Draft Expert Knightmare's 2021 Draft Almanac

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briztoon

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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?
I’m no Knightmare apologist, anyone can tell you that (and personally I rated Richmond’s draft in the top 2, along with Freo), but did you read the basis on which Knightmare marked team.


Yeah, much of your current midfield were part of your premiership winning teams, but they are now older and injury prone, or young and haven’t really shown much yet, apart from Shai Bolton.

Where would you rate your current midfield from 1 to 18?
 

tigerfan1961

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I’m no Knightmare apologist, anyone can tell you that (and personally I rated Richmond’s draft in the top 2, along with Freo), but did you read the basis on which Knightmare marked team.


Yeah, much of your current midfield were part of your premiership winning teams, but they are now older and injury prone, or young and haven’t really shown much yet, apart from Shai Bolton.

Where would you rate your current midfield from 1 to 18?
Yes, I did read his summation and didn’t agree with much of it, but as I said, I’ll be firmly behind Hartley and his assessment of the needs of our list.
I think the players he chose all have good attributes and I’m sure were selected to plug some off the perceived holes in Richmond’s list. The fact we only took one mid in a mid strong draft tells me Blair, Dimma and co don’t see our midfield depth as as big a concern as people like Knightmare.
Time will tell but I have hopes that some of the recently drafted but underplayed (due to Covid disruptions) younger types can come through pretty quickly.
As far as rating 1-18, who knows? If the majority stay fit, could be an area of strength as a player like Prestia, who is critical in my eyes and he’s missed a lot, and may again, but if he doesn’t, along with Edwards for example, I think we will be fine. But for knightmare to class the Richmond midfield as “awful”, well, I think that’s laughable.
 

Knightmare

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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?

There is under no circumstances any relationship between the grade a club receives and my like or dislike for any club, as there is no one club I have any level of dislike towards.

Grades relate directly to how I rate the talent drafted in combination with any draft day trades made.

Some years Richmond as with any club will rate highly, and other years, Richmond will rate low.

On average though I would expect West Coast and Richmond to rate relatively lower due to a higher tendency to draft players who were good before their draft year but have not always in their draft year improved. And that comes down to a different view as to optimal methodology, with my preference being towards footballers who show a high rate of improvement being the better long term footballers. Improvement isn't always linear, but if some guys improve a great deal in their draft year, or grow a great deal v someone who was the same footballer at age 16 as they are at age 18, I'm going to more than not lean towards those footballers who are improving and appear to have scope to continue improving.

Richmond's midfield isn't at all healthy as it stands now. Richmond last year rated 17th for contested possessions and 18th for clearances. I'm not sure what case there is to suggest Richmond's midfield is anything but poor at this point in time. Richmond's midfield is both shallow and consisting of aging stars. That's why you missed the top-8 despite having a still solid backline and front half.

Even during Richmond's premiership years, while Richmond's midfield at that time was fine, to think Richmond's midfield was the reason Richmond were winning would be completely ignoring how Richmond won games of football. Richmond won with forward pressure and scoring off the turnover, with the defence that foundation of strength and that one line that was on paper absolutely exceptional.

At the end of the day you have to be up there to contend, and Geelong to their credit have remained competitive. They've had one of the better extended stretches I've seen, winning more premierships since 2007 than they have times missing the top-8. Any team would take that record if offered that chance.

Richmond still have a list that can contend for a top-8 spot, but without a good midfield as things stand, I'm not seeing this group contending unless/until some meaningful opposition list talent is brought in down the track.

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.

JVR was great during the U19 Champs in defence and was capable v Colts opposition but struggled in the WAFL at League level and showed he isn't ready to play against AFL opposition. There is a difference between playing at a level and playing well.

I fully expect Melbourne's at the moment superior player development and everything that factors into it will help fast-track JVR in his development comparative to if he landed with another club, but he's not going to have an Aaron Naughton kind of first season as a point of comparison.
 

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Knightmare

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Yes, I did read his summation and didn’t agree with much of it, but as I said, I’ll be firmly behind Hartley and his assessment of the needs of our list.
I think the players he chose all have good attributes and I’m sure were selected to plug some off the perceived holes in Richmond’s list. The fact we only took one mid in a mid strong draft tells me Blair, Dimma and co don’t see our midfield depth as as big a concern as people like Knightmare.
Time will tell but I have hopes that some of the recently drafted but underplayed (due to Covid disruptions) younger types can come through pretty quickly.
As far as rating 1-18, who knows? If the majority stay fit, could be an area of strength as a player like Prestia, who is critical in my eyes and he’s missed a lot, and may again, but if he doesn’t, along with Edwards for example, I think we will be fine. But for knightmare to class the Richmond midfield as “awful”, well, I think that’s laughable.

