Draft Expert PMBangers' 2021 Draft Board - Come for the R1 phantom (post #1591), stay for the Simpsons references

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  • PMBangers

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    Rankings

    (02/07/21)

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    (02/08/21)

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    (01/09/2021)

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    Phantom Draft - Round 1
  • PMBangers

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    Round 1 Phantom Draft

    Round 1.PNG

    (MORE IN DEPTH WRITE UPS TO COME OVER THE WEEK)

    PICK 1 - North Melbourne
    Jason Horne-Francis | South Adelaide/ SA
    185 cm | 78 kg
    Midfielder/ Forward


    Easiest pick of the draft really. There's been so much focus on Jason that nothing I say, positive or negative, will be new and at this rate I feel like most people have seen his games that were at least on Channel 7. The kids a beast and as fun as it's been to have the debates about he and Daicos, I think both are set to shine at the next level and it's going to be a fun battle for the next 15 odd years to watch unfold.

    For North Melbourne specifically, I think this caps off what has been a very quick and effective midfield rebuild, they already have the Simpkin's, LDU's and Thomas's coming into their own, and with the support of Powell, Phillips and now JHF they might just have the best midfield in the comp in 5 years

    PICK 2 - Western Bulldogs (Matched Bid) [Lose picks 23, 43, 44, 45, 53. Surplus of 135 Points]
    Sam Darcy | Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC Metro
    204 cm | 73 kg
    Tall Utility/ Ruck


    One of the many considerations for Pick 2 was who would be bid on first out of Darcy and Daicos, I think whoever ends up with the pick will be bidding on both, and if they don't it'll be disappointing to all onlookers that don't follow the Dogs or the Pies. I guess my main reasoning for bidding on Darcy first comes down to the rarity of dominant junior KPP's in any draft, let alone this one, and if a team is bidding to shake one loose I think Darcy is the one you'd want to test the most

    I've had my concerns over his speed for a top level KPF, and I still do as defenders get closer to his height in the years to come, but being 204 cm is a decent enough compensation for lack of burst speed, to combine with his smarts and agility. I'd prefer to see him as a KPD personally given how well Naughton goes with his contested pack marks, but there's no way for the Dogs to lose with any combination they try of Darcy, JUH and Naughton on field

    PICK 3 - Collingwood (Matched Bid) [Lose Picks 36, 38, 40, 43, 45. Surplus of idk, like 500 points]
    Nick Daicos | Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC Metro
    183 cm | 72 kg
    Midfielder


    Everyone knows how much of the ball Daicos racks up each week, he's the closest thing to an instinctive footballer in the draft with his positioning and seemingly subconscious running patterns. One thing I think has been oversold in regards to Daicos is how much he sticks to the outside, much like a Zach Merret or Jack Macrae (not a play style comparison btw) who lean to the outside, Daicos is more than capable of winning it in tight averaging over 12 contested possessions a game, as a percentage that may not be flattering to some but it's on par with Josh Ward in terms of raw numbers

    Big picture for Collingwood is Daicos can play ******* anywhere, he's such a natural that he just gets what he needs to do in every situation, and I think paired with a guy like McInnes/ Lipinski in the long run in the engine room he'll be a very dangerous player, it's a big call but I think he could emulate someone like Petracca, but without the raw burst power he has

    PICK 4 - GWS
    Mac Andrew | Dandenong Stingrays/ VIC Country
    200 cm | 80 kg (Speculatively)
    Ruck/ Tall Forward


    The other consideration for Pick 2 here was whether I do trades within this phantom, but * that noise. Essentially I don't think GWS will be taking the second open pick of the night, but I think the player selected remains the same if he's available. Sure there are worries about Mac's capacity to put on size and whether that'll affect his play style/ athleticism, but I think it's a worthwhile risk. He's shown commitment to gaining size and that'll hold him in good stead at the next level, where I think he'll become something we haven't quite seen before as a Ruck/ Forward

    Simply put, Mac's combination of ball skills, versatility, mobility, height and athleticism are unmatched and he has the capacity to be a very special player, I've seen a bit of talk about 'he'll be there at their second pick, no one else will touch him' which I think is underselling what he is, he'll go top 10 regardless of if GWS take him, and wherever he ends up could very well get an absolute steal


    PICK 5 - Gold Coast SUNS
    Finn Callaghan | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    189 cm | 82 kg
    Midfielder


    Pretty simple here, I know they need a KPP and Gibcus is right in this range but I think they'd prefer Callaghan above all else (well, except for JHF). It's hard to really fairly analyse Callaghan, he's my absolute favourite in the draft and I haven't been able to understand the concerns on his contested work, or I even saw work rate as a criticism which is wildly inaccurate imo.

    The absolute lowest end of Callaghan's development range that I can see is that he'll still be a solid Winger or back flanker with his athleticism, endurance and damaging kick, and the top of his range is Bont-esque, maybe with less scoreboard impact. Does it throw off the SUNS list balance even more? Probably, but lets face it there's going o be plenty of giant prospects coming through in the next few years, they can probably afford to hold off for a little bit

    PICK 6 - Adelaide
    Josh Rachele | Murray Bushrangers/ VIC Country
    180 cm | 78 kg
    Small Forward/ Midfielder


    The links between the Crows and Rachele have been consistently getting louder and louder over the past month, and it's hard to ignore at this stage. Whilst I'm not his biggest fan, I can't deny that he's arguably the best 'match winner' type of player in the draft, when Rachele is on he is genuinely the best prospect in the pool bar none, the issue is that doesn't happen too often.

    In terms of Adelaide here, Rachele is already an upgrade on guys like Rowe and McAdam imo as a small forward, he's ability to mix the traditional Small Forward crumbing and the new age small marking target is unmatched and will make him hard to play on at the next level. I have concerns on his defensive work and whether it's too high for a small forward, but ultimately I think clubs should go for the player they like regardless of whether it's a 'reach'

    I also don't think many around this range actually hit what the Crows need, a bigger mid with pace like Goater would be good, but would there be more value in trading back for him? Ultimately I think the Crows are the most likely to move up to Pick 2 and select Callaghan

    PICK 7 - Hawthorn
    Ben Hobbs | GWV Rebels/ VIC Country
    183 cm | 80 kg
    Midfielder


    I've seen a lot of Hawks fans prefer Ward here, honestly I don't think they're quite at the point of being picky in their rebuild yet, and their current contested ball brigade isn't one that fills me with hope heading into the future. Guys like Worpel and Newcombe look to be good role players, but I think their scope is limited, and Hobbs comes in as a guy that may already be better than the both of them.

    Don't see too much issue with Hobbs' speed or spread from the contest like some others do, as that bread and butter inside bull he's got an excellent skill set, and the bonus of being able to hit the scoreboard when he drifts forward puts him over the other choice of Ward for me personally.

    I also considered Erasmus here, and personally it's the pick I'd make but the word seems to be that Hobbs and Ward are rated higher

    PICK 8 - Fremantle
    Josh Ward | Northern Knights/ VIC Metro
    181 cm | 79 kg
    Midfielder


    This is probably the one that I'm most sceptical about and expect the most criticism for. It was Ward vs Erasmus here and again i'd personally have gone Erasmus, but the more I think about it the more Ward seems like a 'Fremantle' pick. Not too dissimilar to Serong, Brayshaw and Young as their recent top 10 picks, Ward is a fairly safe selection with sound disposal and proven leadership. He's not the highest ceiling prospect, but he's the type that'll do whatever job you ask him to do really well.

