I didn’t see enough u18 footy this year to have a firm opinion on specific players, but in general, I firmly believe there is no such thing as ‘best available’ once you get towards picks 50. ‘Best available’ only has real meaning at the top end of the draft order - once you get to the late third round it’s all about balancing which downsides you can accept and recruiting for needs and structure. Hell, even Dodoro last year said that 3rd round picks or later are for filling list gaps.
Our situation MIGHT have been a little different this year given 48 was our first pick. Maybe we genuinely rated Houlahan in the top 15 and so thought he WAS best available. Though if we did, I’d have expected Dodoro and Worsfold to have actually said so in their interviews, rather than sounding about as enthusiastic as schoolkids coming out of an exam that they knew they failed, so I find this very hard to believe