If I'm to ask you under the age of 28, who would you include as part of Richmond's best midfield? Shai Bolton I rate highly. Jack Graham is a competitor and impacts winning with what he does defensively. It's a pretty thin group after that though and a bunch of guys you hope come good at this point as things stand.

Midfielders can be easily enough had, but winning with one of the worst midfields in the competition as things stand, even including still capable veterans, it's hard to see Richmond contending again.

Richmond need some mature age midfielders. Ideally a Bailey Rogers to add to the mix as probably the best outside the AFL at the moment.
 

briztoon

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Yes, I did read his summation and didn’t agree with much of it, but as I said, I’ll be firmly behind Hartley and his assessment of the needs of our list.
I think the players he chose all have good attributes and I’m sure were selected to plug some off the perceived holes in Richmond’s list. The fact we only took one mid in a mid strong draft tells me Blair, Dimma and co don’t see our midfield depth as as big a concern as people like Knightmare.
Time will tell but I have hopes that some of the recently drafted but underplayed (due to Covid disruptions) younger types can come through pretty quickly.
As far as rating 1-18, who knows? If the majority stay fit, could be an area of strength as a player like Prestia, who is critical in my eyes and he’s missed a lot, and may again, but if he doesn’t, along with Edwards for example, I think we will be fine. But for knightmare to class the Richmond midfield as “awful”, well, I think that’s laughable.
That’s not what I asked you.

I asked, did you read the basis on which Knightmare marked every team.

In other words, the grading system Knightmare used.

It has been discussed at length in this thread, after Knightmare released his draft grades. You might need to scroll back a fair few pages.

Once you understand how Knightmare graded each team, you’ll understand there’s no point discussing your teams grade with Knightmare.
 

tigerfan1961

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There is under no circumstances any relationship between the grade a club receives and my like or dislike for any club, as there is no one club I have any level of dislike towards.

Grades relate directly to how I rate the talent drafted in combination with any draft day trades made.

Some years Richmond as with any club will rate highly, and other years, Richmond will rate low.

On average though I would expect West Coast and Richmond to rate relatively lower due to a higher tendency to draft players who were good before their draft year but have not always in their draft year improved. And that comes down to a different view as to optimal methodology, with my preference being towards footballers who show a high rate of improvement being the better long term footballers. Improvement isn't always linear, but if some guys improve a great deal in their draft year, or grow a great deal v someone who was the same footballer at age 16 as they are at age 18, I'm going to more than not lean towards those footballers who are improving and appear to have scope to continue improving.

Richmond's midfield isn't at all healthy as it stands now. Richmond last year rated 17th for contested possessions and 18th for clearances. I'm not sure what case there is to suggest Richmond's midfield is anything but poor at this point in time. Richmond's midfield is both shallow and consisting of aging stars. That's why you missed the top-8 despite having a still solid backline and front half.

Even during Richmond's premiership years, while Richmond's midfield at that time was fine, to think Richmond's midfield was the reason Richmond were winning would be completely ignoring how Richmond won games of football. Richmond won with forward pressure and scoring off the turnover, with the defence that foundation of strength and that one line that was on paper absolutely exceptional.

At the end of the day you have to be up there to contend, and Geelong to their credit have remained competitive. They've had one of the better extended stretches I've seen, winning more premierships since 2007 than they have times missing the top-8. Any team would take that record if offered that chance.

Richmond still have a list that can contend for a top-8 spot, but without a good midfield as things stand, I'm not seeing this group contending unless/until some meaningful opposition list talent is brought in down the track.



JVR was great during the U19 Champs in defence and was capable v Colts opposition but struggled in the WAFL at League level and showed he isn't ready to play against AFL opposition. There is a difference between playing at a level and playing well.

