Collingwood v Richmond
Collingwood v Richmond

Draft review: Did your club nail its first pick?

TEN months down the track, we have now got a true taste of the 2018 draft crop.

This group of players was labelled a 'super draft' by some pundits, because of the elite top end talent it possessed. And it didn't disappoint.

Sam Walsh streaming down the wing and hitting a target. Connor Rozee following up and snapping across his body. Bailey Smith laying a bone crunching tackle.


These became a familiar sight watching this trio in action in 2019.

While these three first round picks starred, how is your first pick of the 2018 draft tracking?

How many debutants did your club unearth, and did they nab a rising star nomination?

See how your club's debutants and youngsters faired in 2019

Chayce Jones had an injury-interrupted season. Picture: Craig Golding
Chayce Jones had an injury-interrupted season. Picture: Craig Golding


First selection in 2018 draft: Chayce Jones (Pick 9)

AFL games: 7

The Crows first selection had an interrupted run after debuting in Round 1, suffering numerous injury setbacks which kept him to seven senior games. Jones fared well in the SANFL competition, averaging 18.3 touches, 4.8 tackles and 89 SuperCoach points. Should receive greater opportunity next season.

2019 debutants: 2 - Chayce Jones, Ben Davis

Rising star nominations: 0

The lack of talented youngsters coming through at the Crows is a concern considering their 11th place finish in 2019. Chayce Jones showed glimpses but the club will be looking to bolster its stocks in this year's draft, holding Carlton's first pick (currently pick three) following the trade involving Carlton's Liam Stocker on draft night last year.


First selection in 2018 draft: Ely Smith (Pick 21)

AFL games: 0

The bullocking midfielder is yet to get a chance at AFL level, but he certainly won't look out of place when he does with his big frame. His numbers in the NEAFL have been solid, averaging 19.8 touches, 3.7 clearances, a goal and 88 SuperCoach per game playing as a mid/forward. With Brisbane midfield stocks full to the brim, Smith will be made to earn his spot.

2019 debutants: 2 - Noah Answerth, Mitchell Hinge

Rising star nominations: 1 - Noah Answerth (Rd 20)

A bill of good health across the whole season didn't leave much opportunity for Brisbane's draftees, but defender Noah Answerth has managed to slot himself in seamlessly. The 20-year-old hasn't missed a game since debuting in Round 6, earning a Rising Star nomination late in the season. Brisbane's bevy of young guns recruited to the club in recent years have taken their game to the next level in 2019.

Sam Walsh has been become one of Carlton’s most important players.. Picture: Michael Klein
Sam Walsh has been become one of Carlton’s most important players.. Picture: Michael Klein


First selection in 2018 draft: Sam Walsh (Pick 1)

AFL games: 22

As expected, Carlton's great white hope starred. The ball-magnet has become one of the Blues most important midfielders, averaging 25.1 touches, 5.1 marks and 87 SuperCoach points. His season was so dominant that he broke the record for the most disposals in a season by a first-year player. Port Adelaide's Connor Rozee is his sole competitor for the Rising Star award, but the number one draft pick is the short priced favourite.

2019 debutants: 1 - Sam Walsh, Michael Gibbons, Liam Stocker, Angus Schumacher

Rising star nominations: 1 - Sam Walsh (Rd 4)

Carlton were questioned for their tactics at last year's draft but overall their drafting was first class. Walsh has put together remarkable debut season, while the player at the centre of last year's pick swap, Liam Stocker, showed positive signs when he was on the park. The biggest surprise of all was Michael Gibbons, picked up during the supplemental selection period. The mature-ager played 21 games and transitioned from a small forward to a ball-winning midfielder as the season progressed.


First selection in 2018 draft: Isaac Quaynor (Pick No. 13)

AFL games: 4

The rebounding defender entered the Collingwood side in the back end of the season following some strong VFL form - averaging 19 touches, 6.7 rebound 50s and 85 SuperCoach points per game - and didn't disappoint. He collecting 18 touches in defence on debut, giving Collingwood fans a sneak peek of the future. Quaynor remained in the line-up until injury struck in Round 19, but that certainly won't be the last you'll see of the reliable defender.

2019 debutants: 2 - Isaac Quaynor, John Noble

Rising star nominations: 0

The recruitment of Dayne Beams and Jordan Roughead meant Collingwood had just three picks in last year's national draft. Academy prospect Isaac Quaynor will feature much more in seasons to come, while mid-season draftee John Noble has played three games after being plucked from West Adelaide in May. He has tallied over 18 disposals in all three matches, and is a chance to feature in Collingwood's first final.

Essendon's Dylan Clarke earned a Rising Star nomination.
Essendon's Dylan Clarke earned a Rising Star nomination.


