Player Ratings 2017

Would be interested to see everyone’s rating for each player. All marks out of 10. Any blokes who didn’t play senior footy got marked as N/A.

1 McGrath - Club’s first ever #1 draft pick and he didn’t disappoint. Expected class and poise with ball in hand, but was amazed by his strength in the contest and defensive nous. Likely to move into midfield in 2018 which will leave a hole in defence. Probably handballed a bit too much at times but his kick:handball ratio should balance out. Rising Star win capped off a fine debut year. 8.5

2 Bellchambers - Looked to be second fiddle to Leuenberger early in the season but recalled mid season and aside from the odd rest kept his place. Ruckwork solid, provided more around the ground and up forward than Leuey. Finals performance was poor. Needs to build on a promising 2017. 6.5

3 Parish - Saw less centre square time than in 2016 due to returning players. Played his best when given more midfield responsibility. Strong performance in the finals underlined his quality. 2018 should see him emerge as one of the best young mids in the AFL. 6.5

4 Watson - Some glimpses of vintage Jobe at times, but as hard as it was to see, clearly he was running out of petrol. Great to see him retire on his terms. Champion. 5

5 Stanton - Magnificent servant of the club, but was clear that the game has passed him by. 4

6 Daniher - Looks set to be the heir to Buddy’s throne as the most exhilarating big man in the game. 65 goals a great return, and there still plenty of improvement to come. Opposition defenders will have nightmares thinking about how to stop him! 9

7 Z.Merrett - Picked up from his Crichton winning 2016, amassed kicks at will and deservedly won his first All-Australian guernsey. Still only 21. 9

8 Gleeson - Tough first half of the season being dropped on a couple of occasions, notably for Anzac Day. Won his place back in the side and established himself as a mainstay in defence. Held his head high in the final under immense pressure. 7

9 Goddard - Solid season from the veteran utility, playing all games and averaging 27 disposals. Could be shifted to half-back in 2018 to take over Kelly’s “old man in defence” role. 7.5

10 Francis - Just 2 games in 2017, making it 5 in 2 seasons for the #6 draft pick. Fitness once again an issue. Talent unquestionable, but must get his body up to AFL standards. 2

11 Zaharakis - Slow start to the season, but from the Geelong game onwards arguably Essendon’s most consistent performer. Rewarded with new 4-year contract. Likely to poll in the top 3 in the Crichton. Career-best season. 8

12 Baguley - Brave as ever in defence, but a few signs that Bags is slowing down. Exposed against quicker opponents. 6

13 Fantasia - Well and truly kicked on from his emergence in 2016. 39 goals in 20 games, would have pushed 50 if not for a hamstring injury that curtailed his season. Genuine A-Grader, should move into the elite category in 2018. 8.5

14 Ridley - Project defender showed terrific signs in the VFL despite an injury-interrupted pre-season. Reading of the play and disposal by foot his major strengths. Still needs a few more summers in the gym, but can play. N/A

15 Green - Delisted Free Agent added bite and smarts around goal, but raw numbers (17 goals in 17 games, 11 disposals per game) does not make for exciting reading. Foot injury ended his season prematurely. Should be better in 2018. 5

16 Begley - Broke into the senior team late and showed enough to suggest he will be a handy player. 5

17 Stewart - Didn’t make his senior debut until Round 8, but exceeded expectations and became an important cog in the forward line as the 3rd tall. Great aerobic capacity, presents at the ball well and great agility for a big man. Great recruiting to get him for practically nothing. 7.5

18 Hurley - Slowish start to the season from from Anzac Day onwards was outstanding down back. Averaged the most disposals per game (25.6) for a key defender, shutting down opponents and setting up attacks from half-back. Calf injury interrupted his season late, but deservedly won his 2nd AA guernsey and will finish top 3 in B&F voting. 9

19 Mutch - Young midfielder impressed VFL watchers with his footy smarts, courage and ability by foot on both sides of the body. Named emergency several times. Expect him to be play senior football in 2018. N/A

20 J.Merrett - Trialed in attack and defence in the VFL, yet failed to play a senior game in 2017. Season cut short due to injury. Likely departure. N/A

21 Heppell - First season as captain. Showed glimpses of his best but like most of the returning players looked sluggish at times. Should be better for 2017, both from a captaincy and footballing perspective. 6

22 Leuenberger - Just 7 games in 2017, losing his #1 ruck mantle to Bellchambers. At worst is adequate back-up in case of injury. Critical year for him in 2018. 3

23 Myers - Played his 100th game in the final in his 10th season at the club. Late start to the season due to injury, unfortunately a familiar theme for Myersy. Looked off the pace at times and struggled with the quicker nature of AFL football circa 2017.

