2022 draft hand to have that as a liquid asset and capitalise on how desperate clubs are to get into the first round, with a view towards picking mostly mature agers mid-late to fill any remaining positional needs. Taylor/Draper/Lord would have been incredible value in the 40s, but otherwise there were a whole host of good mature agers overlooked. Blake Schlensog, Angus Baker, Ronald Fejo Jr and Casey Voss at least in my view are all AFL calibre pieces still outside the AFL to give you some names I would have looked at. Charlie Dean who Collingwood rookies was another the Dogs could have looked at, though I slightly prefer Schlensog.
 

briztoon

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GWS didn't move back because they knew Richmond were looking at options for their defence and had Fahey as one of those they were considering. That's why they took Leek at 15. GWS wanted Leek before Fahey, so they get both of their men.
I specifically mentioned GWS moving from 15 back to 19.

Were Richmond linked to Alleer? Has anything been said post draft that mentioned Richmond would have selected Alleer with their second pick, after already drafting Gibcus with their first pick.

Similarly, were any teams rumoured to possibly bid on Fahey in the top 20.

My post specifically mentioned Melbourne at 19 trying to move up, as they reportedly (post draft) were trying to trade up to draft Wilmot (so were Richmond as well, reportedly).
 
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Knightmare

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I specifically mentioned GWS moving from 15 back to 19.

Were Richmond linked to Alleer? Has anything been said post draft that mentioned Richmond would have selected Alleer with their second pick, after already drafting Gibcus with their first pick.

Similarly, were any teams rumoured to possibly bid on Fahey in the top 20.

My post specifically mentioned Melbourne at 19 trying to move up, as they reportedly (post draft) were trying to trade up to draft Wilmot (so were Richmond as well, reportedly).

Richmond had links to Alleer in the second round (nothing inside 20 - it was a surprise seeing him feature top-20, as with Sheldrick) and Alleer was viewed as in the mix for Richmond in the 20s had they gone not picked Gibcus first up.

Richmond were believed interested and considered Fahey as the talk coming into the draft was they would look to add defenders who can generate drive. The Giants were aware of this possibility and took no risk, wanting Fahey as their third pick.

Richmond I also understand to have favoured Wilmot to Brown, but with Wilmot gone as expected by their pick, that's where that thinking of maybe Fahey comes in.

Richmond and Melbourne alike both liked Wilmot.
 

Dockeroo

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I do worry for Richmond in the longer term where that improvement will come from that can see Richmond once the current core of veterans retire, to continue winning games. I'd in Richmond's situation be looking at opposition talent ID and the state leagues over coming seasons so that there isn't at some point a dramatic drop off.
See I find this an interesting point of view and would challenge it. Richmond have won 3 flags in the last 5 years. It’s been an exceptional run. History repeatedly shows that once you get a 5 or 6 year run with the players that won you those flags, they drop off and the idea of “topping up” to try and stay in premiership winning mode doesn’t work. Hawthorn are a good recent example.
So, if the tigers take a ten year view on things, would they not be better off actually falling off that cliff in the next 2 or 3 years? Grab the replacement dusty/Cotchin/Riewoldt with a few top 5 picks and then look toward another two or 3 flags in the later part of this decade?
They are a very strong off field club and are not in danger of wallowing as much as some other clubs at the bottom end.
you can’t win The flag every year.
 

Knightmare

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See I find this an interesting point of view and would challenge it. Richmond have won 3 flags in the last 5 years. It’s been an exceptional run. History repeatedly shows that once you get a 5 or 6 year run with the players that won you those flags, they drop off and the idea of “topping up” to try and stay in premiership winning mode doesn’t work. Hawthorn are a good recent example.
So, if the tigers take a ten year view on things, would they not be better off actually falling off that cliff in the next 2 or 3 years? Grab the replacement dusty/Cotchin/Riewoldt with a few top 5 picks and then look toward another two or 3 flags in the later part of this decade?
They are a very strong off field club and are not in danger of wallowing as much as some other clubs at the bottom end.
you can’t win The flag every year.

There are different ways to win.