I fully expect Melbourne's at the moment superior player development and everything that factors into it will help fast-track JVR in his development comparative to if he landed with another club, but he's not going to have an Aaron Naughton kind of first season as a point of comparison.
I understand what you’ve said and respect your opinion, I just disagree with how you rate the Richmond midfield. You are 100% entitled to your opinion but if the midfield situation is as dire as what you think, why in a midfielders draft, would they recruit only Tyler Sonsie as a mid? I’m guessing they disagree with your assessment of the midfield.
look, I’m out of the discussion as you have your view and me, mine. But I have total faith in Hartley and Clarke when it comes to managing the Richmond list. They built one good enough to win 3 flags, something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. They’ve earnt my trust
 

Knightmare

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You still a Riley Collier-Dawkins fan, KM?

I was hoping for a breakout 2021 from RCD after reports that he was 'pushing Cotchin around at stoppages.' I haven't seen the expected development from him, he's way behind schedule. He has had three years on Richmond's list, this year will be year four, and he's not yet best-22 calibre, despite Richmond's midfield deficiencies. He is one Richmond need to persist with and he needs games this year and hopefully with that regular senior opportunity he can enjoy a breakout 2022 season.

Until I see it from him though, as his 2021 play was of in my opinion at least a state league standard, he isn't someone if he was on the trade table I'd be pursuing.

It will be interesting with RCD and Ross alike whether they can prove themselves to be worthwhile long term pieces. All Richmond can do at this point is give them both games and see with more games injected into them whether they can improve enough. If they're not up to it or not playing to an adequate level, Richmond will need to go on a midfielder recruiting spree.

My suspicion is once Cotchin, Prestia and Dusty all retire, Richmond's midfield situation will look bleak if no other high calibre midfielders are added to the existing group.
 

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I was hoping for a breakout 2021 from RCD after reports that he was 'pushing Cotchin around at stoppages.' I haven't seen the expected development from him, he's way behind schedule. He has had three years on Richmond's list, this year will be year four, and he's not yet best-22 calibre, despite Richmond's midfield deficiencies. He is one Richmond need to persist with and he needs games this year and hopefully with that regular senior opportunity he can enjoy a breakout 2022 season.

Until I see it from him though, as his 2021 play was of in my opinion at least a state league standard, he isn't someone if he was on the trade table I'd be pursuing.

It will be interesting with RCD and Ross alike whether they can prove themselves to be worthwhile long term pieces. All Richmond can do at this point is give them both games and see with more games injected into them whether they can improve enough. If they're not up to it or not playing to an adequate level, Richmond will need to go on a midfielder recruiting spree.

My suspicion is once Cotchin, Prestia and Dusty all retire, Richmond's midfield situation will look bleak if no other high calibre midfielders are added to the existing group.
I actually agree with your assessment of the mids and my personal view is that Ross is about as good as he's ever going to get and RCD it is make or break this year (and I'm not betting on him to make it). There's still time for blokes like Martyn, Dow and Ralphsmith to potentially stake a claim given they've only had a year of hindered development, but I would have liked to have seen more focus on pure mids this draft.

While I'm not altogether too disappointed by our selections, I wish I had more insight into whether the club didn't rate the mids available (Hobbs/Erasmus or otherwise) or are taking a longer term view grabbing a tall that perhaps they viewed as best on the board and of a quality unlikely to be available next year if we bounce up the ladder.

I think most Richmond supporters can tolerate us fading back to the pack given the last five years, and historically it's to be expected, but I actually think there's a fair bit to work with in the current list. Bolton, Graham, Baker, Stack and Balta etc. are good young pieces and there'll be leadership in the form of Vlastuin, Short, Nankervis etc for at least another six year cycle.

It's largely going to be a question of whether the turnover game plan is going to be relevant going forward. Last year I certainly thought there was a swing back to the better center clearance teams taking the ascendancy due to a combination of rule changes and teams like Melbourne/Dogs/Power implementing really good plans that played to their strengths. Richmond seem to have drafted on the assumption that the turnover plan was hindered centrally through lack of available personnel as opposed to being consigned to irrelevance, or at least that's my take.
 

Heaps of fun

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Knightmare: Richmond's midfield is bad
Tigerfan1961: HOW CAN YOU SAY THAY :mad::mad:
Knightmare: Last year they were 18th in contested possessions and 17th for clearances

lol

Lost me with the follow Geelong road though. I reckon they stuffed up by passing Hobbs. Basically the perfect Cotchin replacement.
 

weltschmerz

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Knightmare: Richmond's midfield is bad
Tigerfan1961: HOW CAN YOU SAY THAY :mad::mad:
Knightmare: Last year they were 18th in contested possessions and 17th for clearances

lol

Lost me with the follow Geelong road though. I reckon they stuffed up by passing Hobbs. Basically the perfect Cotchin replacement.

