The Blues will be really shaping the draft for some other clubs. The rumours coming out of the Blues draft camp have been varied, and it’s tough to get a read on them.
The big fish: Jacob Weitering
Weitering is the best player in the draft, and he’s got the runs on the board. For a young key defender to not only be able to shutdown AFL quality players, but to run off them, take intercept marks and then create scoring opportunities through rebounding, well that’s serious cause for his draft standing.
Plan B: Josh Schache
Looks pretty clear that the Blues will head with Weitering, but Schache is an excellent player too. His sharp goal kicking would be a welcome change for Carlton. He can beat his opponent in a one-on-one contest and he’s got the fitness to play as a lead up forward, but at this stage, he needs to work on being a bit more of a lead up player to show he can do it all.
Pick 12 (originally pick 8)
The big fish: Aaron Francis
Gold Coast may be in the frame to take the athletic defender, but if he’s there, the Blues should jump at the chance. He’s an excellent intercept mark, and he’s got one of the best leaps in the draft class. Francis could end up playing as a third tall at either end, and while he has midfield scope, it might be a waste of his athletic potential.
Plan B: Clayton Oliver
Oliver is a strong bodied midfielder who wins his own footy easily on the inside. He’s actually quite a clean kick of the footy and he’s got runs on the board in terms of being able to kick goals from the midfield. Athletically, Oliver is much more agile and quick than the eye test tells you. He might be gone if Essendon or Melbourne are really keen.
Pick 14 (originally 11)
The big fish: Harry McKay
McKay is very raw at this stage, but his upside is great. McKay has shown great signs as a lead up forward. His work rate is excellent, and he’s got some really nice athletic traits. He’s going to need a really good development team to get the best out of him, but his rate of improvement across the year has been encouraging.
Plan B: Callum Ah Chee
Ah Chee provides the spark that the Blues lack up forward and on the outside of the contest. He’s got speed, a terrific leap and he’s one of the smarter smaller players in the draft. Ah Chee has shown that he can win his own ball on the inside at under-18 level, which is encouraging for his case to play midfield minutes at the top flight.
Pick 23 (originally 19)
The big fish: Jade Gresham
Gresham wins so much of the football as a small midfielder, that recruiters cannot pin him down as an exclusive small forward. That being said, the Blues could do with another crumbing option, and Gresham is very clean when the ball hits the deck. He’s not the ‘mercurial’ small forward type, but he works hard defensively and he’ll be a consistent presence in every game.
Plan B: Ryan Clarke
Clarke is a running machine who should be playing quite a few games next year through his elite fitness. He breaks the lines and his kicking can be lethal at times. Clarke has also shown his nous winning his own footy, and he has that Patrick Dangerfield-esque breakaway power and acceleration from stoppages.
Pick 52 (originally 59)
The big fish: Jack Silvagni
Silvagni has really nice hands and he’s got clean skills when the ball hits the deck. He’s lacking a lot of strength and probably won’t be a true key position player through his size. But with his skill set, he could be a third linking forward. I like Silvagni as a lockdown defender too. He reads the play well, and despite not having the strength, he positions himself well to negate the contest even against bigger opponents.