    In terms of comparison to Erasmus, I think Freo are probably in need of a guy that can play everywhere without seeing a drop in production or impact, and I think Ward is more likely to be able to play on the Wing or in the backline if required than Erasmus. I also like Wards exposure a little more, whilst I don't think the fact that Erasmus has played mainly in the PSA is a massive negative, it's undeniable that Ward has done what he's done against stronger opposition consistently

    PICK 9 - Richmond
    Josh Gibcus | GWV Rebels/ VIC Country
    196 cm | 87 kg
    Tall Defender


    Gibcus fills the hole of a young tall defender on the Richmond list, and the opportunity to give him a year or two to develop whilst Tarrant is in the Best 22 is something that'd be hard to pass up for the Tigers imo. From a quick browse they've got Biggy and Miller as depth which doesn't really fill me with confidence, I think Gibcus is higher ceiling and higher floor than both.

    The bottom end of his development in my opinion is something similar to a Nick Haynes, capable one-on-one but better when allowed to drift around a bit, and not the most damaging ball user, but I think Gibcus has more athleticism than Haynes and doesn't let a defensive focus effect his intercepting as much.

    Also considered Erasmus and Johnson, but they've got RCD as a developing tall mid who I liked in his performances this year, plus 3 picks at the abck end of the 20's to fill midfield holes

    PICK 10 - Fremantle
    Jye Amiss | East Perth/ WA
    196 cm | 83 kg
    Tall Forward


    Pretty easy one all things considered, Erasmus was again considered but Freo need a young KPF and they need one this year. it's all well and good to hope that JVR slips to 21 but it's probably not the smartest course of action. I think the way Amiss is always on the move and active inside the forward half makes him a difficult match up for opponents at any level, he's never still for a defender to easily get into a better position, he just keeps them guessing. I also really like Amiss's follow up work when he doesn't hold a mark, at ground level there aren't many KPF's I see in the same light as Amiss.

    I guess it's easy to have concerns over his accuracy outside 45 and question whether a lead up tall forward is right at the next level, but I do really have faith in his ability to translate, especially when it'll require a move from the Country into a better equipped and more professional environment to help iron out his flaws.

    PICK 11 - St Kilda
    Neil Erasmus | Subiaco/ WA
    190 cm | 82 kg
    Midfielder/ Forward


    This is the point of the draft where it really evens out for me, not necessarily talent wise but I truly feel that the next 6 players selected could fit in here and make just as much sense. With Erasmus specifically I feel that his overhead marking and ability to impact in the forward 50 are a nice point of difference to what the rest of the Saints on ball brigade brings to the table. I think what's impressed me most about Erasmus is that he seems to have improved on his ball use as the seasons gone on, showing to me that he isn't one to just sit around and be happy with where he's at.

    Just as a side note, I wouldn't be shocked to see 4-5 pick trades from 10-20 on draft night, there's a few sides here that I think woudl prefer a couple of bites in the 20's than just the one in the teens

    PICK 12 - West Coast Eagles
    Josh Goater | Calder Cannons/ VIC Metro
    190 cm | 79 kg
    Midfielder/ Defender


    Johnson was the first selection here initially, but the more I thought about it the more I was convinced that Goater is what would fit best at the Eagles given their strong draft hand in the second round where some more 'ready to go' mids will be available. I think the two deciding factors for me here were a) Goater's athleticism, Johnson tested really well but it doesn't translate to the game like it does for Goater, and I feel Goater has a higher ceiling overall.

    PICK 13 - Essendon
    Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera | Glenelg/ SA
    187 cm | 71 kg
    Winger


    This seems to have been linked about 2 months ago and hasn't really dropped away, and it's a nice fit for the Dons who could do with some cleaner ball use going forward to allow their forwards to play their best style of game. I'm not as concerned about his contested ability as others are, there's stats going around that he's averaging about 50% contested ball rate, but even without that I don't think he looks timid in those situations.

    PICK 14 - Port Adelaide
    Matthew Johnson | Subiaco/ WA
    192 cm | 81 kg
    Midfielder


    Really considered Draper here, but I think Port need someone that's got a clearer path into a full time midfield role than Draper in the long run, given their forward half talent is already pretty damn good. There's not much Johnson does wrong, he's a clean user and can find the ball, works hard around the ground to get marks and get contest-to-contest, and in the long run as he puts on some more size I think he'll apply himself more and more to winning contested ball.

    PICK 15 - GWS
    Arlo Draper | South Adelaide/ SA
    186 cm | 75 kg
    General Forward/ Midfielder


    GWS simply need some more forward half talent and of those remaining I think Draper is the most exciting. Draper's a clean user of the ball and can do some miraculous things with his combination of leap and speed, as well as ability below his knees. What I like most about Draper is his unselfishness inside forward 50, he's not one that often tries those miracle shots, regularly looking to give the ball off to someone in a more central spot to convert.

    Also considered Butler, Sonsie and Judson Clarke here but think Butler and Sonsie at least will end up midfielders, and Clarke might be a smidgeon too early here.

    PICK 16 - Brisbane
    Josh Sinn | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    186 cm | 73 kg
    General Defender/ Midfielder


    Started the year really highly rated as a leader and damaging rebound game and has slid due to injury, but with Birchall retiring and Richtowards the end, I think Sinn is the exact type that will be able to fit into Brisbane's system and become a reliable long term piece. Whilst his kicking has had some question marks this year, I think the mechanics of it are fine and it's more a conversation about which kicks he should be attempting and which he should be looking for a safer option. Has the capacity to move into the midfielder as well long term, and with his traits I think that's more likely than not.

    PICK 17 - Richmond
    Zac Taylor | Calder Cannons/ VIC Metro
    180 cm | 74 kg
    Midfielder


    A bit more of speculative pick, but something about Taylor really screams 'Richmond player' to me. Whilst some may look at his size and have a bunch of questions around that, Richmond are the type of club that will look at his kicking, work rate and smarts as elite and want to get him in quickly. Taylor's ball use is the highlight of his game and despite his size he's not afraid to get into the thick of things, I know he's shorter but I feel he could possibly play a Cotchin style of game going forward where his team orientated play gets the best out of his teammates.

    PICK 18 - Sydney
    Mitch Knevitt | Geelong Falcons/ VIC Country
    193 cm | 81 kg
    Midfielder


    Seems that Sydney need a big inside mid in the mould of a Josh Kennedy as he gets towards the end, and Knevitt is probably the closest 'like for like' in this region as a strong stoppage winner and a big body that opposition have difficulty stopping. There's a few things Knevitt needs to work on to become a regular AFL level contributor, but Sydney have proven time and time again that they've got one of the best development programs in the comp and will be able to get a player with Knev's traits to the absolute best he can be.

    PICK 19 - Melbourne
    Tyler Sonsie | Eastern Ranges/ VIC Metro
    181 cm | 77 kg
    Midfielder


    The Dees don't really have any specific needs that are so urgent they need to reach, so I've gone with a best available selection here in Sonsie who's had a big slide from the start of the year. I think some of the criticism towards Tyler has been a bit harsh and revisionist, but his injury was certainly untimely and has allowed others to jump above him in the draft order as they've shown their stuff against stronger opposition, but his kicking and stoppage craft are still at a high level amongst the draft class.