How would Geelong have gotten Hobbs?
 

captain cotch 9

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Knightmare: Richmond's midfield is bad
Tigerfan1961: HOW CAN YOU SAY THAY :mad::mad:
Knightmare: Last year they were 18th in contested possessions and 17th for clearances

lol

Lost me with the follow Geelong road though. I reckon they stuffed up by passing Hobbs. Basically the perfect Cotchin replacement.
We tried to trade back up to get Hobbs.
I’m guessing that KPP are harder to find and that’s why we took Gibcus.
 

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Dr Tigris

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I was hoping for a breakout 2021 from RCD after reports that he was 'pushing Cotchin around at stoppages.' I haven't seen the expected development from him, he's way behind schedule. He has had three years on Richmond's list, this year will be year four, and he's not yet best-22 calibre, despite Richmond's midfield deficiencies. He is one Richmond need to persist with and he needs games this year and hopefully with that regular senior opportunity he can enjoy a breakout 2022 season.

Until I see it from him though, as his 2021 play was of in my opinion at least a state league standard, he isn't someone if he was on the trade table I'd be pursuing.

It will be interesting with RCD and Ross alike whether they can prove themselves to be worthwhile long term pieces. All Richmond can do at this point is give them both games and see with more games injected into them whether they can improve enough. If they're not up to it or not playing to an adequate level, Richmond will need to go on a midfielder recruiting spree.

My suspicion is once Cotchin, Prestia and Dusty all retire, Richmond's midfield situation will look bleak if no other high calibre midfielders are added to the existing group.

Apparently RCD's training has improved dramatically - training with Lambert. It's one of those interesting ones where he obviously has talent, and some amazing physical traits. But he simply cannot run the game out properly. And in the AFL that is a killer for a mid. So if he can step his AFL level form up to his VFL level then he's come good. But right now the jury is well and truly out.


On the Tiger midfield, the game plan was not to focus on contested ball etc. This worked really well because by dominating the first ball out from the contests and deliberately making it hard to have a clean first possession the Tigers played a different midfield style than other teams and won premierships off that. That style was incredibly reliant on players like Cotchin and Graham to be able to play outnumbered and not allow the contest to be a clean possession for the opposition. Once that small number of inside mids wasn't able to perform the core of the game plan collapsed. Add in injuries and 2021 showed how fragile the game plan is.

I'd say that the club knows it's weaknesses and went really hard for Hobbs. But obviously saw Gibcus as too good a player to let slide. After Hobbs there just wasn't that plyer able to do the inside role the tiger way.

Which comes back to RCD and Ross. They are the guys to do that inside role to replace Cotchin. Right now I can't see either of them getting anywhere close to his quality. So yes, the tigers have a massive hole in the middle of the team. It might be fixed by player development (a leap rather than a step forward for RCD/Ross) and/or a trade/FA.

But for me, the tiger midfield is both weak, and fairly easy to fix (in the abstract anyway).
 

Knightmare

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I actually agree with your assessment of the mids and my personal view is that Ross is about as good as he's ever going to get and RCD it is make or break this year (and I'm not betting on him to make it). There's still time for blokes like Martyn, Dow and Ralphsmith to potentially stake a claim given they've only had a year of hindered development, but I would have liked to have seen more focus on pure mids this draft.

While I'm not altogether too disappointed by our selections, I wish I had more insight into whether the club didn't rate the mids available (Hobbs/Erasmus or otherwise) or are taking a longer term view grabbing a tall that perhaps they viewed as best on the board and of a quality unlikely to be available next year if we bounce up the ladder.

I think most Richmond supporters can tolerate us fading back to the pack given the last five years, and historically it's to be expected, but I actually think there's a fair bit to work with in the current list. Bolton, Graham, Baker, Stack and Balta etc. are good young pieces and there'll be leadership in the form of Vlastuin, Short, Nankervis etc for at least another six year cycle.

It's largely going to be a question of whether the turnover game plan is going to be relevant going forward. Last year I certainly thought there was a swing back to the better center clearance teams taking the ascendancy due to a combination of rule changes and teams like Melbourne/Dogs/Power implementing really good plans that played to their strengths. Richmond seem to have drafted on the assumption that the turnover plan was hindered centrally through lack of available personnel as opposed to being consigned to irrelevance, or at least that's my take.

