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Tbetta’s Phantom Draft

The Draft is a day away, and I thought this year is as good a year as any to first put my Phantom Draft out there, and hopefully get some discussion going on here! Check it out, then let us know what you think in the comments.

The Draft is a day away, and I thought this year is as good a year as any to first publish my Phantom Draft, and hopefully get some discussion going on here.

The following is what I think will be the most likely outcome, and hence I’ve played it safe with a few selections. I’ve only done the first two rounds – partly due to time constraints, partly due to less knowledge of the lower picks, and partly due to the incredibly unknown nature of this year’s draft. I’ve included likely positional eligibility for DT and, for the first 30 selections, I’ve commented on the pick and estimated the range in which the players will be selected, and I’ll be very surprised if they don’t fall within that category.

It’s also important to note how influential Pick 5 will be – It will change the whole landscape, depending on who GWS go with there.



1. GWS – Stephen Coniglio  MID/FWD

It’s hard to differentiate between Coniglio and Patton. Both are such good players, but in completely different moulds, and both would be worthy recipients of the first choice. Ultimately I think they’ll give the honour to Coniglio, mainly because he is a midfielder and is likely to succeed quicker than Patton, or at least get the opportunity to.

Range: 1-2

2. GWS – Jonathon Patton  FWD

Enough has been said about the prospective number 1 and 2 picks, so I’ll get to the point; Patton is the best big man in this draft by a country mile. He will not get past this second selection.

Range: 1-2

3. GWS – Dom Tyson  MID

A highly intelligent elite midfielder, Tyson is a shoo-in at 3 and will likely get a lot of playing time next year with the Giants.

Range: 3-4

4. GWS – Will Hoskin-Elliot  MID

Hoskin-Elliot is a speedy, flashy, skilful wingman who could have easily gone at 3. If GWS let him go to 6, Port would almost have to take him, so the Giants won’t let a talent like this past 5.

Range: 3-6

5. GWS – Matthew Buntine  DEF

This will be the most important pick in the draft – or at least the one that shapes it. GWS have a few options here; Longer, Wingard and Greene are all possible selections. But because Port has pick 6 and GWS aren’t as keen on Wingard, they’ll let him slide and take a player they are desperate not to leave to an eagerly-awaiting Brisbane. Buntine is the best key defender in this draft class, and will easily hold down a spot on the half-back line for the Giants next year.

Range: 4 – 12

6. Port – Chad Wingard  FWD

Port get their man and local boy Wingard at 6, and they’ll be more than happy with that, considering a month ago he was touted as a top 3 pick. They’ll think about Longer for a second or two if he’s still available, but they’d be foolish to miss out on what could end up being the best player from this draft.

Range: 5-6

7. GWS – Billy Longer  RUCK

Longer is good enough to go top 5, but it all depends on the mind games of the recruiters and list needs of the teams in a position to take him. Brisbane would love to get him as a long-term replacement for Clarke, which is why I think GWS will snatch him here.

Range: 5-11

8. Brisbane – Adam Tomlinson  DEF/FWD

Without Buntine or Longer on the table, Brisbane will still look to fulfil list needs by taking Tomlinson at pick 8. They could have picked up a quality mid here, but there is no chance of Tomlinson being available at 12 if they pass on him, so they’ll pull the trigger here with the best KPP available.

Range: 7 -12

9. GWS – Taylor Adams  MID

Apparently Brisbane aren’t as keen on Adams as the rest of the recruiting world, so GWS can afford to let one of their most favoured players slide to 9. Adams is a hard-at-it inside midfielder who would be a perfect fit for the GWS’ inaugural midfield.

Range: 7-17

10. GWS – Liam Sumner  MID/FWD

Many had him higher than 10 in draft predictions mid-year, but Sumner has dropped down the order slightly, mainly due to other players rising. He’s skinny, but he has some dazzle and he always gets the job done.

Range: 9 – 17

11. GWS – Nick Haynes  FWD

One of the bigger bolters of this draft crop, Haynes looks set to be taken in this block of GWS picks. He’s a tall half-forward type, and due to his skinny frame and strong over-head mark he is being likened to Fyfe. Haynes is one that could easily slide if a GWS let him go and a few teams have already made their mind up with their first pick. Not likely, but possible.

Range: 9-22

12. Brisbane – Toby Greene  MID

I personally like Greene the most of anyone in this draft, and it surprises me that he can even last to 12, but it looks like happening. I think he’s an outside chance at 5, and he could be taken anywhere after. He has the grunt and desire of a Joel Selwood, and I see him playing a similar role for Brisbane if they pick him here. He’s the safest bet of any of the mids left available, but Brisbane could always pick up a slider or pull out a smokie with their second pick.

Range: 5-18

13. GWS – Shane Kersten  FWD

Kersten is a third-tall forward who plays a similar role to Jack Darling. His marking is elite and his agility and athleticism is surprisingly good for a 190cm forward. Fremantle would love to take him at 16, but I think GWS will take him here or at 14.

Range: 13 – 16

14. GWS – Elliot Kavanagh  MID

Kavanagh was a consensus top 5 pick during the season, but lingering doubts over his durability and a serious hamstring injury has damaged his stocks significantly. He has the talent though, and with GWS already having so many picks, they can afford to take a risk here.

