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.
37. GWS – Josh Scott (VIC – Fwd)
190 cm 80 kg
Player Comparison: Jack Riewoldt
Josh Scott was passed over in the draft last year due to his light frame. He’s put on five or so kilograms this year and has absolutely dominated so far. I said he plays like Jack Riewoldt and he does, but more regarding his leading than his aerial ability. He’s fairly quick on the lead and takes the ball out in the front. He’s got a great set of hands. He’s an excellent set shot on goal and regularly kicks bags. Earlier this year he kicked nine goals in a game against the Bendigo Pioneers. When I saw him live, he had limited opportunities, but he pushed up a little higher and played as a link up centre half forward. He’s intelligent and an ideal third tall.
38. Melbourne – Ben Cavarra (VIC- Mid)
173 cm 69 kg
Player Comparison: Dan Hannebery
I’m yet to see him play a bad game. Against QLD in the first round of champs, Cavarra grabbed 35 disposals, seven inside 50’s and kicked 2.2. Another one of my favourites in the draft and again Cavarra has a big flaw. He is tiny. I’m worried that he’ll be this year’s Shane Nelson, but I’ll take the punt with both himself and Jacob Chisari going before pick 40. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in every other aspect. He is a big inside ball winner. He’s at the bottom of every pack and beats heavier opponents easily. He is evasive and has surprisingly good core strength so he can bust out of tackles. As an outside player, he is quick, breaks lines, and kicks well at full flight. If Cavarra can continue to get 25+ possessions a game, surely he can’t stay unnoticed.
39. Western Bulldogs – Will Maginness (VIC- Mid)
182 cm 73 kg
Player Comparison: Jarrad McVeigh
Maginness shares the co-captaincy with Jay Kennedy-Harris at the Oakleigh Chargers and he’s relished in that role. I was surprised to see he is only 73kgs because he seems far more powerfully built than that. Maginness is versatile enough to play inside and outside, as well as being able to play off the half forward or half back flanks. He’s the definition of a solid, no bells and whistles player who just puts his head over the ball and accumulates. I don’t see a whole lot improvement left in Maginness, yet he could still put on a lot of weight. His skills aren’t something that make him stand out, although he is an excellent kick, especially over 30-40 metres. If he gets stronger, he could be a bullocking midfielder with the potential to be an aggressive tackling forward. He is more of a ‘best available’ pick than anything. Clubs will know what they’re getting with him.
40. St Kilda – Zac Webster (TAS – Mid)
180 cm 71 kg
Player Comparison: Daniel Wells
Zac is the brother of St Kilda’s Jimmy. I liken him to a less skilful Daniel Wells, but having said that, his kicking is still solid. Webster is a great endurance runner but also has that acceleration to break away from packs. He’s the kind of player you’d love to see with the ball in his hands taking two or three bounces up the wing. In Tasmania’s two TAC cup games this year, Webster has had ten and 16 handball receives. Some rate him quite highly, but I think like Jimmy, he could definitely slide. All depends on his champs performance.
41. Gold Coast – Darcy Lang (VIC- Mid)
181 cm 75 kg
Player Comparison: Ben Howlett
Lang is that strong inside midfield type who just accumulates the ball. He’s not fantastic athletically, but he has great spatial awareness so he’s an intelligent stoppage player. Lang could make an immediate AFL impact. As he isn’t a line breaker type, he could easily put on 5-10 more kilos to become that really strong, hard to tackle type. As a later pick, Lang will be really valuable. Can see him being a bolter during the Championshps.
42. Brisbane – Isaac Conway (QLD – Mid)
182 cm 85 kg
Player Comparison: Nathan Jones
I’m not sure whether the Lions can grab Conway as late as they’d like because there is a bidding system on QLD players now. Plenty of interest in Conway so he could definitely be snapped up in the second round. He’s one of those bull type players who just goes in hard for the ball and gets it. He’s already got a very strong frame so he’s AFL ready. May not be the most skilful player, but he’s one of the best inside midfielders in division 2. He’s been playing in Brisbane’s NEAFL side and was considered for AIS selection, but missed out.