Richmond won with forward pressure, scoring off turnover and with how incredible their back half was as that foundation of strength. Melbourne this year actually won by being exceptional in a lot of the same areas with the forward pressure leading to the intercept marks and then from it opportunities to launch forward, with the bonus for them being they have the most complete and dominant midfield in the competition when also accounting for their ruck advantage.

Richmond's midfield was still capable. Prime Dusty and Cotchin were no joke. Prestia is a good third option. Perhaps after that they were a little shallow. But certainly compared to now, Dusty no longer is prime Dusty, Cotchin has dropped away significantly and is on his last legs, so the midfield is looking pretty sick now by comparison.

My thesis, and we'll have to see how things go over the coming years, but if Richmond look to build their future core group through the draft, I'm expecting a drop off into irrelevance. Richmond's window is only as long as Dusty is there and capable of changing games. Once he is gone, and that era of pieces, there isn't enough talent left to do anything, or the foundations of a group to do anything with, with the youth nothing fantastic and Balta the only '99 or young birth who projects to be a star and all those players older than that really established.

While it's likely an unpopular opinion, I much prefer Geelong's approach to list building. Once Geelong missed the top-8 in 2015, people would have thought, nothing in the way of good youth, their great veterans of the past are on their final legs, they're done. But we're in the free agency era now. Teams if they build through the trade period and free agency can remain on top. I'd be taking that approach in Richmond's situation, with the view that youth won't save them. My belief is the old rules no longer apply. If you have a great coach as Hardwick is, you get recruiting and get in opposition talent and state league talent to keep your list getting better. And absolutely Richmond can still take their early draft picks, but they don't need to overconcentrate on youth and need to focus on those opposition list and state league opportunities, as that's how lists can improve most.
 

briztoon

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There are different ways to win.

Richmond won with forward pressure, scoring off turnover and with how incredible their back half was as that foundation of strength. Melbourne this year actually won by being exceptional in a lot of the same areas with the forward pressure leading to the intercept marks and then from it opportunities to launch forward, with the bonus for them being they have the most complete and dominant midfield in the competition when also accounting for their ruck advantage.

Richmond's midfield was still capable. Prime Dusty and Cotchin were no joke. Prestia is a good third option. Perhaps after that they were a little shallow. But certainly compared to now, Dusty no longer is prime Dusty, Cotchin has dropped away significantly and is on his last legs, so the midfield is looking pretty sick now by comparison.

My thesis, and we'll have to see how things go over the coming years, but if Richmond look to build their future core group through the draft, I'm expecting a drop off into irrelevance. Richmond's window is only as long as Dusty is there and capable of changing games. Once he is gone, and that era of pieces, there isn't enough talent left to do anything, or the foundations of a group to do anything with, with the youth nothing fantastic and Balta the only '99 or young birth who projects to be a star and all those players older than that really established.

While it's likely an unpopular opinion, I much prefer Geelong's approach to list building. Once Geelong missed the top-8 in 2015, people would have thought, nothing in the way of good youth, their great veterans of the past are on their final legs, they're done. But we're in the free agency era now. Teams if they build through the trade period and free agency can remain on top. I'd be taking that approach in Richmond's situation, with the view that youth won't save them. My belief is the old rules no longer apply. If you have a great coach as Hardwick is, you get recruiting and get in opposition talent and state league talent to keep your list getting better. And absolutely Richmond can still take their early draft picks, but they don't need to overconcentrate on youth and need to focus on those opposition list and state league opportunities, as that's how lists can improve most.
Richmond would have to recruit the next Dusty and Cotchin, and we still don’t see many elite mids change clubs.

Short of a mass exodus from Gold Coast (and/or GWS), we’re unlikely to see that quality of talent available around the league.

We’re talking Dangerfield and Neale level of talent leaving their current club and both joining Richmond.

Typically it’s a little more common to see that next tier down quality of player moving, often for a hefty pay day.
 

Cameron_Jezza

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I specifically mentioned GWS moving from 15 back to 19.