24 Bird - Perplexed many that he didn’t get more than 2 AFL games all season, only playing when Jobe was rested, despite solid VFL form. Acquitted himself well in both senior appearances before being omitted the next week. Unlikely to remain at the club in 2018. 3

25 Morgan - 2015 2nd round draft pick failed to play a senior game in 2 injury-interrupted seasons at the club. VFL form never warranted a call-up when he was fit to play, however saved his best game of the season for the VFL final v Footscray. Would be fortunate to remain on the senior list. N/A

26 Hooker - 41 goals from 20 appearances by the defender-■■■-forward was a solid return. Set-shot conversion proved frustrating at times, but overall provided a strong presence close to goal, at the very least stopping double teaming on Daniher. Absence in final proved costly. 7

27 Redman - No senior games after 3 in his debut season. Used in various roles in the VFL, suggesting he is seen as a utility-type player. Another summer in the gym should see him figure more prominently at senior level. N/A

28 Brown - Just 4 senior games in an injury-plagued campaign. Signed to a new contract for 2018, but will have his work cut out to get a regular senior game with plenty of competition for key forward and defensive posts. 2

29 Ambrose - Looked set to continue with his 2016 renaissance as a defender until a quad injury and subsequent recurrence put a dent in his 2017, only managing 10 games. Recalled late in the season but struggled to recapture his early 2017 form. A (hopefully) fit Francis will provide stiff competition as the 3rd tall in the Bomber back half.

30 Langford - Frustrating season for the 3rd year utility with 6 senior games. Showed plenty of positive signs in the VFL playing as an inside midfielder but struggled to translate that into performance in the AFL when called upon. 2018 shapes as a career defining season for the 2015 1st round draftee. 3

32 Colyer - 22 of a possible 23 games, but struggled to have an impact as he did in 2015. His speed provided a point of difference in a largely one-paced midfield, however was often ineffectual and struggled with his ball handling and disposal. 27 next season, must produce a career-best 2018. 5

33 Laverde - A shocking foot injury in the final JLT game v Geelong curtailed a promising pre-season and restricted the mid-sized forward to just 5 late-season games before being omitted for the final. Only 21, one of a number of 3rd-4th year player who must lift for the club to progress in 2018. 2

34 Long ® - Failed to add to his 3 senior appearances from 2016. Looks a classy mover and shows enough signs that there is a player there, but doesn’t do enough. Will he get another chance in 2018? Jury is out. N/A

35 Eades ® - Contract terminated due to off-field issues. N/A

36 Hartley - 18 games but looked less convincing than in 2016. Seemed to be out-bodied quite often and at times failed to have impact in marking contests. A big summer in the gym a must if he is to compete against the gorillas. 5

37 Clarke - Ball-winning ability unquestionable, however his disposal by foot needs major refinement. Will be the reason that would prevent him from senior selection, but apparently a diligent worker. If he can address this, he might help answer the club’s glaring deficiencies inside the contest. N/A

38 Draper ® - Raw ruck prospect showed glimpses of his craftiness in the hit-outs but as to be expected from a kid with limited exposure to the game, lacks smarts around the ground. Likely to be a 3-4 year project before he can make an impact at senior level, but his standout performances late in the season provide enough encouragement. N/A

39 Hocking - Veteran run-with player was always going to struggle for senior appearances given Wordfold’s reluctance to tag opposition players, much to many supporters frustrations. Just 2 senior apperances, a surprise call-up for the final home and away game against Freo, his 2 clutch goals proved telling to seal the club a September berth. Great clubman, but uncontracted heading into 2018 and in his 30th year, the signs don’t look good for Buddha to retain a spot on the list next season. 2

40 Howlett - Registered his 100th appearance in 2017, however like most of the returning Bombers struggled to adapt back to the pace of AFL football. Just 7 games, mainly stationed as a rotation midfielder and a pressure forward. Out of contract and even if offered a new deal, it is hard to see where he fits into the team in 2018. 3

