One of our Rising Star team, Jourdan Canil has bravely stuck his neck out and created a phantom draft for the first four rounds. It should be noted that plenty can change over the next few months and with the great diversity of our writers, much like the public, everyone has a different opinion. Jourdan has been the first one to put his hand up and attempt one of the hardest things to do five months from the draft. The aim is to give readers an insight into who will be available around the picks that your club has. It should also be noted that Adelaide will not have the picks designated to them, however Jourdan has used Adelaide in his phantom draft so it gives an extra pick for the first two rounds and therefore an extra player can be included.
The first round can be found here. So enjoy getting familiar with some of the names that will grace the AFL field in 2014.
19. GWS – Billy Hartung (VIC – Mid)
176 cm 71 kg
Player Comparison: Allen Christensen
I might have rated him a bit higher than others, but that is because his current output since coming back from injury is absolutely phenomenal. In his first game back, Hartung was best on ground by a country mile with 33 possessions, three goals, four marks and five tackles. The next game he kicked two goals and again had plenty of possessions. He was clear best on ground again. For me it is out of Hartung and Jacob Chisari for the classiest small midfielder. Clearly Vic Country is favouring Hartung as Chisari didn’t make the squad for National Championships. Hartung is so skilful and a real goer. He goes in for second and third efforts and applies defensive pressure at all times. He hits the scoreboard regularly and rakes in the possessions. Don’t worry about his size – on output in the past few weeks, he is leading the race. He played well against Tassie providing damaging outside run and kicking. He’s also the best endurance player, having a beep test of 16+ which is elite by anyone’s standards.
20. Melbourne – Nathan Freeman (VIC – Mid)
181 cm 85 kg
Player comparison: Patrick Dangerfield
Freeman is incredibly quick and powerful and compares himself to Dangerfield and Luke Shuey. Freeman can find the ball and he uses it really well. He’s an under rated kick and a real force as an outside player. He seems to have an AFL ready body. I’d like to see him try get the inside ball a little more, but other than that; there are no outstanding flaws to his game. He’s one of the best mid-range picks in my eyes. His ability to drift forward and impact on the scoreboard is important.
21. Western Bulldogs – Kade Kolodjashnij (TAS – Util)
188 cm 77 kg
Player Comparison: Courtenay Dempsey
Kolodjashnij is a talented playmaker off half back and in the midfield. The AIS member is quick and creative off the flank and can win his own ball when playing as a midfielder. He’s a quality kick and a decent mark so he provides a great link up. His decision making is in the top tier among this group. Others may rate him higher, but I think he’s not quite top 20 material yet. In fairness, his 37-possession game against Western Australia pushed him up quite a bit. I originally had him closer to 30.
22. St Kilda – Jay Kennedy-Harris (VIC – Mid/Fwd)
173 cm 68 kg
Player Comparison: Chris Yarran
Kennedy-Harris would be one of the better performed midfielders this year. He has an incredible knack for being able to turn the game on its head whenever he chooses, but he can then go missing for a quarter or half. He is one of the better outside players in the draft and I believe he is certainly worthy of top 20 selection, but like so many others this year, his size will push him lower than he should go. Kennedy-Harris is a natural leader and he has really relished his co-captaincy role he shares with Will Maginness. Kennedy-Harris is an incredible outside player, extremely quick, evasive and is a great user of the ball. He backs himself with ball in hand and is capable of doing the incredible. Kennedy-Harris is a strong tackler and for a man who only weighs 68 kg, his core strength is unbelievable. He is very tough to tackle. Kennedy-Harris could be a great goal kicking crumbing type if he is played as a permanent forward, but he’d be much better suited to an outside midfielder role creating opportunities.
23. Gold Coast – Lewis Taylor (VIC – Mid)
173 cm 72 kg
Player Comparison: Brent Harvey
Taylor is extremely quick in every sense of the word. He has acceleration out of packs and also that line breaking speed. He’s a good user of the footy which makes him a fantastic ball carrier. Despite his small size he can win the inside ball, however there are plenty of small inside midfielders in this year’s TAC crop, so whether he’ll be an effective inside midfielder at AFL level remains to be seen. Taylor racked up the ball against Tasmania and stood out alongside Tsitas, yet I don’t rate him as highly. I think talent wise, he’s probably top 20, but there are some picks that fill needs, rather than best available before him, which makes him slide.
24. Brisbane – Fraser Fort (VIC – KPD/KPF)
196 cm 84 kg
Player Comparison: Daniel Talia
Fort is best suited as a key back that plays on the big gorilla forwards. Admittedly he can go forward and clunk a mark, but the younger Geelong forwards in Goddard and McCartin are better in the forward 50. If Fort can put on a bit more size, he could take over Daniel Merrett’s role. In a weak draft for KPDs, Brisbane might have to jump early on him. I’d say talent wise he’s probably worth a pick in the mid 30’s.
25. Port Adelaide – Isaiah Miller (VIC –Def/Mid)
187 cm 82 kg
Player Comparison: Grant Birchall
Miller is a great play maker. Against Northern Knights earlier in the year, he was one of Bendigo’s best running out the back half. He took the kick ins but to be honest he was neither great nor disappointing. He can kick it about 50 metres but that’s a high roost. Over 20-30 metres however, Miller is great. He can run through the midfielder, but his vision and footy brain makes him a great half back.
26. North Melbourne – Darcy Hourigan (SA- Fwd)
190 cm 94 kg
Player Comparison: Tim Membrey
Some rate Hourigan extremely highly and on output alone, fair enough, but we saw last year that Tim Membrey had a huge slide because he was just a little too short. This could be the same thing with Hourigan. He’s a fantastic overhead mark and can win one on one contests against bigger players. He’s not a bad shot at goal, but he’s going to have to get a bit better below the knees so he can exploit his bigger opponents. He kicked five goals against Queensland recently, but in a 100-point win, that’s not saying much.