    PICK 20 - Brisbane
    Mitch Owens | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    190 cm | 85 kg
    Midfielder/ Utility


    This isn't a selection just to piss off St Kilda fans I swear. I have Brisbane combining two interstate teammates as they have before with complimentary styles. Where Sinn is a strong line breaker, Owens is more of an inside winner that feeds out and can take a mark overhead, or contested, around the ground. Owens versatility is truly mouth watering, long term I think he's an inside midfielder, but he's proven himself as a winger, forward and defender at NAB league level, giving him a good chance to debut early if he gets his fitness right.
     
    Last edited:

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    Phantom Draft - Round 2
  • PMBangers

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    ROUND 2 OF PHANTOM
    Round 2.PNG


    PICK 21 - Fremantle
    Sam Butler | GWV Rebels/ VIC Country
    184 cm | 76 kg
    Midfielder/ General Forward


    So this was a funny one given JVR is still available and given Freo's lack of forward targets it would make sense, but ultimately I think JVR is probably best suited to playing as a defender at the next level given I don't necessarily believe his style in the forward half translates.

    So from there it was about who fits that forward/ midfielder mould best for them, and Butler was the easy one to lock in. Hard at it, got really good burst speed and good goal sense inside 50, I think he'll end up a midfielder after a few years, but that forward craft is really good and should see him debut early on.

    PICK 22 - North Melbourne
    Jacob Van Rooyen | Claremont/ WA
    193 cm | 91 kg
    General Utility


    Touched on how I feel about JVR at the next level at the last pick, pretty much I don't think North can lose by selecting JVR, he's got form up either end and could still transition as a forward if all goes well, but North probably need a 3rd tall in the back half more than they do in the forward half

    PICK 23 - Hawthorn
    Campbell Chesser | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Country
    186 cm | 83 kg
    Midfielder/ General Defender


    Easy enough of a pick, I started the year really high on Chesser and going back watching his NAB League games this year, especially against the Northern Knights, I can still see him going in the early teens given his attributes. Speed, workrate and ball use are the big strengths of Chesser's, and he'll be able to play anywhere on ground but in the long run should be a strong winger or rover dependant on how the side want's to play.

    PICK 24 - Geelong
    Judson Clarke | Dandenong Stingrays/ VIC Country
    180 cm | 70 kg
    Midfielder/ Small Forward


    Really strong forward half player with a really high athletic base, and whilst he's still slight I don't think it's out of question for him to play some senior footy next year. For Geelong specifically, I don't think they've currently got the sort of livewire forward that Clarke will be, so injecting some X-Factor and speed into their side would be a big help.

    PICK 25 - Hawthorn
    Darcy Wilmot | Northern Knights/ VIC Metro
    183 cm | 75 kg
    General Defender


    I think I'm as high on Wilmot as possible and it genuinely felt weird having him drift this far back, but unfortunately defenders without midfield exposure aren't taken high generally. Wilmot could become an exception to this, he's just got a lot of traits that will be beneficial at the top level, and his work ethic will hold him in good stead to be a long term piece in an AFL side. I still think a Brayden Maynard with a better kick is a good comparison, it's that 'defend first' attitude that does it for me

    PICK 26 - Carlton
    Jesse Motlop | South Fremantle/ WA
    177 cm | 77 kg
    Small Forward


    Motlop is a natural forward that has a really well developed defensive and pressure game, especially in comparison to others in the class, and that's something I really highly rate in prospects I see as being predominantly forwards at the next level. He tapered off a bit towards the end of the WAFL season for South Fremantle, but his early games at senior level were really promising in his application and forward craft.

    PICK 27 - GWS (Matched Bid) [Lose 45, 46. Gain 27, 58]
    Josh Fahey | Queanbeyan/ NSW-ACT
    186 cm | 76 kg
    General Defender


    Without saying it outright everything that our recruiters have said is we'll match a Fahey bid from the 20's onwards so it's an easy choice. I'm probably not as high as others are with Fahey but I like what he can bring as someone that could fill a Heath Shaw role to a degree, and allow a guy like Ash to move further up the field more permanently. Long left boot and daring dash out of defense so he might be one of those players that breaks opposition structures as well

    PICK 28 - Richmond
    Blake Howes | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    190 cm | 79 kg
    General Forward/ Midfielder


    Howes is an athletic half forward with midfield scope in his future, and whilst not a massive accumulator currently he's damaging when he's around the ball.

    PICK 29 - Richmond
    Tom Brown | Murray Bushrangers/ VIC Country
    186 cm | 74 kg
    General Defender

    PICK 30 - Richmond
    Angus Sheldrick | Claremont/ WA
    179 cm | 84 kg
    Midfielder

    PICK 31 - West Coast Eagles
    Matthew Roberts | South Adelaide/ SA
    183 cm | 81 kg
    Midfielder/ General Forward

    PICK 32 - Geelong
    Connor Macdonald | Dandenong Stingrays/ VIC Country
    184 cm | 77 kg
    Midfielder

    PICK 33 - Sydney
    Rhett Bazzo | Swan Districts/ WA
    195 cm | 81 kg
    Tall Defender

    PICK 34 - Geelong
    Kai Lohmann | GWV Rebels/ VIC Country
    185 cm | 76 kg
    General Forward

    PICK 35 - Adelaide
    Brady Hough | Peel Thunder/ WA
    189 cm | 71 kg
    General Utility

    PICK 36 - Geelong
    Corey Warner | East Fremantle/ WA
    182 cm | 74 kg
    Midfielder

    PICK 37 - West Coast Eagles
    Toby Conway | Geelong Falcons/ VIC Country
    205 cm | 97 kg
    Ruck

    PICK 38 - St Kilda (Matched Bid) [Lose 53, 57]
    Marcus Windhager | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    183 cm | 82 kg
    Midfielder/ General Forward

    PICK 39 - Melbourne
    Lachie Rankin | Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC Metro
    182 cm | 68 kg
    Small Utility

    PICK 40 - Port Adelaide (Matched Bid) [Lose 54, 64]
    Jase Burgoyne | WWT Eagles/ SA
    186 cm | 70 kg
    Midfielder/ General Defender

    PICK 41 - Sydney
    Cooper Murley | Norwood/ SA
    177 cm | 66 kg
    Midfielder/ Small Forward
     
    Last edited:
    Phantom Draft - Rounds 3 and 4
  • PMBangers

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    ROUND 3 AND 4 PHANTOM
    Round 3 AND 4.PNG

    Pick 42 - Brisbane
    Leek Alleer | Central Districts/ SA
    196 cm | 84 kg
    Tall Defender

    Pick 43 - North Melbourne
    Sam Banks | Clarence/ TAS
    184 cm | 73 kg
    General Defender/ Midfielder

    Pick 44 - North Melbourne
    Paul Curtis | Western Jets/ VIC Metro
    183 cm | 73 kg
    General Forward

    Pick 45 - Melbourne
    Jack Williams | East Fremantle/ WA
    195 cm | 93 kg
    Tall Forward

    Pick 46 - Geelong
    Alastair Lord | Norwood/ SA
    180 cm | 76 kg
    Small Defender/ Midfielder

