AFL Draft

Paige’s AFL Phantom Draft – Edition Three

It’s been a whirlwind of a season for junior competitions around the country – and next week, the hard work of players, officials, coaching staff and volunteers will come to a head when upwards of 50 names are read out on November 24th.

This will be my final AFL Phantom Draft for the year – but stay tuned to Footy Prophet’s Twitter page, as I’ll be taking over the Twitter account and answering your draft questions in the lead up to the Draft.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the year as much as I have. Without further ado, here’s my last hoorah for 2015.

Editor note: As always, the asterisked players indicate where Paige suggests that clubs may be forced to match bids for Academy and Father/Son selections. When this occurs, teams below these selections will be pushed down the draft order live on draft night.

Round 1

1: Carlton – Jacob Weitering

Height: 195cm, Weight: 90kg, DOB: 23/11/1997
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Draft Range: Top 2
Position: Key Defender

Talented, athletic key defender who is an elite reader of the ball and a prolific marker. Propels his team into attack with his willingness to move the ball quickly and swiftly by foot, rarely making a bad decision. Has shown he can play on the wing, in which he has displayed terrific agility and ball-winning ability.

2: Brisbane – Joshua Schache

Height: 199cm, Weight: 96kg, DOB: 21/08/1997
Recruited from: Murray Bushrangers
Draft Range: Top 2
Position: Key Forward

Dominant key forward who cuts an imposing figure. Likes to play aggressive and asserts himself on the game. Lit up the National Carnival with his contested marking, accurate set shot and deft touch below his knees. Offers the club that drafts him the confidence to know a side can be built around him.

3: Sydney* – Callum Mills

Height: 188cm, Weight: 80kg, DOB: 02/04/1997
Recruited from: North Shore
Draft Range: 1st round Academy Selection
Position: Balanced Medium Midfielder

A gifted and talented on-baller who is arguably the draft’s most complete midfielder. Is a strong overhead mark, a reliable kick for goal, hard, tough and deceptively quick. Loves to use the ball by foot, is a punishing tackler. Has been sidelined with injury for most of the year.

4: Melbourne – Charlie Curnow

Height: 191cm, Weight: 95kg, DOB: 03/02/1997
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Draft Range: Top 10
Position: Key Forward/Utility

An athletic tall forward that plays like a midfielder, yet has the physical attributes of a Tex Walker. Is a booming kick for goal, a monster contested grab and is quite pacey given his measurements. Has a massive endurance base since playing most of his footy as a midfielder before his growth spurt. Still raw in facets of his game, but looms as a long-term prospect that could shape a club’s forward line. Tested supremely well at the combine with a 14.5 beep and backed up with a sub 10:30 3km time trial.

5: GWS*- Jacob Hopper

Height: 186cm, Weight: 82kg, DOB: 06/02/1997
Recruited from: North Ballarat Rebels
Draft Range: 1st round Academy Selection
Position: Balanced Medium Midfielder

Workhorse midfielder who has a terrific endurance base and rarely makes a bad decision with the ball. A predominantly contested player with a nice outside game, shows strong awareness and vision in traffic, has composure in close and likes to get forward of centre. Clearance work and his quick decision making are two stand-out traits. Brings others into the game and is capable of exploding onto the scene early in the 2016 season.

6: Essendon – Darcy Parish

Height: 181cm, Weight: 73kg, DOB: 25/07/1997
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Draft Range: Top 10
Position: Balanced Medium Midfielder

Busy midfielder who is tougher than he looks; likes to break lines, and has serious hurt-fact by foot, rarely ever missing a target. Has a tendency to always get the ball moving, and likes to play on wherever possible. Hunts the ball with intent, and is a relentless tackler. Can be pushed forward where he’s known to hit the scoreboard, but importantly is an elite ball-user on either side of his body. Bounces through congestion and has worked hard on his inside game. A really polished footballer with a nice dose of mongrel about him.

7: GWS* – Matthew Kennedy

Height: 187cm, Weight: 84kg, DOB: 06/04/1997
Recruited from: Collingullie-GP
Range: 1st round Academy Selection
Position: Inside Medium Midfielder

An inside midfielder who bashes and crashes his way through stoppages to make his presence felt. Is a hardworking on-baller who wins the contested ball, steps through traffic, before using the ball with class once on the outside of the pack. Absolutely love his poise and composure with the ball in hand, and doesn’t mind getting forward where he’s known to kick goals. Ticks all the boxes as a well-rounded, high-end midfielder.

