In: Kyle Cheney, Luke Lowden
Draft picks: 14, 35, 43, 59
Adelaide were non existent in the trade period until the last ten minutes, when it successfully gained Cheney and Lowden from Hawthorn, before swapping its first and second picks with Geelong. The Crows downgraded their first pick from 10 to 14 in that deal, seemingly confident that their desired player will still be around then. Upgrading their second pick into the 30s is a good outcome. Cheney and Lowden are also useful acquisitions – with the delisting of Luke Thompson, Cheney will provide some grunt in defence, while Lowden will provide much needed assistance to premier ruckman Sam Jacobs.
The trade period failed to deliver a key defender to replace retiring Ben Rutten and assist young star Daniel Talia. Addressing this deficiency should be the number one priority of Crows’ recruiters come draft day. At pick 14, key backs Sam Durdin and Jake Lever are likely to be gone, which brings someone like Caleb Marchbank into play. The tall utility is a good mark overhead and competes well in the air. He had a solid TAC Cup season, and performed strongly at the National Championships. With its second pick, the Crows would likely look for the best available player, most likely a pacey midfielder or a half forward.
In: Allen Christensen, Dayne Beams
Out: Joel Patfull, Jack Crisp
Picks: 44 (Liam Dawson), 63 (Harris Andrews), 117(Josh Clayton)
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Brisbane was reeling from the mass exodus of five of its young players, and its viability as a club was being questioned. This year, things could not be more different. The Lions have attracted one of the competition’s premier midfielders in Dayne Beams, and added pacey wingman Allen Christensen. Both will beautifully complement the already strong midfield core that the Lions are developing. Losing two-time Best and Fairest winner Joel Patfull will hurt in the short term, but some astute recruiting over the past few seasons should see key defenders Darcy Gardiner and Justin Clarke fill that role.
Having gained Beams and Christensen, Brisbane has addressed its need for more class and more outside run. The Lions have also used their later draft picks to secure three academy selections – Liam Dawson (midfielder/defender), Harris Andrews (key position), and Josh Clayton (midfielder). Andrews and Dawson in particular are exciting prospects. Given their selection of academy players, and having given up selections five and 25 for Beams, the Lions have few workable selections left at the draft. They may look to the rookie draft to add some more depth to their forward stocks.
In: Liam Jones, Kristian Jaksch, Mark Whiley
Out: Jarrad Waite, Jeff Garlett
Draft picks: 19, 28, 61
The Blues have been crying out for a key forward since Brendan Fevola departed Visy Park, and they finally got their man in want-away Giant Jaksch. The young tall has shown promise at both ends of the ground, and will complement Levi Casboult and Lachie Henderson in the Blues’ forward line. Whiley is a hard as nails midfielder who, along with 2013 recruit Patrick Cripps and Tom Bell, will add a hard edge to the Blues’ midfield. Jones was inconsistent in his time at the Bulldogs, but has talent and pace, and could be a useful third tall in the role vacated by the departing Jarrad Waite.
The Blues gave up pick seven to net Jaksch and Whiley, but gained pick 19 in the process. The top end of this year’s draft is quite strong, so there should be plenty of talent left at that stage. Given the loss of Jeff Garlett to Melbourne, another pacey small forward could be on the cards, while another key defender to assist Michael Jamison and the still-raw Matthew Watson would also be handy. The exciting Jarrod Garlett would be around the mark, as would Caleb Marchbank. Should the Blues look to bolster their forward stocks with either of their first two picks, Tom Lamb and Reece McKenzie are two who will catch the eye. Both are raw, and inconsistent, but have incredible potential and upside. A little like Spencer White in 2012, they may take a while to develop, but they could be fantastic players for the Blues. Key position prospect Tyler Keitel may also be in the frame here for the Blues.