    Pick 47 - Melbourne (Matched Bid) [Lose 50]
    Taj Woewodin | East Fremantle/ WA
    183 cm | 78 kg
    General Utility

    Pick 48 - Essendon
    Charlie Molan | GWV Rebels/ VIC Country
    186 cm | 83 kg
    General Utility

    Pick 49 - Collingwood
    Anthony Caminiti | Northern Knights/ VIC Metro
    196 cm | 83 kg
    Tall Forward

    Pick 50 - Essendon
    Luke Nankervis | Sandringham Dragons/ VIC Metro
    189 cm | 76 kg
    General Forward/ Midfielder

    Pick 51 - Collingwood
    Jake Soligo | Eastern Ranges/ VIC Metro
    179 cm | 80 kg
    Midfielder/ Small Forward

    Pick 52 - Hawthorn
    Jahmal Stretch | Claremont/ WA
    181 cm | 62 kg
    Small Forward

    Pick 53 - Brisbane
    PASS

    Pick 54 - Fremantle
    James Tunstill | East Perth/ WA
    185 cm | 76 kg
    Midfielder

    Pick 55 - Carlton
    Arthur Jones | Claremont/ WA
    178 cm | 60 kg
    Winger

    Pick 56 - Hawthorn
    PASS

    Pick 57 - GWS
    PASS

    Pick 58 - St Kilda
    Ronald Fejo | West Adelaide/ NT
    178 cm | 70 kg
    Winger

    Pick 59 - West Coast Eagles
    Hugh Jackson | North Adelaide/ SA
    181 cm | 70 kg
    Midfielder

    Pick 60 - Fremantle
    Eric Benning | Claremont/ WA
    196 cm | 83 kg
    Tall Forward/ Ruck

    Pick 61 - Sydney
    PASS

    Pick 62 - GWS
    PASS

    Pick 63 - North Melbourne
    Jackson Archer | Northern Knights/ VIC Metro
    183 cm
    General Defender

    Pick 64 - Port Adelaide
    Kade Dittmar | East Perth/WA
    185 cm | 86 kg
    Midfielder

    Pick 65 - Adelaide
    Ned Long | Northern Knights/ VIC Metro
    192 cm | 88 kg
    Midfielder/ General Forward

    Pick 66 - Brisbane
    PASS

    Pick 67 - Western Bulldogs
    Hugh Stagg | Glenelg/ SA
    180 cm | 79 kg
    Midfielder/ Small Forward

    Pick 68 - Western Bulldogs
    Miller Bergman | Dandenong Stingrays/ VIC Country
    188 cm | 65 kg
    General Utility
     
    Last edited:
    Brief Academy game v Geelong summary
  • PMBangers

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    Thanks to giantroo (can't recommend their patreon enough, well worth it) I've managed to watch the bits of the Academy game I missed last Saturday. It's a really interesting game, obviously the scoreline was awful for the academy, but there are still quite a few that impressed me with some of their traits.

    Josh Gibcus is, shock horror, a huge talent, like genuinely I reckon he'll be taken top 10 if he keeps up this improvement and continues to show what he's showing. It'll be interesting come champs time how he does against WA in particular, given that Jack Williams also impressed in the academy game, they both have that high level speed/ leap, so as a one-on-one match up it'll be a good test to see where both are, Williams I'm beginning to think will go before Van Rooyen as well given that athleticism and versatility, not that Van Rooyen's is bad but Williams seems to just be elite in that aspect. Bazzo has been one I've struggled with ranking given he's flipped forward in the WAFL, but I agree with others (like my dearest friend Bastyy) that he's a KPD at the next level, just looks so natural down there and uses it well coming out of defensive 50.
    Fahey had a good game obviously, but didn't do anything that, if you had watched him at all before, you didn't already know he could do. In saying that it looks like his positioning and marking has improved a bit.

    From the midfielders, Daicos of course racked it up. I've seen some criticism on him from this game, this genuinely was a lower level performance by his standards recently, so I'm not marking him down from this performance, but it'll be interesting to see if he has the same nerves around the contest when he plays for the Pies VFL in the NAB League Break (possibly beyond depending on the rules). Horne looked good, I don't really see the criticisms some have given him from this game, people saying he should've been better given his SANFL experience, but he's played HFF at SANFL level, not full time midfield, so it was still a big adjustment positionally, as well as coming up against a side with a lot more full time AFL players and lack of other big bodies to support. Matthew Johnson I was really impressed with in the few stints he got through the midfield, was probably the main one I thought dealt with the size of the opposition the best, was handy around the ground and did a few underrated things that haven't been mentioned, some one grab contested groundballs in particular impressed me.

    Erasmus up forward (didn't notice him through the midfield) looked good as a lead up forward, did some good things with it as well, but not the best game to show your quality as a forward given the lack of entries. Rachele was one that actually shocked me how involved he got, a big question mark over him has been his defensive workrate, had no issues with it in this game which is promising for the next level. I've wanted to see him play more permanent midfield but it seems he's destined to be a forward that pinch hits through the guts which is disappointing given his quality through there.

    Others that were in between a few positions; Mac Andrew, I've seen every Dandenong game to start the season and he gets better each week, gets midfielders numbers and just moves really well through traffic for a 200cm player. He's worked on his forward craft constantly and it shows in the games as his leading patterns get better and better, although I like him most in the Ruck and in defense, for mine, he's the best ruck in the pool currently (outside of Edwards and maybe Heath) and was the best performed Ruck in the small stints he got. Matthew Roberts as well, really hard done by to get next to no midfield minutes, he's such a gun on the inside and in a game where they were screaming out for some inside class and grunt it was annoying he wasn't given a good go through there, but he's better than the performance he put in and his champs will reflect that.
     
    June Rankings Update: Top 40
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    SO here's my top 40, as usual pretty happy to answer questions, I know a lot of this is seemingly reactionary as well, but given the small amount of football in VIC this year it was somewhat bound to happen. I've prepared for some of the inevitable questions so here's a quick FAQ before you have to ask:

    FAQ:

    Q. Why do you have Matthew Roberts lower than most other draft watchers?
    A.
    I have my queries over Roberts, he's undoubtedly a good prospect and I wouldn't be surprised if he went Top 5 or if someone had him as high as Number 3 on their rankings, but I think he lacks a certain element of burst speed and class by foot, especially to longer targets, than some of those higher than him.

    Q. Why do you not have any 19-year-old or mature aged prospects, do you not rate them?
    A.
    It's not quite that simple, in short I'm just lazy. The long answer is that I don't watch enough state league football to really take those older guys into consideration, I don't particularly see the value of watching VFL/SANFL/WAFL seniors if there's not an 18/19 year old I rate highly playing. I also think that with the MSD it makes weird given those guys might not be there in the ND, and the ND is my main focus

    That concludes the FAQ. But on a more serious note, I do watch a lot more VIC than any other state given I live here, so odds are I'm severely under rating a few SA and definitely a few more WA kids due to lack of exposure and how much harder it is to rate impact of guys from a standard camera angle, than behind the goals or live in person. There were a few interstate guys I considered for the last couple of spots, but they're certainly guys I wanna see at the champs (if it happens, fingers crossed) before setting it in concrete. Of the 19-year-olds I expect to go in the MSD, Jacob Edwards is probably the only one I'd have in, Moyle, Heath, Raak are 3 others that'd be close if they weren't in, but not certainties
     
    Mid year top 50 phantom draft
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    So idea stolen from eDPS here's my shot at a top 50 phantom draft if it were to happen today, please note that it's not necessarily indicative of my rankings, there's guys I've got going here who as it stands probably wouldn't be in my top 50-60 if I was to do one, it's more trying to address club need/ guess where clubs might take a punt on a guy that might have a few things to iron out (Mitch Knevitt a good example).


