Player Name: Jarrod Witts
Current Club: Collingwood
Potential clubs: There are a number of teams that are interested in Witts, with Sydney perhaps the most prominent. GWS were interested last year and might look at him as Mumford’s replacement in a couple of years. Richmond and the Western Bulldogs are also in the mix.
The original price: Witts was taken with pick 67 in the 2011 draft, where a lot of decent players were taken with late picks. Even at the time, there was clear value in this selection for Collingwood.
The good: At his best, Witts is a solid number one ruckman, dominating ruck contests and offering some good pressure around the ground. He can work hard to get into space, often finishing with 12-16 disposals a game in the VFL, and his tackling has always been a strong part of his game when leading the ruck at AFL level. At 24, his best is well ahead of him.
The bad: Witts doesn’t really use his huge size to advantage to take many marks, which the elite ruckmen have the ability to do regularly. Another criticism of his game has to be his ability to play in a two-ruck setup. Resting forward isn’t a great option for him as he doesn’t hit the scoreboard enough, and his partnership with Brodie Grundy just didn’t work for the Magpies.
What his club wants: Ideally, Collingwood would want an early second round pick. He is a 24-year-old ruckman who has continued to develop slowly over the time he has been at Collingwood, and they would want to be fairly compensated for this.
What he’s worth: A developing ruckman with 40 games experience is usually worth a fair bit at the trade table, but Witts is out of contract at the end of this 2016 season. Having played just two AFL games in 2016, and with his contract situation in mind, a late second round pick might do the trick.
What we’d pay: Pick 35-40
Possible trade scenarios:
- Sydney trades its second selection overall (pick 36) to Collingwood in exchange for Jarrod Witts
- Western Bulldogs trade its second selection overall (pick 30) to Collingwood, Collingwood sends Jarrod Witts and its second selection overall (pick 43)
The verdict: It looks as though Witts will leave the club to play as the number one ruckman elsewhere. Richmond seems a likely destination, however it will need to trade its own players in order to get the picks required to land him. Collingwood won’t want to lose him, however in Grundy they have the best young ruckman in the game. Expect Witts to thrive at a different club.
Star rating: 3.5/5 – Witts could be a Max Gawn-type sleeper at the moment, and while the big Demon was given the chance to thrive at his club, Witts will hope to do it elsewhere. He has the ability to become a top 10 ruckman at the very least.