In: Levi Greenwood, Jack Crisp, Travis Varcoe
Out: Dayne Beams, Heritier Lumumba,
Draft picks: 5, 9 (Darcy Moore), 30, 48
After looking like they were going to face a mass exodus for very little return, the Pies emerged quite well from a difficult trade period. In losing Beams and Lumumba the Pies lost not only two quality players, but also a large amount of experience. However, they acquired some quality in Levi Greenwood – who will fill the role vacated by the recently retired Luke Ball – along with young midfielder Jack Crisp and speedster Travis Varcoe. Greenwood in particular will bolster the Pies’ engine room. Crisp may take a while to develop but has potential, while Varcoe can add some outside run, even if his best days may be behind him.
Armed with some early selections, the Pies will be big players in the top end of the draft. Pick nine is committed to Moore, who, had he been on the open market, would have been taken in the top three selections. He will slot nicely into the Pies’ forward line next year alongside Travis Cloke. Pick five is an important selection for the Magpies, and, given the acquisition of Moore, may be a case of taking the best available player. Classy midfielders Jason Laverde and Lachie Weller would come into contention here, as would key defenders Jake Lever and Sam Durdin should the Pies wish to bolster their key position stocks. If one of Peter Wright or Patty McCartin was to slip through to pick five, they would be difficult to pass up, especially given that there will be a plethora of midfielders available around at pick 30, such as Touk Miller.
In: Adam Cooney, Jonathon Giles, James Gwilt
Out: Paddy Ryder
Draft picks: 17, 20, 62
The loss of Ryder will be a massive blow for the Bombers, both in terms of their ruck depth and the class he brought to the field. However, the acquisition of Giles will go some way to addressing the former concern, Cooney adds much needed pace to the midfield, and Gwilt offers a cool, experienced head at half back. Cooney aside – and it’s difficult to assess where the former Brownlow Medallist is at, given his recurring spate of injuries – the Bombers have not brought in any star quality, and so they need to make its early picks count.
After being locked out of the early stages of last year’s draft, the Bombers managed to gain quality young player Zach Merrett with their first pick (26). The draft sanctions applied again this year mean they will need to be creative while still trying to acquire a talented player. With their key position posts in good shape, the one position the Bombers’ really lack for is a crafty small forward. Addressing this need should be their first priority. Goal-kicking midfielder Jarrod Garlett could be in the frame at both of these picks, as could the exciting Jarrod Pickett. There will be plenty of quality midfield talent available also, with the likes of Jordan De Goey, Liam Duggan, Paul Ahern and Corey Ellis around the mark here. With their later picks, the Bombers could look to take Caleb Daniel. At 174 cm, Daniel was the smallest player to test at this year’s Combine, but he makes up for his lack of height with goal nous and a heap of talent.
Draft picks: 13, 34, 52
The Dockers were absent in trade week, seeming to prefer taking their picks to the draft and backing in the development of their current young brigade. It will be an interesting year of development for Ross Lyon’s team – reticent to play youth in the past, Lyon will need to give the likes of Michael Apeness, Matt Taberner, Tanner Smith, Jack Hannath, Hayden Crozier and Tom Sheridan ample game time if they are to progress in their development.
Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t see the Dockers as being particularly deficient in key position players. Smith, Taberner, Apeness and Hannath were all recruited with this in mind, and although they are not yet at the stage where they can fill the roles soon to be vacated by Matthew Pavlich and Luke McPharlin, they have shown enough talent to suggest they will be good players in years to come. That being said, key position players will never go astray, so the Dockers could look to take one at pick 13. Reece McKenzie and Caleb Marchbank should be there around this selection, as may Hugh Goddard and Tom Lamb, both key forward and ruck prospects. If the Dockers opt for best available, midfielders Duggan and De Goey would fit the bill. Pick 37 will largely depend on who the Dockers acquire with their first selection, but there will be a number of more raw key position prospects still available.
