Matt Balmer’s 2017 Phantom Draft

Well it’s been a strange season. As they say – you’re only as good as your last Phantom Draft. With one of the more even top 10s in recent years, clubs have varying draft boards and it makes for another unpredictable draft night. The depth of the 2017 draft isn’t as strong as last year – but the good recruiters show that they can unearth late gems.

Tune in to SEN 1116 from 6.45pm tomorrow night, where I’ll have all the analysis alongside Brett Anderson, Matt Granland and Brett Thomas. Our individual AFL Draft Central player profiles is the go to place to find out all about your clubs draftees, so make sure you keep clicking back throughout the night.

MATT BALMER’S 2017 AFL DRAFT RANKINGS 50-26

MATT BALMER’S 2017 AFL DRAFT RANKINGS 25-1

Follow the draft along live via Twitter on Friday @AFLDraftCentral , we will be live at the Sydney Showgrounds to take you through what should be a cracking night.

Thanks for following right throughout the year!

Just like on draft night – All passes have been removed from my Phantom Draft.

If you have any questions in the lead up to the draft, you can send me a tweet @MattBalmer7


Pick 1: Brisbane Lions – Cameron RAYNER

General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot. Battled a knee injury in the second half of the season.

In the mix: The Lions were down to their final two names – with Andrew Brayshaw being in the mix alongside Cameron Rayner. All the belief from here is that Rayner will get the nod.

Pick 2: Fremantle – Luke DAVIES-UNIACKE

Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September’s TAC Cup Finals.

In the mix: There were whispers floating around yesterday that Adam Cerra was a chance to be selected by Fremantle, but if they were to throw a curveball it likely would be Andrew Brayshaw or Paddy Dow selected.

Pick 3: Carlton – Paddy DOW

Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages. Missed the latter parts of the season due to a shoulder injury.

In the mix: Dow has been the named linked for a long time, while the Blues are fans of Adam Cerra. If Brayshaw went Pick 2, it would be interesting to see where the Blues ranked LDU.

Pick 4: North Melbourne – Andrew BRAYSHAW

Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

In the mix: One of the harder picks which will shape how Pick 5 & 6 go. Is Darcy Fogarty the likely contender here or could it be Eastern Ranges midfielder Adam Cerra.

Pick 5: Fremantle – Darcy FOGARTY

General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Was ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

In the mix: Few whispers suggesting that Cerra won’t be a Fremantle player which leaves the decision down to probably Fogarty or Naughton.

Pick 6: Collingwood – Adam CERRA

Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Missed the second half of the year with a shoulder injury.

In the mix: Collingwood will be very pleased if the ‘sliding midfielder’ in Brayshaw or Cerra get to Pick 6. While Darcy Fogarty seems to be in the consideration should he get there. Some suggest Jaidyn Stephenson hasn’t be ruled out – but I don’t think the Pies select him. Ed Richards & Nathan Murphy are two others who can’t 100 per cent be ruled out.

Pick 7: St Kilda – Nick COFFIELD

General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

In the mix: St Kilda have two picks in a row, with multiple names linked. If things go a bit funky in the top 6, Cerra could fall here – but it’s very very unlikely. Aiden Bonar, Jaidyn Stephenson, Aaron Naughton and Nathan Murphy are other names that were touted at times – but seem unlikely.

Pick 8: St Kilda – Hunter CLARK

Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

In the mix: See above.

Pick 9: Western Bulldogs – Aaron NAUGHTON

Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

In the mix: The Dogs have long been linked with the best key position player in the 2017 draft pool. It would be hard to pass Western Bulldogs supporter Nick Coffield here, while speedy half back flank Ed Richards will certainly come into consideration. Both Nathan Murphy and Jack Higgins are two others that could warrant selection by the Dogs – but they’re both likely to be there at Pick 16.

