Collingwood is set to explore several avenues to potentially find a replacement for retired premiership defender Nathan Murphy, with next month's Mid-Season Draft shaping as a window where the reigning premiers could bolster their backline.

The unfortunate and abrupt ending to Murphy's career will open up a list spot that the Magpies could use to fill a void in defence midway through the year while waiting for the off-season might be an option should they be patient enough.

Collingwood has found some positive in Billy Frampton's return to Craig McRae's side over the past month, while Charlie Dean and Joshua Eyre are also set to be in the selection mix going forward.

Murphy's forced exit is the latest unwanted defensive departure at Olympic Park, with the Magpies losing both Tom Langdon and Jordan Roughead in years gone by.

So how could Collingwood use the Mid-Season Draft, or upcoming trade and free agency periods, to aid their backline?

We explore several differing Mid-Season Draft prospects, as well as the names potentially up for grabs from other AFL clubs at the end of the season.


1. Jacob Blight

Peel Thunder defender Jacob Blight has quickly developed into a formidable, big-bodied backman at the state league level, with his rise out west earning him Team of the Year honours in the WAFL last year.

Blight has started the 2024 season superbly, averaging 18.3 disposals and 9.25 marks per game for the Thunder across the opening four games of the season.

The 196cm, 102kg 23-year-old's most recent performance was arguably his best yet, with the key defender recording season-highs for disposals (22) and marks (13) against West Coast's reserves.

Peel Thunder player Jacob Blight during pre-season training with Fremantle, 2024 (Image via Fremantle FC)

Having plied his trade in the WAFL for Claremont and now Peel, Blight is a readily-built key defensive option who could prove to be a Mid-Season Draft chance given his impressive past 12 months in Western Australia.

Blight was among the 321 players to nominate for last year's Mid-Season Draft, and now firms as a stronger chance to go to the next level.