The 2018 Superdraft revisited

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SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Seasoned Football Analyst
Aug 21, 2018
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You guys ok?

He's a goal kicking contested mid that can go forward and take grabs. Those types of player - Martin, Bontempelli, Petracca - are considered the best in the league.

Tarryn isn't at their level yet, but he's certainly on the trajectory.

Went head to head with Sam Walsh for long periods in the game against Carlton last year for 23 touches, four goals, five clearances and 512m gained.

If he stays injury free, his ceiling is top five in the comp level.

Not saying he WILL get there, but he's got the potential to be there and his second half of 2021 was approaching that level for a sustained period.

And he knocked your golden boy Jiath rotten fair and square in a contest.
 
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Ambrosia

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To add to that discussion too, Petracca was notably out of AFL shape and looked more like a boulder than athlete. It was very obvious he had high talent but it was down to hit commitment to reaching the heights he has this year.

For me I don't really know when I watch Thomas as to what's holding him back. Even with Walsh for instance, he has a hell of a lot of filling out to do still in terms of muscle so you can predict improvement is still to come. Thomas is quite sturdy, isn't a terrible runner from what I see but just doesn't seem a natural accumulator at this stage.

The next big body Bont/Trac type for me is clearly Rayner. Has all the explosiveness and footy nous, just hasnt had the fitness and discipline to take that step as of yet.

I think Thomas’s body has significantly more room for development then Walsh’s don’t really see how anyone could see it any other way. Thomas came into the league sub 80kg at 189cm tall.
 

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SSwans2011

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I'd be extremely bullish on either were I a supporter of their respective club, but I'd have Luko ahead of Thomas at this point from what I've seen.

I reckon he could be lethal as a half-forward in a team that is able to generate a consistently reasonable inside 50 numbers. I think I agree with Malifice, he may very well be the best kick of the footy I've seen.
 

schmuttt

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To add to that discussion too, Petracca was notably out of AFL shape and looked more like a boulder than athlete. It was very obvious he had high talent but it was down to hit commitment to reaching the heights he has this year.

For me I don't really know when I watch Thomas as to what's holding him back. Even with Walsh for instance, he has a hell of a lot of filling out to do still in terms of muscle so you can predict improvement is still to come. Thomas is quite sturdy, isn't a terrible runner from what I see but just doesn't seem a natural accumulator at this stage.

The next big body Bont/Trac type for me is clearly Rayner. Has all the explosiveness and footy nous, just hasnt had the fitness and discipline to take that step as of yet.

Thomas is much more likely to be a player at that level than Rayner. Has already had some huge games through the midfield whereas even discounting the ACL Rayner doesn’t find the footy (Which is part of football IQ). Petracca wasn’t really part of our midfield brigade in his first 3 years yet he’d already had some dominant performances in there by his 3rd year, Bont and Martin were even better in their first 3 years. Rayner on the other hand has only had 20+ disposals twice in his career!
 

Grrr

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I think that Covid has had a bit to do with the players development since their first year. Those kids who were pro's coming into the system, Walsh, Smith types have not been affected by Covid so much because the discipline of training on your own is something they have always.

Also those players type of players who have been in the AFL sides consistently like the King brothers, Walsh, Smith, Thomas, and many others have not been as disadvantaged as those players who have been on the edge and have not had regular training or VFL games to play themselves into form.

Players like Rankine and Rozee who have had injuries, Stack who was second in the Rising Star behind Walsh but has been in all sorts of strife since, have struggled a lot more, especially I would think mentally.

Finally they will all get a good preseason and be on a much more level playing field this year, so it will be really interesting to see how some will rise, and maybe some will plateau. Finally a plug for Mr. Stack, as talented as any of them in my opinion, trained very impressively yesterday, first time in his life he has done a proper pre-season. Reckon he will be in Richmond's best few players this season.
 

Nutjob

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To add to that discussion too, Petracca was notably out of AFL shape and looked more like a boulder than athlete. It was very obvious he had high talent but it was down to hit commitment to reaching the heights he has this year.

