Draft Watcher Knightmare's 2021 Draft Almanac

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eDPS

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So does Isaiah Dudley get drafted?

Early days but he looked OK first up in a pretty ordinary team.
He is shorter than Daniel so it’s certainly going to be difficult but from what I’ve seen of him it looks like he has the athleticism to not only make it on a list but he has the ability to play as a small defender and small forward. Draft position is hard since I think this draft bats fairly deep but I would be suprised if he doesn’t find a home at the end of the year
 

THE_GUN

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When talking crumbing forwards, height has never been a problem at any stage in the history of the competition. Be it Eddie Betts, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. Or going back generations Cyril, Jeff Farmer, Stephen Milne. And I could list names all day. Height isn't a limiter or disadvantage to play the position/role. I don't believe it ever will. Pickett is just the latest in that series of successes by position/role.

It's more-so in other positions and roles height is a limiting factor. Doesn't mean it can't work. Caleb Daniel, Liam Baker, Shai Bolton, Dion Prestia, Dayne Zorko and Errol Gulden are all showing there can be exceptions. You just wouldn't want more than one of these in any other given line or you could get exposed. And those of this kind of quality are few and far between in these other positions anyway.

Do you have a view with the smalls regarding scope to develop once drafted? Do you see their ceiling as being lower? Have a shorter window to improve? Are you drafting them on who they are today? How do you analyse a sub 180cm prospect and determine whether they're worth drafting? Or do you treat them as exactly the same as everyone else and see no limitation cap as to their ceiling and window of time to develop?
I'd also be interested in the views on this idea from other junior talent watchers also on this one.
Richmond have Houli , Baker , Short in the backline
Castagna , Rioli , Aarts in the foward line
Prestia , Bolton , Graham , Lambert , Edwards

All above players 181cm or shorter

Think it really depends on the game plan and also the role they are required to play and quality smalls have always been an asset for decades going back to Richmond and Carlton mosquito fleet days.
 

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tenderwarrior

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Richmond have Houli , Baker , Short in the backline
Castagna , Rioli , Aarts in the foward line
Prestia , Bolton , Graham , Lambert , Edwards

All above players 181cm or shorter

Think it really depends on the game plan and also the role they are required to play and quality smalls have always been an asset for decades going back to Richmond and Carlton mosquito fleet days.
Yes, but how many are under 175cm? Isn't that the discussion? An extra 2 inches makes a world of difference.
 

Knightmare

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Richmond have Houli , Baker , Short in the backline
Castagna , Rioli , Aarts in the foward line
Prestia , Bolton , Graham , Lambert , Edwards

All above players 181cm or shorter

Think it really depends on the game plan and also the role they are required to play and quality smalls have always been an asset for decades going back to Richmond and Carlton mosquito fleet days.
Some names there that momentarily escaped me in Short and Lambert.

When you go through the names though, that is a very short group.

Bolton inside and Lambert outside. That can work. What is surprising is Richmond's defence can function with both Short and Baker, as I'd be looking at two guys that height and thinking they'd get exposed.

Aarts for me is still a question to hold is spot in the long run, but that is an unusually high concentration of smalls. It speaks to the story of it doesn't matter how small you are, as long as you're good enough.

It's incredible even knowing Richmond's gameplan that it works, in defence given all the forward pressure up the field, I'd be thinking logically that I'd be wanting more height and intercepting types in defence rather than smalls to capitalise on that opportunity to intercept and score off of the turnover. But then again, maybe it allows them to coexist and not get exposed? It's a curious group, albeit one that plays an ideal game plan, and executes it ideally as a group.
 

Great8

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Geez, Crows look to have a beauty in O’Loughlin. Just silky with ball in hands and reads the play so well
 

THE_GUN

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Yes, but how many are under 175cm? Isn't that the discussion? An extra 2 inches makes a world of difference.
Liam Baker , Shai Bolton , Dion Prestia are all 175 or under with another 3 177cm

2 inches make absolutely no difference to these players and if quality 2 inches is nothing
 

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Knightmare

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Any intention to do a revised top 10 or so now that you've actually been able to see some of theses draftees in action a little more?
I'll be producing monthly power rankings for ESPN, and for the next couple of months I'll be adding an additional five to give a feel for my plans. If there is the interest, I might complete for my top-10 so far a tier list for my YouTube.

With one game played for some, two for others at the time of writing, there would be extremely minimal movement.

No radical movements needed at this point.