I do see the 'turnover game plan' remaining relevant, and as a result, I don't see Richmond dropping this year to be a bottom side. Most of scoring comes off the turnover and likely always will. It's just as with Melbourne, you want that pressure, intercepting and scoring off the turnover with a good midfield at the same time as they're the ones on the field who have the most involvements.

What Richmond miss in all of that from a 2022 competitiveness perspective is the midfield. And that's not to say everything else is perfect. From a long term perspective, Richmond are in need of a lot. Young high quality key position players will be required too as Riewoldt/Lynch/Grimes/Tarrant won't be playing forever. The young core while as you identified, there are a few, it's not the super young undeveloped guys, but more those developed guys who have had a few years in the system who look like going forward those most important pieces. And Richmond of course will be hoping Gibcus and perhaps some others from last year's draft can add to that.

My view on Richmond, and same applies for any other premiership contender past or present is they have no need to bottom out. It's an assumption that has become ingrained in the minds of the public, but it fundamentally breaks the laws of building a winning as it's with intent looking to make yourself less competitive which has a demoralising impact on a playing group v an outcome where you can improve your list via a methodology whereby you can secure value on average far exceeding the price paid, with upside dramatically higher and floors far higher than you can by selecting youth with the same pick.

Richmond didn't even need to involve themselves in this draft in any meaningful way this year. Richmond could very easily have gone aggressively after Hugh Greenwood as a DFA and taken Bailey Rogers, Blake Schlensog, Angus Baker, Ronald Fejo Jr and Casey Voss, all of whom went undrafted, as late or rookie picks. Though holding 9 and 17, I'd have been very happy with a Neil Erasmus and Matthew Johnson combination to bring in good youth given both represented at those picks outstanding value, before moving those other picks back.

Knightmare: Richmond's midfield is bad
Tigerfan1961: HOW CAN YOU SAY THAY :mad::mad:
Knightmare: Last year they were 18th in contested possessions and 17th for clearances

lol

Lost me with the follow Geelong road though. I reckon they stuffed up by passing Hobbs. Basically the perfect Cotchin replacement.

From a methodology perspective, my view is Geelong have the closest thing to the optimal formula, though even they are much less aggressive than they should be if they should be. Late and rookie draft Geelong had chances to further improve their list but decided not to, by instead chasing speculative youth.

The narrative that Geelong are too old I feel is misguided.

Apparently RCD's training has improved dramatically - training with Lambert. It's one of those interesting ones where he obviously has talent, and some amazing physical traits. But he simply cannot run the game out properly. And in the AFL that is a killer for a mid. So if he can step his AFL level form up to his VFL level then he's come good. But right now the jury is well and truly out.

On the Tiger midfield, the game plan was not to focus on contested ball etc. This worked really well because by dominating the first ball out from the contests and deliberately making it hard to have a clean first possession the Tigers played a different midfield style than other teams and won premierships off that. That style was incredibly reliant on players like Cotchin and Graham to be able to play outnumbered and not allow the contest to be a clean possession for the opposition. Once that small number of inside mids wasn't able to perform the core of the game plan collapsed. Add in injuries and 2021 showed how fragile the game plan is.

I'd say that the club knows it's weaknesses and went really hard for Hobbs. But obviously saw Gibcus as too good a player to let slide. After Hobbs there just wasn't that plyer able to do the inside role the tiger way.

Which comes back to RCD and Ross. They are the guys to do that inside role to replace Cotchin. Right now I can't see either of them getting anywhere close to his quality. So yes, the tigers have a massive hole in the middle of the team. It might be fixed by player development (a leap rather than a step forward for RCD/Ross) and/or a trade/FA.

But for me, the tiger midfield is both weak, and fairly easy to fix (in the abstract anyway).

RCD is the only for Richmond's sake I really hope comes good, as he's the one with the attributes where if he comes good, he could be a difference maker.