    There's some value late as it stands for me, but it's hard to have a clear picture prior to the champs to compare these kids to the rest of the draft class, and get a better read of their traits v other genuine prospects rather than their home competition opponents
     
    U19s metro v country trials
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    SO a lot of impressive performances, too many to go through, but also a lot of players I thought were stiff to miss the final squads =(. My favourite from each team in each game;

    Game 1:
    #2 Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels)
    183cm/80kg | 16/09/2003 | Inside Midfielder/Forward


    Arguably the best player afield in game one, Hobbs proved his top 10 credentials with another superb outing. His return from injury has been seamless, cracking in and running hard to find plenty of the ball over the last fortnight. Hobbs started in midfield and got to work straight away, though some of his ball use was rushed under the early pressure. He still got good penetration on his kicks and brought good intensity to the contest with his tackling. Having moved forward after half time, Hobbs still managed to find the ball through sheer work rate and finished the game with two goals, one of which was a clean snap in term three.


    #3 Jake Soligo (Eastern Ranges)
    179cm/80kg | 25/01/2003 | Midfielder


    Has somewhat been overshadowed at times by Eastern teammate Tyler Sonsie, but with Sonsie missing in this clash, Soligo took the opportunity to put his name up as arguably the best Metro player on ground for the game. He was at his usual best with his inside ball winning, throwing himself into everything in an attempt to win the hard balls and handball out to runners. He took some good marks throughout the game, with an early one being full stretch overhead under direct pressure off an opposition inside 50. He was always happy to do the hard work, with his pressure and tackling top notch once again, putting on so much pressure it forced an out on the full kick from an opponent at one stage in the game. Early on in the game when goals weren’t flowing, Soligo was the one to break through for Metro with two early goals; the first of which was a kick on the run from 50 out, and the second of which less than two minutes later, converting a set shot from about 45 meters out.


    Game 2:


    #7 Judson Clarke (Dandenong Stingrays)
    179cm/69kg | 17/10/2003 | Small Forward/Midfielder


    While his five-goal performance was somewhat overshadowed by the exploits of Metro’s Sam Darcy, Clarke emerged as a genuine top 25 prospect with his team-best performance on Sunday. The zippy midfielder-forward started brightly, slamming home the game’s first goal from a set shot and sharking a sharp nice later in the opening term. He added majors in each of the next three quarters, including one on the three quarter time siren and a lovely conversion from range which capped off his outing nicely. Clarke’s pace, clean hands and spearing left-foot kicking were real highlights on the day, especially on the attack.


    (couldn't split these two)
    #21 Josh Goater (Calder Cannons)
    190cm/79kg | 2/06/2003 | Inside Midfielder


    One of the best performing Metro players across the day, at least in the midfield, Goater pushed his draft credentials higher with some stellar midfield play, especially around stoppages. He did pretty much everything well, demonstrating cleanliness below his knees, even when under pressure, with multiple one hand pick ups on the run and pinpoint handballs to runners in the same motion. He kicked well, balancing how he kicked for the situation, hitting short 45s and switching the ball when it was the best option, but also demonstrating some real dangerous kicking in transition – with one in particular being a 50 meter pass from the wing to the forward pocket. His stoppage work was at its usual high level, able to read the ball off the rucks’ hands better than most opponents and weave through heavy traffic in a way he has little right to, then using those quick hands or kicking to get Metro forward.

    #27 Sam Darcy (Oakleigh Chargers)
    204cm/73kg | 19/07/2003 | Tall Utility/Ruck


    Arguably the highest profile prospect playing across either game, the Western Bulldogs father-son prospect well and truly put himself into pick one conversations, slotting six goals and missing some fairly gettable late shots to prove that he gets enough of the ball when he’s being targeted by his teammates. Darcy’s marking was strong throughout the game, with his reach and overall height meaning he was able to take marks relatively easily, even without getting much separation from his opponents. He made up for the difficulty in getting separation on certain opponents with solid leading patterns, switching direction and turning opponents around with his constant movement which was particularly helpful in transition, as Metro’s damaging ball users moved it quickly. There was a switch of opposition in the last quarter, and with a slower opponent Darcy was able to get separation with more ease, meaning he was able to just lead straight at the ball carrier rather than get carried away with complicating his leads. As mentioned, his marking was superb, but one particular one late in the game, where he got tripped up but still managed to take the mark when falling down perfectly demonstrated just how strong his marking was. A good set shot and able to snap the ball straight through the big sticks when on an angle, it was a great showing from Darcy, and one that’ll get Dogs fans extremely excited.
     
    July Top 25
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    Not much too interesting about this really, as happens most of the time I'm seeing a lot more Vic than anywhere else so I'll be somewhat overrating a few of them in comparison. God I hope we get a champs this year, mainly for the WA kids to get some actual exposure to the east coast (if anyone here has any involvement with WAFC, please push to get a WAFL live pass like the SANFL one, I'd literally cry from joy)
     
    Quick WA U17's v U19s notes
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    Watching the WA 17's v 19's from the weekend and jeez, I reckon WA are looking like winning the Championships (if they go ahead) this year, a lot of strength in their tall players, and if Regan, who looks bigger than 189 cm, can maintain his performance from this game it'll give them freedom to move Williams/ JVR down back as well to assist Bazzo in the air, if needed that is given there's some other more than capable talls down there.

    It's all been covered pretty well I feel (will answer any questions if you have any though, I love the attention) so just some thoughts I've got that are somewhat worthwhile to share;
    - I reckon the KPP rankings for the main 4 WA guys are Williams and Amiss battling for 1 and 2, then JVR and Bazzo battling for 3 and 4, with Amiss and Williams mid-late first rounders, probably in consideration from 12 onwards, then Bazzo and JVR more 20-30 guys for me as it stands
    - As someone that has somewhat neglected watching WA footy this season, I was reminded of Johnson's quality, it has to be him and Erasmus battling to be the first WA picked atm and Johnson may just have the edge for me
    - Jack Cleaver, Elijah Hewitt and Jed Hagan all look like possible top 10's for next year early on, with Busslinger, Gilbey also in first round areas, Cleaver in particular I feel could be in the 19s squad without an issue
    - Freo have a decent NGA crop over the next 3 years, but the changes to the matching in the top 40 will end up hurting them =(
     

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    August Top 20
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    So another monthly update with not much movement overall, dropped from 25 to 20, mainly because that 20-35 bracket is ridiculously hard to rank as it stands, so much so that when looking over notes, reviewing old or watching new vision Murley was 4 different players over the weekend. Williams, Van Rooyen and Fahey have dropped out of my top 20 in favour of Ward, Amiss and Brown who I feel have all been going along nicely for most of the season but particularly this past month have shown more appealing traits (Amiss I also hadn't seen much of, but with the 3 WA 19s games I've got a good gauge now), whilst the others are regressing in their performances, especially with Van Rooyen and Williams in those Under 19's games. As usual happy to field questions on rankings and I know some of the numbers on the graphic are hard to read soz

    Nick Daicos - Collingwood Father Son, Sam Darcy - Western Bulldogs Father Son, Mac Andrew - Melbourne Next Generation Academy
     
    End of Home and Away Season Phantom
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    More than I ever I feel the need to reiterate that this is not indicative of my personal rankings, no those are all over the shop currently, literally disgusting. But yeah this is a quick crack at a top 50 picks phantom, I feel like I hit most needs but I'm sure I'm wrong along the line somewhere. What I will say is how tempting it was to include some overagers throughout but not really being able to balance up where to put them. I've mentioned Leek Alleer before, late on the bandwagon, but I could certainly see him going before Rhett Bazzo. Also considered Luke Cleary, Jack Briskey, Sam Paea and Saxon Crozier at different points, but just went benefit of the doubt to the 18-year-olds.
     
