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  1. #1
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    GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Hi all

    As most of you know, I try and put together a top 20 each year on how I rate the players. This is based on a bit of U/18 footy I watch, along with a lot of research throughout the year. History shows I get a lot wrong, but over the 10 years or so I've created this post I've managed to get a couple right, like Matt Crouch at 9, Mark Hutchings at 16 and Brodie Grundy at 4 - all ahead of where they were seen by scribes and clubs. We'll ignore Josh Kelly at 12, Pat Cripps at 20 and others who went un-drafted!

    Anyway...onto the 2018 draft, shaping up to one of the most intriguing and option-filled drafts for years. Plenty of SA players too!

    1. Jack Lukosius - Key forward - 194.5cm, 83kgs

    Hard to go past the smooth moving, accurate kicking Lukosius at #1. He's been successful at SANFL level already and should play 200 games of AFL football, being a top 2-3 player at club who selects him. Showcased his athletic ability and endurance with a sub 3 second 20m sprint and solid Yo Yo result for a big man at the Combine.

    I have a feeling Adelaide will make an offer too good to refuse and take selections 2/3 off Gold Coast and secured Lukosius. Hard to see him not being selected by Gold Coast if a trade can't be done.


    2. Izak Rankine - Small forward, midfielder - 79.5cm, 80kgs

    Izak might be the riskiest of the top 4 or 5 players because he's small and there's a perception he can flash in and out of games, but gee, you've got to take the player who can be the best player in the draft early. He's another who has played league footy, had that brilliant game against Metro where he kicked 5 goals at the state champs. He's fast, agile, can jump, can kick goals and hurt a side with few possessions.

    If Adelaide do land picks 2/3, they will surely add Rankine, if not, I could see him landing in Port's lap at pick 6.

    3. Bailey Smith - Midfielder - 185.2cm, 82.5kgs

    Smith is a bit harder to place as he had some injury concerns which meant he hasn't had as much exposure and development as some others this year. He's a good sized midfielder who can run, he's quick and he uses the ball well. He's one of those relatively complete packages and should be able to step into AFL football quickly. Finds plenty of the ball and is capable inside and out.

    St Kilda would benefit from his class if they hold pick 4. If he gets through to our pick, hard to see us passing.

    4. Sam Walsh - Midfielder - 183.7cm, 77gs

    The running machine. He's going to develop into a very hard working, hard running midfielder perhaps in a similar mould to Tom Scully. Comfortable winning the ball in tight, and will rack it up on the outside. Will continue to add strength to his frame meaning he's got some scope to improve contested aspects of his game and become an important two-way runner.

    I think he will compliment Carlton's midfield nicely and don't see any reason for them to pass. He's as sure a thing as there is in the draft.

    5. Connor Rozee - Midfielder/utility - 184.5cm, 74kgs

    It's taken the SANFL finals for me to move Connor up this high on my draft board. After Norwood didn't win the GF, I considered removing him entirely...anyway...He just does things. Little moments at senior level where he'll split or win a crucial contest at a super important moment, he'll move through traffic and execute. He's not a weight of numbers player, he needs to add size, and is a risk because I'm not sure he's ever going to be as efficient with low touches as a Rankine, or accumulate enough like a Walsh, but if he can improve across a few areas just a little, he's a pretty complete player.

    Not knowing who ends up with what picks makes this hard, but I wonder if Brisbane would consider him if they hold their pick? He'd also compliment Fremantle's early picks last year. He'll land top 8 for sure.

    6. Ben King - Key position player - 202cm, 87kgs

    It's hard to split the King twins, but an ACL at their size means I have snuck Ben in first. He can play both ends and will be a hard match up. Very good across the first 5, 10, 20m which means he'll be good at creating separation as a forward, or shutting down space in defence. Future rule changes may assist him, too. If he can learn to kick straight in front of goal, look out.

    Could he be part of Gold Coast's plans, if they lose Lynch and May? Would we be tempted at pick 7? Fremantle might not need him if they land Lobb and Hogan. He's one of the hardest players to place.