One of the early talking points seems to have been my placement of Sinn at #7. Two games in, my view remains he's where he should be. Still has scope to move up my draft board, particularly if he pushes more through the midfield and shows he can win a good amount of his own ball, but he's mostly stationed in defence at the moment and playing well without performing to the standard of others two games in, albeit some of the glimpses from him have been special. Of the Victorian's, I still favour certainly Daicos and Sonsie, and Rachele I'll need to see how he goes today to see if I continue to see his game favourably also. The interstaters I'm still liking. The 8/9/10 spots I'm open to moving around more-so than that top-7, but again, not entirely dissatisfied with any of those names. Andrews is the most likely to drop from that group if I had to nominate one name, and maybe by the end of the month there are some who have clearly outperformed him, but I'll have to see a few more games from others to see who if anyone else is clearly better and should displace him inside that top-10.
 

WileyWiggins

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I'll be producing monthly power rankings for ESPN, and for the next couple of months I'll be adding an additional five to give a feel for my plans. If there is the interest, I might complete for my top-10 so far a tier list for my YouTube.

With one game played for some, two for others at the time of writing, there would be extremely minimal movement.

No radical movements needed at this point.

One of the early talking points seems to have been my placement of Sinn at #7. Two games in, my view remains he's where he should be. Still has scope to move up my draft board, particularly if he pushes more through the midfield and shows he can win a good amount of his own ball, but he's mostly stationed in defence at the moment and playing well without performing to the standard of others two games in, albeit some of the glimpses from him have been special. Of the Victorian's, I still favour certainly Daicos and Sonsie, and Rachele I'll need to see how he goes today to see if I continue to see his game favourably also. The interstaters I'm still liking. The 8/9/10 spots I'm open to moving around more-so than that top-7, but again, not entirely dissatisfied with any of those names. Andrews is the most likely to drop from that group if I had to nominate one name, and maybe by the end of the month there are some who have clearly outperformed him, but I'll have to see a few more games from others to see who if anyone else is clearly better and should displace him inside that top-10.
sorry, I meant for the 2020 draft. My bad.
 

Knightmare

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sorry, I meant for the 2020 draft. My bad.
A good question. I will produce a video along those lines at some point. Perhaps mid yearish might be good?

An early spoiler for you given you're an Essendon fan is that Nik Cox will be higher than I've had him. He has been terrific these last two games and is looking much better than I could have imagined. How high, you'd just have to wait and see, but if he continues playing the way he is, he'd have to be inside that top-5 as a bare minimum.
 

nelk boys

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Just wondering on your opinion, on Hawthorn's upcoming rebuild. How do you think we should increase the amount of talent we have on the list, what calls on players do you think need to be made and what players should we consider trading, which would have value.
 

Knightmare

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Just wondering on your opinion, on Hawthorn's upcoming rebuild. How do you think we should increase the amount of talent we have on the list, what calls on players do you think need to be made and what players should we consider trading, which would have value.
I like a lot of the things Hawthorn have been doing already.

As a general system for how I'd go about things. I'd like for Hawthorn to retain first round picks if not add more where practical.

With other picks though I'd favour either taking mature agers late/rookie (these are the highest % drafting decisions) and I'd be looking to raid undervalued and underutilised talent on rival lists (they're everywhere if you have someone looking for them) and look for players who are lock and load best-22 players (cost must be less than a first round pick). And if it's a free agent, go again for those who won't be costly and aren't in high demand.

I feel like that way you can get the most out of your salary cap, still get high end talent through the draft, maximise the return from picks used in the draft while also adding undervalued pieces through the draft who can further improve that best-22. I'd also be exploring delisted free agents and see if there are any clear-cut best-22 types there or veterans cut too soon. It's a best of all worlds approach to maximise each investment decision.

As a universal concept, this would across all club situations be my approach, albeit if contending perhaps more aggressive in going after win-now talent.

For determining the specifics on what to target. I'd be writing out a best 22 and bolding those names who are clear-cut best-22 and I'd be colouring all those under a certain target age when you determine that premiership window to be. Those bolded, coloured players would then be thought of from a long-term building perspective as those players to build around and those bolded more generally as those from a win-now perspective. And it's about particularly through opposition talent ID finding those pieces to fill those short and long term needs, and positioning yourself with any first or second round picks you're holding to take the best available player.