Richmond's premiership winning game plans were interesting and impressive for a number of reasons. The observation that Richmond won with pressure rather than winning first possession is right, though where I disagree is with the thought that Richmond are reliant on their best players to win with. Richmond won with a system that unlike the Deledio days where you either won with him or lost without him, Richmond have been able to play with great players missing and still win. Richmond's defence was weaker in 2021 and injuries hurt there along with declining play of others - Astbury in particular was a shadow of his former self. But seeing the midfield. The decline of Cotchin and Dusty. That's a killer. Dusty isn't competitive with the likes of Petracca and Bont, both of whom have far surpassed the player Dusty now at this age/stage is, no longer looking like even a top-10 player in the competition, while Cotchin has regressed to a level where he's an only average midfielder where he can still win it contested to a solid level which really now is all that allows him to play to a 'just' best-22 calibre level with his scoreboard impact, work around the ground and pressure dying off in recent years.

Richmond are at a stage where both star power and quality of good numbers through there is required. Dusty and Bolton as rotational mid/fwds are both dangerous and assets through there. Prestia still is a good mid, Cotchin is hanging on and if he declines any further is no done. Graham brings the pressure. So Richmond need more than that. It's great having the two gun mid/fwds in Dusty/Bolton, but the number of good and great midfielders needs addressing. Hugh Greenwood as a DFA and Bailey Rogers I feel would have been fantastic for that first possession winning and pressure around the contest as an upgrade on Cotchin and a Rogers who further adds to that mid/fwd rotation would have a Richmond closer to the mark. Particularly if an Erasmus and Johnson were there developing and pushing for games and looking to contend with an RCD for regular opportunity.

Midfields don't have to take forever to build. Richmond could have over the offseason built a strong midfield, but Richmond will have to live with the moves they've made and decisions they've made.

I'm not as optimistic as Richmond on the young midfielders and their scope to develop, but given Richmond recruited other types in other positions, Richmond are betting on those guys and as such they'll need games injected into them to see if they can become a part of that long term group.
 
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La Dispute

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Think Richmond made a much more considered choice and took the pragmatic view they'd need key position players to replace Astbury and eventually Riewoldt and Grimes. Lynch will be 30 next season too. On that basis (and because he is just an all-round good prospect) Gibcus was the right choice, instead of backing in a midfielder.

You can probably question the Tom Brown selection a little more, but there does look like an absence of pure mids until you get to someone like Goater and Sonsie who they took. Aside from reaching on someone like Conor McDonald, I'm not sure what else they could have done? From an outsiders perspective it actually looks like they balanced their picks reasonably well and took a few different player types to pad out their list going forward.
 

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They will need to nab at least one gun contested ball winning mid and one gun key forward in the next two years and hope that two of RCD, Dow, Sonsie, Martyn, Banks develops in the middle.

Next year we will be fine in the middle if our core stays healthy. When the whips were cracking late 2020 we were pretty good at that contested ball stuff from memory. It’s post 2023 that will be the issue if the young guys don’t develop.

Moore as a free agent (to move Balta forward), may be an option, and we should throw a stack at King from GC as well even though that would be a highly unlikely outcome.

Tom Green could come home as well and we would need to find the draft collateral to get that done.

Moore and Green in the next trade period would be tidy and a good balance for us hitting the draft so hard in 2021.
 

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Think Richmond made a much more considered choice and took the pragmatic view they'd need key position players to replace Astbury and eventually Riewoldt and Grimes. Lynch will be 30 next season too. On that basis (and because he is just an all-round good prospect) Gibcus was the right choice, instead of backing in a midfielder.

You can probably question the Tom Brown selection a little more, but there does look like an absence of pure mids until you get to someone like Goater and Sonsie who they took. Aside from reaching on someone like Conor McDonald, I'm not sure what else they could have done? From an outsiders perspective it actually looks like they balanced their picks reasonably well and took a few different player types to pad out their list going forward.

Maybe a Sheldrick over Brown would have been as close as they could get I reckon.
 

La Dispute

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Maybe a Sheldrick over Brown would have been as close as they could get I reckon.

Sheldrick looks like a nice prospect, but these kind of picks can go a few different ways. Sier was picked up later in 2015, but similar idea - big bodied mid with a lot of upside but their game doesn't necessarily translate to AFL. Ely Smith was another draft bolter who went in roughly the same range as Sheldrick who hasn't played a game in an admittedly strong Brisbane side.

Brown projects as a pretty dependable AFL player who a club can slot in at half back and develop reliably until he's a strong weekly contributor. Best case you get a Brad Sheppard style player.
 

La Dispute

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They will need to nab at least one gun contested ball winning mid and one gun key forward in the next two years and hope that two of RCD, Dow, Sonsie, Martyn, Banks develops in the middle.