    7. Max King - Key position player - 203.7cm, 90kgs

    He's a bigger twin now, but coming off an ACL does cause concern. He's had a year as an under-ager in which he stood out and started the year with a bang before his injury. He'll be near impossible to stop as a key forward one on one, it'd be like Mason Cox if he really knew how to play football.

    The Saints are rumoured to be interested, so maybe if they an trade down and add a couple of selections between 6-10 they can take a punt on Max?

    8. Nick Blakey - Utility - 195cm, 82kgs (Swans)

    Another relatively free-hit for the Swans, he's a great size for AFL football and will be able to play any position on the park. He's got a bad injury history over the past couple of years, but if he can put that behind him, I wonder if he's the potential 'Bont' from this draft and a player they'll wish they had 2 of - one at CHF one in the middle.

    Swans will take him and use their stockpile of second and third round picks to do it. Well played, Sydney. Once again you've proven to be more astute than most.

    9. Jackson Hately - Midfielder - 189.3cm, 80kgs

    This is where it gets interesting...IMO, it's interesting all the way through the first round, but the top 8 seems pretty set (meaning there'll be at least one late flyer who everyone has missed). Jackson won't be the late flyer, but he'll be that well-rounded, effective, Rising Star contender that everyone looks at and wonders why he wasn't rate higher? He's a bit vanilla in that he just consistently gets it done and has proven himself against men. If he had tested it would've been interesting to see his speed/agility.

    I have a sneaky suspicion he'll land Essendon or Geelong. Crows a very good chance if they don't move up the draft order.

    10. Luke Valente - Midfielder - 186.5cm, 82kgs

    A fifth SA player in my top 10...I've finally done it...now I can retire. Luke is a good Norwood boy, led the U/18 side this year and is another of the pesky, vanilla midfielders who does just about all aspects of the game well in a no-fuss, no nonsense manner. He's the type of player the coach will love, he'll work hard both ways and get every bit out of himself. I'd be pretty confident if he lands in the right scenario he can play 150+ games of AFL football.

    I bet Richmond take him. Just to prove they know what they're doing again. Ergh.
    #bemorebulldog

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  2. #2
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    11. Riley Collier-Dawkins - Utility - 190cm, 91.5kgs

    He's a big unit who will appeal to many because the draft is a futures market and he has a high ceiling with plenty of upside. He's pretty good inside the contest at the moment, and moves well for a big midfielder. He needs to accumulate more and develop his ability to use his good movement to create time to execute by foot in the first/second possession scenario. If he can develop the ability to hurt via scoreboard impact and utilise his size and overhead ability, he'll become a dangerous player on the mis-match.

    Could this bloke be the flyer? There's a bit of speculation he could. Maybe he's the bull that Fremantle want to take? Maybe Melbourne see that potential in him if the Hogan deal gets done.

    12. Tom Sparrow - Midfielder - 182.8cm, 83kgs

    He's been under the radar, then up in the lights for a week, and is now back under the radar again. He didn't test as well for speed and agility as I thought he might at the Combine, but looks to move well on the field. He can win ball inside, he can get involved on the outside, his ball use is generally pretty effective and he's tough in the contest.

    He's probably in the 15-30 range on draft day, maybe West Coast, maybe Gold Coast? I'm just throwing darts at teams here...

    13. Xavier Duursma - Midfielder - 185.5cm, 83kgs

    Doc's boy. Finished the year strongly and will be viewed as a potential top 10 draft pick. Elite speed, particularly over the first 5-10m, and while he didn't shoot the lights out, his agility was solid at the Combine. He's a good mover, one-touch player and uses the ball well. He's a good size so should add strength and build his contested game at AFL level.

    Another one that may be in that Essendon/Geelong/Hawthorn range on draft day.

    14. Sam Sturt - Forward - 188.5cm, 73kgs

    A bit of a bolter here, based on how he finished the TAC Cup season, with some impressive efforts during the finals which included a lot of scoreboard impact. His testing at the Combine highlighted his speed and agility which bodes well at the next level, while he has some work to do on his endurance.