41 McNiece ® - Surprise debutant on Anzac Day, however was omitted after his 2nd game and his 2017 was prematurely ended due to injury. The Category B Rookie may have an opportunity in 2018 due to the retirement of Kelly and graduation of McGrath into the midfield for a spot in the back six. 2

43 McDonald-Tipungwuti - Stationed as a small forward, the cult hero provided many highlights with and without the football, playing every game and booting 34 goals. Tired towards the end of the season, however still played a part in the club’s return to finals footy with his match-winning cameo against Carlton. Greater midfield time beckons with a big pre-season. 7.5

44 McKernan ® - Proved more than handy in the opening 2 rounds of the season as the #1 ruckman with Bellchambers and Leuenberger both injured, however would only register a further senior appearance as a replacement for the injured Hooker in the Round 14 game against the Swans, A frustrating season for the ruck/forward. 2

45 McKenna - The Irishman won fans over with his enterprising play off the half-back line, his evasive running and speed providing great drive from defence. One of the major successes of the club’s season, his signature on a new contract would rest plenty of minds at ease. 7

47 Kelly - Another consistent season from the Crichton Medal runner-up. His 2-year stint in red and black will not return a premiership medallion, but his experience and tutelage of youngsters McGrath and McKenna will ensure his impact on the club will be long lasting. Retired on his terms still playing good footy. Congrats Pops on a fine career! 7

49 Dea - The “top-up” revelation somewhat predictably struggled to get a game with the returning players back on deck. Six games in 2017 competing with the likes of Gleeson, Ambrose and Harley for a medium/tall defensive spot. Contracted for 2018 and will probably find similar issues trying to get a game. If Baguley slows down that might be his best chance of a regular gig. 3


An excellent commentary on each player. Enjoyed reading it very much.

Very good write up. Not much to disagree with amongst that!!

I will give the forward line players a go

Joe: had a great year, still prone to the occasional brain explosion. Thought his kicking for goal has improved.can only think of a few games where he struggled to perform. His marking in front of his face has improved a lot as well. 9

Hooker: was very important structure wise to our forward line. Had a few really really good performances and a few absolute shockers. Has an awful kicking for goal action that needs massive work in the off season. His move forward was a success- the backline definately missed his prescence.Really hard to give him a grade.7.5

Tippa- improved again from last season. His pressure all over the ground was superb. Provided some magical moments. Seems to of added a bit of aggression to his game which is great. Seemed a bit down in the second half of the season but still gave everything he had out on the field. I just wish our players would stop kicking the ball to him like he was over 6 foot.8.5

Green- had a weird year. Thought his first third of the year was really good. Put pressure on, kicked goals. Then i thought he started to struggle for form, the goals dried up and i thought the coaches messed him up by at some centre bounces starting him at almost CHB then having him run through thr middle from the bounce. When we needed him down the forward line for the quick clearance kick out of the middle. Im sure he will get another year- im not a massive fan but when up and running he adds something different to our forward line. 6

Raz- went to another level. Chased hard, kicked goals. Love him! Kicked a few bags of 4 and 5 from memory. When he rotated through the middle our forward line definately missed him. If we can get a stronger midfield so he doesnt need to help out in there he could be a 50-60 goal a year forward. Just needs to become a bit more accurate with his set shots

Lav- interrupted year with injury. Was brought in and struggled. Throws his weight around on the field with crunching tackles, bumps and shepherds. The guy is a talent who i have high hopes for in the future.3

Stewart- not going to lie i had no idea who he was when we picked him up. Is really good below his knees, his marking out in front improved out of sight from the start of the year. Really needs to work on his set shots but one of the finds of the season. 7.5

Begley- should of been brought in much earlier than he was, but when he did he made an impact straight away. His first qtr and Gold Coast was something to behold. Has a great shot technique, works hard off the ball and has a hardness to his game. Is a excellent field kick as well. Playing in the finals so early in his career will do him the workd of good.7

Love these ratings. Thanks guys.
Not sure how you can rate Stewart higher than Hooker though.

Plus a 7 is a bit high for Begley, unless you’re rating first year players differently to the rest.

1 Like

I rated begley as a first year player- first year player that do well im happy to give a bit more to

Did i rate stewart higher? I thought i rated them the same

Edit: just checked, my bad all fixed

Don’t we normally do this one player at a time?

Great read though.

1 Like

You gave Z Merrett a 21.9? High praise indeed.