alrighty, I guess I’ll go with Luke Brown
So only 3 more LIT picks to go? When will be able to see our squads in UF?
@saladin your pick in LTI
@Bargey I will finalise tonight and relase the teams. There will be a bit of manual work to do with the LTI picks.
Saracens Football Club
Draft Wrap 2018.
To put it frankly, the club went into the FF draft relatively unprepared. The Recruiting Department suffered some upheaval in the days following the AFL National Draft, and remained largely ignored and in hibernation through the summer months.
However, the club also entered the draft much later than it has been in recent seasons - having traded out its first round pick during the 2017 midseason trade period - and unable to be active during the summer trade period. As a result, it was deemed to be of exceeding importance to honestly evaluate the Keeper list and then formulate a draft plan that had some semblance of reasonable likelihood. The days leading into the draft were spent consulting previous years notes, making some guesses at likely delistings by other clubs and eliminating the most likely 2018 rookies to be drafted in the top 30. Pick 37 felt very far away when the draft opened - a particularly prescient foreboding in a very slow Draft opening as it turned out- , and the crop of possible players not overly plentiful.
The coach remains confident in his list of Keepers, believing that it still has natural improvement and inherent talent to push into the upper end of the ladder. The draft plan was to get coverage in all area’s of the ground, but with an emphasis on “upside” when evaluating similarly rated players. The search for future elite players was the main criteria, likelihood of senior football a second (but not totally distant) consideration.
As in previous years , where the club has been open with its supporters and has posted a pre-draft worksheet, we do so again here. In fact, two.
The first sheet is one (of many!) scribbles denoting the keeper list. The major trauma involved the final spot between Harmes, Lang, Francis and Byrne-Jones. Additional issues cropped up around Lycett and the second ruck coverage. In the end, DB-J won the final spot. Lycett was deemed too important to ignore and Riley Knight was dropped into the draft along with Francis, Lang and Harmes. All four were reluctantly delisted and all four were of interest in re-drafting if possible. These late changes allowed a measure of defensive depth in the 20 (subsequently important as the severity of the Gleeson injury news came through after Keeper lists were submitted) but light on for forwards.
Here is the second page, detailing some names and thoughts as the draft began, subsequent crossings off and on the right hand side a sketch of possible picks as they might play out.
That I got three “ticks” with relatively late opening picks is pleasing. That it went pearshaped after that is of no surprise, really.
Here’s how it played out.
Aiden Bonar. The priority here - of those i thought may possibly slip through - was Impey. Worpel, Constable, Banfield and Hunter Clarke were all pipe dreams and i wasnt surprised that WOB cleaned out most of them. But i did think that Bonar - coming off multiple knee injuries and at the apparently strong GWS - may slide through. In my estimation, he shouldnt have. He can have an impact forward of centre, so isnt just looking for a spot in the midfield. He already has an AFL physique. The departure of Smith, Whitfield’s move to defence and Hopper’s continuing injury niggles, may also open a spot earlier than many suspect. I managed to find a brief match report of a Neafl practice match that noted that Bonar was impressive. That was enough for me. He fitted the “upside” requirement better than most, dual position just added to the appeal. Once Impey - who i think will increase his scoring dramatically at Hawthorn - was taken at #30, i sat with fingers crossed that Bonar got through to #37. We view this as a top-10, two-year minimum selection.
Eddie Betts Once we noted Betts in the draft pool, the question became how useful would a best-22 forward, guaranteed of a game every single week if fit, and capable of some big scores and healthy average actually be. The answer, for a Keeper Squad thin on starting forwards and looking for a way to release Acres to the midfield if needed , was “Very”. The requirement for “upside” was obviously ignored for this pick, but we zero’d in on Betts at this pick very early. He would answer a need immediately. Had he been gone, Lang and Knight would have been in the frame, along with Horlin-Smith. Dom Barry went two picks prior.