Pick 10: Carlton – Lochie O’BRIEN

Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo and Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

In the mix: The Blues have been linked with Richards lately, after there was plenty of word about them being keen on fellow left footer Lochie O’Brien – who did his AFL Academy placement at Ikon Park. Aiden Bonar could be a name plucked out by Carlton at Pick 10.

Pick 11: GWS – Aiden BONAR

Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

In the mix: GWS National Recruiting Manager Adrian Caruso use to work at Champion Data and will crunch the numbers heavily – with Champion Data’s No.1 ranked player Jack Higgins a likely target for the Giants. Ed Richards might appeal across half back, while Nathan Murphy is another name who could be considered. Was word early in the week that Lachlan Fogarty was their man – but is that entirely on the money? Time will tell. Don’t 100 per cent rule out Jaidyn Stephenson either.

Pick 12: Adelaide – Oscar ALLEN

Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

In the mix: The Crows would love Hunter Clark or Darcy Fogarty to get through – but it seems more unlikely than likely that will happen. Could they consider Jack Higgins here? Nick Coffield’s name also has been raised, but it’s most likely he’s off the board. Whispers in Sydney today suggested Zac Bailey might be taken by the Crows at Pick 12.

Pick 13: West Coast – Jack HIGGINS

Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

In the mix: West Coast have long been linked with Western Australia co-captain Oscar Allen, but has shown interest in Jack Higgins & Noah Balta – Balta looming as a later selection. Liam Ryan & Tim Kelly are two mature agers that could end up at the Eagles, but surely Pick 13 is too early for one of them?

Pick 14: Sydney – Ed RICHARDS

Medium Defender/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick and clean hands to effectiveness.

In the mix: Looks likely that Sydney will opt for a smaller type, after long being linked with dual-athlete Nathan Murphy. Jack Higgins & Lachlan Fogarty were both visited by Jon Longmire earlier in the week, but Ed Richards or Lochie O’Brien could be too hard to pass on as pure outside midfielders.

Pick 15: Brisbane – Lachlan FOGARTY

Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179.0cm | 75.0kg

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Unfairly flies under the radar and is right in the mix as a late first round pick.

In the mix: This seems like the most obvious selection, with the Lions hoping to grab best mates Rayner & Fogarty. If L.Fogarty has been taken, Zac Bailey may be selected here.

Pick 16: Western Bulldogs – Nathan MURPHY

Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy kicked over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan. Lots for upside and could well wind up as a midfielder in years to come.

In the mix: Murphy seems like a Western Bulldogs pick, having been invited to the draft. Small forwards Jack Higgins and Lachie Fogarty are two other players who will come into the Dogs’ thoughts.

Pick 17: Richmond – Jaidyn STEPHENSON

Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground. A potential heart issue was picked up at the Combine and it remains to be seen how the club medical staff will judge the top 10 prospect.

In the mix: If Collingwood don’t select Stephenson at Pick 6 – the next most obvious selection will be Richmond at Pick 17. The premiers seem willing to take the “risk’ with Stephenson, but if not he could get through to Geelong. Richmond will likely take Jarrod Brander at Pick 20, knowing that he can get past Brisbane and Gold Coast.

 

END OF FIRST ROUND

Pick 18: Brisbane – Zac BAILEY

Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 181.0cm | 81.1kg

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Bailey wins the contested ball and tackles well.

In the mix: Some of the Lions recruiting team are fans of Charlie Constable, who will be a steal for any club outside the first round. Do the Lions need two smaller selections in Fogarty & Bailey?

Pick 19: Gold Coast – Charlie BALLARD

Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

In the mix: Numerous phone calls throughout the last 48 hours have all been strong on the link of Ballard to the Suns. Ballard seems a typical ‘Scott Clayton’ selection, but could they pull a surprise and grab Liam Ryan before Geelong & West Coast?

ROUND TWO

Pick 20: Richmond – Jarrod BRANDER

Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

In the mix: Richmond should have no issues collecting Brander at Pick 20 – with the tall coming into the year as a possible No.1 selection.

