First look at the 2015 AFL Draft Big Board
Brett Anderson | 10 Apr 2015, 07:30PM For AFL recruiters the draft process is long and strenuous. It begins well before the current year’s talent crop reaches eligibility. In his first Big Board for the season, our draft analyst looks at his top 20 prospects for 2015.
Three short months after celebrating their previous season’s draft crop, the bails are lifted off the stumps to signal the end of cricket season and the attention of scouts nationwide turns to the football season, and the hard work begins again.
Every week our draft position seems to get higher and higher…Thought it might be a good idea to start a topic like this and see who’s perfect and who might we go after. Everyone says the talent pool of this draft is shallow but the top end seems good. Couple of kids here sounds like good prospects and more importantly good replacement for the likes of Goddard and Jobe. Our drafting in recent years have been spot on.
Zerrett and Fanta were great gets and should replace Winders and Chappy. They both look like two good wing players of the future. Then the likes of Leverde, Smack and Langford last year seems our drafting is least of worries.
Here’s what SEN reckon are the top top 20 prospects for 2015.
1 Callum Mills
186cm | 73kg | North Shore
Sydney academy product who starred at under-16 level in 2013 then again as a bottom-ager last year where he averaged 21 possessions a game in the national championships. Played six matches for the Swans reserves in the NEAFL where he averaged 30 possessions a game.
2 Jacob Hopper
186cm | 82kg | North Ballarat Rebels
Strong-bodied inside midfield who is a member of GWS’s academy. Hit the ground running in 2015 with 27 possessions and four goals against Geelong and held his own against Werribee VFL on the weekend.
3 Charlie Curnow
191cm | 95kg | Geelong Falcons
Versatile, athletic tall who has played all over the ground for Geelong over the past 12 months after being a late-comer to the Falcons program. Kicked three goals in his only TAC Cup game this year. Brother of Carlton’s Ed.
4 Jacob Weitering
195cm | 90kg | Dandenong Stingrays
Athletic tall defender who can also play in attack but has already demonstrated he is capable of matching it with bigger bodies with a strong display for the AFL academy against Werribee, where he took six marks in the first quarter.
5 Darcy Tucker
184cm | 78kg | North Ballarat Rebels
Versatile midfielder who captained the AFL academy team last weekend and impressed in national championships last year as a bottom ager averaging 21 possessions in three outings.
6 Aaron Francis
192cm | 89kg | West Adelaide
Already playing league football (trials) for West Adelaide and starred in defence against Werribee for the AFL academy on weekend. Reads the game very well and shows good composure with ball in hand.
7 Darcy Parish
181cm | 73kg | Geelong Falcons
Hard-working midfielder who can also play across half back and makes good decisions with ball in hand. One of the few winners for the AFL academy against Werribee with 21 touches and three clearances.
8 Callum Ah Chee
182cm | 71kg | South Fremantle
Quick and footy smart, Ah Chee is WA’s best draft prospect this season. Averaged 15 possessions and a goal a game in the WAFL colts last year and was clean by hand and foot against Werribee on Sunday.
9 Josh Schache
199cm | 96kg | Murray Bushrangers
Left-footed, strong-marking tall forward who kicked seven goals in his only TAC Cup outing so far this season against Bendigo. Son of former Brisbane Bears forward, Laurie.
10 Ryan Burton
190cm | 79kg | North Adelaide
Mid-sized forward who plays tall and kicked five goals in his first game of the 2014 national championships. Played four SANFL matches for North Adelaide before breaking his leg – which he is still rehabbing.
11 Rhys Mathieson
185cm | 79kg | Geelong Falcons
Competitive midfielder who was a standout at under-16 level two years ago averaging 20 possessions in the championships. Missed the academy match at the weekend with injury.
12 Sam Weideman
196cm | 91kg | Eastern Ranges
Tall forward who kicked 19 goals in 15 matches last season in the TAC Cup as a bottom-ager. Grandson of Magpie legend Murray.
13 Nick O’Kearney
181cm | 71kg | Calder Cannons
Big ball-winning, left-footed midfielder who won Calder’s best and fairest as a 17-year-old last year. Had 22 touches against Werribee for the academy team on Sunday.
14 Ryan Clarke
186cm | 84kg | Eastern Ranges
Dynamic midfielder/forward who has started the TAC Cup season in blinding form averaging 28 possessions, six marks and four clearances in three matches. His first quarter against Calder on Friday night was as good as you’ll see.
15 Harley Balic
186cm | 80kg | Sandringham Dragons
Former basketballer who can play at half forward or through midfield and has a touch of class. Averaging 21 possessions and five marks in two TAC Cup matches this season.
16 Josh Minogue
189cm | 90kg | Murray Bushrangers
Won the Ovens and Murray league Rising Star award last season with North Albury – where he kicked 31 goals in the seniors, but didn’t feature for Murray at TAC Cup level. Good sized forward/midfielder and took 12 marks on the weekend against Gippsland to catch the eye and rise up the rankings.
17 Keiran Agius
187cm | 84kg | North Adelaide
Creative forward who booted 54 goals in the SANFL under-18s last year and 57 in just eight games as a 16-year-old the previous season with the Roosters. Seen by some recruiters as the best kick in this year’s draft.
18 Ben Keays
183cm | 78kg | Morningside
One of Queensland’s stars in the nationals as a 17-year-old last year averaging 23 possessions and kicking seven goals. A Brisbane academy player who played 10 NEAFL matches in 2014 averaging 19 possessions.
19 Callum Moore
193cm | 85kg | Calder Cannons
A 19-year-old ex-basketballer who burst onto the scene late last season and attracted a lot of interest late in the draft – especially from Sydney Swans. Starred in Cannons’ practice matches but broke a scaphoid bone in his hand and is now sidelined.
20 Harry McKay
200cm | 85kg | Gippsland Power
Athletic Warragul youngster who didn’t play TAC Cup in 2014 but had the recruiting world talking after booting four goals against Dandenong in Round 1 this year. One of a number of bolters to have bobbed up in the opening rounds of the season.