    September Top 20
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    * Josh Sinn is 186 cm and 82 (I think) kg, sorry for mistake

    So with another year of Victorian footy severely impacted it's going to be even hard to pass judgement on players as individuals and where they may come into draft calculations. I wonder how much the lack of footy in Victoria in the past two years will effect the amount of vics that get drafted, especially as WA and SA kids club and improve on their concerns.

    The month without Victorian footy has really allowed me to pay attention to SA and WA like I haven't been able to before, WA in particular has a lot of talent pushing to be involved here that may manage to sneak in over the next month. Draper I've changed my view on, not necessarily his RIF's, but I don't expect him to be a midfielder at the next level, and looking at his impact as mainly a forward makes him a much better looking prospect imo. Roberts drops slightly with his composure and ball use since returning from injury not really being at the level it has been, up until Saturday he wasn't dropping that far because of it but it's been enough time to build form imo.

    I also went back a watched a bit of footage that I've either managed to grab or is readily available on the internet. Metro v Country Challenge match in particular I've watched a good 7 or 8 times trying to focus on certain players each time. It's a big reason for the Goater slide, off the ball work isn't quite at a great level for a midfielder still the main concern. It's also a big reason for the Wilmot and Ward rise, Wilmot I've said before I think is the best all round defensive prospect in the pool given he has a defensive focus and can hurt in offense, I think at the absolute worst he turns out to be a Maynard level player but with more speed and arguably a better kick, Ward is just a genuine fighter in the midfield, still unsure completely of his speed but it's not an obvious hindrance like in the case of Roberts for example.

    Sonsie I originally had dropping, but went and rewatched Eastern vs Tasmania and his Box Hill game and he kept his spot, rarely wastes a disposal and works through traffic really well, could see a possible off the ball workrate issue but it's not glaringly bad.

    Overall I'm probably getting more bullish with the draft as a whole, players I have closer to 30 in my rankings such as Mitch Knevitt, Judson Clarke, Zac Taylor for example I wouldn't be totally surprised to see taken as high as 10 because of the traits they have which makes it exciting to see what comes draft night and the rumours that start swirling before that. Mentioned Knevitt, Taylor and Clarke, on top of those guys Murley, Bazzo, JVR and Butler are close to being in the 20, I was hoping to see another game of Butler in particular prior to the Victorian lockdown to see how consistently he showed his traits given there's not much vision around of him, but ah well, what can ya do

    Nick Daicos - Collingwood Father-Son, Sam Darcy - Western Bulldogs Father-Son, Mac Andrew - Melbourne Academy
     

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    21/09/21 - 'Tiers of Talent'
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    I've found the talk of 'tiers' of talent this year particularly interesting, it's not really something I've considered in my past rankings, but this year I think it's almost necessary given that coming up with a top 25-30 is difficult when there's upwards of 20 guys battling out for those 20-30 spots that are all justifiable in any of them. Thought it was worthwhile just sharing what my personal first four tiers are given that I think they're the main realistic first round draft chances, with a couple of others in the next two tiers I know will be considered for first round selection as well, justifiably of course, but just not the way I'd go;

    Tier 1; Jason Horne-Francis, Nick Daicos, Sam Darcy, Finn Callaghan

    These 4 have been spoken about enough obviously, and I'm even starting to think that the gap between Callaghan and Horne-Francis isn't as big as some are saying, but it is genuinely bees dick in this region between them and all four are filling a role that is more and more sought after in the modern game, and the 3 mids had their 'style' for lack of a better term represented high up in the Brownlow on Sunday Night, it's a level I think is achievable for the 3 of them. I feel like I've seen more doubt about Darcy's credentials recently and the talk of him only being highly rated because of low KPP stocks in this years draft, I don't think that's accurate personally, there's more to his game than just taking marks and kicking goals, stuff like his ball use and ground level work in particular aren't effected by the level of opposition he's playing.

    Tier 2; Josh Gibcus, Josh Ward, Ben Hobbs, Mac Andrew, Jye Amiss, Neil Erasmus, Josh Sinn

    Again a lot has been said about majority of this group, I feel a lot of these guys could've pushed the top 4 a bit more with a champs/ full state league season and to me are all safe bets for the next level, with Mac Andrew being the only one I'm not super confident on turning into a good player, but that's only due to concerns over how much adding size to his frame would effect his play style/ tricks, but for his ceiling he has to be considered up around this region.

    Tier 3; Darcy Wilmot, Tyler Sonsie, Campbell Chesser, Matthew Johnson, Arlo Draper, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Josh Rachele, Josh Goater

    These are guys that to me probably only have 1 major concern in translating to the next level as good players, so whilst they're not as safe as the two higher tiers their potential in my eyes is relatively the same and in some cases higher. I think the major point of difference in my rankings and others with this group is going to be Darcy Wilmot, who I've touched on briefly before but I think his defensive focus and application mixed with his ball use and above average athleticism are going top make him a very handy best 22 player, and that's worst case scenario, and with his noted leadership he could end up one of those guys that plays 200+ games and is widely underrated outside his own supporter base but one of the most highly rated internally types. From a personal point of view as a GWS fan, even with Fahey coming in and our depth in medium defenders already I wouldn't be overly disappointed with Wilmot as a selection because I think he's really safe.

    Tier 4; Matthew Roberts, Sam Butler, Mitch Owens, Mitch Knevitt, Rhett Bazzo, Jacob van Rooyen, Tom Brown, Zac Taylor, Jesse Motlop

    Similar to tier 3 in the sense that these guys have perhaps one major question mark, or in some cases no trait that stand outs as elite but are probably going to be AFL level players. Separating these guys from the above tier was difficult to figure because most aren't really that far behind in my eyes but I'm less certain they translate to AFL level, Roberts is one I've touched on and others have to but I've found the more I watch of him, that's at the start of the year in the 18's as well, the less I'm convinced. I think his footy brain is up there but again the athleticism is the major concern
     
    5/10/2021 'Tiers of Talent'
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    Hasn't really been long since I did my last one but I like to have them somewhat close to the start of the month for my own sanity, small updates that I'll explain further, also the order they're listed doesn't mean I rate them higher necessarily.