George Horlin Smith. This deep in the draft, we had few expectations of specific players availability. Instead, it was more about following (hopefully) the acquisition of a playing Forward/Defender with some depth in the centre - which this League exacerbates with the 7 Mids structure. The Geelong midfield look is extremely tough to predict beyond the first four, and GHS has serious job security question marks. But he was on our list and then a very productive half against Essendon brought him firmly into contention. He has always looked capable of accumulating possessions and in our estimation has definite scope to improve his scoring. If he plays. But he was on the “plan” list at this pick, so we pulled the trigger. Jave had taken Lang just prior to the GHS pick, but with Betts in the bag we would probably have followed the plan anyway.
Lachlan Murphy. Interestingly, the pre-draft sketch had Ed Vickers Willis at this pick, who we think is set for a good year. Get the rookie, get the forward, get the centre and then the defender. All good so far, and he was right there for the taking. But in the interminable delays of this draft, i had been looking around for other potential talents with good development potential. Lachlan Murphy started to look appealing on paper, and even more so after his JLT reports. Even better, the Crows seem to be grooming him forward, possibly with Camerons departure in mind, and if he plays may well gain dual position status early on. The “upside” requirement, good JLT form and gut feel that this may be a typical rookie-list-kid-makes-good story all pointed to Murphy. We also thought it possible that EVW would last another round or two. We were right, and then wrong. The other player looked at here would have been Ridley, but WOB took that option off the table prior. There was also one other player in our thoughts from this point on.
Dylan Moore. With EVW still available, it could have been easy to just get him here. But with a backman at the previous pick, we consulted the pre-draft plan again. And indeed, the original thinking was to stabilise the ruck/forward situation with Pederson. But he was long gone, as was always likely and none of the Rucks really seemed worthy of going in this area of the draft. One of the early players that we researched a bit was Dylan Moore, whose numbers at Tac Cup level were astronomical, but whose height probably saw him slip way down the order to Hawthorn in the 60’s. Like Geelong, we couldnt really get a handle on Hawthorns likely makeup for 2018 and beyond, but Box Hill practice match reports had him (and Worpel) prominent at times. This was a pure speculative pick on every level except one - junior ball winning ability. Others we would have considered were Knight and Shipley (both gone) and Kieran Lovell (taken very next pick).
Aaron Francis We’d been sweating on Francis since pick 80. WOB had expressed some minor interest during trade period, and i was somewhat relieved that he’d exited the draft with Ridley at #64. But it seemed inevitable that he’d be on someones radar and anywhere beyond this point would be seriously stretching things. I cast about for some info on how he was going, but couldn’t find anything definitive. In the end, it didnt really matter. Francis was the delistee i most wanted back and was critical to my thinking on two fronts. Firstly, i took him at Pick 1 two years ago. Not having him on the list made the pick an abject failure. At least if i still had him, there was hope of a payback at some stage. More importantly, as a dual-position player at either end, he adds a flexibility and massive potential (a dangerous word) that no-one else i could find at this point got anywhere near. Its possible that this is the most important pick of my entire draft to the structure of my side. So he’s back. Over to you, Aaron. We still believe. Go well.
Daniel Rioli. By this point, it was becoming tricky to find players who fitted the criteria i wanted without some drawbacks. With Francis still a very unknown quantity, we were still concerned with forward options and started to cast the net about. Rioli wasnt on the pre-draft radar or the list of interest players. But by now it didnt matter. The thinking is that Rioli is a long way from his potential endpoint. He may not take that step this year due to an interrupted preseason (and indeed this is likely the only reason he wasnt snapped up earlier in the draft) but once fit he seems certain to be in Richmonds best 22 again. There’s some upside here still, and likely best 22. I considered Zach Guthrie as a defender but i’m not sold on him winning enough ball. I considered Laverde but his injury seems even more long term than Rioli’s troubles. Daniel came onboard.
Rowan Marshall. Now THIS was our upside Hail-mary pick. Looking around for a ruck depth option, we went left field. Right off the reservation in fact. Marshall doesnt even have ruck status in this league. But his progress last year was sound, and he can play key position with a surprising ability to win intercept footy. He’s been in the system for a few years and is maturing. Its not beyond the realms of possibility that he becomes a regular player in St Kilda’s future. I did toy with Tom Campbell here.