43. Port Adelaide – Tom Langdon (VIC- Mid)
188 cm 84 kg
Player Comparison: Leigh Montagna
Langdon is a 19-year-old who looks to have improved his draft stocks this year. He’s been used more as a midfielder rather than a utility. Langdon racks up the ball as an outside midfielder but he needs to sharpen his foot skills before he could be considered a second round draft pick. He’s averaging 11.3 effective kicks per game and 8.3 ineffective kicks per game so far this TAC Cup season. When playing on the inside, Langdon has good awareness and gets the ball out quickly. His size is solid and he uses that to break tackles. He can be that Shaun Grigg type accumulator, but can turn it over far too easily.
44. North Melbourne – Nicholas Bourke (VIC – Mid)
187 cm 76 kg
Player Comparison: Dyson Heppell
Bourke has been highly touted and looks to be a prospect that will be drafted earlier than I’ve placed him. Seems to be a bit skinny, but he’ll fill out in time. He’s an AIS member and he’s performed well the past two years. He’s skilled and solid athletically. Bourke is an outside running type who links up well across half back and through the midfield, getting plenty of handball receives. He won’t be the type to have an AFL impact straight away, but I think he should develop into a high level AFL half back or midfielder. His foot skills are good enough for AFL, but he still has a few things to work on. There’s definitely plenty of improvement left for a willing suitor.
45. Adelaide – Jake Kalanj (VIC – UTIL)
184 cm 78 kg
Player Comparison: Jimmy Bartel
One of my absolute favourites in the draft. In a game where there was no Bontempelli, Lennon or Conlon, Kalanj absolutely monstered it and showed that he has all the rare unteachable qualities. He reads the play so well as a backman and plugs the hole. As a wingman, he finds so much space and stays a kick behind the contest and then launches into an all out counter attack if the ball comes his way. He is an elite over head mark and can take a hanger. Kalanj tackles really well. If he could get a clearance, he’d be rated much higher, as he’d be close to the complete player. When going forward, he’s a 50 metre kick but they lack penetration. He’s a good set shot at goal and has this great footy brain so he could slot it on the run too. If Kalanj wasn’t so one paced and played more on the inside, he’d be the lovechild of Jimmy Bartel and Ryan O’Keefe.
46. Carlton – Guy Dickson (VIC – UTIL)
188 cm 81 kg
Player Comparison: Nick Riewoldt
I played alongside Dickson for three years from 2009 to 2011. From the very first training session where I matched up one on one against him, I knew he’d make the AFL. Some will list Dickson as a key back, but I’ve seen him play everywhere and I feel he is best suited to being a key forward. Dickson’s best traits are his athleticism/leap, his marking/spoiling and his endurance. Whilst he’s only 188cms, he has a huge leap. He regularly takes hangers and has played as that small athletic ruck at times. Up forward, he commands the ball on the lead, and when it is bombed in, he can out position his opponent because he plays intelligently, rather than physically. He rarely drops a mark and when playing as a key back, he reads the play so well that he’ll come third man up to spoil like Josh Gibson.He can kick it 50 metres and he’s generally an accurate set shot at goal. Around the ground, it’s like having that extra midfielder, as he disposes of it so well and is excellent below his knees. I rate him higher than Willsmore, Cutler and Hourigan as that slightly undersized key position player, but that’s because I’ve played 50 games alongside him and know him better than anyone else in the draft. He was cut from the initial Vic Metro under 16’s squad in 2011 and struggled with a broken arm. Since then, he has missed the first few games for Oakleigh, but since then has played consistently. He is fearless and again, a perfect swing man.
47. Richmond – Blake Acres (WA – Mid)
188 cm 84 kg
Player Comparison: Andrew Mackie
Acres is a tall outside midfielder who can play virtually anywhere on the ground. He gets plenty of the ball across half back and the wing and just uses it so well. Great tall link up target and he’s a great size. I have him sliding a bit here, but that’s mainly due to the fact that he hasn’t done a whole lot for WA at this stage.
