I don’t get this thinking. Is there any role in the side where a 18 year old player wouldn’t be 4th or 5th in line to get a role? And the assumption appears to be that everyone in front of him will still be there. If a player comes into the system and performs, then between injuries and form there will be opportunities.
Look at our small depth. We’ve taken a tonne of smalls across the last 4 drafts, and the only under 23 tall we’ve taken is Francis. Why focus on how a tall draftee will get a game, and ignore smalls? Hell, across the midfield and forward line we’ve got Mutch, Langford, Begley, Laverde, Clarke who all want game time. Ridley, Redman, Dea down back. Hell, Morgan just left because there wasn’t enough opportunity. At least with a tall, especially one who is draftable by 2 days and doing their VCE next year, they probably won’t expect to play for the next two years anyway!
On a different note, talls are probably our most important vacancy other than lock down defender. Hurley and Hooker are neither spring chickens, and along with JD the three pillars of our spine. Although we have plenty of other talls (Stewart, Ambrose, Brown, Hartley + rucks), they are all decent to good. None are in the calibre to replace Hurley and Hooker. Francis might be, but he also might bugger off to SA next year as well, or never have the engine. Getting some talls in is actually pretty important, and if one we rate falls to #48 we should jump at it.