The original top-10 from 2014 is largely a story of unfulfilled potential, with Paddy McCartin (Pick 1), Jarrod Pickett (Pick 4), Caleb Marchbank (Pick 6), Paul Ahern (Pick 7) and Nakia Cockatoo (Pick 10) managing a mere 164 combined games.

McCartin, Marchbank, Ahern and Cockatoo have all had injury-plagued careers, while Pickett struggled with motivation after switching clubs and eventually being released by the Blues. 

On the other hand, Melbourne’s two top-three selections in 2014 (Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw) have panned out splendidly, with both recently becoming premiership players and Petracca’s arguable status as a top-five player in the competition. 

We take a look at that draft seven years on and re-select what we feel is the top-10 from 2014. 

Original top 10 of the 2014 National Draft:

  1. Paddy McCartin (St Kilda)
  2. Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
  3. Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne)
  4. Jarrod Pickett (GWS)
  5. Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)
  6. Caleb Marchbank (GWS)
  7. Paul Ahern (GWS)
  8. Peter Wright (Gold Coast Suns)
  9. Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
  10. Nakia Cockatoo (Geelong)
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10. Bailey Dale

(Originally: Pick 45, Western Bulldogs)

Dale, one of the biggest climbers in our re-draft, was a revelation across half-back for the Doggies in 2021 with his dash and elite disposal use. 

The 25-year-old, who was trialled in the forward-line early in his career (ranking ninth in the league in goals per game in 2019), ranked second in the league in 2021 in total kicks, fourth in total metres gained and 10th in total effective disposals, and capped it all off with a maiden All-Australian appearance. 

Dale played a crucial role in helping the Bulldogs secure a Grand Final berth this past season and will continue to be a pillar in the Dogs’ defence for years to come. 

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