8: Essendon – Sam Weideman

Height: 196cm, Weight: 91kg, DOB: 26/06/1997
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Draft Range: 5-20
Position: Key Forward

A talented key forward with a strong contested mark. Has missed a lot of football this year due to a stress fracture in his foot. Showed in his bottom-age year he could be a focal point up forward, providing the Ranges with a key target up forward in Christian Petracca’s absence. Has good depth and penetration in his kicking, likes to play higher up the ground and push hard into open space inside 50. Grandson of Collingwood’s legendary Murray Weideman, and son of Mark who also played for the Pies, albeit not enough to qualify for father/son.

9: Gold Coast – Harry McKay

Height: 200cm, Weight: 85kg, DOB: 24/12/1997
Recruited from: Gippsland Power
Draft Range: 5-220
Position: Key Forward/Ruckman

200cm key forward who has shown he can also provide a handy rotation through the ruck. Understands how to body up against his opponent, before using his size to shift his opponent under the ball. A strong overhead mark who converts truly in front of goal, and has tremendous athleticism in the way that he likes to turn through traffic, step around a player and quickly change directions to create space.

10: Melbourne – Aaron Francis 

Height: 190cm, Weight: 86kg, DOB: 10/08/1997
Recruited from: West Adelaide
Draft Range: Top 10
Position: Key Defender/Utility

Clever defender/forward with a strong vertical leap. Understands when to leave his opponent to impact other contests, as much as he knows when to push off his man to provide an option coming out of the backline. Has shown that when he’s played forward his leading patterns are crafty, taking marks at dangerous spots inside 50. An aerialist who is unstoppable in the air. Reads the flight of the ball well and rarely makes poor decisions.

11: Carlton – Clayton Oliver

Height: 187cm, Weight: 86kg, DOB: 22/07/1997
Recruited from: Murray Bushrangers
Draft Range: 10-20
Position: Balanced Medium Midfielder

A well-rounded vicious midfielder who is deceptively quick on the burst from a stoppage. Won the Morrish Medal as the TAC Cup’s best player, but didn’t get an opportunity for Vic Country during the Championships. Has made serious inroads in the second half of the year to be a top 25 prospect, particularly after a strong finals campaign with the Bushies, and in particular, a 27-possession, six-goal effort from the midfield in the final home and away game of the year. A contested beast with a thirst to hit the scoreboard, has terrific running power, finds the football with ease and is dangerous at the stoppages.

12: Adelaide – Wayne Milera 

Height: 185cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 14/09/1997
Recruited from: Central Districts
Draft Range: 10-20
Position: Medium Forward/Midfielder

Shifted to a more permanent midfield role in the SANFL in the back-end of the season, and strung together some serious form playing senior footy, including a 25-disposal, five-goal effort against the Bays which saw a momentum shift in how he’s rated in this draft. Milera is an exhilarating talent who cuts through players like they’re witches hats, kicks super-important goals and collects an elite amount of football by position as a forward, who looms as a midfielder in the coming years. Has class and composure by the bucket-load and always salutes with the ball. Decision making rates elite for this speedy talent. Could go higher than where I’ve put him, but my gut-feeling tells me he’s a flight-risk.

13: Brisbane* – Eric Hipwood

Height: 200cm, Weight: 82kg, DOB: 13/09/1997
Recruited from: Caloundra
Draft Range: 1st round Academy Selection
Position: Key Defender

Tall, talented and athletic key defender who could form a formidable partnership with Harris Andrews in Brisbane’s defence. Backs himself to take a mark, but is smart enough to always play the percentages. For a tall, he is a damaging user of the football by foot, and likes to wheel onto his left foot in the Ben Reid-fashion to slingshot his team into space with his thumping kick. Can also be thrown forward, has good agility.

14: Carlton – Rhys Mathieson

Height: 185cm, Weight: 79kg, DOB: 10/01/1997
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Draft Range: 6-20
Position: Medium Inside Midfielder

A competitive beast that hates being beaten. Terrific ‘footy IQ’ with a tendency to know where the ball is always going to be. Knows his way around the stoppages, and is an excellent tackler who likes to slam his opponent into the turf and hit hard when the opportunity arises. Can also push forward where he is known for kicking goals in quick succession.

15: Richmond – Callum Ah Chee

Height: 182cm, Weight: 71kg, DOB: 09/10/1997
Recruited from: South Fremantle
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder

Exciting forward that can leap like a flea off a wet dog. Has a terrific skill set and rates elite for speed and his top-end pace. Looks his best when played as a forward, where he offers some zip, class and poise around the 50. The kind of player who makes you gasp and gets you out of your seat. Sets goals up with poise and deft touch when he’s not igniting his side with big-moment goals.