In: Mitch Clark, Rhys Stanley
Out: Allen Christensen, Travis Varcoe
Draft picks: 10, 47, 55
Geelong has clearly bolstered their forward and ruck stocks with the acquisitions of Mitch Clark and Rhys Stanley. However, the moves are quite high risk, given Clark’s injury history and Stanley’s inconsistency. Giving up pick 21 for Stanley was a high price to pay, and was a debatable move considering the Cats already possess a bevy of taller players. However, Stanley’s versatility is an asset, and Geelong has a proven track record of developing players. The loss of speedsters Christensen and Varcoe is a big loss, and leaves the Cats’ midfield somewhat one-paced.
The Cats clearly rate the top end of the draft highly, given they swapped pick 14 for pick 10 with Adelaide, but downgraded their second round pick. This will be the first year since recruiting skipper Joel Selwood that they have had a top 10 selection, and must use it wisely. Given the departures of Christensen and Varcoe, speed will be high on the Cats’ agenda, and there will be a number of players who would fit the bill, namely Jarrod Pickett. If he is still there at pick 10, he’ll be a steal for the Cats. If Stephen Wells is looking for class, something he has an eye for, he could look to select midfielders Lachie Weller and Liam Duggan. At the other end of the ground, despite recruiting a series of defenders in recent years, the Cats are still a little bare in the key defender stakes, so someone like Sam Durdin would also come into consideration. In recent years, the Cats haven’t been afraid to select a left-field choice with their first selections – Jackson Thurlow and Darcy Lang are two that spring to mind – so the Cats springing a surprise here is particularly plausible.
In: Nick Malceski, Mitch Hallahan
Draft picks: 8, 15, 29, 66
The Gold Coast solidified their 2015 finals chances by adding Sydney premiership defender Malceski and hard nut Hawthorn midfielder Hallahan. On top of this, they managed to retain their two top-20 draft picks, and are therefore well placed to add even more quality come the draft.
There are no glaring holes in Gold Coast’s list, so their strategy will most likely be to take the best available player. At pick 8, this could range from home grown talent Lachie Weller to key position prospects Sam Durdin or Jake Lever. Meanwhile, there will be a number of talented midfielders at pick 15, including Jordan de Goey and Liam Duggan. Like Geelong, Gold Coast hasn’t been afraid to pull some surprises, selecting relative unknowns Sean Lemmens and Jack Leslie in the top 20 last year, so pick 15 may very well come down to who recruiting chief Scott Clayton likes the look of.
Out: Tom Boyd, Jono O’Rourke, Kristian Jaksch, Mark Whiley, Jon Giles, Sam Frost
In: Ryan Griffen, Joel Patfull
Draft picks: 4, 6, 7, 23, 24 (Jack Steele)
There were mixed fortunes for GWS at the trade table, gaining two experienced players in Griffen and Patfull, but losing future stars Boyd, Jaksch, and O’Rourke. Their depth has taken a hit with the loss of Frost and Giles, while losing Boyd and Jaksch has put a dent in their tall forward stocks. However, despite losing Boyd, the Giants have netted three top-10 draft picks, as well as two academy selections in the impressive Jack Steele (whom Richmond bid its pick 11 on), and Jeremy Finlayson (last pick). With these picks, they will be well equipped to add further talent to their already talent-laden list.
With their first three picks, the Giants will have access to even more top-end talent. Given the departure of Boyd and Giles, a ruckman would be high on their list, so Paddy McCartin and Peter Wright will definitely come into calculations with pick four. Picks six and seven will give the Giants access to some top flight midfield talent, and Lachie Weller and Jayden Laverde will definitely come into calculation at this pick. If the Giants are looking to add to their small forward stocks, Jarrod Pickett would also come into contention with either of these picks. Jake Lever and Sam Durdin will also be in contention if the Giants decide to add to their defensive stocks. It wouldn’t surprise to see a mixture of players taken with these three picks. The Giants will also acquire impressive Canberra midfielder Jack Steele with pick 24, so taking a variety of position types would round out their list well.