    A project forward-midfielder who is quick and agile, sounds like the sort of player a reigning premier can take a punt on in the early 20's.

    15. Jordan Clark - Defender/Midfielder - 184.7cm, 80kgs

    A defender-midfielder who had some good moments during the State Champs and momentum has grown with some senior football experience during finals where he showed an ability to step up to the level and contribute. He didn't test well for speed at the Combine, but his agility was top-end. A good size and another who can develop into a few roles at senior level.

    Could he be another who gets snapped up by a home-town team in the 20-30 range? Seems likely at this stage.

    16. Rhylee West - Midfielder/forward - 181cm, 81kgs

    Small midfielder/forward who we will snap up with a F/S selection hopefully in this range on draft night. Has shown his inside ability and good use of the hands in tight. Good overhead and has the ability to impact the scoreboard. I think he's a great fit for us and we're going to be happy landing him. Loved his agility tested so well.

    17. Liam Stocker - Midfielder - 183cm, 85kgs

    Finished the year showcasing his impressive ball use and ability to lower the eyes, an increasing important trait at AFL level that seemingly so few possess. He's comfortable inside and out and uses the ball well both side of the body.

    I could see GWS or Hawthorn pouncing in the first round.

    18. Xavier O'Halloran - Midfielder - 186cm, 84kgs

    A midfielder who did his best work this year inside, but has the acceleration and agility to play roles across the park. Works hard defensively and has leadership traits. Doesn't seem to be a consensus top 20 pick but should end up in that 15-25 range on draft day and whoever gets him will have another coachable young man who will do everything to make it.

    19. Curtis Taylor - Forward/midfielder - 186.7cm, 78kgs

    Difficult to place, but I can't exclude him because he has that ability to be one of the top players from the draft. He didn't test at the Combine, but he appears to cover the ground well and is agile. He's a good mark for his size and can hurt with his disposal. Will he ever develop the production to move into the midfield? Will he generate enough ball and have the defensive mindset to be effective as a forward at AFL level? There's a few questions but if it clicks he's a great size to become an inside-out midfielder who hurts you on the scoreboard.

    At this stage, I have no idea...let's just say somewhere between 15-30 on draft night.

    20. Connor McFadyen - Utility - 189,2cm, 93kgs (Lions)

    GVGjr's boy, who I should probably have a bit higher. He's a great size and could develop into a complete AFL player. He is relatively low production at the moment, and while he didn't test his pace and agility don't appear to be strong suits (although it may not be a huge deal subject to what role he plays). He's showcased overhead marking and goal kicking ability.

    The Lions will snap him up when a bid comes.
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  3. #3
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    GD, thanks for the thread, great read as always

    Xavier O'Halloran is one I have rated a bit higher and Bailey Williams as well. Jye Caldwell is another that could be around the top 10 mark.

    O'Halloran is a great prospect who is rated for his leadership and he tested very well at the Combine. He can play in a few positions
    Williams is that forward ruckman prospect I think clubs all be looking to add to their list
    Caldwell is strong in a contest and has plenty of pace. Hard to rate though given he missed so much football

    I don't see his name mentioned often but Jacob Koschitzke could be around the top 20 mark. Reliable key defender
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Where do you see Boyd Woodcock falling?
    I was super impressed with him across the two finals. He is quick and he hits the scoreboard (3 in the GF, 2 in the Semi) and It might be wishful thinking, but Id love to snare him with one of our later picks.

  6. #5
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by The Adelaide Connection View Post
    Where do you see Boyd Woodcock falling?
    I was super impressed with him across the two finals. He is quick and he hits the scoreboard (3 in the GF, 2 in the Semi) and It might be wishful thinking, but I’d love to snare him with one of our later picks.
    I rate him very highly, like you was impressed by his finals form. I was very close to sneaking him in my top 20...