Pick 21: West Coast – Tim KELLY

Inside Midfielder (South Fremantle/WAFL)
26/07/1994 | 182.1cm | 81.2kg

Scouting notes: Strong inside midfielder who can push forward at hit the scoreboard. Wins the contested ball and does have a burst in his first few steps going forward. His kicking is still a work in progress, but he can run hard all day – and looms as the first mature-ager selected.

In the mix: A lot of people have expected Tim Kelly & Liam Ryan to end up at West Coast, but with plenty of interest in Ryan lately – it will mean that they probably can only afford to get one. If Higgins gets this far they will snap him up, while they are big fans of Jarrad Brander and could take him should the Tigers let him get past Pick 17 & 20.

Pick 22: Geelong – Liam RYAN

Small Forward (Subiaco/WAFL)
02/10/1996 | 179.1cm | 70.5kg

Scouting notes: Exciting small forward who booted 73 goals in the WAFL this season. Has a spectacular highlight reel and will be a candidate for Mark of the Year in the AFL where he uses his elite leap. He possesses elite speed and his X-Factor is through the roof. Endurance is still improving and no doubt will when he reaches a professional environment.

In the mix: Some clubs have Liam Ryan closer to 10 than 20 on their draft boards. Geelong are said to like Tom McCartin and Charlie Constable. The Cats also spoke with Ryley Stoddart earlier this week.

Pick 23: North Melbourne – Sam TAYLOR

Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
05/05/1999 | 196.1cm | 87.3kg

Scouting notes: A Key Position Defender who has flown a bit under the radar. Taylor was prominent in the AFL Academy game against Northern Blues at the start of the year, and is a good one-on-one defender. Taylor rebounds the ball ok by foot and is willing to take intercept marks.

In the mix: Tim Kelly and Tom McCartin are right in the Roos’ eye-line and they will likely jump should Taylor be off the board.

Pick 24: Geelong – Charlie CONSTABLE

Inside Midfielder/General Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

In the mix: Geelong like Tom McCartin – but is he likely to get to their next selection?

Pick 25: Richmond – Callum COLEMAN-JONES

Ruckman (Sturt/South Australia)
13/06/1999 | 200.9cm | 98.9kg

Scouting notes: Ruckman/Key Forward who missed the second half of the year due to requiring knee surgery. Coleman-Jones’ agility could be improved, but he has safe hands overhead and can win the ball around the ground. Kicking technique does need some work.

In the mix: Richmond have been linked to Coleman-Jones for a few weeks, and if the Patrick Naish bid hasn’t come – they probably pick between Hayes and ‘CCJ’. Pick 25 might be a touch early for Noah Balta.

Pick 26: West Coast – Ryley STODDART

Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 184.6cm | 73.7kg

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson. Finished the year with some impressive performances and showed he can push further up the ground and hit the scoreboard.

Pick 27: Richmond – Patrick NAISH (Father/Son Bid matched)

Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond and possibly may get bid on after the Tigers’ third selection (Pick 25) on draft night.

Pick 28: GWS – Matthew LING

Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Pick 29: GWS – Brent DANIELS

Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
09/03/1999 | 170.5cm | 70.4kg

Scouting notes: The inside midfielder was superb in the Vic Country Under 18 trial match in 2016, but showed his skills across half forward for Vic Country in the National Under 18 Championships in 2017. Daniels possesses elite speed and can play as an inside midfielder, but possesses a good goal sense and can pressure opposition defenders up forward.

Pick 30: Collingwood – Tyler BROWN (Father/Son Bid matched)

Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/12/1999 | 186.6cm | 71.5kg

Scouting notes: Tyler Brown has smarts inside 50 and around the stoppages, improving right throughout the season showing glimpses for Marcellin College and Eastern Ranges. He is very agility and uses the ball well on his right foot. Contested ball work is good.

