Published by Matt Balmer, 19th November 2018 on foxsports.com.au
What times does AFL draft start, how to watch AFL draft 2018, times, predictions, picks
FIRST-ROUND predictions, an expert’s top 40 prospects, the bidding system explained and every pick your club holds.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Thursday’s NAB AFL Draft.
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL DRAFT?
IT IS a meeting of all AFL clubs where teams select the best young — or mature-age — talent in the country. The order of the draft is based on the ladder positions at the end home and away season, as well as when teams were eliminated during the 2018 AFL finals series. However the order has changed dramatically since then, due to clubs exchanging picks during the past two trade periods, as well as compensation picks being awarded to clubs for the loss of free agents.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
THE 2018 NAB AFL Draft will be held over two days for the first time ever. The first-round of the draft will be held on Thursday November 22, while the remainder of the draft, as well as the Rookie Draft will be held on Friday November 23. Marvel Stadium will host the two-day event.
HOW CAN I WATCH IT?
THE draft will be live on FOX FOOTY (Channel 504) from 6.30pm (AEDT), with the first round expected to commence around 7pm. Every pick this year will be shown live on FOX FOOTY, while there will also be ample interviews and analysis from an expert panel. You can also follow every pick live online via foxfooty.com.au, which will also host club-by-club analysis pieces and report cards in the event’s aftermath. Day 2 will be live on FOX FOOTY (Channel 504) from Midday.
FOR the first time in the AFL’s history, live trading will be allowed between clubs during the draft. It will give teams the capabilities to trade future picks, as well as being able to move up and down the draft order. For example, if GWS Giants wanted to secure Max King and he was available at St Kilda’s Pick 4, they would need to trade up in order to secure him. They could package up a future first round pick, along with Pick 9 and 11 and do a swap with St Kilda.
HOW WILL THE FIRST ROUND PAN OUT?
THE race for Pick 1 appears to be down to two names — Sam Walsh or Izak Rankine. Walsh seems to be the likely candidate and it would be a surprise for him not to be called out by Stephen Silvagni on draft night.
Foxfooty.com.au predicts the Blues will select Walsh, which would then pave the way for Gold Coast to select South Australian pair Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine.
St Kilda will shape the draft with their decision at Pick 4, with 204cm tall forward Max King the likely prospect to be called out by the club. Connor Rozee could be the other player considered by the Saints — with the player overlooked a good chance to be snapped up by the Suns at Pick 6.
Vic Metro MVP Bailey Smith and Jye Caldwell appear to be the players in the mix for the next two selections, but after Pick 8 it gets very murky.
Inside midfielders Riley Collier-Dawkins and Jackson Hateley will be considered by a number of clubs, while West Australian half back Jordan Clark’s strong finish to the season has seen him jump into top 10 consideration. Chayce Jones and Zak Butters are two other midfielders in recruiters’ thoughts.
Other players who could make up the first round include Vic Country onballers Xavier Duursma and Ned McHenry, draft bolter Sam Sturt, TAC Cup Morrish Medallist Liam Stocker and half forwards Ian Hill and Curtis Taylor.
Bids on academy prospects Nick Blakey (Sydney Swans), Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne) and Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) should also come in the first-round.
WAIT, HOLD UP — WHAT’S THE ACADEMY BIDDING SYSTEM?
THIS is where it gets a little confusing.
The entire format for father-son and academy bidding was restructured in 2015 via bidding systems.
Clubs who already have gun academy and father-son youngsters attached to them now have to ‘pay’ to secure these players via multiple picks, because rival clubs have the right to bid on these players. This forces the nominated clubs to match the bid to secure the player. If they don’t, the player goes to the club who made the bid.
Each draft selection now has a points value attached to it, starting with Pick 1 (worth 3000 points) down to Pick 73 (nine points). Picks from 74 onwards are worth nothing.
The best way to explain the scenario is via a hypothetical example.
— LET’S say Port Adelaide bid on Sydney Swan s academy prospect Nick Blakey at Pick 5 (1878 points)
— IN order to snare him, the Swans now have to match the Power’s bid using the draft picks they already hold.
-FIRST, we must take away the 20 per cent discount (which is automatically given to clubs for bids inside the first round) that would be given to the Swans, meaning they now have to find 1503 points to secure Blakey.
— THE SWANS’ first three selections, which are Pick 26 (729), Pick 33 (563) and Pick 38 (465), covers the Power’s bid.
— However, as the value of those three picks adds up to 1757, they have 254 points left over. This means the Swans’ Pick 38 would slide back to Pick 52 in the draft.
— NOW Nick Blakey is officially selected by the Swans at Pick 5, but the Swans have lost their first two picks (Pick 26 and Pick 33).