16: Adelaide – Riley Bonner 

Height: 191cm, Weight: 80kg, DOB: 07/03/1997
Recruited from: West Adelaide
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Key Defender

Arguably the draft’s best kick with an accurate and booming left foot, whilst also breaking the norm for left-footers with an equally elite right side of his body. Takes strong marks in defence and likes to rebound and reset with his run-and-carry style of play. A really nice height that could mean he could potentially move up to a wing, but looks to play his best footy off a back flank given he can play on talls or smalls.

17: St Kilda – Darcy Tucker 

Height: 181cm, Weight: 73kg, DOB: 25/07/1997
Recruited from: North Ballarat
Draft Range: 10-25
Position: Medium Midfielder/Defender

Blessed with speed, agility, and a bullet-like left foot, Tucker regularly repels his team from half back. Started to spend more time in the midfield after having played most of his football as a damaging rebounding defender and as his team’s go-to man in defence. A strong leader who is well respected by his peers. Loves to run and carry the ball, which is arguably the most exciting part of his game.

18: Hawthorn – Kieran Collins

Height: 193cm, Weight: 94kg, DOB: 14/12/1997
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Draft Range 15-30
Position: Key Defender

Gorilla key defender who has the body of an AFL player with a couple of preseasons under his belt. Has strong composure and competitiveness as a tall defender. Has shown he can play a lock-down role in defence as much as he’s shown he can be trusted to use the ball coming out of the backline, given his clean skill set. Rarely ever shifted or out-bodied in a contest, Collins is strong and can take a really good grab in defence. Has taken some good scalps this year and performed well for Country during the championships.

19: Brisbane* – Ben Keays 

Height: 185cm, Weight: 82.3kg, DOB: 23/02/1997
Recruited from: Brisbane Lions
Draft Range: 1st round Academy Selection
Position: Medium Balanced Midfielder/Forward

Classy midfielder who sets up goals when he’s not kicking them. A serious accumulator who offers good zip and zest in the way that he plays. A very in-your-face midfielder with just the right amount of attitude and confidence as a goal-kicking midfielder. Loves to chase kicks and he’s damaging with every one of them. Has a good inside game to complement his outside brilliance, attacks the ball with intent and ferocity.

20: Gold Coast –Mitchell Hibberd

Height: 191cm, Weight: 85kg, DOB: 23/09/1996
Recruited from: Clarence
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Key Position Defender/Tall Midfielder

Great athleticism, speed and a willingness to run and carry from defence. Finds the footy with ease and has played a lot of footy on a wing where he’s demonstrated he can be a volume accumulator. Has had a bad run of injury that saw him overlooked in 2014, but was a standout at the championships for Tasmania. A strong mark, great kick and a creative player who could progress into a tall midfielder.

21: North Melbourne – Harley Balic

Height: 186cm, Weight: 80kg, DOB: 05/01/1997
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Medium Outside Midfielder/Forward

A basketball convert with terrific vision and awareness. Has played at mostly half forward but showed this year he will ultimately become a tall midfielder in the Pendlebury mould in time. Has a lovely-timed handball in traffic that releases an outside runner into space. An outstanding mark which is the highlight of his game, kicks some really classy goals, and is an excellent decision maker.

22: Hawthorn – Jade Gresham

Height: 177cm, Weight: 74kg, DOB: 24/08/1997
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Balanced Small Midfielder

Hard as nails midfielder who always ignites his team, size doesn’t matter with this kid. Has all of the traits clubs are looking for; competitiveness, ball-winning ability, defensive pressure, hard running, and the ability to stand up in big moments. Turned himself from a quality on-baller, to one that can now be described as a ‘clutch player’ given his exploits in the second half of the season. A tremendous leader with a bright future.

23: Carlton – Ryan Burton

Height: 191cm, Weight: 90kg, DOB: 31/01/1997
Recruited from: North Adelaide
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Medium Forward

Part of a ‘dying breed’ of specialist medium forwards, there’s not a thing this kid can’t do. He plays taller as if he were a key forward in the way that he leads at the ball, takes big grabs and can kick goals from outside 50 – and in saying that, he is incredibly measured from all spots inside the arc. Agile enough to play as if he were a small forward with his ground ball work a highlight. Elite on either side of his body, likes to stand on blokes’ heads, and looms as a marquee-type player a club could market a membership off. Suffered a horrific broken leg that put a line through his 2015 season, but tested at the combine and did well off limited preparation.

Round 2

24: Western Bulldogs – Ben McKay

Height: 200cm, Weight: 91kg, DOB: 24/12/1997
Recruited from: Gippsland Power
Draft Range: 20-50
Position: Key Position Utility

Twin brother of Harry and equally as tall; since applying himself to his football, his development has been rapid from the time when he was thrust into the forward line. Offers natural ability both forward and back and has been trialled as ruck where he hasn’t looked out of place. Has natural aggression and competitiveness and has shown when paired with brother Harry, they are a deadly combination. Gets a big tick for vision and awareness, ability to keep his feet and rarely goes to ground. Has good recovery, has quickly learned how to gain separation on his opponent, and protects the drop of the ball nicely.