Range: 9 – 26

15. Richmond – Sam Docherty  DEF/MID

Deledio needs help on the half-back line long term, and Docherty has the pace and skills to suit. Almost a done deal unless someone slides.

Range: 13 – 26

16. Fremantle – Hayden Crozier  FWD

Hayden Crozier is the skinny kid who took that huge mark. He must be sick of hearing about it by now, because I am. He is a confidence player, but has an x-factor that will not only break lines but get bums on seats. I think he deserves to be taken in the 20’s at the earliest, but with Fremantle’s success with Fyfe, they might be tempted to take him here.

Range: 15 – 29

17.  Bulldogs – Sam Frost  DEF

Bulldogs are light on with talls, and Frost is a solid option. McKenzie or Ellis could easily go here instead though, if the Bulldogs go with a best-available approach.

Range: 16 – 50

18. North – Brad McKenzie  MID

McKenzie is what North have been looking for. A long-kicking rebounding defender out of South Australia, McKenzie has been likened to his namesake in Trent from the Suns. Again, Ellis could go here instead.

Range: 16 – 25

19. Essendon – Brandon Ellis  DEF

Ellis is classy, composed and skilful, which is why he should be taken in the first round. He’s also a gifted all-rounder who is not particularly damaging in any one area, which is why he could slide into the 2nd round. Essendon needs a good outside player to compliment Watson, and Ellis is their guy.

Range: 16-35

20. Fremantle – Shane Nelson  FWD/MID

Fremantle are likely to keep it local unless they see a slider here at 20. Nelson is quick and can play both forward or midfield. Murray Newman is also an option here, but Nelson is strictly the better player.

Range: 20 – 45

21. Sydney – Tom Mitchell  MID

A gun player, top 5 material, and the Swans get him as a Father/Son selecton at 21. An Absolute bargain.

Range: 21

22. Carlton – Todd Elton  DEF

Carlton get a solid KPP in Elton here, who will be groomed to help out Henderson and Jamison in the future.

Range: 12 – 35

23. West Coast – Devon Smith  MID/FWD

I think Devon Smith will slide and West Coast will be the beneficiaries. A genuine mid/forward threat, Smith could easily go to GWS with one of their earlier selections. West Coast had ideas for Lockyer or Murdoch here, but best available guides this pick.

Range: 11 – 24

24. Gold Coast – Clay Smith  MID

The Suns have been very tight lipped about this pick, so it’s hard to know what to expect with this selection. Elite endurance and clearance ability will suit the young Suns perfectly, who relied too much on Rischitelli and Ablett last year.

Range: 16 – 36

25. St Kilda – Michael Talia  DEF

The Saints need talls given Dawson’s departure, and Talia is a good pick at 25. Brother of Adelaide’s Daniel, which means nothing, except that he could move ahead of the learning curve like Daniel did at the Crows.

Range: 22 – 38

26. Richmond – Mitch Grigg  MID

Grigg was a potential top 10 pick at one stage, but the queries over his pace are too loud and too plentiful to ignore. He’ll be a solid clearance midfielder wherever he goes, and his kicking is nothing short of elite when he finds some space.

Range: 9 – 36

Priority Selections

27. Adelaide – Daniel Markworth  FWD

Markworth should probably be taken higher, but I think he will slide due to clubs fulfilling list needs. Adelaide can get the best available player here, whilst also filling the hole that Gunston left and Dangerfield should vacate once he moves into the midfield permanently.

Range: 15 – 30

28. West Coast – Jordan Lockyer  DEF

The Eagles get their man in Lockyer, a mobile defender who helps greatly in the Glass succession plan. He’s also a local boy, which protects the Eagles from the go-home factor that affected Judd and, more recently, Brad Ebert.

Range: 20 – 29

29. Fremantle – Josh Bootsma  DEF

Bootsma has come out of nowhere to be a serious consideration by Fremantle at 29. Inquiries were made into his Father/Son status at the Dockers, indicating some level of interest. He would fit right in down back, especially with the loss of Tarrant and the inevitable retirements of Grover and McPharlin looming.

Range: 28 – Rookie

30. Brisbane – Henry Schade  DEF

Schade is another bolter who theoretically could be in line for selection at 12, especially if Brisbane take a midfielder at 9 and miss out on both Buntine and Tomlinson. He’s a key defender out of Tasmania who has no qualms with putting his body on the line, and Brisbane would be stoked to have him at 30.

Range 12-47

Round Two

31. Essendon – Seb Ross
32. Geelong – Andrew Boseley
33. Hawthorn – Fraser McInness
34. Geelong – Murray Newman
35. St Kilda – Tom Downie
36. Melbourne – Jackson Paine
37. St Kilda – Elliot Yeo
38. Hawthorn – Tom Sheridan
39.  Bulldogs – Julian Dobosv
40. North – Alex Forster
41. Adelaide – Jordan Murdoch
42. St Kilda – Clay Smith
43. Sydney –Tom Curran
44. Carlton – Zyrus Manson
45. Port – Sam Kerridge
46. Adelaide – Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
47. Brisbane – Myles Bolger
48. Geelong – Kyal Horsley


So there it is. Let me know what you think, rip it to shreds, whatever – we’ll find out tomorrow evening in the real thing. Also, keep an eye out for the DT relevant players, especially those who get past Pick 18 and are assigned base price!

Hit me up on Twitter – @tbetta9





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