With just 12 days until the 2017 NAB AFL Draft – our team have been working the phones and compiling the latest rumours ahead of the draft on Friday week.
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Want to know more about the 2017 NAB AFL Draft crop? Visit our draft pool page for all the player profiles & stats.
If Darcy Fogarty makes it to Pick 12 – it would be very very hard to see Hamish Ogilvie overlook the talented South Australian prospect. If he’s off the board, the Crows will likely look to take the best player available and the names Hunter Clark and Jarrod Brander continue to be linked with Pick 12. If Aiden Bonar manages to get outside the top 10 – it would be interesting to see whether the Crows consider him. With Pick 39 – there is some suggestion they are looking at bringing in another running defender.
Most people agree that the Brisbane Lions have made their decision on the number one selection. But just who it will be is the million dollar question? Majority of the talk for a few months is that it will likely be Vic Country midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke, but talk from some continue to suggest that Cameron Rayner’s name can’t be ruled though. The Lions have shown in the past that they will prefer to take Vic Country players which means Paddy Dow will remain the conversation – but the feeling is that it’s most likely ‘LDU’. Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan is a big fan of Andrew Brayshaw and whether the Lions recruiters have a similar taste remains to be seen. Regardless of the Lions choice at No.1 – Charlie Constable is the player most likely to be selected at Pick 15. The strong bodied inside midfielder averaged 26 disposals and five marks for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Constable is school mates with Brayshaw & Davies-Uniacke – and would fit in well if they link up at the Lions. Western Jets midfielder Lachlan Fogarty is another name the Lions have shown interest in and he could be selected at Pick 15 or Pick 18. As a rookie selection, the Lions have been linked with Box Hill Hawks’ Sam Switkowski. The Lions will also likely match a bid from Jack Payne in the third or fourth round.
Carlton have two top 10 selections and have heavily been linked to Adam Cerra in the last fortnight or so. The Eastern Ranges midfielder averaged 18 disposals and five tackles in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and the feeling of some recruiters is that he would’ve challenged for the No.1 pick if not for a shoulder injury late in the season. Cameron Rayner may fall into their lap if both interstate clubs look past him and it would be hard to see them let him get past Pick 3. At pick 10, Darcy Fogarty has been linked – but could come into their thoughts at Pick 3 with some talk of North Melbourne considering him at Pick 4 – but this could be a smokescreen for the Blues hoping for another player to slip down to Pick 10. Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark are two other midfielders who might find themselves wearing navy blue next year, while Jackson Ross and Ryley Stoddart are both in the mix at Pick 30.
Collingwood hold the keys to the draft – with a big selection at Pick 6. The only tall considered at this pick appears to be key defender Aaron Naughton, while draft ‘bolters’ Nathan Murphy and Aiden Bonar are also in the mix. Nick Coffield is another name that could be considered but the latest talk suggests that things might go another way. Could a top midfielder slide to the Pies? GWV Rebels defender Flynn Appleby might be a possible late draft selection.
Essendon are another club without a first round draft pick – entering the draft at Pick 48. With the retirement of Jobe Watson – fans are hoping for Adrian Dodoro and his team to bring in an inside midfielder & if Vic Country’s James Worpel manages to get there – it would make sense for him to be selected. Essendon also held a private testing session for about 20 kids a month ago – with Jake Riccardi and Ben Wiggins two names to keep an eye out for as possible rookie selections. They’ve also enquired about two VAFA senior footballers as draft smokeys. Fans want the fairytale to link up the Parish brothers – but if remains very unlikely the Bombers will draft Cassidy Parish at Pick 48.
Fremantle continue to be linked with Vic Metro pair Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw – but seem likely to pick between Vic Country midfielders Paddy Dow and Luke Davies-Uniacke at Pick 2. Some suggest that Cerra is their man at Pick 5 – but should he be taken before then, Brayshaw will be picked. The early mail suggested Fremantle would opt for a tall in either Jarrod Brander or Aaron Naughton – but most believe they will take the two best midfielders. As for later in the draft, the Dockers are likely to select a ruckman – having been linked with TAC Cup Grand Final ruckman Sam Conway (Geelong Falcons) and Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons). They’ve also done some work on GWV Rebels’ ruck Lloyd Meek and defender Flynn Appleby.
Tom McCartin has jumped as an AFL Draft prospect and could push up in consideration for one of Geelong’s three second round picks. The “local” prospect could come into their thinking – but the Year 11 student will need to finish school in 2018. There has been some links to local boy Matt Ling, who has impressive agility and a deadly left foot kick. South Australian duo Jordan Houlahan and Charlie Ballard are two players who could slot into the Geelong team, with Houlahan a medium forward with plenty of X-Factor, while 195cm Ballard can play on the wing or as a key position player at either end. They are also another club who have shown some interest in Calder Cannons’ Jake Riccardi.
Gold Coast enter the draft at Pick 19 with Ed Richards and Nathan Murphy two players right on their hit list. While Murphy looks destined to be a top 10 selection, Richards is a chance to be available there. Chris Pelchen also linked the Suns with tall Sam Taylor in the SEN Inside Football draft guide. There were multiple Gold Coast Suns recruiters watching Noah Balta in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final and he might be another tall in the mix. As for academy prospect Brayden Crossley – sources suggest the Suns will need to match a late pick after pick 50.