Player Update: Could be a good opportunity here for the Doggies to find a tall target to partner Tom Boyd for the next decade.

25: St Kilda* – Bailey Rice 

Height: 184cm, Weight: 81kg, DOB: 10/02/1997
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Range: 20-35
Position: Medium Defender/Midfielder

Hard running defender who splits his time between half back and the midfield. Loves to throw himself at the ball, and never shirks a contest. Known for his courage and competitiveness, it’s in his bloodlines to crack in hard and worry about the consequences later. Has a nice, neat skill set to compliment his bash-and-crash style.

26: Western Bulldogs – Ryan Clark

Height: 186cm, Weight: 84kg, DOB: 17/06/1997
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Draft Range: 15-30
Position: Balanced Medium Midfielder

A ferocious midfielder who runs hard and finds the ball with ease. His defensive pressure stacks up, his tackling is a highlight, and he’s the type of midfielder who’ll push into defence, and be good enough in his end-to-end running to follow the ball to the other end to present as an option. A legitimate big-bodied, goal kicking midfielder.

27: Fremantle – Tom Cole

Height: 185cm, Weight: 76kg, DOB: 28/08/1997
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Range: 20-40
Position: Medium Defender/Midfielder

A raging bull of a defender/midfielder who likes to set the tone early in his aggression. Quite a rugged player who shows passion and pride for the jumper, and rarely has his colours lowered. A talented user of the ball by hand or by foot, and has shown he has tremendous versatility in his game to play an array of positions. Took the step-up to VFL level with ease with Geelong and didn’t look out of place. A combative role-player who goes about his footy with a competitive and fierce edge.

28: West Coast – Daniel Rioli 

Height: 179cm, Weight: 65kg, DOB: 16/04/1997
Recruited from: North Ballarat Rebels
Draft Range: 20-40
Position: Small Forward

Talented, silky and explosive small forward who can push up into the midfield, Rioli’s season in the TAC Cup for the Rebels could best be described as a mixed bag since relocating from the Northern Territory. Had a super end to the year, playing well on Grand Final day for the Allies, showcasing his endurance, speed, acceleration and deft touch with the ball by hand and foot. An impressive combine meant his draft stocks have sky rocketed into top-30 contention.

29: Essendon – Josh Dunkley

Height: 189cm, Weight: 82kg, DOB: 09/01/1997
Recruited from: Gippsland Power
Range: 20-30
Position: Medium Inside Midfielder

A really professional kid who I’m tipping won’t nominate the Swans, instead preferring to look at immediate opportunity and perhaps a chance to stay in Victoria. A big-bodied midfielder with a wonderful footy brain, Dunkley is a strong, contested weapon in close who has worked hard on his outside game. Blessed with leadership and courage, and is strong mark overhead. Has great temperament and competitiveness, and has honed his inside game from a young age, playing senior football for Sale at age 15, and also stood up for Richmond’s VFL side in his three appearances this year. Dunkley is a clearance machine, who wins the ball in close and sets up play on the outside of packs, and has the added capacity to rest forward or back.

30: Essendon –  Luke Partington

Height: 182cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 05/03/1997
Recruited from: Port Adelaide
Draft Range: 20-40
Position: Medium Outside Midfielder

A consistent midfielder with a big tank who is clever with the footy in hand; plays predominantly outside but has made big improvements to his inside game. Partington is a talented user of the footy and likes to get involved in chains of play with his give-and-get mentality. A volume accumulator, who also provides scoreboard impact – Partington isn’t overly quick but is certainly quick of mind with his decision making.

31: North Melbourne – Aidyn Johnson

Height: 184cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 31/10/1997
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Draft Range: 30-50
Position: Medium Outside Midfielder

Oozes excitement and class and rarely has a bad day out. Can be a bit patchy now and then, but his possessions are of serious quality. Hindered by injuries this year, but has shown in the past to be an explosive forward/midfielder with a goosestep that allows him to create space in which he can dart into. Loves to give and get and his link up work is a real highlight. Adds serious speed, x-factor and excitement to North Melbourne’s midfield, and he’s certainly in the mix here.