From a contractual perspective, I also see numerous inefficiencies from and this applies to all AFL clubs in approach. Specifically, clubs shouldn't be signing any players to a new contract until the current contract expires. You don't know if a player will do their ACL the next week after signing a big deal. And with all the coaches being fired soon after signing new contracts, it's not using your money wisely. I'd also play it very conservatively with the number of years I'd be awarding players, and ensuring there is no chance I would be delisting anyone during the time contracted (and again same applies with coaching and other club staff). If anyone wants too much money, or too many years, they can go, and that just means increased opportunity to add additional undervalued talent from rival lists - and again this relies heavily on correct talent ID.

I'd have a club set up with 1/3 of resources into scouting U18s. 1/3 of resources into scouting AFL talent. And 1/3 of resources into scouting mature age AFL talent. I feel like clubs relatively put too much time into scouting junior talent, and do so at the expense of other opportunities. eg. Geelong only needed Tim Kelly and Tom Stewart through the draft to gain more than enough through the draft over their last five year period, and they've been able to add Tom Atkins on top of that as a bonus who looks like another good pieces since his move into defence. Look at how Hawthorn have remained great these past 10 years, Sydney 10 years ago how they were trading for the likes of Mumford and Josh Kennedy. Those undervalued guys can dramatically move that needle. And as with mature age recruiting, clubs aren't putting nearly enough time into rival talent ID. It's the ultimate needs filling opportunity.

--
Hawthorn's list is somewhat hamstrung by the age demographics currently in place.

If I wanted to extract a great deal of value though. James Worpel would be one of the players I'd be first to move. Early bloomer, has had early and a great deal of success. Assuming he has a strong season he'll extract a great deal of value. Hawthorn have too many inside mids, and vanilla inside mids who are more good than great, and it shows when looking at the success or lack thereof of that midfield last year. Jaeger O'Meara if he can get through the year healthy and continue his good start is another I'd be open to moving if he can attract a good return. O'Meara's body I don't trust, and I can't help but think if he could be sold this year, it's a sell at the high point opportunity.

If I wanted a replacement midfielder, I'd be looking at someone like an unused Riley Collier-Dawkins if he can be had cheaply given this is his third year and he has yet to debut. If he can be had for a nothing late pick, he could be a bargain get as a tall midfield who is really lively around the ball and has the athleticism and skills to go with ball winning. Will Gould would be fantastic in defence as a strong bodied defender with a long and damaging kick on him. Again, no games, a couple of years in the system, if he can be had for a late pick, good get. They're the kinds of guys I'd be going for. Hawthorn need youth, so if good youth can be had, that is unwanted and not a priority to their current clubs as per these guys, they're the types I'd be going after. Western Bulldogs have dropped Patrick Lipinski. As a combo mid/fwd, he'd be perfect and adds a great deal of contract, and could presumably being on the fringe at the selection table be had at a cheap price, and again, fits the age demographic profile of the list and needs greater inside midfield opportunity (something the Dogs don't have enough of).
 

nelk boys

Debutant
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57
79
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Hawthorn
I like a lot of the things Hawthorn have been doing already.

As a general system for how I'd go about things. I'd like for Hawthorn to retain first round picks if not add more where practical.

With other picks though I'd favour either taking mature agers late/rookie (these are the highest % drafting decisions) and I'd be looking to raid undervalued and underutilised talent on rival lists (they're everywhere if you have someone looking for them) and look for players who are lock and load best-22 players (cost must be less than a first round pick). And if it's a free agent, go again for those who won't be costly and aren't in high demand.

I feel like that way you can get the most out of your salary cap, still get high end talent through the draft, maximise the return from picks used in the draft while also adding undervalued pieces through the draft who can further improve that best-22. I'd also be exploring delisted free agents and see if there are any clear-cut best-22 types there or veterans cut too soon. It's a best of all worlds approach to maximise each investment decision.

As a universal concept, this would across all club situations be my approach, albeit if contending perhaps more aggressive in going after win-now talent.

For determining the specifics on what to target. I'd be writing out a best 22 and bolding those names who are clear-cut best-22 and I'd be colouring all those under a certain target age when you determine that premiership window to be. Those bolded, coloured players would then be thought of from a long-term building perspective as those players to build around and those bolded more generally as those from a win-now perspective. And it's about particularly through opposition talent ID finding those pieces to fill those short and long term needs, and positioning yourself with any first or second round picks you're holding to take the best available player.