Were Richmond linked to Alleer? Has anything been said post draft that mentioned Richmond would have selected Alleer with their second pick, after already drafting Gibcus with their first pick.

Similarly, were any teams rumoured to possibly bid on Fahey in the top 20.

My post specifically mentioned Melbourne at 19 trying to move up, as they reportedly (post draft) were trying to trade up to draft Wilmot (so were Richmond as well, reportedly).
Go to the AFL website. Callum Twomey has an article with all the main what ifs?, attempted moves up on the first night.
Remember he works for the afl, so has ( along with fox sports) much better inside information than we bigfooty posters do.
 
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freo99

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Richmond would have to recruit the next Dusty and Cotchin, and we still don’t see many elite mids change clubs.

Short of a mass exodus from Gold Coast (and/or GWS), we’re unlikely to see that quality of talent available around the league.

We’re talking Dangerfield and Neale level of talent leaving their current club and both joining Richmond.

Typically it’s a little more common to see that next tier down quality of player moving, often for a hefty pay day.
Which is why they should have picked up Cerra while he was available.
+ if they did go to the draft taking a quality mid with their 1st pick should have been the priority IMO.

As I see it this past draft will be seen as exceptional.
 

briztoon

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Which is why they should have picked up Cerra while he was available.
+ if they did go to the draft taking a quality mid with their 1st pick should have been the priority IMO.

As I see it this past draft will be seen as exceptional.
It’s possible next year’s top end will have more mids than this year, as well as the talls.

If Richmond are going down the bottom out and rebuild route, then drafting their KPP’s this past draft and next draft is a strong foundation to build from.
 

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Knightmare

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Richmond would have to recruit the next Dusty and Cotchin, and we still don’t see many elite mids change clubs.

Short of a mass exodus from Gold Coast (and/or GWS), we’re unlikely to see that quality of talent available around the league.

We’re talking Dangerfield and Neale level of talent leaving their current club and both joining Richmond.

Typically it’s a little more common to see that next tier down quality of player moving, often for a hefty pay day.

As per your thoughts, there aren't many Dusty/Cotchin levels mids and they even more rarely change hands.

As you will know well, I'd have a relatively higher focus on securing good midfielders through the draft, while through trade/free agency periods, that's where, and again this is the rule I always go through, to fill any list holes with guys who can play good football.

Dusty and Cotchin are a pick 3/2 respectively, but great mids don't have to come from top-3 picks.

I like going mids early because the best ones tend to go early. Petracca/Bont/Oliver/Walsh. But you can still have Steele as an overager or Mitchell as a slightly older player be stars. Priddis won a Brownlow as a mature age mid. Miller wasn't an early pick, Merrett, Parker. Neale and T.Mitchell was secured via trade, Lyons as a DFA. Fyfe was a pick 20. So you're playing the odds going earlier, particularly top-5 early, but they don't have to exclusively pick them that high and still get stars.

The best teams tend to win premierships with less first round picks and less top-5 picks than the bottom of ladder dwellers. Look at the teams that come back sucking every year and going around in rebuilding cycles and building to still not be a top-8 team before bottoming out again and trying to build with super early picks again.
 

freo99

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It’s possible next year’s top end will have more mids than this year, as well as the talls.

If Richmond are going down the bottom out and rebuild route, then drafting their KPP’s this past draft and next draft is a strong foundation to build from.
That may be right, but picking absolute guns is not easy, from where I sit there is not 30 picks difference
between Gibcus + Bazzo.
At the Tigers 1st pick Hobbs (with a massive amount of drive) + Erasmus (who I’m guessing is going to
be an absolute gun) we’re both available.

They also picked up Brown when they could have had either Goater or Johnson + still picked up
Bazzo with a little Howes + Sonsie on top.

This isn’t hindsight most pundits expected quality players to slide.
 

weltschmerz

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If there was no Darcy, as I said for the Giants, as in their situation there would be no clear best-22 path for Johnson, Alleer would have been my target, with the Dogs needing that key defender.