32: GWS* – Harry Himmelberg

Height: 192cm, Weight: 85kg, DOB: 08/05/1996
Recruited from: Eastlake
Range: 25-40
Position: Medium Forward

Overlooked in 2014, Himmelberg has shot back up into contention particularly after an impressive showing for the Allies in a best on ground display as part of the Grand Final curtain raiser. Has a good sized frame and a good vertical leap, marks strong and can play several roles around the ground. A very busy third-tall forward who is excellent in the air and at ground level, kicks goals and is a reliable utility with exceptional vision and awareness. Really looms as a side’s ‘Mr Fix-it’ if overlooked by GWS, who I’m unsure are looking to go into deficient points with more academy gold to come in the 2016 draft. Nonetheless, Himmelberg is a worthy talent in this range.

33: Collingwood- Brayden Fiorini

Height: 186cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 22/08/1997
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Draft Range: 18-35
Position: Medium Balanced Midfielder

A booming left footer with a tremendous ability to find the footy. Came home with a wet sail in the backend of the TAC Cup season, and put in a solid combine. Fiorini is a smart runner and equally smart user of the ball, with an excellent kick that really defines his game. Really found another level in his footy with opportunity arising to play on the ball, where his clearance work surfaced, as did his contested game. Has shown he is versatile enough to play an array of positions. A hard runner that rates in double digits per game for handball receives.

34: North Melbourne – Mason Redman

Height: 187cm, Weight: 76kg, DOB: 26/08/1997
Recruited from: Glenelg
Draft Range: 25-50
Position: Medium Forward

Talented medium forward who has shown an appetite to push up the ground and involve himself in midfield rotations. Great acceleration off the mark and takes responsibility to go back and convert goals. Has poise off the half-volley, whereby he can let-fly a well-time handball to a player running past, or fool his opponent before hitting up a target off a step by foot. A good decision marker with a touch of poise and calmness around 50.

35: Gold Coast – Ben Crocker

Height: 185cm, Weight: 81kg, DOB: 19/02/1997
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft Range: 20-50
Position: Medium Forward/Midfielder

Starred as a bottom-age player in Oakleigh’s Premiership last year, has terrific competitiveness and courage, and is very much a self-starter. Demands a lot from his teammates, and has provided some outstanding highlights in terms of his marking over the past few years. Can play forward or back or through the midfield. Kicks goals, wins the footy, and is an unselfish player. Another player who performed strongly when moved up to VFL level.

36: Western Bulldogs – Brandon White

Height: 189cm, Weight: 80kg, DOB: 13/01/1997
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft Range: 30-50
Position: Medium Defender

An attacking defender with the perfect mix of defence and offence. Plays the percentages first and foremost, but has the nous when to burst off half back to create play further up the field. Has a lovely booming kick, is sound overhead and likes to get involved with the play, making his opponent accountable. I’m a big fan in the way he patrols across half back, he B-line’s the ball and is always looking for contact. Have seen TAC Cup games where the opposition have put a defensive forward on him to hone in influence, which is a compliment to his impact on games.

37: West Coast – David Cunningham

Height: 184cm, Weight: 81kg, DOB: 30/03/1997
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft Range: 30-50
Position: Medium Midfielder

Fast, quick but not always composed. At times looks like he’s the complete package such is the way he moves the ball and runs into space on the outside, and his ability to notch up contested possessions and clearances. Oddly enough, despite his athletic makeup – plays a more inside role than outside, but once in an elite environment will be guided in finding a balance between the two. He hasn’t quite yet harnessed his ability to explode from a contest, which is what will be the next step in his arsenal. Can be prone to trying to dodge one too many tackles, but has shown enough to suggest he is a talent for the future.

38: Port Adelaide –Will Snelling

Height: 176cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 06/08/1997
Recruited from: West Adelaide
Draft Range: 30-50
Position: Small Balanced Midfielder

Productive small midfielder who has stood up at league level in the SANFL this year. Finds the ball easily and uses it efficiently around the field and going inside 50. Covers ground with ease and is regarded as a two-way runner. Isn’t bullied out of a contest, having prided himself on his contested game, and provided a few eye-catching moments as an extractor for West Adelaide.

39: Fremantle – Jesse Glass-McCasker

Height: 198cm, Weight: 95kg, DOB: 03/01/1997
Recruited from: Swan Districts
Draft Range: 25-40
Position: Key Position Defender/Forward

Tall, strong defender who plays predominately as a stopper. Covers the ground well, and has a sturdy athletic profile. Has shown he can swing forward and provide a target deep forward, and looms as a designated swing-man at AFL level. Positions himself nicely in a one-on-one battle, isn’t shifted under the ball and times his leads nicely. Isn’t afraid to take a mark in defence and conversely up forward he is good overhead. Really rate his spoiling game, and his ability to drop off his man to kill a contest elsewhere. Has the agility of a midfielder.