From a contractual perspective, I also see numerous inefficiencies from and this applies to all AFL clubs in approach. Specifically, clubs shouldn't be signing any players to a new contract until the current contract expires. You don't know if a player will do their ACL the next week after signing a big deal. And with all the coaches being fired soon after signing new contracts, it's not using your money wisely. I'd also play it very conservatively with the number of years I'd be awarding players, and ensuring there is no chance I would be delisting anyone during the time contracted (and again same applies with coaching and other club staff). If anyone wants too much money, or too many years, they can go, and that just means increased opportunity to add additional undervalued talent from rival lists - and again this relies heavily on correct talent ID.

I'd have a club set up with 1/3 of resources into scouting U18s. 1/3 of resources into scouting AFL talent. And 1/3 of resources into scouting mature age AFL talent. I feel like clubs relatively put too much time into scouting junior talent, and do so at the expense of other opportunities. eg. Geelong only needed Tim Kelly and Tom Stewart through the draft to gain more than enough through the draft over their last five year period, and they've been able to add Tom Atkins on top of that as a bonus who looks like another good pieces since his move into defence. Look at how Hawthorn have remained great these past 10 years, Sydney 10 years ago how they were trading for the likes of Mumford and Josh Kennedy. Those undervalued guys can dramatically move that needle. And as with mature age recruiting, clubs aren't putting nearly enough time into rival talent ID. It's the ultimate needs filling opportunity.

--
Hawthorn's list is somewhat hamstrung by the age demographics currently in place.

If I wanted to extract a great deal of value though. James Worpel would be one of the players I'd be first to move. Early bloomer, has had early and a great deal of success. Assuming he has a strong season he'll extract a great deal of value. Hawthorn have too many inside mids, and vanilla inside mids who are more good than great, and it shows when looking at the success or lack thereof of that midfield last year. Jaeger O'Meara if he can get through the year healthy and continue his good start is another I'd be open to moving if he can attract a good return. O'Meara's body I don't trust, and I can't help but think if he could be sold this year, it's a sell at the high point opportunity.

If I wanted a replacement midfielder, I'd be looking at someone like an unused Riley Collier-Dawkins if he can be had cheaply given this is his third year and he has yet to debut. If he can be had for a nothing late pick, he could be a bargain get as a tall midfield who is really lively around the ball and has the athleticism and skills to go with ball winning. Will Gould would be fantastic in defence as a strong bodied defender with a long and damaging kick on him. Again, no games, a couple of years in the system, if he can be had for a late pick, good get. They're the kinds of guys I'd be going for. Hawthorn need youth, so if good youth can be had, that is unwanted and not a priority to their current clubs as per these guys, they're the types I'd be going after. Western Bulldogs have dropped Patrick Lipinski. As a combo mid/fwd, he'd be perfect and adds a great deal of contract, and could presumably being on the fringe at the selection table be had at a cheap price, and again, fits the age demographic profile of the list and needs greater inside midfield opportunity (something the Dogs don't have enough of).
Interesting, what sort of value do you think Worpel and O'Meara could get if they continue with their good form?
 

Knightmare

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Hey knightmare, can you please give us a quick recap on eastern ranges and there draft prospects ?
Tyler Sonsie is the star. He might be Victoria's best prospect. Switched on in the third quarter and had a number of really influential moments. He's one of the premier mids in this draft and view him favourably to a lot of the other Victorians who have been publicly overhyped by comparison.

The others are more chances than certainties.

Tyreece Leiu is the most likely. 194cm and can push through the midfield as a ball winner but then also go forward and be a threat. I would have liked more impact from him on the weekend, but he's one to track with interest as he certainly is the most intriguing type.

Corey Preston as an overage medium marking forward is a piece though was quiet on the weekend but excellent in round 1.

Marc Massarotti is a nice forward and reads the flight of the ball exceptionally well, strong mark. He was a threat i50 on the weekend.

Jake Arundell has a good deal of nip to him. Tiny at 169cm, but has the speed, agility and energy to his game.

Interesting, what sort of value do you think Worpel and O'Meara could get if they continue with their good form?
You always have to go look for previous cases.

I'm expecting several salary dumps and clubs struggling to pay their players this year (think Collingwood last year), so there might be some lower than normal valuations for stars. *I'd only advise Hawthorn to move either if the returns are comparable to where I'd view their value as being.

Dylan Shiel could be an example player, although three years older than Worpel, and in my view the superior player, Worpel I'd be looking for a return around that mark or just below. Shiel attracted pick 9 + a future first for himself and a future second. So if Hawthorn were to attract a top-10 pick and some kind of pick upgrade, that might be around the mark I'd explore, or perhaps a top-10 pick and an underutilised player that I value more highly than the other club.