Danyle Pearce. Of course Pearce’s best days are behind him. Thats why we’re at pick 166! On the face of it, he’s not really best 22 at Freo anymore either. But i found it intriguing that Lyon has given him two JLT games, and his scoring was ok. And Lyon has a track record of playing old players more than he should. Its a gamble, no real upside at all but at this pick all i need is him to play some games.
Sean Lemmens. I liked Lemmens dual position status here. A lot. Even better, he seems to be in Dew’s thinking. He did do a minor hammy and will miss round 1, but he was looking ok prior to that. Best of all, they’re training him in a new forward role. In that sense, he has some upside and again, if he plays some games and gives me cover at times through the season then I’ll be ok with that. At 23 yrs old and 50 games, he may yet surprise.
And that was that. A Gleeson replacement LTI pick still to come, but the list is complete for permanent draftee’s and we’ll see if we’ve found any potential keepers over the next few months. Reading back over this, i’m fairly content. We didnt have super picks, or even a cluster to strategically group the types together. But we have added some genuine potential, a legit best 22 forward and some coverage. We will need some favourable selections for Round 1 though, with a few guys already injured.
oh, and it turns out Francis is back at the club!
Lets go, 2018.
I really hope Sal wanted Luke Brown LOL
LTI Pick .
Word over here is Eddie Betts is going to get some midfield time this year too Sal.
I’ve heard that, barge, but tbh I doubt it. Good if it happens though!
League is now active on UF. I am just cleaning out some picks I had to make to finish the draft off.
Burras - 2018 draft
The Burras entered the draft knowing our weaknesses were midfield and defence. A plan was formulated to initially give some support to the mids, and then concentrate on defenders.
Pick 4 - Shaun Grigg
A no brainer as he will fill a huge hole for a couple of years while Fiorini, Gresham and Ainsworth mature, the latter two expected to gain “C” status soon.
Pick 22 - Aaron Naughton
Very happy to get pick #9 from the AFL draft at this point. May turn out to be a very fortunate selection given the injury woes at the Dogs. He has shown plenty in the JLT.
Pick 40 - Trent McKenzie
The start of the defence rebuild. At his new AFL home should get more opportunities and subsequently improve his average. Returns to the Burras after a couple of seasons at another club.
Pick 58 - Taylor Duryea
Delisted and redrafted. It quickly became obvious a lot of coaches were after defenders which put a bit of a hole in our plans. Should get plenty of games.
Pick 75 - Brennan Cox
Young defender who showed plenty last season. Hoping he can permanently fill a spot in our defence.
Pick 93 - Michael Rischitelli
Another who returns after being traded out. If fit, he can certainly get games at the GCS, and would become good depth for our midfield.
Pick 110 - Tom Barrass
Another defender who doesn’t get high scores, but should play every week.
Pick 127 - Adam Kennedy
DPP status is handy, and some of the GWS fans we have spoken to believe he is best 22 when fit.
Pick 145 - Jesse Lonergan
He will need to perform in the NEAFL to get a shot, but handy depth this late in the draft.
Pick 162 - James Cousins
Played a couple of games last year and showed a little bit. Still very young and there is plenty of room for improvement.
All in all we have ended up with a well balanced list. Just need to get through the first couple of weeks as we have a number of players with niggles. The good news is we don’t have any of our best players on LTI for the majority of the season, which is very much different to the last few seasons.
Nice review Bewick, but I’m not familiar with this concept. Can you explain?
Haha they are hard to find.
Love the draft reviews.
Will put something together later today re my picks.
@aceman can you make your LTI pick so I can make my last one and we can finish this whole thing off?
I rate Murphy and Francis where you got them.
Yes, that’s faint praise.
Not bad at all from where you were coming from.
Edit: Having said that, Grigg with a number 4 pick? Unless you’re a premiership contender that’s a massive, massive waste.
I feel suitably damned !
First I’ve heard of it
Not sure Grigg is a massive waste at pick 4. You grab a potential 100 point player over a speculative highly credentialed young player. Worst move you make is off load Grigg mid season in return for a younger player with exposed AFL form. I think this pick has taken the risk out of drafting.