40: Brisbane – Kieran Lovell

Height: 174cm, Weight: 80kg, DOB: 16/05/1997
Recruited from: Kingston Tigers
Draft Range: 10-45
Position: Small Balanced Midfielder

Finished second in Kingston’s B&F despite playing just 13 games. Is a powerful, and pacey small midfielder who is a volume-accumulator, having averaged almost 35 disposals across his four TAC Cup games. Was recognised with All Australian selection after an impressive championships which included a 42-disposal effort against NSW/ACT. Has run a 14.9 beep and tested fewer than 3 and 8 seconds for the 20-metre sprint and agility test respectively in the past. He might just be the second-coming of Dayne Zorko with similar attributes.

Round 3

41: Melbourne – Stephen Tahana

Height: 183cm, Weight: 78kg, DOB: 02/02/1997
Recruited from: North Adelaide
Draft Range: 30-50
Position: Medium Defender

Speedy, agile and clever rebounding defender with some real tricks up his sleeve. Often side-steps through traffic and takes the game on with his ability to carry the ball out of defence. Has a strong overhead mark and is unselfish with the ball. Isn’t a high possession getter, but his touches are of class. Has versatility in his game, playing both an offensive small defender and doing a job on the opposition’s most dangerous small forward. Also has the capacity to provide rotations through the midfield.

42: North Melbourne – James Parsons

Height: 189cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 12/04/1997
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Range: 30-60
Position: Tall Midfielder

A tall, long-kicking midfielder who rarely wastes a disposal. Has a neat skill-set and is regarded as a strong character from his time spent in the NAB AFL Academy this year. Rates elite for speed, having great acceleration to break away from a contest or carry the ball along the wing. A sublime mover who makes good decisions, but is still very inconsistent; needs to bridge the gap between his best and worst to take the next step in his football, but the upside is glaringly obvious.

43: Hawthorn –  Rookie Upgrade (Kurt Heatherly)

44: Port Adelaide – Alex Morgan

Height: 181cm, Weight: 79kg, DOB: 28/01/1996
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft Range: 30-60
Position: Medium Defender

Pacey half back flanker with a willingness to run and carry the ball to set up play further afield. A balanced user of the footy of either side of his body, and has good evasiveness under pressure. Shown throughout the year he can quickly adapt to playing difference positions, is courageous in the air and makes good decisions. Couldn’t dedicate himself to football fully last year, but came back as an overage player for the Chargers and impressed with his leadership and consistency. Could go much higher than where I’ve placed him here.

45: Melbourne – Michael Hartley

Height: 198cm, Weight: 102kg, DOB: 07/06/1993
Recruited from: Coburg
Draft Range: 40-rookie
Position: Key Defender

Former Collingwood-listed rookie who has put together a few strong seasons of VFL form. Has developed from a stopper into a well-rounded defender who’s shown he can rebound, pick off marks, drop off his player to impact other contests and provide drive from the back half.

46: Western Bulldogs – Gach Nyuon

Height: 198cm, Weight: 81kg, DOB:
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Draft Range: 40-rookie
Position: Ruckman

Athletic, leaping ruckman whose ability to get his hands first to the ball and direct it down to a teammate is first-class. His development has been rapid, and his draft currency skyrocketed since equally Nic Naitanui’s vertical leap at the combine last month. Freakishly quick for a big man, Nyuon also clocked sub-3 seconds in the 20 metre spring, rounding out an impressive athletic profile. A sturdy mark, Nyuon got better each game he played for the Dragons, and isn’t afraid of throwing his body around, either.

47: Carlton* – Jack Silvagni

Height: 190cm, Weight: 81kg, DOB:
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Draft Range: 40-60
Position: Medium Forward

Shoulder issues interrupted a promising final year of junior football for the medium-sized forward. Started the year bursting out of the gates for the Chargers and showed terrific signs for Vic Metro in the Championships with a six-goal effort. A really nice mark, and a strong ability to read the ball in flight – Silvagni was also trialled down back where he didn’t look out of place and attacked the ball with vigour. Still a long-term project, but has all the tools and pedigree to forge an AFL career.

48: Richmond – Nicholas O’Kearney

Height: 180cm, Weight: 71kg, DOB: 13/02/1997
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Draft Range: 20-60

An unassuming, competitive ball magnet who does the small things well. Doesn’t have a swag of tricks that give him the ‘wow’ factors others have, but looms as a 200-game player given his discipline, work ethic, leadership, professionalism and finesse. Is one of the draft’s most balanced kicks, rating elite on both sides of his body and winning the goal-kicking test with a perfect score, and following it up with a top-10 showing in the kicking test at the combine. Bobs up effortlessly at the clearances, has clean and quick hands, and is rarely caught with the ball. Tackles hard, and plays tougher than he looks. Lock him in as a future AFL Captain one day; he’s a player’s player.