O'Meara given his injury history and more advanced age would be worth less. Tom Mitchell who at the time with Sydney was underutilised and a lot younger upon his move to Hawthorn, I'd be looking at a return of similar currency. If I could have a top-15 pick or equivalent level deal, that would for me be around the mark I'd explore with O'Meara. And that pick could always be traded down if it means picking up other undervalued talents who can add to Hawthorn's best-22.

Hawthorn aren't in any urgent position to move any of the players, it's more-so due to a surplus of mids (whenever you have a surplus of a particular type, that's the best type to move on - or alternatively target from rival teams if they have a surplus of something) who are pure mids and don't have a great deal of versatility to their games, that's why I'd be promoting a move of one if not two of the existing mids and looking for that something different.
 

weltschmerz

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Hawthorn aren't in any urgent position to move any of the players, it's more-so due to a surplus of mids (whenever you have a surplus of a particular type, that's the best type to move on - or alternatively target from rival teams if they have a surplus of something) who are pure mids and don't have a great deal of versatility to their games, that's why I'd be promoting a move of one if not two of the existing mids and looking for that something different.
Think the Dogs could do with moving on a mid or half-back? I know you said we could trade out Lipinski, do you think there's anyone else we could move on for a decent return? And is there anyone you can see us targeting? I know there's talk we want Fischer McAsey.

If Rhylee West was anyone else I think he'd probably have requested a trade.
 
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Knightmare

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Think the Dogs could do with moving on a mid or half-back? I know you said we could trade out Lipinski, do you think there's anyone else we could move on for a decent return? And is there anyone you can see us targeting? I know there's talk we want Fischer McAsey.
Ultimately it's those outside or on the edge of the best 22 who will get moved.

Jason Johannisen given he wasn't named round 1 could be one, albeit at his age value return would be limited. Mitch Wallis and Rhylee West I'd target. Lipinski who I've already mentioned. They're all guys I'd target if I'm a rival list manager. Josh Schache I'd be somewhat curious about trying in an alternative position. Either wing or key defence I'd consider, though more-so a possible as a rookie if I don't see mature age opportunities that would fit my list profile. Josh Dunkley if I needed a ball winning mid I'd go aggressively after given the Dogs have too many mids and have been unable as a result to consistently give him the midfield minutes he needs to maximise his game which makes me think he could be had for what he would if he played for a team where he could be featured - think Tom Mitchell at Sydney.

Probably doesn't help the Dogs so much with these types then being possible cheaper than they should be gets for others. But I'd probably say Josh Dunkley is one where if you get rid of him, he opens up more midfield minutes for those others who need it to maximise their games, and it could be a trade that allows for some chemistry additions who can add something different in other positions to better balance the field. Could a return such as from the Dayne Beams trade be extracted? Something like a top-10 pick, a pick in the 20-30 range, and a player? Or maybe I go after players that could make for something like a similar value package trade.
If dealing with Essendon I'd be going after Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti. He'd be that ideal ground level threat. Could Michael Hurley be available given Essendon's overboard surplus of talls and the questions around how he'd look upon return, if he returns? He'd look great at full-back and be a great complement to Keath, to allow him to focus on intercepting. If Essendon threw those two in, and a strong pick, that could be a good way to patch up some list holes and better balance the best-22 and improve the club's draft position. That's the kind of win-win outcome you could look for, when you can help yourself and the other team improve that best-22 balance to maximise your other players more and let them play the way they want to play.

Two I'd personally be open to moving if I was the Dogs for the right return are Weightman and Richards. Weightman I don't see as a best-22 piece, and Richards hasn't improved since he has entered the competition and for mine is an adequate but limited outside player. They're types where if I could get a return for them, or incorporate them into a deal to get some kind of favourable return based on my own evaluation of their talents, I'd be looking into that.

McAsey I'd explore for the right price, but I probably wouldn't pay what would be asked. He's someone I'd be looking to get on the cheap given his less than impressive start to his career.
 

wizzard400

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Bit of a broad question, but the cuts to the football department soft cap, how do you think it will affect recruiting and scouting? Do you think drafting and recruiting strategies will be altered because of it?

We know that the cuts to the NAB League will put it behind the SANFL and WAFL in terms of player development, but the other side of that coin is that surely there will be good players that will slide down the draft?
 

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