In: James Frawley, Jono O’Rourke
Out: Kyle Cheney, Luke Lowden, Mitch Hallahan
Draft picks: 31, 49, 50
The Hawks proved yet again why they have been the premier team of the past few seasons, gaining key defender Frawley as a free agent while adding potential star midfielder O’Rourke for only the loss of pick 19. Losing Hallahan hurts, as he would have pushed for a permanent spot in the Hawks’ best 22 over the next few seasons. However, he, Cheney and Lowden were desperate for and deserving of greater opportunities, so the decision to let them go cheaply was in the interests of both parties. In Frawley, the Hawks bolster their ageing defence, securing a ready-made replacement for full back Brian Lake, while O’Rourke will inject even more class into the midfield.
The Hawks don’t much to work with here, given their first pick is at 31. The Hawks have such great depth in every area that they have the luxury of selecting the best available with each choice. At pick 31, there will be some good midfielders remaining and a number of developmental talls, should the Hawks be planning beyond the immediate future. The Hawks opted not to take Harry Dear as a father/son selection, so he may be a player they look at in the rookie draft.
In: Heritier Lumumba, Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett
Out: James Frawley, Mitch Clark
Draft picks: 2, 3, 40, 42 (Billy Stretch)
Given the circumstances, Melbourne emerged from the trade period with a strong hand. Losing key pillars Clark and Frawley was a big blow, and it means their forward and defensive lines have taken a hit. However, gaining pick three as compensation for Frawley was an excellent outcome, and the club only gave up pick 42 for boom father/son recruit Stretch, leaving them with the coveted picks two and three. Sam Frost will take some time to develop but will eventually fill Frawley’s role, Lumumba adds experience on the half back line, and Garlett will add some zip to the forward line.
Quality. That’s what the Demons need, in any way, shape, or form. Paul Roos has been on a mission to build the Demons into a ‘destination club’, and getting these two draft choices right is crucial to the success of that mission. Midfielder Angus Brayshaw is widely tipped to be chosen here, and would be a stellar selection for the Demons. At pick three, the Demons may choose to bolster their tall stocks with defender Jake Lever, forward Patrick McCartin or ruckman/forward Peter Wright. However, if they feel their midfield needs further additions, Jayden Laverde and Jarrod Pickett could be taken early.
In: Jarrad Waite, Shaun Higgins
Out: Levi Greenwood
Draft picks: 16, 25, 36, 56
The Roos took the same strategy into 2014 as they did in 2013, recruiting free agents to complement their list in order to push for a finals berth. It proved to be successful in 2013, and Higgins and Waite should be solid additions this season. Waite, although inconsistent, will add some depth as a third tall, while Higgins adds more dash off half-back and will allow Luke McDonald to eventually push into the midfield. Losing Greenwood was a big blow, but pick 25 was adequate compensation.
Picks 16 and 25 give the Roos something to work with. As with their free agency additions, they will most likely look to top up their team for its finals window. Given this, taking the best available player would be a good option, and at pick 16, there will be a number of quality midfielders for selection. Hard on-baller Jordan De Goey would be an excellent replacement for Greenwood should the Roos choose a like-for-like player.
In: Paddy Ryder
Draft picks: 57, 75, 93
Port couldn’t have done any better, addressing their glaring ruck deficiency by acquiring Ryder from Essendon. They had to give up a bit more than they’d hoped, surrendering picks 17 and 37, but the quality Ryder will bring to the team is worth it, and will see them go into season 2015 as odds-on favourite for the premiership.
Having given up their first two picks for Ryder, Port won’t enter the draft until pick 57. However, given their list quality and profile, they do not need to address any deficiencies, and so have the luxury of recruiting project players. A developing ruckman wouldn’t go astray, and they may be tempted to look at a project key forward should any be available.
Draft picks: 12, 33, 52
Richmond were non-players at the trade table after a possible trade for Melbourne midfielder Jack Trengove was quashed when he failed a medical.
