Prior to the beginning of the silly season, The Sideline Report thought it would be a good idea to have a look at how the first round of the 2017 AFL Draft could shake out before all the wheeling and dealing begins when trade week commences on Monday (9th of October).
Here is The Sideline Reports 2017 AFL Mock Draft October Edition.
1. Brisbane – Cameron Rayner
187cm, 88kg Midfielder/Forward
Rayner has been the consensus first overall pick for some weeks now. He’s a bull in the midfield and has a bag of tricks when he pushes forward, which is where he’ll predominantly play early in his career. The Lions have shown a tendency to take either local or Vic Country boys early on the draft, but Rayner is simply too good to pass up.
2. Gold Coast – Luke Davies-Uniacke
187cm, 85kg midfielder
Davies-Uniacke has been one of the real stand out mids in this years draft class. He’s a tough, classy ball using midfielder whom the game seems to slow down for when in possession of the footy. LDU is the perfect sized midfielder for the modern game (187cm) and can go forward and take marks above his head due to his superior hands. Future captain.
3. Carlton – Darcy Fogarty
192cm, 92kg Forward/Midfielder
His 2017 form perhaps doesn’t warrant a third overall selection, but Stephen Silagni and the Carlton talent scouts will have been watching Fogarty for a few years now and are aware of his undeniable talent. Fogarty could be a superb third tall in the Blues forward line behind Levi Casboult and Charlie Curnow, and in time could form a lethal 1-2 with midfield beast Patrick Cripps. Knee issues will cause some concerns and does have boom or bust potential.
4. North Melbourne – Paddy Dow
184cm, 78kg Midfielder
North need to upgrade their midfield heading into 2018, and what a start it would by adding this young boy. Dow is a tough, clever footballer who has the explosiveness to leave stoppages and opposition players in his wake. Has a great mix of inside and outside capabilities and can hit the scoreboard when going forward. Shoulder surgery ended his season prematurely but his work had been done. A star in the making with proper development.
5. Fremantle – Jarrod Brander
194cm, 89kg Key defender/forward
It feels like the Dockers have needed key position players since their 1995 inception into the AFL. They’d be getting an extremely promising prospect here in Brander who showed in the under 18 carnival for the Allies that he’s equally adept at playing both forward and in defence. Is a very good mark and kick and reads the game very well, which may mean he starts his career as a third tall in defence. Best key prospect in the draft.
6. Collingwood – Aaron Naughton
194cm, 84kg Key Defender
Maybe a bit early for some, but the Pies need for defenders means they’d jump at a chance to grab Naughton at pick 6. Naughon was brilliant for WA in the under 18’s this year and stepped up to play in the WAFL for Peel Thunder where he didn’t miss a beat. Is rarely beaten one-on-one and reads the ball exeptionally to take intercept marks, Naughton would be a welcome addition to a Collingwood defense needing an influx of talent.
7. St. Kilda – Adam Cerra
186cm, 85kg Midfielder
A midfielder who has a great blend of size, class and toughness, Cerra would be a great addition to the Saints midfield group. A nice kick on both feet and has composure with ball in hand, it would be a steal for the Saints at pick 7. Another who’s season ended prematurely due to shoulder surgery.
8. St. Kilda – Jaidyn Stephenson
189cm, 74kg Half-forward/mid
While it’s unlikely the Saints will keep both picks, nabbing Cerra and Stephenson with back to back picks would a huge win on draft night. Stephenson would add some real outside run to the Saints midfield, and would also add real x-factor to their forward line due to his pace, agility, leap and knack of sheer brilliance. A special player who will be sure to feature on many highlight reels at the end of his career.
9. Richmond – Patrick Naish (F/S)
183cm, 73kg half-back/midfielder
While the Bulldogs would love to add Naish’s run and carry to the backline, there’s no way the 2017 Premiers are letting Naish go on draft night. Naish possesses real dash off the half back line with good decision making, and is arguably the best kick in this years class. He is only slight at 73kg, but he is all class and the Tigers look to have finally found a real father son gem.
10. Western Bulldogs – Nick Coffield
190cm, 83kg Half-back/Midfielder
After failing in their bid for Naish, Coffield would be a fine fall back option for the Dogs. With great size and knack of finding the ball, Coffield would be a nice inclusion to the Bulldogs half-back line (especially with the retirements of Matthew Boyd and Robert Murphy). Has a turn of pace, nice kick and great leadership qualities. Could go in to the midfield in time and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Coffield go even higher on draft night,
11. Melbourne – Jack Higgins
178cm, 76kg Midfield/forward
While it’s unlikely the Dees will keep this pick due to their pursuit of Adelaide’s Jake Lever, Higgins would be a great value selection here at pick 11. Clean by hand and foot, tough, clever and as consistent as they come, the only knock on Higgins is his size. There’s nothing else to knock. Knows his way around the goals when sent forward and could be the best “pure” footballer amoungst this years crop.
12. Essendon – James Worpel
185cm, 84kg Midfielder
Doesnt have the class or upside as some of the other midfielders going around this point of the draft, but Worpel is exactly what the Bombers need. An absolute beast in the trenches, Worpel prides himself on winning contested possessions and clearances. His kicking needs some work, but he is reliable and as courageous as you’ll find in the draft in 2017. Ready to rock from round 1.
13. Brisbane – Lochie O’Brien
184cm, 75kg Midfield
The Lions may be tempted to take Connor Ballenden out of their academy with this pick, but while they’ve got a silky ball mover such as O’Brien still on the board, they’d surely pounce. O’Brien is a great outside runner who is a left footer with one of the better kicks in the draft pool. He and Rayner would be great inclusions to a midfield already containing last years first rounders Hugh McCluggage and Jarred Berry.
14. West Coast – Andrew Brayshaw
183cm, 80kg Midfielder
After the retirements of Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis, the Eagles now embark on a journey to rebuild their midfield. Andrew Brayshaw (younger brother of Melbourne’s Angus) would provide the Eagles with a hard edge, and is a young boy with a well rounded game. Tough, uncompromising and possessing a football brain, Brayshaw could develop in time into a real gun midfielder of the competition.
15. Sydney – Sam Hayes
203cm, 93kg Ruck/Forward
Despite having quite a few big blokes on their list, the Swans would love to bring in somebody like Sam Hayes who, in just 2 or 3 seasons, could be better than any of them. Like most key position players, Hayes needs to put on a bit of size, and doesn’t have a great leap for the ruck position, but he has enormous upside as a true Centre half forward who can pinch hit in the ruck. Has great feel for tap ruck work and can take big contested grabs in the forward 50. Would be the steal of all steals at pick 15.
16. Adelaide – Hunter Clark
186cm, 79kg Midfielder/halfback
Clark would add some grunt to the Crows midfield alongside Rory Sloane, while also adding the versatility to go to the halfback line and get things going. Clark is a clean kick and good decision maker be it in close or in open spaces. Has transformed his game in 2017 after being considered a dashing halfback flanker coming into season 2017.
17. Richmond – Callum Coleman- Jones
199cm, 98kg Ruck/forward
Despite winning a premiership off the back of small forward pressure, the Tigers would still do well to add some key position depth in the draft come November. Coleman-Jones didn’t quite have the dominant season for SA as he would have hoped, but scouts certainly haven’t been put off in 2017. Coleman-Jones is the quint essential forward/ruck that so many teams are after in the current climate (including Richmond). CCJ moves nicely for a young boy his size and has a great pair of hands above his head and can more than hold his own in the ruck. A rare young ruckman/forward who is physically ready to go come next season.