Sam was awarded All Australian honours in 2016 after a strong performance in the National Championships as a bottom ager, after impressive ruckwork and a dominant performance up forward against the Allies. He averaged 10 disposals, 4 marks and kicked 5 goals in his 3 matches. He followed that up with another strong performance at the Championships in 2017, averaging 14 disposals, 3.5 marks and 17 hitouts, to become the first dual All Australian in a number of years. His form at TAC Cup level with Eastern Ranges was mixed, but ultimately he averaged a strong 16 disposals and 24 hitouts a game, whilst averaging over 3 clearances and kicking 17 goals in 14 matches.
203cm natural Ruckman who can play as a leading Full Forward as well. Has a medium sized leap off his left foot but has great reach which allows clean tap work with his right hand. Is capable of directing taps to hot spots or to teammates. Whilst he will improve his core strength in time, he is capable of keeping front position at stoppages which will continue to give him an advantage in the future. He is capable of keeping those long arms free when getting tackled which allows him to handball effectively. Physically he lacks pace and agility at full speed, but does have some good pace off the mark which allows him to get a free run at the ball when playing up forward. He leaps into the ball and tries to mark on the chest as opposed to with the hands out in front. His kicking action is awkward, kind of like Trengoves, but is effective. He kicks regular clean drop punts and does have an accurate kick for goal. Some have queried his desire at times and he often looks laconic out on the ground.
Draft Range: 6-20
Sam on his day can be a very damaging tall. He can impact in the ruck and he is just as capable of impacting up forward. Questions over his work rate are fair but he has the runs on the board. He would be a slim chance of going to Collingwood at 6, but the Dogs at 9 will be the first team to seriously look at him and would sign off on an impressive tall recruiting campaign in 2017. If he falls past there, GWS at 11 & Adelaide at 12 would be keen as long term replacements for their stand in rucks, Sydney at 14 would look at him and if he is there at the Dogs second pick at 16, its hard to see them overlooking him a 2nd time.
9/6/99 202.7cm 92.6kgs will need to be put on a red meat diet
"Sam is interesting because in five years time he could be the best ruckmen ever or some people think he might be on the scrapheap by then. His stats are extraordinary and he's got that much upside its not funny but he's just got to understand the requirements and actually put everything into place. Tap work is good, he's improving around the ground and he's just got to understand the game a bit more. Just a big kid and if he could get to a place where he has a good role model as a ruckman then that would really help him. Ability wise he's a first rounder but whether a club pulls the trigger on him that early is another thing." Eastern Rangers Darren Bewick.
Out of 5 5 elite 4.5 Excellent 4 Above average 3-3.5 Competent 2.5 Below average
Good to at least hear Parker confess that we didn't really need a ruck. So at least he didn't go out hunting it. That makes me happy because if he was picked on needs I'd be worried. However we've obviously picked him because he waz too good to refuse so that's a great start.
Positives: He's only a year behind Ladhams in the race to be our future #1 ruck. (Billy is a #2 ruck/fwd for mine). He's the sort of tall you want in a ruck and looks like he's got some really good tap work. And He can mark
Development concern: He's 3 deep in a ruck queue in the SANFL this year and likely to be playing as our #1 forward. Given that we've drafted in no support. That's going to be a tough gig.