    Tier 1; Nick Daicos, Jason Horne-Francis
    Tier 2; Finn Callaghan, Sam Darcy

    SO this change is pretty simple, it felt like I was understating how good I see Horne-Francis and Daicos when referring to it as a top 4, I think Darcy and Callaghan can be genuine A graders at the next level like I think JHF and Daicos will be, but they haven't had to same degree of performance yet to be grouped in the same bracket imo. A common theme of the board this year has been how disappointing a lack of champs is, to see Darcy against JVR and Bazzo would've been fantastic to see how he went against two different styles of defender.

    Tier 3; Jye Amiss, Mac Andrew, Neil Erasmus, Josh Gibcus, Ben Hobbs, Josh Sinn, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Josh Ward

    Not much changes here, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera comes in on the back of some more fantastic form, his second half of the year has been fantastic from my view form wise, but I feel like he's been doing everything to address the concerns I've seen about him as well. I'm not worried about his contested work, I think it's good enough for the role he'll be playing where he really shouldn't be needing to win more than 40% of his touches contested

    Tier 4; Sam Butler, Campbell Chesser, Arlo Draper, Josh Goater, Matthew Johnson, Josh Rachele, Tyler Sonsie, Darcy Wilmot

    Butler comes in, he's one I've been umm'ing and ahh'ing about for 2 months, so the combine results just tipped me over the line, plus I think this is a year where if a players shown traits somewhat consistently you can back them in, and I was really impressed with Butlers midfield play, especially in the Gippsland v Rebels game before the season ended again where the Power had momentum a lot but Butler kept standing up.

    Tier 5; Rhett Bazzo, Tom Brown, Brady Hough, Blake Howes, Mitch Knevitt, Jesse Motlop, Mitch Owens, Matthew Roberts, Jacob Van Rooyen, Zac Taylor

    Howes and Hough come in to this tier, Hough again was impressive in the second WA v SA game, but I went back and watched the WA 19s practise games against the 17s, East Perth and Perth, where Hough sort of stood out a bit more (maybe because I had a bit more recognition of him). He's got some nice athleticism but long term I think he'll be a winger, and if all goes well a really good one. Howes is another oen that I was umm'ing and ahh'ing with, but rewatched some Sandringham footage not even looking out for him and thought that his athleticism definitely puts him in this bracket
     
    First attempt at a phantom
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    So everyone else is doing it and I hate being left out, here's a quick crack. This'll certainly change over the course of the next 6 weeks as I FINALLY get to rewatch some vic footage and remind how good those kids are (for example, rewatched the first Sandy v Oakleigh game and was reminded that Daicos was battling a corkie issue for the majority of the season, insanity) and go back through WA and SA footy looking out for bottom agers in particular, I'm sure some draft eligible guys this year will pop back up into my mind.
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    *There's no guarantee my maths here is correct, so don't @ me about it

    I think there's still guys that we haven't spoken about much on bigfooty that'll end up bolting into the top 35-40, Caminiti is my guess personally as one that could go high, I personally think he's a better prospect than Jack Williams given his athletic advantage, but it's just one of hundreds of those little debates that'll be had. A few names I considered at various points that I think will be in contention as well; Jamieson Ballentyne, Jake Soligo, Taj Woewodin, Kade Dittmar, Jai Serong. I'm still not super convinced on a lot of SA guys, but Cooper Beecken, Lewis Rayson and Morgan Ferres I considered for some of those picks past 45 as well
     
    2022 Top 20
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    I lied last night, immediately after saying I'll wait a while I went and made this top 20, terribly sorry for the lying.
    This is what I've got so far, but i'm trying to hunt down footage of both the country v metro games because it feels really light on for Victorians as you'd expect. I'm not sure this is too different to anyone else, happy to answer questions as usual. What I will say is there was a fair I rotated through 18-20 as well, I really heavily considered guys like; Paul Pascu, Adam D'Aloia, Jed Hagan, Jonti Schuback, Mitchell Rowe, Luke Teal, Matthew Jefferson, Cody Harrington, Jack Cleaver, Darcy Jones and Jaiden Magor, so I'm expecting that my 20 will change a bit before Round 1 next year as I watch some more over the summer (more an 'if' I watch some more)

    I'm not confident enough yet to call this a 'super draft' like some people are, but it obviously looks promising when there's that many talls in a top 20 and plenty more that have shown promise and would appear in some other top 20's, looks like 200cm+ forwards are going to become far more common soon enough.

    *Not where I think they'll go but how I rate them heading in, my rankings are a combination of ceiling + likelihood to be long term best 22 players here
     
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    sort of last minute phantom
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    A lots changed since my big phantom a few weeks ago so I thought it was worth just updating what I expect the first round to be now that we're closer to. As most have mentioned, getting any info this year has been ridiculously difficult and I'm still expecting to see kids that most amateur phantom watchers have around the 40's end up going in the first round and vice versa, it's obviously exciting that we're entering a draft that feels genuinely unknown but a little annoying as well.

    1. North Melbourne - Jason Horne-Francis
    2. [Bid] Western Bulldogs - Sam Darcy
    3. GWS - Finn Callaghan
    4. [Bid] Collingwood - Nick Daicos
    5. SUNS - Mac Andrew
    6. Crows - Josh Rachele
    7. Hawks - Matthew Johnson
    8. Fremantle - Jye Amiss
    9. Richmond - Ben Hobbs
    10. Fremantle - Josh Ward
    11. St Kilda - Josh Gibcus
    12. West Coast - Neil Erasmus
    13. Essendon - Josh Goater
    14. Port Adelaide - Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera
    15. GWS - Mitch Owens
    16. Brisbane - Darcy Wilmot
    17. Richmond - Josh Sinn
    18. Sydney - Mitch Knevitt
    19. Melbourne - Tyler Sonsie
    20. Brisbane - Campbell Chesser

    A few notes, again I hate tryna do live trading but I reckon Fremantle and St Kilda would be getting a lot of calls for their 10 and 11 with Ward and Gibcus still on the board with teams tryna trade up, would Richmond consider trying to package 17 with one or two 20's picks to get back up and get one of them? I think both could suit well alongside Hobbs, perhaps Brisbane or Sydney try to push up for Gibcus as well
     
    The 2022 best 22
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    God I've been waiting for absolutely ages for this opportunity! Early disclaimer, this is just my top 22 for next years crop early on, so some positions are iffy at best!

    FB: Sam Gilbey (Claremont/ WA), Jedd Busslinger (East Perth/ WA), Jonti Schuback (Gippsland Power/ VIC C)

    Gilbey is a speedy rebounding defender out of Claremont, with a piercing left foot out of defence, his attacking flair from the back half puts him in a position to transition into a Wing long term, standing at 185 cm, he's a nice height to play on a range of opponents, but his style forces them to defend him moreso than him doing the defending. Busslinger is a classic intercepting tall defender, not too dissimilar to Rhett Bazzo from this year, but I'd argue more damaging with his disposal and more willing to push up the ground, the 195 cm East Perth product will have his work cut out for him at the champs next season with the strength of the tall forwards. Jonti, otherwise known as 'The Jont', is another smooth mover like Gilbey, but is arguably better on the wings or in the thick of things as a rover, also possessing a damaging boot and speed.