Next year we will be fine in the middle if our core stays healthy. When the whips were cracking late 2020 we were pretty good at that contested ball stuff from memory. It’s post 2023 that will be the issue if the young guys don’t develop.

Moore as a free agent (to move Balta forward), may be an option, and we should throw a stack at King from GC as well even though that would be a highly unlikely outcome.

Tom Green could come home as well and we would need to find the draft collateral to get that done.

Moore and Green in the next trade period would be tidy and a good balance for us hitting the draft so hard in 2021.

I think Richmond have conceded their current window has closed and are happy to play the long game while still keeping a lot of premiership players around to assist with the transition.

Unless you’ve got a pick in the top 5 it’s not really a draft I’d be too fussed about prioritising other areas.

Would have been nice to grab someone like Callaghan, but he was never drifting out of the first few picks.

The only other player I would have considered over Gibcus is Erasmus, but it’s a fine line when you’re resetting your list for the long haul. Getting some 10-year pillars is more of a priority.

I can see Erasmus becoming an elite player though.

There’s enough young midfielders on Richmond’s list to trial over the course of a season next year. Can always look to add midfield depth in next years draft - the main thing is getting games into RCD, Dow, Ross and Ralphsmith.
 

Rich01

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I think Richmond have conceded their current window has closed and are happy to play the long game while still keeping a lot of premiership players around to assist with the transition.

Unless you’ve got a pick in the top 5 it’s not really a draft I’d be too fussed about prioritising other areas.

Would have been nice to grab someone like Callaghan, but he was never drifting out of the first few picks.

The only other player I would have considered over Gibcus is Erasmus, but it’s a fine line when you’re resetting your list for the long haul. Getting some 10-year pillars is more of a priority.

I can see Erasmus becoming an elite player though.

There’s enough young midfielders on Richmond’s list to trial over the course of a season next year. Can always look to add midfield depth in next years draft - the main thing is getting games into RCD, Dow, Ross and Ralphsmith.
I’m not sure they have conceded have they? Otherwise they wouldn’t have picked Tarrant up and they probably would have retired Cotchin, Edwards and Riewoldt. They will be banking on getting their stars back to full fitness for one more tilt before blooding the next batch coming through.

I’m not sure how strong that next batch is, but it will be tough replacing a multiple Coleman medalist, a triple premiership Brownlow medal winning captain and a likely 300 gamer. Tough to do relying on late first round and second round picks.

In regards to our draftees, Gibcus I was a big fan of. At a coterie draft night the club was very high on him, and were excited about what he could bring to the team long term. Likened to Balta by the club pre draft, so we will wait to see how he develops. They also rated Brown over Sonsie, but it was a close call. Impressing the most in early training sessions and likened to a cross between Houli and Tom Stewart (not in quality but playing style). I like what I see of him at training, and he’s a smokey play round one (would mean Stack or Baker will need to vacate the backline)

Sonsie was the big drop and the one we tried to trade for Freos pick at the start of the second round but they didn’t bite. If he gets his attitude right he could be a player, but that’s the big question mark.

The other two were injury and exposure gambles. Wait and see at that range. Likelihood around those picks says one will make and and one won’t.

I do agree that getting games into the young mids in 2022 will be key though and how they do this and play their best 22 will be the biggest challenge.

On Erasmus I did like him as well.
I wanted Finn, Ward, Gibcus, Hobbs, Erasmus, Sinn in that order. I think all those six have the potential to be elite, and looking forward to tracking their careers.
 

Dr Tigris

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I do see the 'turnover game plan' remaining relevant, and as a result, I don't see Richmond dropping this year to be a bottom side. Most of scoring comes off the turnover and likely always will. It's just as with Melbourne, you want that pressure, intercepting and scoring off the turnover with a good midfield at the same time as they're the ones on the field who have the most involvements.

What Richmond miss in all of that from a 2022 competitiveness perspective is the midfield. And that's not to say everything else is perfect. From a long term perspective, Richmond are in need of a lot. Young high quality key position players will be required too as Riewoldt/Lynch/Grimes/Tarrant won't be playing forever. The young core while as you identified, there are a few, it's not the super young undeveloped guys, but more those developed guys who have had a few years in the system who look like going forward those most important pieces. And Richmond of course will be hoping Gibcus and perhaps some others from last year's draft can add to that.

