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AFL Draft 2018: What type of players your club should be targeting in the draft


Published by Matt Balmer, 18th November 2018 on

The days are quickly counting down ahead of the 2018 national draft — and these are the type of players your club could be targeting.

While some clubs hold top 10 picks, others will need to be more precise in their scouting — searching for gold outside the first round. along with Champion Data assess the chasms at every club — and look at what draftees your club needs out of the 2018 AFL Draft.

Draft picks: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73, 83

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The Crows will hold four prized top 25 selections in the draft and will be aiming to boost their midfield. Adelaide has made it clear they will select the best player available regardless of what state they come from. With Pick 8, they may find Tasmanian Chayce Jones or Vic Country onballer Jye Caldwell are available at their selection. Local inside midfielders Jackson Hately and Luke Valente will be in the clubs thoughts with their other picks, while they are expected to target a tall with Pick 21 — which may see them force GWS’ hand on academy ruck/forward Kieren BriggsBrad Crouch’s return to the team will also boost their midfield, with the 24-year-old not playing a game in 2018.


Draft picks: 18,30,35,56, 78

The type of player they should target: Key Forward

Next to Eric Hipwood, the Lions currently have Oscar McInerney and Dan McStay. McStay was a consistent one to two goalkicker per game this season, but bringing in another tall would certainly help with their structure. At Pick 18, Curtis Taylor and Sam Sturt would help the Lions’ forward 50 overall — but to find a tall forward late in the draft may require them to look into a mature-age prospect. Connor McFadyen should join the club as an academy prospect with a likely mid-late second round bid.


Draft picks: 1, 69, 71, 77

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The Blues don’t exactly have the luxury of stocking up on midfielders with the club likely to take only three or four picks in the national draft. Midfielder Sam Walsh appears to be the obvious selection with Pick 1, while South Australian small forward Izak Rankine’s name does continue to come up in discussions. They may be able to bring in another midfielder with a later selection, likely to target an inside midfielder, while Ben Silvagni could join the club with their final pick in the draft.


Draft picks: 41, 44, 57, 59, 60, 93

The type of player they should target: Key Forward

Champion Data still believe the Pies should look for a key forward in the draft. But it might have to come with their final pick in the draft, with their first few selections likely to be used to match bids on academy prospect Isaac Quaynor and father-son Will Kelly. Quaynor is a running half back who represented Vic Metro this season and may warrant a top 10 bid on draft night, while key defender Kelly was outstanding in the final two Under 18 Championships games. The Pies have also brought in two Irish recruits over the off-season.


Draft picks: 34, 66, 84

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

Despite bringing in Dylan Shiel to the club, Essendon would love another midfielder — especially one over 185cm. Shiel, Zach Merrett and Andy McGrath are all under 185cm and a big bodied prospect might be the only thing missing in the Bombers’ quest for September success. Victorian’s Jack Bytel and Ely Smith may be two names the Bombers consider, with the pair standing at over 185cm. Bytel missed the second half of the year due to a back injury, while Smith averaged 23.5 disposals in the TAC Cup. Hybrid midfielder Harry Reynolds might come into their thoughts.


Draft picks: 14, 31, 43, 65, 81

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The Dockers added tall timber during trade period by bringing in Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb. They should be able to snare two classy midfielders with their first two selections and will look right across Australia for the best players possible. Vic Country pair Ned McHenry and Xavier Duursma are two who will come into the Dockers’ thoughts at Pick 14, while a local player like Luke Foley and Durak Tucker could be considered with their other selections.


Draft picks: 12, 50, 51, 87

The type of player they should target: Small Forward

A bit of speed into the Geelong side wouldn’t look out of place. And a small forward is right up in their list of needs. Nakia Cockatoo could be that player, but he has struggled with his durability since the Cats took him with a top 10 pick. Vic Metro half forward Zak Butters is a player on the Cats’ radar and his speed and outside running would add to their structure. Geelong will also match a bid on father-son prospect Oscar Brownless which should come in the mid-late part of the draft.


Draft picks: 2, 3, 6, 24, 29, 80

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The Suns have five picks in the top 30 and will be looking to bring in some of the elite talent that is available in the 2018 national draft. And while Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine aren’t midfielders, they seem all but certain to be the Suns’ first two selections. Players like Connor Rozee and Luke Valente have been linked with the club, with Gold Coast likely to draft two midfielders with Pick 24 and 29. Xavier O’HalloranEly SmithJack Bytel and Luke Foley could be some of the names considered to boost their inside midfield group.