Pick 31: Melbourne – Oskar BAKER

Outside Midfielder (Aspley/NEAFL)
25/05/1998 | 181.9cm | 75.6kg

Scouting notes: Outside midfielder who had some eye catching performances for Aspley in the NEAFL this season. Baker possesses elite speed and agility, kicking the ball well around the ground. He was originally cut from the Lions Academy at the start of the year and put his hand up as one of the best mature-age options in this draft pool. Is willing to take opponents on around the ground.

Pick 32: Carlton – Joel GARNER
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Pick 33: Brisbane – Connor BALLENDEN (Academy selection Bid matched)
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who is linked to the Brisbane Lions academy. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well. Likely to receive a bid 25 plus on draft night.

Pick 34: Melbourne – Sam HAYES
Ruckman/Key Position Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. The ruck/forward needs to improve his running and it will likely see him fall outside the first round.

Pick 35: West Coast – James WORPEL
Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185.1cm | 85.5kg

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks are on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs but he did show in the National Under 18 Championships that he was able to stop and find a target without rushing. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a top 30 selection.

Pick 36: Sydney – Jordan HOULAHAN
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185.7cm | 75.9kg

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the National Under 18 Championships. Also played a few games as a midfielder at SANFL level. Was a dual premiership player for the Double Blues in the SANFL Under 18s and SANFL Reserves.

Pick 37: St Kilda – Harrison PETTY
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 195.3cm | 81.9kg

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead. Won South Australia’s MVP after a superb National AFL Under 18 Championships.

Pick 38: Geelong – Tom McCARTIN
Key Position Forward (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
30/12/1999 | 192.6cm | 84.0kg

Scouting notes: One of the late bloomers of the 2017 AFL Draft pool. The brother of St Kilda’s Patrick has a late December and is still in Year 11 – meaning he will need to finish school in 2018. Clubs won’t be put off by this however and the talented forward showed in the first quarter of the TAC Cup Elimination Final that he can be a damaging player. McCartin marks well overhead and is an agile footballer. He has plenty of scope for development.

Pick 39: Melbourne – Charlie SPARGO
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 171.6cm | 70.2kg

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Had shoulder surgery which ruled him out for the season.

Pick 40: West Coast – Noah BALTA
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the National Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick, but there is some suggestion that he could last into the 40s on draft night.

ROUND THREE

Pick 41: Adelaide – Andrew McPHERSON
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 79.4kg

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the National AFL Under 18 Championships last year, but missed the carnival in 2017 due to injury. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Pick 42: Gold Coast – Jack PETRUCCELLE
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 185.1cm | 77.7kg

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82 seconds recorded earlier in the season. He is willing to take opposition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. He comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Pick 43: Fremantle – Ben PATON
Small Defender (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
19/10/1998 | 186.0cm | 77.5kg

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender Ben Paton was one of Vic Country’s shining lights in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, making the All-Australian team. In close he possesses good clean hands and he is a player you want to have the ball in his hands coming out of defence, where he is a reliable kick. Has a good burst of speed and is decent in one-on-one contests.

Pick 44: Hawthorn – Dylan MOORE
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175.8cm | 65.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. He also a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who do not possess elite speed. Is a smart footballer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Pick 45: Brisbane – Gryan MIERS
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
30/03/1999 | 177.6cm | 77.4kg

Scouting notes: Small forward who shot to frame after booting seven goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Whilst he doesn’t possess elite speed, he has smarts around goal and is willing to kick the ball off either foot. Has played some time on the inside, but is destined to be a small forward at the next level.

Pick 46: St Kilda – Will WALKER
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons)
30/03/1999 | 186.5cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Zippy half forward flanker who has improved his contested ball abilities in the second half of the year. Wins the ball in the midfielder and spreads well from a stoppage. At times he can just bang the ball on his boot – but he has the power to kick the ball over 50 metres and his clearance work is very good. Comes from a former soccer background.

