DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A developing defender who has a nice balance of strength and speed, while he is also a reliable kick out of defence"
Jack Payne is an exciting key position defender in the Brisbane Lions Academy who has plenty of future scope. Payne is a developing defender who is equally strong as he is athletic and can play on all types of opposition forwards. For a tall his speed and agility is very good and he is a reliable long kick out of defence. His positioning in marking contests and under the high ball could still use some work, while he could also continue to build his endurance. As a whole, expect the Lions to match a bid for Payne somewhere in the third round with a number of clubs interested in obtaining a developing tall with good future potential.
Payne is a well balanced key position defender who at 196cm can take the monster forwards, while also having the athleticism to play on the medium-tall types. This was evidenced by his impressive times in the 20m sprint (three seconds flat) and the agility test (8.4 seconds), ranking him second and third respectively from the tall defenders that tested at the National Combine – one of which was 190cm speedster Nick Coffield. Payne played two games for the Allies in the National Under 18 Championships, averaging 9.5 disposals, three marks and three rebounds.
Payne’s other strength is his kicking which is often a setback in developing talls. He is reliable by foot rebounding out of defence, even though he does not accumulate a heap of the ball. He averaged 5.5 kicks at NEAFL level when he played six games, but did not look out of his depth against more experienced bodies. It is expected he will end up a Lion as they have big wraps on him and he has been one of a few shining lights in their Academy program.
The two areas in which Payne can improve is his defensive positioning and endurance. At the National Combine he scored just 20.4 on the Yo-Yo test – only lumbering rucks Sam Hayes and Ned Reeves recorded lower – and was the fourth slowest in the 2km time trial behind Hayes, Reeves and Adam Sambono. It means that Payne will be looking to have a big pre-season and build his tank if he is to compete at the elite level over four quarters.
As it stands Payne is still developing and arguably a few years away from competing regularly at AFL level. Along with his endurance he also has to work on his defensive positioning one-on-one and under a high ball. He is strong and quick, but positioning is an area he is still learning and one that will improve under the guidance of AFL coaches. If he can learn how to best use his body to position himself for a mark, it will help him become a more complete defender going forward.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Third round
Jack Payne is expected to be a Brisbane Lions player by the end of draft night. His range is mid-draft probably in the third round because of his raw talent which sees the 196cm, 96kg prospect have a good combination of speed, strength and skill. He has a few technical areas to work on with his positioning and he needs to develop a better tank to play on the endurance forwards, but overall he is tracking nicely. Brisbane Lions fans will be keen to get Payne on board and watch him develop over the next few years but they should be patient because despite his frame, he is still developing and may take some time.
Under 18s Championships