It’s certainly what it looks like to me.
The list is screaming out for ball winners. We were right down the bottom of the league for clearances last year, we got spanked in a final largely cos we couldn’t get the contested ball, then we lost or got rid of no less than FOUR dedicated big-bodied mids over the off-season, plus another two (Kelly and Stanton) who could do the job at a pinch.
Blind freddy could see this, .
We trade in one legit big guy who could has the talent to pinch-hit in the middle if he gets fitter than he’s ever been in his career, and one guy who is a legit midfield prospect but who is tiny and will be giving up 10cm and 15kg to the opposition centre-square brutes. We then draft exactly ONE guy who is a moderately legit inside mid. With our last pick,. And mind you, we skipped him last year when he played entirely inside mid, and only drafted him this year when he was apparently used as a utility.
There’s only a couple of options I can see here. Either the club believes the stoppage situation is not a problem, in which case they’re blind or insane or incompetent, which I don’t think is the case. Or they believe that some of the guys we already have on our list can fill the gap (Clarke and Mutch who were drafted as mids, else Laverde/Langford/Begley/Redman/Ridley/Francis/whoever, who were all drafted as utility mid-sized forwards or defenders). And/or they hope Houlahan/our rookie can take some of the load going forward.
I believe that some clubs view the various draft camp jumping tests as indicative of potential not just for jumping, but also for first-step pace. Do we perhaps see Houlahan with this in mind?
I’m just bewildered about our thought processes, really. Dodoro said last year that in his mind third round picks and later are to fill need gaps (and he has pretty consistently drafted with this philosophy in mind). But this year ALL of our picks are 3rd round or later, we have a glaring screaming black hole in our list, and we pick two blokes who don’t fit a particular list need (we have enough mid-sized marking forwards to stock every undeveloped nation in the world ffs, and we draft ANOTHER one?) and only gesture towards a major list problem with the overall third last live pick in the draft.
I’ve had a suspicion that Dodoro just doesn’t like drafting this type of guy, for whatever reason. Perhaps he doesn’t rate them as important, perhaps he believes their skill set is easy to learn, i really don’t know. But it’s been driving me nuts for years. I thought we’d turned over a new leaf last year, but now we’re back to old habits. I swear, if Day/Parish/whoever is still on the board for our rookie pick and we take some skinny mid-sized utility flanker whose point of difference is his uncontested overhead marking, I may well eat my own head in frustration. I just don’t understand why we keep doing this sort of thing.