Leading into the 2017 season, we at Zero Hanger have decided to dive back into the history books and look at some of the drafts since the turn of the century.
Over the course of the next two weeks, we’ll be re-drafting the top 10 from these drafts, so feel free to let us know what you think of our selections, and even comment your own!
After looking at the 2005 draft yesterday, we’ve turned our attentions to 2006, otherwise known as the year of the steals, as only three members of the original top 10 keep their place in our revised list.
2006 AFL National Draft top 10 as selected:
- Bryce Gibbs – Carlton
- Scott Gumbleton – Essendon
- Lachlan Hansen – North Melbourne
- Matthew Leuenberger – Brisbane
- Travis Boak – Port Adelaide
- Mitchell Thorp – Hawthorn
- Joel Selwood – Geelong
- Ben Reid – Collingwood
- David Armitage – St Kilda
- Nathan Brown – Collingwood
2006 AFL National Draft top 10 as re-drafted by Zero Hanger:
- Joel Selwood
There’s no doubt that Joel Selwood deserves to be at the top of this list, as the three-time premiership player, five-time All-Australian (and captain of the AA team in 2013, 2014 and 2016) and Geelong captain since 2012 is easily the best player to come out of the 2006 draft.
The North Melbourne ruckmen was selected at pick 37 and has turned himself into one of the most consistent and elite ruckmen in the league, and Todd Goldstein’s past few seasons have been brilliant, highlighted by his 2015 All-Australian selection and Roos B&F trophy.
3. Tom Hawkins
Taken with the 41st pick as a Father/Son selection and a two-time premiership player and 2012 All-Australian, Tom Hawkins has had a very impressive career as Geelong’s full-forward, and has led their goal kicking every year since 2012, the year in which he also won a B&F at the Cats.
After just two seasons at Hawthorn, Josh Kennedy – who was taken at pick 40 – was traded to Sydney and has been one of their best players ever since. The 2012 premiership player and three-time All-Australian will captain the Swans for the first time in 2017 too.
5. Travis Boak
A two-time All-Australian who has captained his club since 2013, Travis Boak has been one of the competition’s most consistent midfielders and continues to lead the line for Port Adelaide each and every season.
6. Robbie Gray
Selected at pick 55 in this draft, the Port Adelaide forward has elevated his game to become elite over the past three seasons, winning the Power’s B&F three seasons in a row between 2014-2016, and being named to the All-Australian side in 2014 and 2015.
A two-time Coleman Medallist and two-time All-Australian, Jack Riewoldt was selected at pick 13 and has led the Tigers’ forward line for the majority of his career, and has topped their goal kicking charts for the past seven seasons.
8. Bryce Gibbs
Despite copping some criticism early in his career as a result of being selected with the first pick in this draft, Bryce Gibbs has been an important player for the Blues over his career, and even won their B&F trophy in 2014.
9. Kurt Tippett
The former Crow and current Swan was selected at pick 32 and has made an impact on with field with both clubs, and the partnership Kurt Tippett formed with Lance Franklin at Sydney has been one of the deadliest in the competition for years.
10. Lindsay Thomas
Over his career Lindsay Thomas has been on the receiving end of some harsh words from opposition fans, but it’s hard to deny his statistics. Thomas has booted 320 goals in 196 games for North Melbourne, and also led their goal kicking in 2010 and 2013, and that’s all for a guy selected at pick 53.
Notable absentees: Ben Reid (pick 7), David Armitage (9), James Frawley (12), Shane Edwards (26), Will Schofield (50), Justin Westhoff (71), Sam Jacobs (rookie draft pick 1), Nick Smith (rookie draft pick 15), Matthew Suckling (rookie draft pick 22)
*Disclaimer: Despite players being selected in the rookie and pre-season drafts, we have chosen to select only players in this list who were drafted in the National Draft for the purpose of this series.