48. West Coast – Aiden Franetic (VIC – Def/Mid)
184 cm 79 kg
Player Comparison: Michael Hibberd
Franetic is a speedy half back/outside midfielder who sets up the play well. He’s got the fitness to get to most contests which allows him to have a real impact. I feel he is wasted as a pure outside midfielder as he reads the play well and is a talented offensive weapon. Franetic is a high quality user of the footy and he puts it out into space for the leading forwards. I have two issues with Franetic – will he be able to find the footy at AFL level, and is he consistent enough to become a high quality player? Depending on the rest of the season, he could either bolt into the 20’s or not be drafted at all.
49. Essendon – Karl Amon (VIC – Mid)
180 cm 73 kg
Player Comparison: Matt Rosa
It’s hard to believe that Amon is the fourth best midfielder for Sandringham, yet could easily be the best midfielder at most other clubs. Amon is a terrific kick. He spots up targets so well playing across the wing and has a goal sense that made him one of the highlights against NSW/ACT. He kicked three, including one which was probably the best goal on the day. He’s solid athletically and has a tank that doesn’t fail him. He gets enough of the ball, but not so much that he warrants a top 30 pick. He could be a great Jake Melksham/Matt Rosa sort of type midfielder who you’d love at your club, but they never really dominate.
50. Fremantle – Agape Patolo (VIC – Ruck)
197 cm 98 kg
Player comparison: Matthew Kruezer
Patolo was one of the more highly touted ruckman at the start of this year. He hasn’t been picked for Vic Country as of yet which is surprising. He is agile and has a great leap, both of which make up for him being sub 200cms. I like Patolo as one of those around the ground ruckman. He could become a decent link up target and provides a good option in the forward line. At this stage of the season, Patolo would be heavily weighing in on Freo’s mind. However if Hannath and Clarke can step up with Griffin and Sandilands out, then they may not need him.
51. Collingwood – Nick Favretto (SA – Mid)
188 cm 88 kg
Player Comparison: Sam Mitchell
Favretto is a skilful midfielder who can play both on the inside and outside. He’s a solid kick when he plays on the outside and knows where to run when linking up. He racks up plenty of the ball so I feel he’s one of the absolute certainties to get drafted. He’s a good size, kicks goals and doesn’t have any massive flaws, basically a replacement for Dane Swan. The Pies always pick up a gem around pick 50. He’s my tip for the slider alongside Spina.
52. Sydney – Lloyd Perris (NSW – Mid)
179 cm 74 kg
Player Comparison: Simon Black
The Swans will pick Perris up as a steal, as they have access to him as a scholarship holder. He is the only AIS member from NSW/ACT. Thought he was great against Vic Metro, racking up the ball and getting it all over the ground. He pushed forward late in the game and took a terrific, courageous mark after judging the flight of the ball well. He’s a quality user of the footy and looks to be one of the better division two players aside from Templeton and Kade Kolodjashnij.
53. Hawthorn – Matthew Merlo (VIC- Mid)
183 cm 85 kg
Player Comparison: Kyal Horsley
Merlo has stood out in a very poor side, which favours him quite a bit. From day one, Calder’s game plan was to bomb it long, yet they don’t have a dominant key forward to take a grab. Merlo has been a big part of that, as he just racks up possessions as boots it as far as he can. His disposal and decision making needs work but he does have a few key strengths. He works hard and gets plenty of clearances and can go forward. Unfortunately Merlo isn’t very quick and he doesn’t use the footy well- two serious flaws that should see him drop significantly.
54. Geelong – Jake Kolodjashnij (TAS- KPD)
192 cm 88 kg
Player Comparison: Brian Lake
Kade’s twin brother. Like his twin, Jake also shows a bit of versatility and isn’t your traditional key back. He’s strong and goes hard in the contest. He’s nearly at the size where he needs to be for AFL so that’s pleasing for the Blues who are lacking AFL ready key backs. I’d like to see him used as a link up target across half back, as his marking and kicking are solid enough to make him a player that the forward must be accountable for. He exceeded my expectations against Vic Country and I wouldn’t put it past him to go top 50.
Tomorrow: fourth round