Picks: 12, 39, 75, 94
The Crows will likely target ready-made talent in the upcoming draft to bolster their depth during their premiership window, with the likes of Darcy Fogarty and Hunter Clark potentially fitting the bill. Could also draft a key-defensive replacement for Jake Lever who departed during the off-season, with 194cm versatile tall Jarrod Brander a chance to be available at their first pick.
Picks: 1, 15, 18, 40, 44, 52
The Lions hold the coveted number 1 pick heading into the draft, which is generally used to take the best player regardless of position, meaning Cam Rayner, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Paddy Dow all come into the equation. May target key-position players with their next few picks to complement the elite young talents of Eric Hipwood and Harris Andrews at either end of the ground.
Picks: 3, 10, 30, 72, 95, 96
After securing quality key-position stocks for the next decade with the likes of Curnow and Weitering, the Blues are likely to target a midfielder early in the draft. The departure of Bryce Gibbs will result in opportunity for time in the centre of the ground, and the likes of Paddy Dow and Luke Davies-Uniacke could star for the Blues alongside Patrick Cripps and Sam Petrevski-Seton in an exciting young midfield. Two top-10 picks should ensure the Blues attain quality talent to enhance their list rebuild.
Picks: 6, 38, 56, 61
The Pies are expected to draft a key-position talent to sure up their tall stocks which is a clear need for the club, with the likes of Goldsack, Dunn and to a lesser extent Reid all in the twilight of their careers. 194cm West Australian defender Aaron Naughton has been linked with Collingwood after playing impressively at WAFL level for Peel Thunder as a key-defender, and is a chance to be available at pick 6. Their mid-round selections could be used to target clean ball users in order to address their kicking deficiencies, especially coming off the half-back line.
Picks: 48, 67, 81
Without a pick in the first two rounds thanks to an active trade period, the Bombers’ options won’t be known until their selection arrives on draft night. Strong-bodied inside-midfielders will be in the club’s sights, with the likes of Tom North, Will Walker and James Worpel all possible choices in the middle rounds of the draft.
Picks: 2, 5, 42, 60, 66, 70, 77, 80, 90
Fremantle head into the draft in a great position, holding two top-5 picks to inject elite young talent into their system. The Dockers are in need of key-position players at both ends of the ground, so expect Aaron Naughton to be a chance to be taken with an early pick, while their first pick has been linked with Luke Davies-Uniacke, an elite big-bodied midfielder. A few more talls should be taken with their handful of later picks.
Picks: 22, 24, 35, 58, 71, 86
The departure of retiring greats Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie, accompanied with the ageing profile of other talls could result in the Cats electing to take key-position players at some point in the draft. Mackie’s rebound off half-back could be replaced with Nathan Murphy or Matthew Ling, however, neither are guaranteed to be available at their first selection. Geelong are firmly in their premiership window with the addition of Ablett, so expect them to look at mature-aged recruits once again towards the latter stages of proceedings.
Picks: 19, 41, 50, 54, 74, 88
The Suns have holes across the ground besides their solid tall stocks, so will go into the draft with the mindset of taking the best available talent. Competitive nature will be near the top of the list for the Suns’ recruiting team, as will elite ball-use, with Oakleigh-product Ed Richards ticking these boxes, making him a possible target at pick 19.
Greater Western Sydney
Picks: 11, 27, 28, 57, 65, 85, 93
A prominent factor of the Giants’ underwhelming season was due to the lack of pressure applied in their front half, so quick, aggressive tacklers will be high on the priority list, as will a ruckman after Mumford’s retirement. Jack Higgins is expected to be in contention to land at GWS, a small-forward who’s arguably the best pure footballer in the draft, with his sublime skills and goal-sense only held back by his 178cm frame.
Picks: 43, 68, 73, 78, 91
Hawthorn enter another draft night without an early-round pick, with their first selection being pick 43. Alastair Clarkson traditionally prefers quality ball-users in his side, which could be a priority alongside an injection of leg-speed. Joel Garner and Dylan Moore could be in the equation for their first pick.
Picks: 29, 31, 36, 47
After the signing of Jake Lever, the Demons don’t have many glaring issues on their list, so will likely head into the draft open-minded. Outside-run to complement Jayden Hunt’s daring pace could be targeted, as could a small forward to partner with Jeff Garlett, so expect Geelong Falcon product Gryan Miers to come into calculations.
Picks: 4, 23, 64, 76, 87
North have deficiencies across the ground due to their young, developing list, but are expected to target midfielders to add to their experienced trio of Ziebell, Higgins and Cunnington. They will likely take whoever is available out of Dow, Davies-Uniacke or Adam Cerra with pick 4, all potentially elite midfielders who starred at under age level in 2017. Have a need for speed through the midfield with their inside players already sorted, and could use depth in their key-position stocks at either end of the ground to assist Robbie Tarrant and Ben Brown.
Picks: 46, 49, 59, 62, 63, 82, 89
Although not entering the draft until late in the scene, the Power have a plethora of mid-round selections to address their lack of young, developing talent as a result of their aggressive trade period. A ruckman could be taken to replace the loss of Matthew Lobbe and add depth behind Ryder, whilst a key-backman looks like the only other obvious need for the Power.
Picks: 17, 20, 25, 53, 55
After breaking their premiership drought in emphatic style, the Tigers don’t have many glaring holes in their list, but will look to boost their key-forward stocks to assist Jack Riewoldt, who played a lone hand up forward in 2017. Oscar Allen and Noah Balta could both be possibilities at pick 17 or 20, and both address their need for a key forward. Are expected to take father-son prospect Patrick Naish after another club bids on him.
Picks: 7, 8, 34, 45
Without an obvious need, the Saints will more than likely take the best talent available at their picks, which at picks 7 and 8 should be high-quality. Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra would boost their midfield stocks, while Jaidyn Stephenson or Aiden Bonar would provide them with exciting versatility.
Picks: 14, 33, 51, 84, 92
Leg-speed and tall defenders are the most-likely areas that the Swans will target in the draft, as their elite midfield core lacks the pace to match it with some of the quicker sides in the competition, while Heath Grundy isn’t getting any younger at age 31. Jarrod Brander and Aiden Bonar are both chances at landing in Sydney.
Picks: 13, 21, 26, 32, 37, 69, 83
The Eagles’ key-position stocks are reasonably strong at either end, so expect them to target midfielders and flankers. An injection of leg-speed is needed, which should naturally occur after the retirements of Priddis and Mitchell, as is quality ball-users. Midfielder/Half-Forwards Hunter Clark and Jack Higgins will both be chances to land at the Eagles.
Picks: 9, 16, 79
The Dogs are expected to target midfielders and half-backs with their early picks to replace retired club legends Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd, so Nick Coffield and Andrew Brayshaw should be in the mix. Could also target a key back to develop while the recently acquired Jackson Trengrove holds down the fort for the coming years.