For me I don't really know when I watch Thomas as to what's holding him back. Even with Walsh for instance, he has a hell of a lot of filling out to do still in terms of muscle so you can predict improvement is still to come. Thomas is quite sturdy, isn't a terrible runner from what I see but just doesn't seem a natural accumulator at this stage.

The next big body Bont/Trac type for me is clearly Rayner. Has all the explosiveness and footy nous, just hasnt had the fitness and discipline to take that step as of yet.

I don’t see Walsh who is a running freak and has solely played midfield as a good comparison to Thomas. I think someone like a Petracca would be a better comparison. Thomas has mainly played half forward until the second half of this year, so of course his stats aren’t going to be comparable to a midfielder. From 2019 to 2021 his disposals per game jumped from 12 to 18.2 after missing most of 2020. He is never going to be an accumulator like Walsh as he isn’t that type of player.

Thomas and Rayner are a lot more comparable than Walsh, so I find it a little strange that you assess Thomas this way, but think Rayner will be the next big thing. I’m not suggesting he won’t be, but your reasoning sort of contradicts itself. Rayner is a poor runner who struggles to accumulate the ball. Statistically before getting injured his stats have basically gone backwards from year to year. The jury is clearly still out on his ‘footy nous.’


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SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

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Aug 21, 2018
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Example of an ESPN stat (off their twitter):

"Curry joins LeBron as only 2 players in last 5 seasons to record 25-pt double-double on 27th birthday."

Technically true, but so very specific as to make it pointless.

I know what you mean, but don't reckon it applies in this instance.
 

Tylerbombers

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I know what you mean, but don't reckon it applies in this instance.

It leaves out a bunch of players who scored heaps more goals but had slightly less then 18 disposals or had less then a goal a game but way more disposals and by doing so puts Thomas into this elite group of players alongside superstars who when you compare there stats he isnt even close to atm. For example I could take Kyle Langfords stats and say "he was one of only seven players last season to average at least 20.8 disposals and more than 0.8 goals alongside such superstars as Dustin Martin, Christian Petracca and Marcus Bontempelli." At a glance it might look impressive but its just manipulating the stats to put him alongside these superstar players. In reality those three all average considerably more disposals and more goals then Langford and Thomas.
 

the big lebowski

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It leaves out a bunch of players who scored heaps more goals but had slightly less then 18 disposals or had less then a goal a game but way more disposals and by doing so puts Thomas into this elite group of players alongside superstars who when you compare there stats he isnt even close to atm. For example I could take Kyle Langfords stats and say "he was one of only seven players last season to average at least 20.8 disposals and more than 0.8 goals alongside such superstars as Dustin Martin, Christian Petracca and Marcus Bontempelli." At a glance it might look impressive but its just manipulating the stats to put him alongside these superstar players. In reality those three all average considerably more disposals and more goals then Langford and Thomas.

I mean, you could compare Thomas to a top 10 bomber using stats to show Thomas is a little infront here, or a little behind there.

But given the 4 year difference in age, and the fact that Thomas is basically twice as good as Langford was in their respective third season, what’s the point?
 

Ambrosia

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I mean, you could compare Thomas to a top 10 bomber using stats to show Thomas is a little infront here, or a little behind there.

But given the 4 year difference in age, and the fact that Thomas is basically twice as good as Langford was in their respective third season, what’s the point?

I don’t think anyone is arguing Thomas isn’t a very promising footballer more pointing that a selective stat isn’t great evidence to extrapolate him to becoming a top 5 player in 2 years.
 

Tylerbombers

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I mean, you could compare Thomas to a top 10 bomber using stats to show Thomas is a little infront here, or a little behind there.

But given the 4 year difference in age, and the fact that Thomas is basically twice as good as Langford was in their respective third season, what’s the point?

Its not about comparing them, you could do this same manipulation with a bunch of different players to try and associate them with Martin, Petracca and Bont. The point is its an ESPN stat because its too specific and is just an attempt to make the player look good.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

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It leaves out a bunch of players who scored heaps more goals but had slightly less then 18 disposals or had less then a goal a game but way more disposals and by doing so puts Thomas into this elite group of players alongside superstars who when you compare there stats he isnt even close to atm. For example I could take Kyle Langfords stats and say "he was one of only seven players last season to average at least 20.8 disposals and more than 0.8 goals alongside such superstars as Dustin Martin, Christian Petracca and Marcus Bontempelli." At a glance it might look impressive but its just manipulating the stats to put him alongside these superstar players. In reality those three all average considerably more disposals and more goals then Langford and Thomas.