    I think he'll go in that 30-50 range on draft day. I'd be very happy to add him but I don't think we will be able to after West/Khamis unless we secure some picks in the early third round region.
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  8. #6
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Do you rate these on who has the picks or just on best player ?
    Because I think they bring different top 20s eg Lukosius might be the best player in the draft but might not go number1 as the club with the first pick might want a different player all together .. a ruck or a full back.
    Be interesting to see the draft order after all this trade stuff and how much it changes according to team order . Probably be good to have two top 20s one rated on player and one rated on team needs.
    Bring back the biff

  9. #7
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    This is just rating players. Phantom drafts are irrelevant now IMO because pick trading and live trading...
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    GD, thanks for the thread, great read as always

    Xavier O'Halloran is one I have rated a bit higher and Bailey Williams as well. Jye Caldwell is another that could be around the top 10 mark.

    O'Halloran is a great prospect who is rated for his leadership and he tested very well at the Combine. He can play in a few positions
    Williams is that forward ruckman prospect I think clubs all be looking to add to their list
    Caldwell is strong in a contest and has plenty of pace. Hard to rate though given he missed so much football

    I don't see his name mentioned often but Jacob Koschitzke could be around the top 20 mark. Reliable key defender
    Given rucks who I have rated higher than Williams have slid, I'm not sure he figures in the top 20 conversation, but you could be right if they perceive he can make a fist of it as a key position forward too.

    Caldwell was another that will definitely go top 20, along with Thomas and a few others I have left out. It's a pretty deep draft for those solid role players who can become successful but perhaps not A grade players at senior level.
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Go_Dogs View Post
    This is just rating players. Phantom drafts are irrelevant now IMO because pick trading and live trading...
    Phantom drafts can be very accurate once we know the draft order. But as you say live trading makes it extremely hard, if I could get my head around it , I’m a person you can’t teach by telling me but I have better understanding by seeing it happen.
    Bring back the biff

  12. #10
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Great work GD

    really like the Valente, Duursma and Clark placings
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  14. #11
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Go_Dogs View Post
    15. Jordan Clark - Defender/Midfielder - 184.7cm, 80kgs

    A defender-midfielder who had some good moments during the State Champs and momentum has grown with some senior football experience during finals where he showed an ability to step up to the level and contribute. He didn't test well for speed at the Combine, but his agility was top-end. A good size and another who can develop into a few roles at senior level.

    Could he be another who gets snapped up by a home-town team in the 20-30 range? Seems likely at this stage.
    So...I came on to talk about the WA boys...but Clark is the only one in the list so here goes...

    Seems a made-to-measure West Coast selection. Private school boy who plays at Claremont...also in the Australian u-whatever it was cricket team last year - apparently is pretty handy with the bat?? Given all the talk is that he will be a first round selection I am guessing that means he has chosen football but actually have never heard that formally stated...

    He is a zoning defender type - I am a bit (aka very) concerned about his tendency to just throw the ball on his boot but he made a good fist of senior footy late in the year...good character (strong family background) and should be a reliable player in the right system.

    I do wonder at the exclusion of Bobby Hill from all of these lists...genuinely don't understand why he has fallen so far off everyone's radar...apart from getting suspended in the Champs (which was a JOKE - Olly Wines was allowed to coat-hanger Steve Coniglio only a few short years ago and still ran out in the next match) what has he done wrong exactly?
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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  16. #12
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    I like Hill and as a prospect and Stack seems to be gaining a bit of momentum as a potential top 20 pick too. Would be keen on your thoughts on them and anyone else I’ve missed!
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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Great work GD, I think you just about nailed it. Walsh may end up going as the number one by all counts on what I have read from Carlton people, but any of those boys in the top 4 could.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Would we nominate Blakey at 7?
    "I'll give him a hug before the first bounce and then I'll run into my pack and give them orders to rip him apart."

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    Re: GD's top 20 - 2018 Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by SquirrelGrip View Post
    Would we nominate Blakey at 7?
    I don't rate him as high as some others. I wouldn't nominate him at pick 7
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

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