#38 Sam Draper


The amount of taps he’s getting at VFL level is not a direct sign he is ready for AFL at all IMO

Draper is 203cm & 105kg

Final 1. Pies.

Draper had 63 hitouts.

His opponents were on that day based on hit out stats

Thomas Jok - 193cm! /80kgs - 23 hit outs.
Noted as a winger on VFL bio.
Sam McClarty - 197cm / 95kgs - 7 hit outs (pinch hitter only as of 2018 season, plays fwd or back usually)
Tom Lynch - 200cm/ 95kgs - 2 hit outs. Soccer background & generally NFI

I won’t need to go through the rest of the finals or games in general but I would expect it’s a common trait he’s continually coming up against players shorter/lighter and not even remotely close to the skillset of an AFL standard ruck he would if made the step up.

Beating up on hacks at VFL level means nothing. The true tests would be at training vs Belly and Leuey and only the coaching / recruiting staff would know if he is ready. And given we offered Leuey a contract / are looking to get another ruck it’s clear to me they don’t quite yet.


All this is true but it also shows how hard it is to find a really good, young genuine ruck that looks like he is destined for the AFL.

In Draper, we have that.

Very, very few other clubs have anyone near Draper’s ability in the VFL/SANFL/WAFL/NEAFL.


Actually following Draper’s ruck progression goes something like the following;
Was promising against fellow baby Rucks and good at boundary throw ins. Struggled against the big bodied mature VFL ruck spuds.
Started to beat the big heavy spuds, first at centre bounces then at ball ups. Struggled a bit against leaping ruckmen. (Such as Jol) Note the VFL doesn’t have many of these to learn against.
Late in Sammy’s second season started to dominate the leapers- when to leap himself, how to initiate body contact etc.

And he still seems to enjoy a bit of secondary body work if the ball isn’t cleared. As far as stoppage ruck is concerned I reckon blokes like “Highlights” Gawn and Grundy would get a bit of a surprise. They might find their run from packs is being blocked by a bloke with similar attributes.

It’s Sammy’s round the ground work, particularly his offensive positioning, that still needs work. And more consistent kicking.


Pretty accurate description.
Progressing beautifully.
Ready to rock and roll 2020 and beyond.


Doesn’t pass the sniff test for mine


jackets has publicly said he is looking for a mid or ruckman in the draft most likely

lets put our trust in him


So we’re getting a small forward then



wouldn’t it be exciting if we drafted a player who would go straight into our best 22

That would give us even greater depth and brilliance


What about Chris Carey ? Has no one spoken to him ? He’s 6’6", 24 years old, and has been rucking with Port Melbourne for the last two seasons. I don’t fully understand the system but it seems to me that if he’d nominate for the draft we could get him as FS. His father is Steve Carey, 1985 Essendon premiership player who racked up 105 games for the Club.


So he’d be the bloke Draper torched?

Edit: Nah, that was Lisle


Draper could well be better, but Carey’s a damn good ruckman, too. I’ve always believed you need two ruckmen in the Ones and at least one in reserve.

They could each alternate between first ruck in the Magoos and back-up to TBC in the Ones. And if TBC went down, they’d go well together. It’s worth considering.


The inevitable Bellchambers injury could come half way through the season meaning Draper’s debut next season could be a while away. Plenty of time between then and now for him to hone his craft.

Doesn’t matter if he gets beaten in his first games. Back the bloke in and f**k chasing a back up ruckman.


go with no backup.

If tbell injured and Draper not quite up to it after tried bring in the big Russian in the Mid season draft.


He’s only 6 VFL games - 4 in 2017, 2 in 2018.

Most of 2017 in the development league. Not sure what happened this year but he only played 2, maybe injured?


Lol. Now it’s getting really silly.


Glupyy is the word you’re looking for.
According to the internet.


Sammy is definitely ready to have a run at senior level. Still a significant question mark on whether he could backup over the course of a few weeks against senior ruckmen. Also could actually stifle his development in the long term if he is required to carry a heavy load at this young age.

Would give him a JLT game as no1 ruck and a couple of games during the year if TBell need a rest and drapes was smashing the vfl.

However, with the 6 players we are going to draft in the next few weeks, makes sense to spend a list spot a senior ruck such as Darcy Fort. We should be in the mix for finals/flag and it is a good contingency to put into place.

Draper is looking really promising and showed significant improvement this year but why take a big risk when there’s an opportunity to mitigate it with depth.


Why is Draper a bigger risk than Fort ? As far as backup ruckman go Sammy is as good or better than anyone around.

Don’t waste a list spot on a hack for a perception that we have that we may have several big ruckman go down.


Why do you suggest he is a hack however?

Aceman in watching SANFL says otherwise. Callum Twomey indicates he’s one of the more likely mature agers to get picked up.

Rucks are vitally important in today’s game so to have 3 genuine rucks (2 of which developing) would not be a waste of a list spot at all IMO. And actually good planning for post Belly.

If Dodoro/recruitment team offered Leuey a contract and also are saying we looking for a ruck now he didn’t take it then we need one.

And now a few years after that …


TBell hasn’t missed much footy over the last 2 seasons. Is injury really inevitable?

Based on the traditional history of a lot or rucks (ie. playing their best footy late in their career) and the fact he’s had 2 relatively injury free seasons as a base, I reckon there is a reasonable chance Belly’s best footy could still be ahead of him