I think his issue is just plain old game sense. He's quick. his skills are great, while not really being the most consistent kick just yet, he can pull off kicks that very few in the team (or league) can. He doesn't shirk a contest, and he doesn't drop his head.
There is a lot there to like. No doubt.
He didn't make it as forward, because he didn't really understand the basic fundamentals. Where to lead, when to lead, when a ball may go over the back / fall short, etc. These same problems have followed him into the backline IMO. He's ok in just a straight up one-on-one contest, but when it comes to knowing where to run, when to man up, when to leave your man, when to defend space, when a ball may fall short / go over the back... he often looks totally lost out there.
It's completely understandable considering his background, but i'm not sure it's fixable. You either pick it up, or you don't. I have no idea how long this took the Hanley / Touhy types, and maybe it is just a matter of sucking it up and just letting him figure it out live, on an AFL field? Maybe not though.
I'm not particularly hopeful, but considering his potential upside, and that his competition for half backs spots atm are either old (Kelly, Stanton), very average (Gleeson, Dea, Mcneice) or perpetually injured (Morgan), I'm not against him getting more opportunity over the season.
It's a long shot though.
Man, Hibbo would be nice right about now...