My view on Richmond, and same applies for any other premiership contender past or present is they have no need to bottom out. It's an assumption that has become ingrained in the minds of the public, but it fundamentally breaks the laws of building a winning as it's with intent looking to make yourself less competitive which has a demoralising impact on a playing group v an outcome where you can improve your list via a methodology whereby you can secure value on average far exceeding the price paid, with upside dramatically higher and floors far higher than you can by selecting youth with the same pick.

Richmond didn't even need to involve themselves in this draft in any meaningful way this year. Richmond could very easily have gone aggressively after Hugh Greenwood as a DFA and taken Bailey Rogers, Blake Schlensog, Angus Baker, Ronald Fejo Jr and Casey Voss, all of whom went undrafted, as late or rookie picks. Though holding 9 and 17, I'd have been very happy with a Neil Erasmus and Matthew Johnson combination to bring in good youth given both represented at those picks outstanding value, before moving those other picks back.



From a methodology perspective, my view is Geelong have the closest thing to the optimal formula, though even they are much less aggressive than they should be if they should be. Late and rookie draft Geelong had chances to further improve their list but decided not to, by instead chasing speculative youth.

The narrative that Geelong are too old I feel is misguided.



RCD is the only for Richmond's sake I really hope comes good, as he's the one with the attributes where if he comes good, he could be a difference maker.

Richmond's premiership winning game plans were interesting and impressive for a number of reasons. The observation that Richmond won with pressure rather than winning first possession is right, though where I disagree is with the thought that Richmond are reliant on their best players to win with. Richmond won with a system that unlike the Deledio days where you either won with him or lost without him, Richmond have been able to play with great players missing and still win. Richmond's defence was weaker in 2021 and injuries hurt there along with declining play of others - Astbury in particular was a shadow of his former self. But seeing the midfield. The decline of Cotchin and Dusty. That's a killer. Dusty isn't competitive with the likes of Petracca and Bont, both of whom have far surpassed the player Dusty now at this age/stage is, no longer looking like even a top-10 player in the competition, while Cotchin has regressed to a level where he's an only average midfielder where he can still win it contested to a solid level which really now is all that allows him to play to a 'just' best-22 calibre level with his scoreboard impact, work around the ground and pressure dying off in recent years.

Richmond are at a stage where both star power and quality of good numbers through there is required. Dusty and Bolton as rotational mid/fwds are both dangerous and assets through there. Prestia still is a good mid, Cotchin is hanging on and if he declines any further is no done. Graham brings the pressure. So Richmond need more than that. It's great having the two gun mid/fwds in Dusty/Bolton, but the number of good and great midfielders needs addressing. Hugh Greenwood as a DFA and Bailey Rogers I feel would have been fantastic for that first possession winning and pressure around the contest as an upgrade on Cotchin and a Rogers who further adds to that mid/fwd rotation would have a Richmond closer to the mark. Particularly if an Erasmus and Johnson were there developing and pushing for games and looking to contend with an RCD for regular opportunity.

Midfields don't have to take forever to build. Richmond could have over the offseason built a strong midfield, but Richmond will have to live with the moves they've made and decisions they've made.

I'm not as optimistic as Richmond on the young midfielders and their scope to develop, but given Richmond recruited other types in other positions, Richmond are betting on those guys and as such they'll need games injected into them to see if they can become a part of that long term group.

Thanks for the reply KM.

I think my main point is that although you are right in some ways. If the Tigers can grab someone like Green from GWS next year (for type of player), pick up a quality KPF in the draft then they suddenly start to have a decently balanced list.

To me the tigers list is, for young guys, relatively shallow and not well balanced. But the 25-30 age group is actually quite strong and deep. The weakness is that the A grade players are mainly 30+ now. I don't think that picking up decent older players cheap will fix that. What the club is doing is trying to fix short term issues whilst rebuilding the list from the draft - unlike the other dynasty teams so far. So what I see is 2-3 year problem of the list becoming unbalanced and losing quality. (Which I suspect Geelong will face very soon if not this year). But I also think that a couple of good pick ups = rebuild (in the short term - a la Geelong). If the club can pick up a few more key pieces in the next couple of years then, with some good development, the Tigers will be back somewhere around contention at the same time as the big $ from Dusty etc come off the books. That then leads to the ability to go hard for FA's. Anyway, that's how I see it - a 3-5 year plan to be back in the window.
 
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