The Tigers need a quality small forward and could use some more outside run, an area they lacked in last year after Matt White’s departure. Pick 12 should allow them to draft someone of quality, with Duggan and Pickett being thereabouts, while there will be some quality talls available should they choose to bolster their forward stocks. Pick 33 should see them take best available, whicj will most likely a quality midfielder.
In: Tim Membrey (pre-season draft)
Out: Rhys Stanley, James Gwilt
Draft picks: 1, 21, 22, 41
The Saints delivered on their aim of acquiring three picks inside the top 20 in the draft, including the coveted pick one: it will be their first crack at that pick since recruiting Brendan Goddard. The Saints obviously felt Stanley was expendable, given his maddening inconsistency, but his departure puts a dent in their tall stocks. Gwilt was delisted, so there’s no loss there, while Membrey will be a solid acquisition to their forward line for no cost in the pre-season draft.
The fact that the Saints turned down the Giants’ offer of picks four and seven for pick one suggests that they are primed to select gun midfielder Christian Petracca with the coveted selection. Petracca is an all-round gun, and will inject class into the Saints’ midfield from day one. With picks 21 and 22, the Saints need to address their key position deficiencies. Forwards Reece McKenzie, Tom Lamb and Oscar McDonald could all be taken here, as could defender Tyler Keitel.
Out: Nick Malceski, Shane Biggs, Tim Membrey
Draft picks: 18 (Isaac Heeney), 37, 38 (Jack Hiscox), 76 (Abe Davis)
Hamstrung by the AFL’s ruling that the Swans cannot trade in any players over the next two years while the cost of living allowance is phased out, the Swans were not able to trade in any players. Malceski is a massive loss despite his age, and will leave a big hole on the Swans’ half back line.
The Swans have committed to selecting three academy selections in the draft, with their first pick committed to gun Isaac Heeney. The fact that Melbourne bid pick two on Heeney gives an indication of his class, so acquiring him for pick 18 is an absolute steal. He will slot straight into their best 22 next season. Hiscox and Davis also look like promising talents. Only having one live pick in the draft means the Swans are constrained in how much they can improve their list. Given they selected two midfielders in Heeney and Hiscox and a defender in Davis, the Swans may look to address the other hole in their list – the ruck. Tom Derickx performed manfully this season while Sam Naismith and Toby Nankervis are developing, but another ruckman would be a benefit. Marc Pittonet may be a bolter at 37, but given the Swans’ need to add to this area, he could prove an astute selection.
In: Tom Boyd, Shane Biggs
Out: Ryan Griffen, Liam Jones, Shaun Higgins, Adam Cooney
Draft picks: 26, 27, 39
The Dogs needed a key forward and got their man in Boyd. Giving up pick six and Griffen was not ideal with the Dogs preferring a straight swap, but Boyd is a player they can build their team around for the next ten years. He has yet to deliver on his formidable talents, but would want to next season, given the pressure that will be on him. Higgins, Cooney and Jones all wanted out, so their losses are serious, while Biggs adds some depth to the backline.
Picks 26 and 27 still give the Dogs a chance to add some quality talent. Given the recruitment of Boyd, they may look to take a midfielder and a defender to bolster their list. Connor Blakely would fit the bill here nicely, as could smokey Clem Smith, if the Dogs decide to take a gamble. Exciting midfielders Connor Menadue and Nakia Cockatoo could also be around the mark too.
Draft picks: 11, 32, 51, 123 (Alec Waterman)
The Eagles were non-players in the trade period, preferring to develop their current list. However, they will gain classy ball winner Waterman as a father-son selection.
Pick 11 leaves the Eagles well placed to recruit some talent. The Eagles continue to have a need for deeper midfield depth, so players like Paul Ahern, Laverde, Weller and Pickett would all come into calculations here. In particular, Pickett would address the need for pace, although the chances of him being available at pick 11 are slim. Jordan De Goey is another who could be chosen here. At pick 32, the Eagles may look to another defender given the retirement of captain Darren Glass. Ed Vickers-Willis, Tyler Keitel and Keenan Ramsey could all be around the mark.