49: Sydney – Hisham Kerbatieh

Height: 177cm, Weight: 77kg, DOB: 16/05/1997
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Draft Range: 40-rookie

Electric yet smooth small opportunist forward who inspires his teammates with his mercurial goals, defensive pressure and desperation inside 50. Is a thumping kick for goal, and has a bag of tricks to boot. Presents as a barometer player, with a big leap and eye for goal that has drawn comparisons to Magpie Jamie Elliott. Gets a big tick for his agility, evasiveness and ridiculous goose-step through traffic. His strong core and team-first attitude means when he’s not kicking goals, he’s setting them up.

50: Gold Coast –  Rookie Upgrade (Adam Saad)

51: Essendon – Mitch Brown

Height: 196cm, Weight: 93kg, DOB: 28/08/1990
Recruited from: Sandringham (VFL)
Draft Range: 30-rookie

The 25-year-old looked solid as one of Essendon’s ‘top ups’ during the NAB Challenge, and continued that strong form through the VFL season, kicking 23 goals from 21 games and playing as a key position swingman. Former no.15 in the 2008 draft who managed just 15 games with Geelong before being delisted. Likely to get an AFL lifeline in a shallow draft.

Round 4

52: Carlton – Callum Moore

Height: 193cm, Weight: 85kg, DOB: 03/09/1996
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Draft Range: 40-60
Position: Key Position Forward

Athletic tall forward who was close to being taken last year. Started the season slowly after breaking his wrist on the eve of the season after a promising summer. Is a real goer in terms of his frenetic attack on the ball; loves to fly for a mark, crash through packs and brings the ball to ground. Has a strong contested mark and is clean below his knees. Can be patchy and inconsistent at times, but has purple patches in games where he is unstoppable.

53: Fremantle – Matthew Allen

Height: 193cm, Weight: 92kg, DOB: 19/02/1997
Recruited from:
Draft Range: 40-60
Position: Key Position Forward

Bullocking key forward who isn’t afraid to throw himself into a pack as if he were going human ten pin bowling. Run’s in straight lines like a freight train and strikes an imposing figure as a lead-up forward. Uses the footy well by foot, win’s critical one-on-one battles and is a strong mark overhead. Some believe Allen could gravitate into the midfield as a tall midfielder as he continues to develop – and it’s certainly not beyond him. Really rate his ceiling in terms of future development.

54: West Coast – Greg Clark

Height: 193cm, Weight: 82kg, DOB: 24/05/1997
Recruited from: Subiaco
Draft Range: 40-rookie

A tall, running midfielder who captained Western Australia at the Championships this year. Offers versatility and a big tank to match. Has slick hands in a contest and is a good outside player who is working on his inside game. Has really improved his marking game, averaging 4.3 a game during the Championships. Fits the mould of the ‘new breed’ of tall midfielders recruiters have fallen in love with; still has plenty of development to go.

55: Collingwood – Blake Hardwick

Height: 181cm, Weight: 78kg, DOB: 05/02/1997
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Draft Range: 40-60
Position: Small Forward

A bubbly, up-in-your-face small forward who has versatility to play as a hit-up target, as much as a crumbing, opportunist forward. Has terrific power in his legs and strength through his core, which means he always keeps his feet in a contest and can shake tackles to create opportunities. Love his break-away speed from a contest, has regularly been referred to as a ‘poor man’s Petracca’ with similar traits, however not as prolific as his former Ranges teammate. Kicked 45.16 for the Ranges this year, and averaged four marks a game.

56: Geelong – Josh Schoenfeld

Height: 186cm, Weight: 75kg, DOB: 03/07/1997
Recruited from: Peel Thunder
Range: 40-rookie
Position: Medium Outside Midfielder

A hard-working midfielder, who covers a huge amount of ground during games, given his elite nous to spread into space and always provide an option. A really sound kick of the ball, rarely missing targets off either side of his body. Can be patch at times but gets involved with his voice, leadership and tackling. Is known to push forward to hit the scoreboard, impressed in four games during the Championships for WA.

57: St Kilda – Rookie Upgrade (Jack Sinclair)

58: Adelaide – Rookie Upgrade (Jake Kelly)

59: Sydney – Rookie Upgrade (Sam Naismith)

60: North Melbourne – PASS 

61: Fremantle – Rookie Upgrade (Ethan Hughs)

62: West Coast – PASS

63: Hawthorn – PASS

Round 5

64: Collingwood – Yestin Eades

Height: 184cm, Weight: 82kg, DOB: 10/02/1997
Recruited from: North Ballarat Rebels
Draft Range: 40-60
Position: Medium Forward

Zippy, creative and elusive small forward who is a super-mark despite his size. Has pace and deft touch by hand and foot. Made the move midway through last year relocating from Western Australia to boarding school in Ballarat, which put him into the zone of the Rebels. Struggled for consistency off the back of the move late last year, but made big inroads this year both on and off the field. Wind back the tape from Eades’ VFL debut for the Roosters and he was a flat-out standout. Consistency is the issue, but Eades has an abundance of talent that’s just waiting to be harnessed in an elite environment, and unleashed into the AFL. A real value selection this late in the draft.