First selection in 2018 draft: Irving Mosquito (Pick 38)

AFL games: 0

Already a cult hero at Essendon without playing a game, the buzzing small forward has been named in extended squads but is yet to break through for a debut. Mosquito has booted seven goals in 12 games at VFL level, averaging 10.8 disposals, 3.8 tackles and 60 SuperCoach points. He will have to bang the door down to earn a senior game while stuck behind Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Orazio Fantasia.

2019 debutants: 3 - Brayden Ham, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Tom Jok

Rising star nominations: 1 - Dylan Clarke (Rd 13)

Like Collingwood, the Bombers weren't active on draft night in 2018 after luring Dylan Shield to the Hanger. Rugged midfielder Dylan Clarke burst onto the scene as one of the competition's best stoppers, taking a number of scalps including superstar Patrick Cripps. Their three debutants didn't play a major hand at senior level, with Brayden Ham (four games) and Tom Jok (one) both raw prospects.


First selection in 2018 draft: Sam Sturt (Pick 17)

AFL games: 0

One of the biggest bolters in last year's draft, the eye-catching utility has managed 12 games for Peel Thunder due to injury. He has been played down back in the WAFL, averaging 13.2 disposals and 3.5 marks per game. The lean youngster will be given time to develop.

2019 debutants: 3 - Brett Bewley, Lachie Schultz, Jason Carter

Rising star nominations: 0

Former Williamstown duo Brett Bewley and Lachie Schultz both broke through for senior games, while Jason Carter entered the fray late in the season. But it's the improvement of Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra that will really please the Dockers. With Ross the Boss gone, expect the club to look to youth in 2020 - especially with a first-round pick possibly coming their way for wingman Brad Hill.

Geelong’s young guns helped them rise to the top of the ladder in 2019. Picture: AAP
Geelong’s young guns helped them rise to the top of the ladder in 2019. Picture: AAP


First selection in 2018 draft: Jordan Clark (Pick 15)

AFL games: 18

The Cats speedster has class beyond his years, playing 18 games in his first season. The defender has had some lean weeks but has shown positive signs, collecting 13.8 touches and 61 SuperCoach points per game. His 23-disposal game against the Crows in Round 15 earnt himself a Rising Star nomination. An elbow injury has kept Clark out of the side for the past three matches, and he remains a chance to face the Pies next week.

2019 debutants: 5 - Jordan Clark, Gryan Miers Charlie Constable, Tom Atkins, Darcy Fort

Rising star nominations: 3 - Charlie Constable (Rd 2), Gryan Miers (Rd 8), Jordan Clark (Rd 15)

We thought it would be up to Danger, Ablett, Selwood and co., but its Geelong's debutants who have been the difference for the Cats this season. Gryan Miers - who hasn't missed a game - and mature-ager Tom Atkins have been the answer to the Cats' forward pressure woes, while Jordan Clark has injected spark into an ageing defence. Charlie Constable showed he can have a presence in the coalface, and Darcy Fort forced himself in ahead of Zac Smith and Ryan Abbott at stages.


It’s been a difficult first year for Jack Lukosius. Picture: Getty Images
It’s been a difficult first year for Jack Lukosius. Picture: Getty Images

Gold Coast

First selection in 2018 draft: Jack Lukosius (Pick 2)

AFL games: 21

Young key forwards always take extra time to develop - particularly when starved of forward 50 delivery - but Jack Lukosius has shown glimpses in attack and in defence. Lukosius has averaged 11.3 disposals and 51 SuperCoach points, impressing in defence at the back end of the year with his pinpoint kicking by foot and decision making. Don't judge him off this year, though. Getting games into this young talent is the key.

2019 debutants: 2 - Jack Lukosius, Ben King, Josh Corbett, Caleb Graham

Rising star nominations: 1 - Ben King (Rd 19)

It has been another difficult year up north but watching top five selections Jack Lukosius and Ben King will fill fans with hope for the future. Unfortunately, injury denied us the chance to see Izak Rankine, who could be anything at the top level. King has booted 17 goals in 12 games, including an impressive four goal haul against the Bombers. The Suns may have the first two selections in the draft if the AFL grants them a priority pick, giving them access to talented pair Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson.


First selection in 2018 draft: Jye Caldwell (Pick 11)

AFL games: 2

A damaging midfielder at U18 level, Caldwell managed to break into the Giants side but played just two games in 2019. An injury interrupted season has held the midfielder back, but he has pieced together some good form at NEAFL level. Caldwell amassed 32 touches and 127 SuperCoach points against Southport and has averaged 20 disposals and 5.5 tackles in eight games in the twos.