Draft picks: 9,11, 19, 25, 52, 89

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

There’s no doubting the Giants would like to add some midfield depth to their team after the loss of Dylan Shiel and Will Setterfield during trade period. Their 2017 draftee Aiden Bonar should be able to slot into that inside mix, but they could look to add Chayce JonesBailey SmithJackson Hately or Riley Collier-Dawkins through the draft. All four have the capabilities of impacting games when required. The Giants will also have to consider matching a bid of Under 18 All-Australian Kieren Briggs, who averaged 24 hitouts during the Under 18 Championships. Briggs’ bid could come as early as one of Adelaide’s first round selections.


Draft picks: 53, 90, 108

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

Yet again Hawthorn won’t have a first-round pick in the draft and they may as well not attend on Thursday, with the club not entering the draft until Pick 53 (held on Friday). The Hawks will be hoping some hidden gems are able to slip to their selection. Wingman Lachie Sholl could be one, with the smart and zippy prospect having plenty of development left in him. Will Golds and Tom McKenzie are two others that might suit the club. Hawthorn next generation academy small forward Irving Mosquito will probably receive a bid around this mark.


Draft picks: 23, 28, 54, 62, 91

The type of player they should target: Small Forward

The Demons were the first club to get in touch with 2018 draft bolter Sam Sturt. And the forward may find himself available at Pick 23. Sturt dominated the AGSV schoolboy competition for Peninsula, before being added to the Dandenong Stingray list — where he was part of their premiership winning team. The left footed forward is smart around goal and can leap high and take strong marks. The Demons may also match a bid on his Stingrays teammate Toby Bedford, who is linked to the club via their next generation academy. West Australian Ian Hill could be another player the club considers.


Draft picks: 42, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58, 86

The type of player they should target: Half Back

The Roos are set to do a lot of matching bids and not a lot of picking come draft night. Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas is a first-round prospect and is tied to the Roos via their next generation academy — with the club all but certain to match a bid. Father-son prospect Bailey Scott elected to nominate North Melbourne during the trade period and might receive a bid in the early stages of the second round. They have also nominated Darren Crocker’s son Joel, with the utility likely to warrant a late pick.


Draft picks: 5, 10, 15, 85

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The Power would be stoked with their draft hand and they will take three first-round selections into Thursday’s draft. While it would be good to snare top South Australian talent, they will follow their draft board and select the best available. Both King twins Max and Ben will be in the clubs thoughts if they following said plan, while South Australian Connor Rozee is another linked with Pick 5. Some speed on the outside would be nice, with Zak Butters and Ian Hill two such players they could consider with 10 and 15.


Draft picks: 17, 37, 64, 68, 75, 92

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

When you’ve won the premiership in the last few years, you generally don’t have too many pressing needs. The Tigers should look to bolster their midfield, having lost a number of players to other clubs for greater opportunity. Ned McHenry and Liam Stocker are two such names who have been linked with the club. McHenry’s elite tackling would fit into the Tigers’ structure, while inside bull Stocker won the Morrish Medal as the best player in the TAC Cup.


Draft picks: 4, 36, 46, 67, 79

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

What St Kilda do with Pick 4 will shape the draft, but according to Champion Data, their midfield is a pressing need. If they overlooked star forward Max King with Pick 4, South Australian half forward/midfielder Connor Rozee seems the obvious selection. They should be able to find a speedy midfielder with their second or third pick, with Will Hamill and Tom McKenzie two such names they could consider.


Draft pick s: 26, 33,38,39,40, 70, 88

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

Yet again the Swans have an outstanding academy selection, with 195cm forward Nick Blakey to join the club during the draft. Blakey is so good that he may even warrant a top-five bid, given his classy left foot finishing skills. During trade period the Swans stockpiled their selections, but it should give them a pick in the second round. Will Hamill is one player who has been linked with the club, but inside midfielders such as Ely SmithJack Bytel and Xavier O’Halloran could also appeal.


Draft picks: 20, 22, 61, 72, 76, 94

The type of player they should target: Midfielder

The 2018 premiers have two selections in close succession and they may find that local West Australian Ian Hill manages to slip to their first pick. Strong leaders Luke Valente and Xavier O’Halloran may be around the mark, while they could be a club to bid on Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee WestCurtis Taylor is another forward/midfielder linked with the club, while Tom Joyce might be considered in their selections — despite missing some games this year due to injury.


Draft picks: 7, 27, 32, 45, 63, 75, 82

The type of player they should target: Small Forward

There are so many different scenarios to play out ahead of the Dogs that they will be planning hard for their first selection. Ben KingBailey Smith and Connor Rozee are a few names who may be available at Pick 7. They should match a bid on father-son Rhylee West and next generation academy member Buku Khamis, but may look to add some speed in their front half with their latter picks in the draft.


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