Yeah fair enough.

It was Jon Pierik at The Age that devised the paramters though, not me.

Tarryn Thomas
had a break-out season and will use 2022 to show why he shapes as a genuine match winner alongside the likes of Jy Simpkin. Keen to become a role model in the Indigenous community, he was one of only seven players last season to average at least 18 disposals and more than one goal and one score assist, alongside such superstars as Dustin Martin, Christian Petracca and Marcus Bontempelli.

 

WalshistheGOAT

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I don’t see Walsh who is a running freak and has solely played midfield as a good comparison to Thomas. I think someone like a Petracca would be a better comparison. Thomas has mainly played half forward until the second half of this year, so of course his stats aren’t going to be comparable to a midfielder. From 2019 to 2021 his disposals per game jumped from 12 to 18.2 after missing most of 2020. He is never going to be an accumulator like Walsh as he isn’t that type of player.

Thomas and Rayner are a lot more comparable than Walsh, so I find it a little strange that you assess Thomas this way, but think Rayner will be the next big thing. I’m not suggesting he won’t be, but your reasoning sort of contradicts itself. Rayner is a poor runner who struggles to accumulate the ball. Statistically before getting injured his stats have basically gone backwards from year to year. The jury is clearly still out on his ‘footy nous.’


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I didn't mean to compare Thomas to Walsh, they are completely different players. My point was that for Trac and Rayner it is/was visible to see their bodiee had/have a long way to go in terms of conditioning. Rayney like trac before him has the explosiveness and strength to go with skill, he just doesn't seem to be able to apply that often in games as he's simply not fit enough.

Where I compared Thomas and Walsh in a way, is to say that I don't see the same scope for bodily development as Thomas is already quite built and he runs decently as it is, I don't think he has anywhere near the explosiveness as a Rayner or Petracca or even a Stringer/Dusty if he's to spend more time forward than mid. On the other hand Walsh is still very skinny and as he adds more muscle may end up closer to that mould of explosive midfielder, not as big and powerful, but like Judd or GAJ, just nigh on impossible to keep up with and strong enough to brush off tackles.

I'm notably not as bullish on Thomas as others, so perhaps I'm just being bias but I think Butters and Rozee are the ones from this draft who will come on like a house on fire the next couple years. Thomas I don't see ever finding enough ball to get to top 5 player level. He seems very laconic and I think if he is to reach a level where he will he tagged he doesn't have the physical attributes to shake it like the real stars do.
 

WalshistheGOAT

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I didn't mean to compare Thomas to Walsh, they are completely different players. My point was that for Trac and Rayner it is/was visible to see their bodiee had/have a long way to go in terms of conditioning. Rayney like trac before him has the explosiveness and strength to go with skill, he just doesn't seem to be able to apply that often in games as he's simply not fit enough.

Where I compared Thomas and Walsh in a way, is to say that I don't see the same scope for bodily development as Thomas is already quite built and he runs decently as it is, I don't think he has anywhere near the explosiveness as a Rayner or Petracca or even a Stringer/Dusty if he's to spend more time forward than mid. On the other hand Walsh is still very skinny and as he adds more muscle may end up closer to that mould of explosive midfielder, not as big and powerful, but like Judd or GAJ, just nigh on impossible to keep up with and strong enough to brush off tackles.

I'm notably not as bullish on Thomas as others, so perhaps I'm just being bias but I think Butters and Rozee are the ones from this draft who will come on like a house on fire the next couple years. Thomas I don't see ever finding enough ball to get to top 5 player level. He seems very laconic and I think if he is to reach a level where he will he tagged he doesn't have the physical attributes to shake it like the real stars do.
Should say I still think he's a very good player, just don't see him reaching the top echelon of the comp levels
 

the big lebowski

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I didn't mean to compare Thomas to Walsh, they are completely different players. My point was that for Trac and Rayner it is/was visible to see their bodiee had/have a long way to go in terms of conditioning. Rayney like trac before him has the explosiveness and strength to go with skill, he just doesn't seem to be able to apply that often in games as he's simply not fit enough.