With Alleer gone, I would have likely traded out that first rounder to enhance my 2022 draft hand to have that as a liquid asset and capitalise on how desperate clubs are to get into the first round, with a view towards picking mostly mature agers mid-late to fill any remaining positional needs. Taylor/Draper/Lord would have been incredible value in the 40s, but otherwise there were a whole host of good mature agers overlooked. Blake Schlensog, Angus Baker, Ronald Fejo Jr and Casey Voss at least in my view are all AFL calibre pieces still outside the AFL to give you some names I would have looked at. Charlie Dean who Collingwood rookies was another the Dogs could have looked at, though I slightly prefer Schlensog.

Not a Jacob van Rooyen? I could see him developing into a good KPD and seemed right around the mark.
 

Knightmare

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Not a Jacob van Rooyen? I could see him developing into a good KPD and seemed right around the mark.

Van Rooyen would have worked over the long term. Sure. But he's not an immediate help. He's not going to play in 2022, and maybe not 2023 either. The Dogs needed a Schlensog or a Charlie Dean more given they're wanting to contend to win now. And from a best available perspective, others presented better value in my view at least.

Sam Skinner as a DFA similarly would have been perfect had Port Adelaide not taken him.
 

briztoon

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Van Rooyen would have worked over the long term. Sure. But he's not an immediate help. He's not going to play in 2022, and maybe not 2023 either. The Dogs needed a Schlensog or a Charlie Dean more given they're wanting to contend to win now. And from a best available perspective, others presented better value in my view at least.

Sam Skinner as a DFA similarly would have been perfect had Port Adelaide not taken him.
I reckon JVR would have played next year at the dogs. Unlikely at Melbourne, barring injuries.
 

Shinboner1

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I reckon JVR would have played next year at the dogs. Unlikely at Melbourne, barring injuries.
He's not any better than the mature agers they have now down back and doesn't fit the tall key defender role they need.
TOB was an ok pickup but I agree with Knightmare84 a good mature ager with the right age profile would have set them up for years.
 

briztoon

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He's not any better than the mature agers they have now down back and doesn't fit the tall key defender role they need.
TOB was an ok pickup but I agree with Knightmare84 a good mature ager with the right age profile would have set them up for years.
He’s the same height as Lever and taller than May.

He’s also taller than two of our 3 starting key defenders.

While I personally rated Bazzo the better long term KPD, I know the Lions recruiters rated JVR higher.

I can see JVR becoming a quality 3rd tall defender in the Darcy Gardiner mold.
 

Knightmare

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I reckon JVR would have played next year at the dogs. Unlikely at Melbourne, barring injuries.

JVR was good during the u19 Champs, but there is a difference to performance at that level and performance as a tall at AFL level. He'll develop in the VFL next year and even with the Dogs lacking a worthwhile second key defender after Keath, he still would be unlikely to appear in 2022 in the hypothetical being discussed.

With Melbourne's player development and all things firing though - from coach/veteran leadership/buy-in from the playing group, JVR can be a good piece in a few years if developed in defence.

I wouldn't be surprised if Sam Darcy is the CHB for the Dogs next year at some point. I don't think necessarily early season he plays, but with a good run of games in the VFL I can see him earning opportunities and plausibly if he rapid rate of improvement continues earning regular selection by seasons end.

Do you have an idea why recruiters passed on Schlensog?

Sometimes there aren't enough list positions/others are slightly preferred.

Charlie Dean after winning the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal made it through to the rookie draft.

Schlensog's second half to the season playing forward hurt him. Had he continued playing in defence, he would have been prioritised and likely taken as a DFA the way he was playing through the first half of the season.

Schlensog remains thereabouts and with further improvement can remain on the draft radar.
 

Deadly Dunkley

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There is the possibility with picks that the picks can be sound, but the club - from the environment, to the coaching, to the player development, to the leadership within the playing group are lacking. And conversely, a club could be ordinary picking talent, but have everything else so right, that the players they pick can far exceed their draft position and talent projections.

In the case of the Giants, I consider them over the years to be one of the relatively worse pickers pickers through the draft on average and at the same time I do have questions around those other elements. Do they have the right coach? Coaching staff? Veteran leaders? Development coaches? Culture? A number of those elements need to improve for the Giants to improve, and some of those elements may be positive, but not enough are as we're not seeing success from the Giants.

