Gold Coast – First-round picks: 1, 2, 15
CLUB NEEDS: After being granted the earliest possible priority selection by the league, it’s now obvious who the Suns will select – with good friends Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson expected to start a new story up North. The Oakleigh midfielders bring varying traits to the Suns, with Rowell the tough, inside ball-winner likened to Joel Selwood, while Anderson has all the tools of an inside/outside modern-day midfielder.
Both teenagers recorded the same time (6:17) in the 2km time trial at the recent Draft Combine, their form has not dipped all year, and the Suns will be thrilled to read out their names on November 27.
If the Suns chose to remove pick 15 from any more trade talks, there will be a long list of players they can target. A quality ball-user off the half-back should be a priority, with pick one, two and now Hugh Greenwood at the helm. South Australian Will Gould is a great build at 191cm/98kg, and he showed in the national carnival an ability to be the cornerstone down back.
Gould can play on various forwards, he’d fill a glaring gap in Gold Coast’s team, but if he becomes unavailable then fellow South Aussie Will Day is a smart, running defender who should be their next target. Day is the cousin of Suns big Sam, which could help lure his talents.
Melbourne -Picks 3, 8
CLUB NEEDS: Despite securing both Adam Tomlinson and Ed Langdon in the trade period, general midfield depth can still be addressed. Hayden Young has been circulating top three discussions for a while, the Vic Country defender has sublime skills and moves like a ready-made player. Young recorded an elite 7.94 seconds on the agility test to rank first in that category. He might just have the best kick in the draft, and can be used at half-back or the wing position.
Melbourne’s top three goal kicker’s this year were Christian Petracca (22), Jayden Hunt (21) and Bailey Fritsch (20), so more scoring power is a necessity. Caleb Serong is a dangerous small forward capable of going through the midfield, and has drawn comparisons to Robbie Gray. This crop is really lacking key forwards, so an x-factor player should be their target at #8.
If Serong gets nabbed, Demons should go all-in on Victorian Cody Weightman, the bite-sized forward kicked nine goals from four championship games. He can fly for big marks, and has pushed himself into top 10 discussion following a top-five score for the vertical leap. Likened to Jamie Elliott, who Melbourne were linked to this month.
Carlton – Pick 9
CLUB NEEDS: Unable to secure either of Tom Papley or Jack Martin, the Blues will take their ninth selection to the draft in hope to find a gem. The small forward role is still a club need, and as previously mentioned, Weightman offers that x-factor ability to perform inside 50.
If both Serong and Weightman are off the board by Carlton’s turn, a name that should arise is South Australian wing-man Dylan Stephens – who is rated as the most natural winger in this draft. Stephens performed well at the combine, and he’ll be one that Fremantle will chase heavily with pick seven. With a sweeping left foot and an ability to go through the middle, he’ll be great for Carlton’s outside depth.
If Stephens does head to Fremantle, then either goal-kicking mid Sam Flanders or dynamic defender Lachie Ash become targets. Brodie Kemp is a player who remains in top ten calculations despite an ACL injury, but he is the best utility in this draft and it isn’t close.
Sydney – Pick 5
CLUB NEEDS: The Swans will bid for GWS academy player Tom Green, who has been likened to Blues star Patrick Cripps. The big-bodied mid will likely end up at West Sydney, so the Swans will look to target other areas. Either of Sam Flanders or Caleb Serong should be available, and they’ll be developed into Sydney’s aging midfield in a time of need.
Sydney fans will also hope to further ruck stocks, but the best ruck in the draft will probably slide to a late first-round pick. Key defenders and a half-back to give Jake Lloyd a chop-out may be addressed, but the Swans will have plenty of talented youngsters to choose from. Lachie Ash might be an option, but don’t discount them chasing either of Will Gould for back depth, or Deven Robertson who can offer size and inside grunt next to Isaac Heeney. Robertson won the Larke Medal at the national carnival, a ready-made footballer.
St Kilda – N/A
Fremantle – Picks 7, 10
CLUB NEEDS: As previously mentioned, the target for Peter Bell and co should be smooth wingers, following the departure of Ed Langdon and Bradley Hill. Right now, Dyl Stephens is the perfect fit but there are several others who could slide to seven, including Lachie Ash. Ash provides pace and running ability, he’d be very suited to Optus Stadium. These are the two main targets for Dockers fans to look toward.
Fremantle’s Next-Gen prospect Liam Henry has more potential than any other small forward in this draft, teams will bid for Henry soon after their 10th pick. If all goes to plan, the Dockers could walk away with Ash, Stephens and Henry – three ready-made players who can move Fremantle back into finals contention.
North Melbourne – N/A (traded pick 8 to Melbourne, now own picks 26, 27)
Adelaide – Pick 4
CLUB NEEDS: Before Chayce Jones (9) last year, the Crows went a long time without a top 10 pick. Now, with pick four to work with, Adelaide can target someone to help align their future plans. Brodie Kemp comes into the discussion as a versatile type, but it’s likely he won’t take the field in 2020. Hayden Young is highly rated, but Adelaide should be targeting genuine midfielders and a key defender.
Larke medalist Deven Robertson is an option, while smooth movers Will Day and Dyl Stephens could stay in their home state. However, with Alex Keath gone, the Crows could target Sandringham product Fischer McAsey. The 195cm swingman plays a lot like Jeremy McGovern and should be the first key position prospect snapped up on draft night.
Port Adelaide – Picks 12, 18
CLUB NEEDS: Port gave up multiple key position types, and couldn’t secure Orazio Fantasia or a similar small forward. With two first-rounders to work with, expect Port to also go hard at local prospect Dylan Stephens. After seeing what Zac Butters and Xavier Duursma could do, targetting an attacking player could very well work and it removes the go-home factor.
Sam Flanders can offer midfield and forward responsibility, while Cody Weightman may still be available at 12 if other plans collapse. Fellow South Australian Will Gould would be ready to go by round one, he’d form a formidable half-back line with Ryan Burton and Darcy Byrne-Jones.
With the latter pick, Port seem poised to select local boy Cameron Taheny, a mid-sized forward who hasn’t garnered much attention from rival clubs after a slow finish to his season. The Norwood product was instrumental in his side’s reserves premiership kicking four goals, flashing his scoring prowess and aerial ability.
Hawthorn – Pick 11
CLUB NEEDS: There’s a small chance Brodie Kemp could still be available at 11, and you know Hawthorn will nurse him back to health successfully. He’d be the best available talent, and would only slide due to injury. Hawks are in the market for a pacey forward, key defender and midfield depth – Kemp fills all those roles.
Fischer McAsey fills the ‘tall stocks’ role, while little Cody Weightman could be placed under Luke Breust’s wing. Perth prospect Elijiah Taylor is a name down the bottom of several draft boards, but he has natural marking and scoring ability to shake up any forward line. Jackson Mead is another name who enjoyed a strong carnival, what he lacks in pace he makes up for his decision making.
Hawthorn will need to match an expected top 20 bid for father/son prsopect Finn Maginness. The Dragons midfielder has first-round talent, he’s a clearance specialist who enjoyed good form late in the NAB league.