— THE Power select again at Pick 6 and the predetermined draft order continues from there.
WHO ARE THE DRAFTEES TO WATCH OUT FOR?
The bolters: Sam Sturt and Zak Butters
IF you rewind to 12 months ago, being drafted would’ve been the last thing on Sam Sturt’s mind. But the big draft bolter could find himself selected inside the first-round on draft night. After a strong start at AGSV schoolboy football for Peninsula, Sturt was drafted into the Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup team and played in their Grand Final victory over Oakleigh. The left footed forward knows where the goals are and marks well overhead. Butters missed the second-half of the season after shoulder surgery following the Under 18 Championships, but moulds as a potential top 10 pick. The zippy half forward makes an impact with his disposals and can hit up targets well inside 50.
The smokies: Luke Valente and Tom Joyce
LUKE Valente has an invite to the draft which suggests at least one of the clubs with a first-round pick is considering the inside midfielder. The South Australian Under 18 captain won their MVP after a strong carnival, where he averaged 22.8 disposals. Tom Joyce is little known to some, having missed the Under 18 Championships due to hip surgery. The West Australian midfielder was a member of the AFL Academy. Joyce hopes to be ready to go for preseason at his new AFL club.
Mature-age recruits: Brett Bewley and Michael Gibbons
BOTH Brett Bewley and Michael Gibbons have been on the radar of AFL recruiters for a number of years. The Williamstown pair both had strong seasons in the midfield and all signs point of both being given an opportunity by an AFL club. Bewley averaged 26 disposals in the VFL this season and equalled the yo-yo test record at the State Combine. Gibbons is a dual JJ Liston Trophy winner and averaged 28 disposals, 7.0 clearances and 6.5 inside 50s this season.
The father-sons: Rhylee West, Bailey Scott, Will Kelly and Oscar Brownless
WEST, the son of former Bulldogs gun Scott West, could be the first father-son prospect to attract a ‘bid’ from a rival club. The inside midfielder represented Vic Metro in the Under 18 Championships and would love to end up in the red, white and blue. Bailey Scott nominated North Melbourne after having a three-club choice and is set to receive a bid in the second round. Key defender Will Kelly performed strongly in the final few games of the Under 18 Championships and should receive a bid in the 20-40 range. Brownless’ bid is likely to be closer to Pick 50.
The academy guns: Nick Blakey, Tarryn Thomas, Issac Quaynor, Kieren Briggs and Connor McFadyen
THERE are five academy prospects who could have their name called out in the top 30 selections in the draft. Sydney Swans academy member Nick Blakey is the player likely to cop the first academy bid, set to be inside the top 10. Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne) and Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) are two players who will receive first-round bids, while Kieren Briggs and Connor McFadyen should be in the 20-40 range.
Kevin Sheehan’s top 40 draft prospects (in alphabetical order)
Nick Blakey, Kieren Briggs, Zak Butters, Jack Bytel, Jye Caldwell, Jordan Clark, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Xavier Duursma, Jackson Hately, Ian Hill, Chayce Jones, Tom Joyce, Will Kelly, Buku Khamis, Ben King, Max King, Jacob Koschitzke, Jack Lukosius, Connor McFadyen, Edward (Ned) McHenry, Tom McKenzie, Jez McLennan, Xavier O’Halloran, Isaac Quaynor, Izak Rankine, Connor Rozee, Bailey Scott, Bailey Smith, Ely Smith, Tom Sparrow, Sydney Stack, Liam Stocker, Sam Sturt, Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas, Fraser Turner, Luke Valente, Sam Walsh, Rhylee West, Bailey Williams
YOUR CLUB’S DRAFT PICKS
Adelaide: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73, 83
Brisbane Lions: 18, 30, 35, 56, 78
Carlton: 1, 69, 71, 77
Collingwood: 41, 44, 57, 59, 60, 93
Essendon: 34, 66, 84
Fremantle: 14, 31, 43, 65, 81
Geelong Cats: 12, 50, 51, 87
Gold Coast Suns: 2, 3, 6, 24, 29, 80
GWS Giants: 9, 11, 19, 25, 52, 89
Hawthorn: 53, 90, 108
Melbourne: 23, 28, 54, 62, 91
North Melbourne: 42, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58, 86
Port Adelaide: 5, 10, 15, 85
Richmond: 17, 37, 64, 68, 75, 92
St Kilda: 4, 36, 46, 67, 79
Sydney Swans: 26, 33, 38, 39, 40, 70, 88
West Coast Eagles: 20, 22, 61, 72, 76, 94
Western Bulldogs: 7, 27, 32, 45, 63, 75, 82