Pick 47: Port Adelaide – Jackson ROSS
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192.5cm | 74.5kg

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and is a player with plenty of development left.

Pick 48: Melbourne – Bayley FRITSCH

Medium Forward (Casey Demons/VFL)
06/12/1996 | 186.9cm | 80.1kg

Scouting notes: Bayley Fritsch is the VFLs best product and will be one the few State League players selected in the National Draft. The left footer uses the ball well and booted 44 goals for Casey this season. He is strong in the air and has plenty of suitors at club land. Can improve his speed and ball winning, but has some good traits that will appeal. He is a good ball user by foot.

Pick 49: Essendon – Haiden SCHLOITHE

Balanced Midfielder (South Fremantle/WAFL)
16/06/1993 | 186.9cm | 80.1kg

Scouting notes: Schloithe was on Fremantle’s rookie list in the past, but had a very good season finding the football around the ground. He won the Sandover Medal and was named WA footballer of the season. He is a good kick and has speed – but his endurance needs to improve.

Pick 50: Port Adelaide – Jake PATMORE
Outside Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
29/01/1999 | 181.1cm | 71.75kg

Scouting notes: Speedy outside midfielder who can play as a rebounding defender. Wins plenty of the ball and has slimmed down during the season. Patmore has plenty of scope for development. AFL Academy member.

Pick 51: Gold Coast – Brandon STARCEVICH
Balanced Midfielder (East Perth/Western Australia)
24/07/1999 | 186.6cm | 84.4kg

Scouting notes: A strong riser in the second half of the year where he can attack a stoppage at speed and clear the ball out reasonably effective by foot. Finished the season on a high with 18 disposals and four inside 50s in the Under 18 All Stars game at the MCG on Grand Final day. Possesses elite speed and agility, with his inside game are area that has improved. Not a big ball winner.

Pick 52: Sydney – Toby WOOLLER
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
16/03/1999 | 192.7cm | 89.9kg

Scouting notes: Key Position Forward who has played as a hybrid midfielder at times for the Oakleigh Chargers. While still likely to end up a second or third tall at the next level, Wooller is a good mark and knows where the goals are. Is mobile enough to get up and down the ground on multiple leads. Is the grandson of Geelong’s Fred Wooller.

Pick 53: Brisbane – Jack PAYNE (Academy selection)

Key Position Defender (Brisbane Lions Academy)
15/10/1999 | 196.5cm | 96.2kg

Scouting notes: Key Position Defender who has good power in defensive 50. He one-on-one defending does need some work, but he has a burst of speed over the first few steps which can help him defend. Kicks the ball well.

Pick 54: Gold Coast – Brayden CROSSLEY (Academy selection)

Ruckman (Gold Coast Suns Academy)
16/09/1999 | 198.1cm | 101.0kg

Scouting notes: Ruckman who had a superb NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and showed good signs for the Suns during the NEAFL finals. He is a brute of a boy, but does need to trim down and work on his endurance. He marks well around the ground, but agility is an area of improvement.

ROUND FOUR

Pick 55: Collingwood – Trent MYNOTT

Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/10/1999 | 184.8cm | 75.1kg

Scouting notes: Inside midfielder who has plenty of scope for development. Mynott can win the contested ball and clear it effectively out to an outside runner by hand. Is willing to do the defensive work and tackles hard to get the ball back. Kicking has room for improvement.

Pick 56: GWS – Dom BARRY

Outside Midfielder (Glenelg/SANFL)
07/03/1994 | 178.7cm | 76.4kg

Scouting notes: Former Melbourne player Dom Barry looks likely to return to an AFL list. He has elite speed and agility, and is a good ball user on the outside. Endurance continues to be a work in progress.