65: Brisbane – PASS

66: Gold Coast – Rookie Upgrade (Keegan Brooskby)

67: Essendon – Rookie Upgrade (Shaun McKernan)

68: St Kilda  – PASS

69: Melbourne – Rookie Upgrade (Aaron vandenBerg)

70: Collingwood – Rookie Upgrade (Jack Frost)

71: Collingwood – PASS

72: Geelong – Sam Skinner

Height: 197cm, Weight: 96kg, DOB: 29/06/1997
Recruited from: Gippsland Power
Draft Range: 50-rookie

A tall prospect who has versatility in bucket loads. Has played predominately as a key defender who has also shown he can be a go-to target up forward whilst also offering rotations through the ruck. Rates elite for tackles by position, unfortunately the AFL Academy member injured his knee midway through the year which put a line through an otherwise impressive season in his final top-age year. Recovering from an ACL – had he not have suffered that injury, he’d be placed higher up the order.

73: Port Adelaide – Rookie Upgrade (Sam Gray)

74: Western Bulldogs – PASS


In addition to Paige’s AFL Phantom Draft coverage, we have compiled the ultimate fantasy guide to this year’s crop of rookies – the AFL Draft Fantasy Scout. Download it for free here



  1. Michael

    November 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Pretty accurate for the top 10. Academy bidding was a bit difficult as this was the first year and some of them went later than expected, maybe non-academy teams didn’t really want to bother bidding on players they knew they wouldn’t get anyway. The afl are against collusion but they can’t legislate for apathy. Rhys Mathieson and Riley Bonner slid considerably and Tom Doedee caught everyone out. On the Adelaide pre-draft discussion board on the BigFooty chat forum, he was not mentioned once in 260 pages of posts.

  2. ben marsh

    November 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    the winners in the 2015 draft will be carlton and brisbane and essendon and melboune and st kilda and gws and gold coast suns and adelaide crows and port adelaide and richmond and western bulldogs and north melbourne and collingwood and hawthorn the winners 2015 afl draft

  3. ben marsh

    November 22, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    essendon will get in the 2015 draft charlie curnow matthew kennedy jacob hopper

  4. ben marsh

    November 22, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    fremantle I don’t know what they get in the 2015 draft

  5. ben marsh

    November 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    carlton will in the draft 2015 jacob weitering harry mckay darcy tucker tom cole and ben mckay

  6. Jeff

    November 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    What about Mitch King from the Murray Bushrangers?

  7. ben marsh

    November 22, 2015 at 1:42 am

    what a mess from dockers what joke a dockers allways doing this in the draft chirs bond WHAT A JOKE

  8. stewart

    November 19, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I agree Riley Bonner should go to Adelaide with their second pick. Few people have mentioned him as a first rounder but I think he’s a gem. Such a beautiful left leg. He would complement Brodie Smith perfectly.

  9. Sebastian

    November 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Great job as per usual Paige. Just wondering if you can tell me whether Richmond need to use a pick to upgrade Kane Lambert or not?

    I presume not as you’d be across it. Thanks again

  10. Jamie Radford

    November 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Great job Paige. I hope you’re right on the Collingwood selections with Fiorini and Hardwick. I’m really bullish on Hardwick, so hopefully he is still there at 55.

    • Paige Cardona

      Paige Cardona

      November 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Jamie, thanks for the feedback! Fiorini in all liklihood could push up towards the late teens, clubs are looking at him strongly in that regard. Harwdick is someone I think is hovering around 50+.

  11. Paul

    November 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Can Essendon use picks 4, 24 and one in the 60’s to out bid Sydney for mills??? If the kid is as good as they say??

    • Matthew James

      Matthew James

      November 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      No, it doesn’t work like that. The Bombers can only bid one pick – then Sydney can use multiple picks to match the bid. But the Bombers can’t do what you’ve suggested.

  12. Daniel

    November 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Himmel to GWS at 34. Wont that be shuffled back due to points used on Hopper and Kennedy, so where will he realistically land or will GWS go into points deficit for him (if he’s another academy boy)?

    • Daniel

      November 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      32* Himmelburg

    • David

      November 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      The * means Collingwood has bid for Himmel and GWS has matched with points for later picks.

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