Where I compared Thomas and Walsh in a way, is to say that I don't see the same scope for bodily development as Thomas is already quite built and he runs decently as it is, I don't think he has anywhere near the explosiveness as a Rayner or Petracca or even a Stringer/Dusty if he's to spend more time forward than mid. On the other hand Walsh is still very skinny and as he adds more muscle may end up closer to that mould of explosive midfielder, not as big and powerful, but like Judd or GAJ, just nigh on impossible to keep up with and strong enough to brush off tackles.

I'm notably not as bullish on Thomas as others, so perhaps I'm just being bias but I think Butters and Rozee are the ones from this draft who will come on like a house on fire the next couple years. Thomas I don't see ever finding enough ball to get to top 5 player level. He seems very laconic and I think if he is to reach a level where he will he tagged he doesn't have the physical attributes to shake it like the real stars do.

I’m kind of sick of talking about Thomas. But I’ll just give my opinion on this.

Bizzare.

He’s 189 cm and the north website lists him at 79kgs. 3 kgs less than Walsh.

Walsh would have to be at least a 30% better runner than Thomas (distance wise).

There has also been talk about Thomas’s work rate, which whilst much improved in 2021, probably still needs work.

To argue that Thomas has the least physical development out of these young players seems to me at least, to be completely at odds with reality.
 

WalshistheGOAT

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I’m kind of sick of talking about Thomas. But I’ll just give my opinion on this.

Bizzare.

He’s 189 cm and the north website lists him at 79kgs. 3 kgs less than Walsh.

Walsh would have to be at least a 30% better runner than Thomas (distance wise).

There has also been talk about Thomas’s work rate, which whilst much improved in 2021, probably still needs work.

To argue that Thomas has the least physical development out of these young players seems to me at least, to be completely at odds with reality.
All I'm saying is I don't believe Thomas has the explosiveness or to become one of these high impact superstar players similar to Dusty, Trac, Fyfe, Danger, Judd, GAJ.

He is at very best above average for speed, strength and power from when I've watched him. He has lovely skills and a deadly kick and I believe that's his main weapon. I don't see him breaking through tackles or fending off opponents. Trac and Dusty etc have all the skills and then the athletic freak factor to go with it which is what makes them so good.

I only see Rozee Walsh and Rankine with that potential from this draft, but Rozee and Rankine have been injured a lot and Walsh may never get the size due to the endurance aspect of his game.
Butters I just love as he throws himself at any contest no matter the danger.
 

the big lebowski

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All I'm saying is I don't believe Thomas has the explosiveness or to become one of these high impact superstar players similar to Dusty, Trac, Fyfe, Danger, Judd, GAJ.

He is at very best above average for speed, strength and power from when I've watched him. He has lovely skills and a deadly kick and I believe that's his main weapon. I don't see him breaking through tackles or fending off opponents. Trac and Dusty etc have all the skills and then the athletic freak factor to go with it which is what makes them so good.

I only see Rozee Walsh and Rankine with that potential from this draft, but Rozee and Rankine have been injured a lot and Walsh may never get the size due to the endurance aspect of his game.
Butters I just love as he throws himself at any contest no matter the danger.

Accumulation is a fair enough point to bring up, though he’s only played 3 seasons of football, one of which he missed. And he averaged 18 touches a game. He averages more touches per game in his third season than danger, Ablett, and the same as Trac. But yes, who knows if he will end up averaging 25-30 touches per game.

But that kind of flies in the face of your “impact player claim”. That’s exactly what he is right now. High on metres gained, goals, score involments etc. if there was a stat for clearance per Center bounce attended I’d bet he’s high on that list too. He also regularly takes contested pack marks. And like butters throws his slender body into players. Loves to play tough.

Re “explosiveness”, maybe his laconic running style and lack of conditioning has misdirected you. He burst out of the Center square many times year. He also averaged more running bounces than butters and Rozee and twice that of Walsh.

Anyway, the future will reveal all.
 

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