My view on the Giants has been on paper really by default because of the sheer quantity of concessions and early picks the talent, then supplemented more recently by all the really good Academy talent coming in has on paper for a good period there been the best and most appealing in the competition, but internally there is given we have yet to see a premiership and don't expect to see a premiership with this group, there is a lot that went wrong, as the concessions had a lot of us predicting, myself included for the Giants to build a dynasty and win many premierships with their original group.

From a list management perspective, where I can give the Giants relative credit is towards their opposition talent ID. Adding good veteran talent from other teams and when they could to support the youth, adding good established players from other teams. The likes of Mumford and Shaw when they were added were really it felt like at the time the catalysts towards making the Giants a competitive side and developing the youth.

They missed 2016 by a kick so I think it’s underplaying their hand a bit to say they underperformed. That was their opportunity albeit I’m clearly glad we stripped it from them. Umpires or no umpires Sydney were ripe to be beaten that year.
 

tigerfan1961

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There are different ways to win.

Richmond won with forward pressure, scoring off turnover and with how incredible their back half was as that foundation of strength. Melbourne this year actually won by being exceptional in a lot of the same areas with the forward pressure leading to the intercept marks and then from it opportunities to launch forward, with the bonus for them being they have the most complete and dominant midfield in the competition when also accounting for their ruck advantage.

Richmond's midfield was still capable. Prime Dusty and Cotchin were no joke. Prestia is a good third option. Perhaps after that they were a little shallow. But certainly compared to now, Dusty no longer is prime Dusty, Cotchin has dropped away significantly and is on his last legs, so the midfield is looking pretty sick now by comparison.

My thesis, and we'll have to see how things go over the coming years, but if Richmond look to build their future core group through the draft, I'm expecting a drop off into irrelevance. Richmond's window is only as long as Dusty is there and capable of changing games. Once he is gone, and that era of pieces, there isn't enough talent left to do anything, or the foundations of a group to do anything with, with the youth nothing fantastic and Balta the only '99 or young birth who projects to be a star and all those players older than that really established.

While it's likely an unpopular opinion, I much prefer Geelong's approach to list building. Once Geelong missed the top-8 in 2015, people would have thought, nothing in the way of good youth, their great veterans of the past are on their final legs, they're done. But we're in the free agency era now. Teams if they build through the trade period and free agency can remain on top. I'd be taking that approach in Richmond's situation, with the view that youth won't save them. My belief is the old rules no longer apply. If you have a great coach as Hardwick is, you get recruiting and get in opposition talent and state league talent to keep your list getting better. And absolutely Richmond can still take their early draft picks, but they don't need to overconcentrate on youth and need to focus on those opposition list and state league opportunities, as that's how lists can improve most.
Your dislike of Richmond is shining through very clearly Mate, expected mind you as a Pies fan. If you truly think our draft haul is a D+, then I’d have to disagree respectfully. I’ve been to quite a number of presentations at the club, and heard Blair Hartley speak and outline his list strategy, and I’ll back him in way ahead of your good self any day of the week, with respect. I’m not saying he is infallible but his forward planning is very thorough, and I’ll trust the types he drafts.
I do enjoy reading your profiles of the draftees, and really appreciate the amount of work you put in but your comments on the tigers list profile are off the mark, just imo. And to call the current midfield (many of which that has won 3 flags)“awful”, just wow. And you like Cats list strategy that’s delivered zip flags in recent times? A year where everything that could go wrong actually did for Richmond, and you write them off?
 

Jack Ch

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Granted that JVR is at the current premiership club, I agree there’s no hurry to push him into an AFL debut but his stats from earlier this year were 194cm, 88kg which suggests that he’s physically ready to play against men. Which is what he has already done at WAFL level early in 2021 when he played 5 senior games with Claremont before succumbing to glandular fever. If he’s not a senior AFL candidate for two seasons, I would venture to say that there aren’t many around from the crop of 2021 draftees who are.
 
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