Pick 57: GWS – Nicholas SHIPLEY (Academy Bid Matched)

Inside Midfielder (GWS Academy)
25/06/1999 | 188.2cm | 93.3kg

Scouting notes: Nick Shipley is deceptively quick and has shown his abilities as an inside midfielder throughout the season. Is more of a handball first, kick second player on the inside – but his contested ball is very good, as is his endurance.

Pick 58: Geelong – Tom DE KONING

Ruckman/Key Position Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
16/07/1999 | 200.3cm | 89.7kg

Scouting notes: De Koning’s season ended early after suffering a lacerated kidney. In the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, he showed he can play as a ruck or up forward. His marking can improve, but he is a good set shot kick for goal. Ground ball work is decent for a tall.

Pick 59: Port Adelaide – Nathan KREUGER
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 195.7cm | 88.9kg

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield but showed his strength up forward for South Australia in the National  Under 18 Championships.

Pick 60: Fremantle – Hugh DIXON

Key Position Forward (Kingborough Tigers/Tasmania)
26/02/1999 | 195.1cm | 90.5kg

Scouting notes: Key Position Forward who clunks as good as a contested mark as anyone in the draft pool. His speed is an area that can improve, but he has a lovely left foot kick and is reliable in front of goal. One who has some upside if he can get in an AFL environment.

Pick 61: Collingwood – Oscar CLAVARINO
Key Position Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 195.6cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: Key Position defender who should fill out in an AFL environment. His best can be very good and has held down the key post for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships over the last two years.  His intercept work is getting better and has become more sure of himself when dropping off his man. Kicking can be shaky under pressure – but is another element to his game that has improved throughout the season.

Pick 62: Port Adelaide – Noah ANSWERTH

Outside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers)
06/08/1999 | 183.8cm | 78.6kg

Scouting notes: Answerth missed majority of the year suffering a nasty back injury at Ikon Park earlier in the season. He got back and played in the Young Guns game and showed some dash across half back. He is a good decision making and uses the ball well by foot. Someone who could’ve been a top 30-40 pick if not for injuries.

Pick 63: North Melbourne – Matthew DAY

Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers)
01/04/1999 | 189.2cm | 79.4kg

Pick 64: Fremantle – Joel AMARTEY

Ruckman (Sandringham Dragons)
02/07/1999 | 196.1cm | 84.6kg

Pick 65: Hawthorn – Changkuoth JIATH (Next Gen Academy Bid Matched)

Outside Midfielder (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
13/06/1999 | 185.2cm | 74.1kg

Pick 66: Essendon – Tom NORTH

Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
14/02/1999 | 184.1cm | 84.1kg

Pick 67: West Coast – Brayden AINSWORTH

Balanced Midfielder (Subiaco/Western Australia)
27/11/1998 | 184.0cm | 79.4kg

Pick 68: Fremantle – Hamish BRAYSHAW

Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons)
09/02/1998 | 187.0cm | 91.2kg

Pick 69: Carlton – Ethan FLOYD
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
15/07/1999 | 180.0cm | 70.7kg

ROUND FIVE

Pick 70: Hawthorn – Hayden McLEAN

Key Position Forward (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
20/01/1999 | 196.4cm | 92.6kg

Pick 71: North Melbourne – Alex MARTINI

Balanaced Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
30/03/1999 | 181.1cm | 77.1kg

Pick 72: Fremantle – Flynn APPLEBY

Medium Defender (GWV Rebels)
21/01/1999 | 186.6cm | 81.50kg

Pick 73: Western Bulldogs – Callum PORTER

Balanced Midfielder (Gippsland Power)
22/02/1999 | 182.1cm | 76.0kg

Pick 74: Essendon – Lloyd MEEK

Ruckman (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
22/04/1998 | 202.4cm | 106.4kg

Pick 75: North Melbourne – Kyron HAYDEN

Balanced Midfielder (Subiaco/Western Australia)
07/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 86.5kg

Pick 76: Richmond – Alex BOYSE

General Forward (Essendon VFL)
16/11/1993 | 189.0cm | 81.2kg

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