27. Adelaide – Clayton McCartney (VIC – Fwd/Mid)
176 cm 70 kg
Player Comparison: Hayden Ballantyne
McCartney is a live wire forward who doesn’t seem to have too many deficiencies. He is quick, knows where to lead and can crumb well. Against Northern Territory in the Champs, he kicked six goals in a romping. He then followed it up with three against Tasmania and just showed he knew where to run to and that he can crumb well. He’s an accurate shot at goal and could be a good replacement for Ian Callinan. Whilst he can play midfield, I think he’ll become a permanent forward.
28. Carlton – Luke Reynolds (SA- Mid/Fwd)
186 cm 85 kg
Player Comparison: Adam Cooney
Reynolds is similar to Dunstan, but not as good in the middle. He is a very strong mark and knows how to play intelligently in the forward line. He is a long kick and can find the goals with ease. He could be a two or three-goal a game player if he played permanent forward. He doesn’t have that line breaking speed, but you can tell he is ready to bust the game open at any moment with his strength and talent
29. Richmond – Patrick Cripps (WA- Mid)
188 cm 88 kg
Player Comparison: Daniel Cross
Cripps, the brother of West Coast’s Jamie, looks to be a late developer who has bolted a bit this year. At a great size, he dominates the inside ball and could be a clearance machine. He can play a bit as an outside midfielder but seems to be a bit of a poor user. He must become a link up target at that size and present up forward too. If he was a great kick, he could be as high as others have rated him. I think he could develop under a good midfield coach, but at the same time I have doubts over his skill level as an all round midfielder.
30. West Coast – Eli Templeton (TAS – Mid)
182 cm 67 kg
Player Comparison: Jack Redden
There’s plenty to like with Templeton. He’s obviously going to need time to develop and put some weight on, but he has the tools to become a solid AFL player. He is a quality user of the footy and a fantastic athlete. His endurance running is probably one of the highlights of his game, so getting to every contest is what he should be aiming to do during champs. Against Vic Country, he was the Tassie player that stood out most as he just racked it up and rarely used it poorly.
31. Essendon – Jason Cooke (VIC – Mid)
183 cm 79 kg
Player Comparison: Tom Rockliff
A lot of people like the look of Cooke, but he hasn’t impressed me enough yet due to having an injury for most of this season so far. With Calder having a lot of bottom-age talent, Cooke stands out the most as he works hard. He can go forward and provide a marking and crumbing target. In the midfield, he’s a decent kick and can play both inside and outside. He hasn’t gotten enough of the ball to really dominate yet, but he could be a very solid second rounder.
32. Fremantle – Alex Spina (SA- Mid/Fwd)
181 cm 74 kg
Player Comparison: Sam Mayes
Spina is one who I think could slide because he’s a bit inconsistent. He’s a great outside user and is one of the better kicks in the draft. He’s got great vision and can also play as a small forward to a high level. He gets the ball quite a bit for an outside midfielder, which is promising, but whether or not that will translate to AFL level I’m unsure of. I think he’s a poor man’s Sam Mayes, but still a good chance for top 25.
33. Collingwood – Dallas Willsmore (VIC- KPF)
North Ballarat Rebels
190 cm 81 kg
Player Comparison: Aaron Edwards
Willsmore is just a little too small to play as a centre half forward, but he’s got the talent. He’s an AIS kid and one of the other shining lights out of the rebels. He’s got a sticky set of hands and quick on the lead. As a third tall, I think he may have to learn how to play as a high half forward. He’s a good kick at goal, but hasn’t really kicked big bags this year in the TAC Cup. Against Tasmania, he started like a house on fire taking two great grabs deep in the 50 and slotting them on both occasions.
34. Sydney – Jarman Impey (VIC-Fwd/ Mid)
176 cm 78 kg
Player Comparison: Michael Walters
Impey just has the sort of magical touch that grabs your eye instantly. Whilst he is small, he’s big enough to be drafted for certain. He’s a wonderful kick of the ball and a talented outside player. He rarely misses a target. He’s very quick and has a great goal sense. He’s the kind of player that will bob up and kick two to three goals every few weeks without fail. I rate him above McCartney talent wise, but whilst Impey has been more consistent, he hasn’t torn a game apart yet.
35. Hawthorn – Tom Cutler (VIC- Def)
190 cm 86 kg
Player Comparison: Josh Gibson
Cutler played in the age level below me at my club. Since 2011, he has certainly grown, but his game style has stayed the same. Cutler is an undersized, offensive key back who reads the play well. He’s an ideal third man up who can be a linking player. He’s fairly fast and has that closing speed to spoil leads. He’s an AIS player this year but hasn’t impressed as much as some thought he would earlier in the year. His size isn’t too much of an issue as he is very strong already and he’s definitely more of a tall attacking defender rather than the traditional key back.
36. Geelong – Max Hayes (VIC- Fwd)
191 cm 86 kg
Player Comparison: Matthew Pavlich
In the first game of the season when Sandringham had a full strength line up, Max Hayes was far and away the best player on the ground. He kicked a bag and just lead so well. In fairness, the delivery from Salem, Kelly and Amon was first class. Hayes is strong and has fantastic hands. He’s one of the key forwards who could play pretty much anywhere on the field to a high level. His field kicking is first class and he just knows where to lead. I don’t see him as the guy who will kick three goals a game, but more of that secondary lead up target.
Tomorrow: third round