Promising key-position youngster Jordan Croft shapes as one of the 2023 draft's most talented tall forward prospects as November's anticipated festivities edge closer.
The 18-year-old is a guarantee to find his way to the Western Bulldogs, where his father, Matthew, donned a Doggies guernsey 186 times between 1991 and 2004; ticking the boxes for son, Jordan, to join the Whitten Oval fray as a father-son selection.
The Bulldogs, headed by list boss Sam Power, knew a top-end rival bid for Croft was on the menu in November, so they executed a draft-points-boosting deal with the Gold Coast Suns to ensure they could facilitate Croft's impending arrival. A contending bid for Croft is expected to come between picks 10 and 20 in the opening stanza of selections.
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Croft made his future-defining decision in early October, officially nominating the Bulldogs as his club and ensuring no rival could snap him up in the first round on November 20.
The towering goalkicker represented both the Calder Cannons and Vic Metro in 2023, showcasing his tantalising athleticism as a rangy forward-50 marking target.
The forward's ability to come down with the ball from a marking contest is one of his most adored traits; reminiscent of soon-to-be teammates Aaron Naughton and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, whose fit in Luke Beveridge's squad alongside Croft and fellow father-son selection Sam Darcy figures to culminate in many conversations at Bulldogs headquarters over the off-season.
Croft snagged 14 majors through his final four games for the Cannons prior to the National Championships, where he imposed himself for Vic Metro across three matches; culminating in a three-goal haul against South Australia.
His efforts earned him a spot in this year's Coates Talent League team of the year.
Croft's improvement points mainly revolve around his physicality, weighing in at just 81 kilograms for someone who measures 200 centimetres. However, as he continues to bolster his wiry frame, the youngster's grunt at the contest should start trending upwards.
All in all, though, there aren't many weaknesses to point to in the soon-to-be Dog's growing game, as he prepares to be snapped up within the first 15-20 selections come November 20.
Position: Key Forward
Club: Maribyrnong Park
Potential Landing Spots
Western Bulldogs (father-son selection)
"He's a great player," Rookie Me Central lead draft expert Michael Alvaro stated. "I love his aggression and athleticism, you can see him chasing down players, using his closing speed, and then hitting players hard. He attacks the ball in the air really nicely."