2019 debutants: 5 - Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately, Ian Hill, Connor Idun, Zach Sproule

Rising star nominations: 1 (Brent Daniels, Rd 23)

A late rising star nod for Brent Daniels was the reward he deserved for a promising season, booting a goal a game up forward. The Giants unearthed five debutants this season - including their first three selections in the 2018 draft - but all played bit-part roles. Jackson Hately became a SuperCoach cult hero after two influential games to start his career, but the most exciting of the lot has been Ian Hill.

Mitchell Lewis in action for the Hawks. Picture: Getty Images
Mitchell Lewis in action for the Hawks. Picture: Getty Images


First selection in 2018 draft: Jacob Koschitzke (Pick 52)

AFL games: 0

The Hawks' first selection in the draft - the cousin of former Saint Justin Koschitzke - has suffered injury setbacks in his first year, playing 12 games for Box Hill. Koschitzke has averaged 7.5 possessions per game playing as a key defender, and is considered a long-term proposition.

2019 debutants: 3 - Dylan Moore, Oliver Hanrahan, Changkouth Jiath

Rising star nominations: 1 - Mitch Lewis (Rd 18)

It was a quiet night for the Hawks last November, selecting just two players in the national draft after yet another busy trade period. They have rolled out three new kids across the year, but their standout youngster is James Worpel, with the inside bull taking his game to another level in the final month. Tall forward Mitch Lewis has also played some exceptional games, one of those earning him a rising star nomination in Round 18.


2019 debutants: 5 - Jay Lockhart, Oskar Baker, Tom Sparrow, Kyle Dunkley, Kade Chandler

First selection in 2018 draft: Tom Sparrow (Pick 27)

AFL games: 2

Sparrow was a late inclusion for the first game of the season and collected 14 disposals, but was dropped following a big loss to the Cats in Round 2. The Dee played six VFL games before a knee injury cut his season short, averaging 17.5 disposals for Casey.

Rising star nominations: 0

The Demons' injuries woes forced their hand at selection, blooding five players across the year. Jay Lockhart was nabbed in the SSP and showed his wares as a lively small forward, while hard running wingman Oskar Baker played nine games for the club. Rookie Kyle Dunkley featured in five games after joining his brother Josh in the bigtime thanks to the mid-season draft.

North Melbourne

First selection in 2018 draft: Tarryn Thomas (Pick 8)

AFL games: 20

North Melbourne lack X-Factor, and Thomas provides that in spades. His 12 disposals and 3.4 tackles per game don't jump off the page, but his polish in congestion, defensive pressure and ability to hit the scoreboard make him a dangerous proposition. Has been inconsistent at times but expect the smooth moving Roo to get better by the year.

2019 debutants: 4 - Tarryn Thomas, Bailey Scott, Curtis Taylor, Kyron Hayden

Rising star nominations: 4 - Bailey Scott (Rd 1), Cameron Zurhaar (Rd 7), Tarryn Thomas (Rd 12), Nick Larkey (Rd 16)

The Roos have copped criticism for their drafting in recent times but 2019 kept the critiques quiet. No club received more Rising Star nominations this season, with Cam Zurhaar, Tarryn Thomas and Nick Larkey becoming regulars in the senior side. The latter booted 26 majors including two bags of five, while Zurhaar's manic attack on the ball and the man has seen him become a fan favourite.

Connor Rozee is an outside chance to take ou the rising star award. Picture: Getty Images
Connor Rozee is an outside chance to take ou the rising star award. Picture: Getty Images

Port Adelaide

Rising star nominations: 2 - Connor Rozee (Rd 3), Xavier Duursma (Rd 6)

Ken Hinkley has put an enormous amount of faith in his youngsters, perhaps more than his senior players at times. Their first round crop of Connor Rozee, Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters have breathed a new life into the Power side with all providing plenty of spark and speed to burn. Peter Ladhams was keeping premiership ruckman Scott Lycett out of the side late in the season, while Willem Drew has a future as an inside midfielder.

First selection in 2018 draft: Connor Rozee (Pick 5)

AFL games: 22

2019 debutants: 6 - Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, Joel Garner, Willem Drew, Peter Ladhams

There were certainly high expectations for the dynamic forward/defender and Connor Rozee exceeded them. His stunning display against the Lions in just his third game put his matchwinning qualities on show, registering 21 disposals, seven marks and booting five goals against the Lions. Half-forward flankers often struggle in their first season but Rozee thrived, booting 29 goals for the season. Should finish second behind Sam Walsh in the Rising Star standings.