With the retirement of Stevie J – GWS are in the hunt for a small forward. Jack Higgins appears to be at the top of the pecking order with Pick 11, but there are multiple small forward options in Dylan Moore, Charlie Spargo and Gryan Miers – that could be instead picked in the second round which could allow the Giants to go “best available’ or a tall at Pick 11. There is some suggestion that the Giants could draft Jarrod Brander at Pick 11 or West Australian key back Aaron Naughton if he slipped outside the top 10. Midfielder Nick Shipley will likely have his bid matched somewhere 40+.
Once again Hawthorn enter the draft without a first round selection – after it was traded to the Saints as part of the Jaeger O’Meara deal. With Pick 43 – the Hawks have been linked with Eastern Ranges midfielders Trent Mynott and Tom North. They have nominated Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) as a Next-Generation Academy Member, but the bid will likely be well after their first selection at the draft. Zippy midfielder Will Walker may also be considered if he’s on the board.
Melbourne have shown in recent years that they are willing to hit the state leagues at the NAB AFL Draft. With their first selection, Aspley midfielder Oskar Baker is a name that continues to come up in discussions and he could be selected at Pick 29 or 36. Right under their noses at Casey is Bayley Fritsch, who will likely find a home in the middle of the draft and is in the mix.
The Kangaroos are in a precarious position – not knowing how the cards will fall ahead of them. Jaidyn Stephenson has been a name they’ll likely have in the mix – but at least one of the consensus top four (Davies-Uniacke, Cerra, Rayner and Dow) will be available at Pick 4. Rayner’s attractive game style might take a fancy for the Roos, looking for some class and speed in the attacking half of the ground. Andrew Brayshaw is another name that some suggest is ready to go from Round 1. North have shown they are willing to bid on players using their picks and may do so on Richmond father-son Patrick Naish and Brisbane Lions academy member Connor Ballenden. South Australian Mitch Crowden is also a player the Roos have interviewed recently and he could be selected as a late pick/rookie. Some whispers have also suggested if West Coast pass on Tim Kelly at Pick 21 that North Melbourne will jump at Pick 23.
Jackson Ross appears to be right on Port Adelaide’s radar at Pick 46 – but the former high level tennis player could be off the board by Port’s pick. Liam Ryan was linked early days with the Power – but appears likely to go inside the 2nd round. A fellow West Australian Jake Patmore might be in the mix as an outside player. Some talk of Oscar Chapman being a possible player of interest late in the draft or in the rookie draft.
The latest talk suggests the 2017 Premiers might not get a bid for Patrick Naish until after their third selection in the NAB AFL Draft (Pick 25). They’ve long been linked with Vic Metro ruckman Sam Hayes, but other players like Oscar Allen, Noah Balta and Sam Taylor might be above Hayes on their draft board. If the Tigers overlook Hayes – they will likely look for a ruckman later in the draft or through the rookie list to provide some depth to their ruck stocks. It’s unlikely that possible Next Generation Academy member Derrick Smith will get a bid in the National Draft.
St Kilda have two picks in a row and there is a range of players in the mix. Alan Richardson watched some of the TAC Cup Finals, with Nick Coffield catching his eye. A lot of the talk is that they will take one of the draft ‘bolters’ in Aiden Bonar or Nathan Murphy and then the best midfielders available. The best midfielder seems to be one of Andrew Brayshaw, Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield or Jaidyn Stephenson – assuming someone else doesn’t slide down to Pick 7 and 8.
Sydney Swans were long linked with cricket convert Nathan Murphy – but with the whispers being that he will be selected inside the top 10, Sydney will likely need to look elsewhere. There has been some suggestion they could take Jordan Houlahan – who plays a similar medium forward role and did spend some time as an inside midfielder for Sturt. They have plenty of inside midfielders – but Charlie Constable would be a nice addition to any list. Hunter Clark is another name that has done the rounds who could be selected here. Leading into TAC Cup Finals, there was suggestion Jackson Hille was on the Swans’ radar – while fellow Dragon Hamish Brayshaw will come into their thinking as another late pick/rookie. Charlie Ballard is an intriguing player and could be in the mix for one of the Swans first two selections.
West Coast continue to be linked with forward Oscar Allen. They would have to consider Hunter Clark and Charlie Constable at Pick 13 if they were available – but the suggestion is they will likely focus on midfielders with their second round selections. Second round West Australian prospects include Tim Kelly, who is right at the top of the tree with Pick 21 – while Liam Ryan will likely become an Eagle. Brandon Starcevich and Brayden Ainsworth could also come into consideration here while Eagles fan Ryley Stoddart might be a Victorian in the mix. Vic Metro key defender Noah Balta is a player they’re very interested in and they could select him at Pick 21 or Pick 26.
The Western Bulldogs are a club who have Nathan Murphy right in their eyeline. With Pick 9 and 16 – they will get a good crack at two players. Ed Richards has some speed and a nice left foot kick and they could grab him at Pick 16. They’ve also been linked with Gippsland Power duo Matthew McGannon and Callum Porter as possible rookie picks. Lachlan Fogarty is a likely name at Pick 16 too. Whispers about the Bulldogs bidding on Richmond father-son Patrick Naish appear to be dying.
As for who has an invite to the draft? Our sources suggest there are 20 players that will be attending in Sydney at this stage.