    HB: Kobe Ryan (West Adelaide/ SA), Harry Barnett (West Adelaide/ SA), Jed Hagan (East Fremantle/ WA)

    Ryan is 100% better as a midfielder, but due to not many others in the side being able to play multiple positions (or rather, not showing that versatility) he's forced onto the half back line, where his class and poise under pressure are still valuable weapons when forced back here that he utilises to full effect. There's a bit of the Pendlebury's to Ryan, with his movement smooth but looking more so due to read of the game than athleticism. Barnett is 202cm and has played mainly ruck and forward, but at his height he's got sublime skills and athleticism that may see him turn into a successful Key Defender. Regardless, his ability to get around the ground and impact in all phases of the game is invaluable for a big man. Hagan is very much a 'performance' selection here, having made the WA U19s team and holding his own it's hard to deny that he's got more exposure than most, however I expect he may drop quickly next year =(

    C: Elijah Tstatas (Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC M), George Wardlaw (Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC M), Oliver Hollands (Murray Bushrangers/ VIC C)

    Arguably 3 of the best 4 mids heading into next year, all three of these guys have shown their capabilities as inside and outside players with genuine game sense. Elijah is an athletic beast with his acceleration around stoppages a massive weapon of his, paired with his damaging kick he looms as a genuine Pick 1 candidate early. Wardlaw is also in that same calibre of player, but a much stronger contested player with a real strength of his being his repeat efforts, inside consistency and the ability to stand up in tackles, and that's no joke, the RookieMe Central team were discussing last night and concluded we'd never seen Wardlaw brought to ground before disposing of the ball. Hollands is the brother of the SUNS' Elijah, with athleticism and class being key features of his game.

    HF: Jack O'Sullivan (Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC C), Will Elliott (Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC M), Harry Sheezel (Sandringham Dragons/ VIC M)

    O'Sullivan is exactly the type of small player that I love, so early disclaimer that I may be overrating him all of 2022, but as a forward he's a pressure machine that knows how to use it going forward as well, there's not many tackles he goes for that he doesn't lay and when rotated through the midfield he's a contested ball magnet as well. Elliott is a super athletic tall, which is looking to be a theme next year, who can play ruck but looks much more at home as a forward, where he can impact well at ground level and aerially for his height. Sheezel is similar to Rachele from this years draft, but slightly taller and I think with a little stronger workrate, but a similar flair in the forward 50 and knack for doing miraculous things

    FF: Elijah Hewett (Swan Districts/ WA), Harry Lemmey (West Adelaide/ SA), Mattaes Phillipou (WWT Eagles/ SA)

    The premiere tall heading into next season, Lemmey is a lead up specialist with his arm span and ability to mark in front at full speed allowing him to beat most opponents with ease when given the space to lead into, with his follow up shot at goal super impressive for a junior, already having a well defined routine. Phillipou is a super athletic medium forward that runs through the midfield well, it's very much a speculative pick having him this high early on, but I think he's got a lot of similar traits to a guy like Calen Poulter. Hewett has done the majority of his damage as a big bodied inside ball winner for WA, but at club and PSA level has had some impressive stints up forward, and he still manages to hit the scoreboard when playing through the guts.

    R: Jackson Broadbent (Peel Thunder/ WA), Will Ashcroft (Sandringham Dragons/ VIC M), Jhye Clark (Geelong Falcons/ VIC C)

    Broadbent is undoubtedly a big prospect, and whilst he may not have the athleticism of other ruck options next year he already looks like a guy that could be considered a safe bet to make it as a number 1 ruck at the next level, early on he reminds me a bit of Jarrod Witts, but I feel Broadbent is more mobile. Ashcroft will be spoken about plenty as a top end father-son, but he does pretty much everything as a midfielder really well and frequently hits the scoreboard. Clark is a hard at it mid that is surprisingly clean with his disposal, even when being tackled or directly pressured he manages to hit targets by hand or foot

    IN/C: Noah Long (Bendigo Pioneers/ VIC C), Kane Bevan (West Perth/ WA), Adam D'Aloia (WWT Eagles/ SA), Matthew Jeffersen (Oakleigh Chargers/ VIC M)

    Long is a very similar player to Caleb Serong, just high workrate, ferocious and doesn't let his size stop him from having a crack and really troubling opposition players through the midfield. Bevan is a versatile prospect, and at 192 cm he could very well grow to KPP height but keep his strengths as a midfielder, especially his contested ball winning. D'Aloia has impressed everyone that's watched him, even getting a BOG medal in one of the SA U19's games, as well as the SANFL U18s Grand Final, a hard at it and hard working midfielder. Jeffersen is an exciting tall utility, with hisa best performances coming as a forward where his leading patterns and accuracy will impress many
     
    2022 AFL Boys Academy
  • PMBangers

    @Headless approved!
    Nov 7, 2017
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    My write up of the players included in the 2022 AFL Boys Academy squad, was a good opportunity to revisit the U17s champs games. I'm still pretty shocked at Koby Ryan being excluded from this squad all things considered.

    Some of the lesser spoken about prospects;
    Lachlan Cowan
    Tasmania Devils | Allies
    187 cm | 78 kg
    General Defender/ Midfielder


    A consistent performer out of the back half who has shown a bit of potential through the midfield at times, Cowan is a constant danger all around the ground with his tendency to push up aggressively and go for daring kicks into the forward half. Cowan utilises his speed, positioning and booming kick to full effect offensively, forcing his opponents up the ground with him, and looking to hit the scoreboard if they don’t.
    Jason Gillbee
    Bendigo Pioneers | NSW/ACT
    191 cm
    Wing


    The NSW product is a rangy and raw tall winger, managing six appearances for the Pioneers in the NAB League the season just gone, Gillbee is another of just a few with U19s experience heading into 2022. A two running prospect who holds his space well, can take a grab overhead and possesses a long kick, Gillbee is sure to draw eyes all of next year.

    Matthew Jefferson
    Oakleigh Chargers | Vic Metro
    193 cm
    | 79 kg
    Tall Utility


    The athletic tall is best performed as a forward so far, but has played in the backline showing some promise in some of his APS matches. As a forward, Jefferson is able to leave opponents in the dust on the lead, easily gaining separation and holding marks well on the lead but also very capable with holding contested marks as well. Jefferson is a reliable set shop, but also looks to pass the ball off to teammates in better scoring positions, meaning that even if he isn’t kicking the goals himself he’s generally securing them well.


    Mitch Szybkowski

    Dandenong Stingrays | Vic Country
    185 cm | 80 kg
    Midfielder


    The strong-bodied Dandenong midfielder is yet another inside specialist in the academy, where he does well to win first possession out of stoppages and follow up with pinpoint hands to his outside runners, but equally as capable of bursting away from his opponents and kicking a penetrating ball forward, utilising his power well. Szybkowski accumulates well around the ground, positioning smartly to get marks out of defensive 50 and then powering forward to keep his side moving quickly.


    Luke Teal


    Oakleigh Chargers | Vic Metro
    188 cm | 78 kg
    General Defender/ Midfielder



    An impressive defender with the potential to make an impact as a bigger bodied midfielder, Teal is a general in the defensive half with how he remains accountable for opponents and throws himself at every contest. Teal is a very good mark over head for his size, impressing at times with how often he wins contested marks even when outnumbered. Teal uses the ball well, and looks particularly impressive with his quick hands in close when running through the midfield.
     

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