First selection in 2018 draft: Riley Collier-Dawkins (Pick 20)

AFL games: 0

Collier-Dawkins is one of the few Tiger cubs to not feature at AFL level, but he was close to a debut at stages. The 193cm-midfielder had a solid first season averaging 15 disposals, four clearances and 69 SuperCoach points in 17 VFL games. The 19-year-old fits the prototype of the modern midfielder and will be a chance to feature next season.

2019 debutants: 6 - Sydney Stack, Jack Ross, Callum Coleman-Jones, Noah Balta, Patrick Naish, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith

Rising star nominations: 3 - Liam Baker (Rd 10), Sydney Stack (Rd 11), Shai Bolton (Rd 17)

Injuries to key players gave their young talent great opportunity, and they rose to the challenge. Sydney Stack was one of the surprise packets of the season, having enormous impact at both ends of the ground before his syndesmosis injury in the VFL a fortnight ago. Similarly, untried youngsters Jack Ross and Noah Balta also stood up to the plate in the absence of Trent Cotchin and Toby Nankervis. Liam Baker and Shai Bolton have cemented spots in the best 22, with both nabbing Rising Star nominations throughout the year.

St Kilda

First selection in 2018 draft: Max King (Pick 4)

AFL games: 0

Injury kept Max King out of most of the season but he was still able to show his goal kicking prowess. The lanky forward booted 11 goals in his five games for Sandringham, including a four goal haul against Essendon's VFL side. King is set to be unveiled next year barring injury and after missing a truckload of footy over the past two seasons - suffering an ACL injury in his draft year - he will be hungry.

2019 debutants: 5 - Callum Wilkie, Matt Parker, Nick Hind, Robbie Young, Doulton Langlands

Rising star nominations: Josh Battle (Rd 22)

The Saints stocked up with mature-age talent and their injury crisis saw many of them get ample chance to prove themselves. Callum Wilkie was solid as a rock in defence playing every game for the season, while late selections Matt Parker and Nick Hind produced plenty of highlights. Rising star nominee Josh Battle was pushed into defence where he shone as an interceptor.

Nick Blakey has been a shining light for the Swans this season. Picture: Getty Images
Nick Blakey has been a shining light for the Swans this season. Picture: Getty Images


First selection in 2018 draft: Nick Blakey (Pick 10)

AFL games: 21

Blakey had three clubs eyeing him off - two as a father son selection and one as an academy pick - and now we know why. While his first season was somewhat inconsistent, the X-Factor he provided was beyond his years. The 19-year-old kicked 19 goals and averaged 10.5 touches per game, with the 196cm Swan possessing the mobility and ground skills of a small forward.

2019 debutants: 5 - Nick Blakey, James Rowbottom, Hayden McLean, Justin McInerney, James Bell

Rising star nominations: 1 - Nick Blakey (Rd 14)

It was a down year for the Swans but they were able to get some games into their young talent. Nick Blakey missed just one game for the Swans in 2019, while James Rowbottom re-entered the side late in the year and kept his spot. Rookie Hayden McLean fought gallantly as the Swans number one ruck when injuries hit.

West Coast

2019 debutants: 3 - Jarrod Cameron, Josh Rotham, Francis Watson

Rising star nominations: 2 - Jack Petruccelle (Rd 5), Oscar Allen (Rd 21)

The Eagles were able to add to a premiership side with a pair of forwards from the 2017 draft, Jack Petruccelle and Oscar Allen. Both booted 20 majors for the season, with Petruccelle's speed and Allen's work rate giving the Eagles even greater strength up forward. Add Jarrod Cameron to that mix and the Eagles forward 50 arc should continue to be dangerous in the years to come. Josh Rotham has also shown positive signs down back at the top level.

First selection in 2018 draft: Xavier O'Neill (Pick 28)

AFL games: 0

West Coast's first selection has played sixteen WAFL matches this season. The outside midfielder has averaged 13.8 touches and 64 SuperCoach points in his first year.

Western Bulldogs

2019 debutants: 4 - Bailey Smith, Will Hayes, Lachie Young, Ryan Gardner

Rising star nominations: 1 - Bailey Smith (Rd 9)

This list is headlined by Bailey Smith, but Lachie Young and Will Hayes have filled holes at difference stages of the season. Young showed promise down back while Hayes won his fair share of footy on the wing in his eight games. Rookie Ryan Gardner made history after debuting just days after he was selected by the Bulldogs in the mid-season draft.

First selection in 2018 draft: Bailey Smith (Pick 7)

AFL games: 22

The Bulldogs' eyes lit up when saw this young man slid to pick No. 7 on draft night and he has improved as the seasons gone on, playing every game in 2019. The tough midfielder with the haircut to match has averaged 17.8 disposals, four tackles and booted 11 goals across an industrious first season. Smith is as committed as they come off the field and his hunger on it should ensure he becomes a star.