CHOOSE wisely, especially with your first pick; It’s been the rule of thumb at the AFL draft for over 30 years and it remains the rule today.
Clubs must get their first selections right. It is a gift they cannot afford to waste.
Many have, especially prior to 1991.
Anthony Purser, Richard Lounder and Stephen Hooper hardly became household names.
Drew Banfield broke the mould in 1992 playing 265 games and winning two premierships with West Coast.
Nick Riewoldt was the first out-and-out superstar, drafted in 2000. Luke Hodge came the following year. Bryce Gibbs in 2006.
Not every number one pick has been the best of their year, and not everyone has a resume like Hodge, but they’ve all played significant amounts of quality football.
The challenges to get your first pick right regardless of where it falls, remain.
In this year’s draft the Crows get their first pick at number 12, the Power don’t get a selection until 46.
The Crows will be looking for the best available talent.
The Power will be building for the future. They’ve already replenished their stocks via trades and free agency and are well prepared for 2018. They can afford to take a punt or two, the Crows need to get their first pick right.
Matt Crouch, Jake Lever, Wayne Milera and Jordan Gallucci have been their last four first selections. Their success rate has been very good. It needs to be good again.
Both clubs have two picks inside the first 50.
The Power has picks 46, 49, 59, 62, 63 and 86 but it matters very little to the Power, the majority of their recruiting has already been done and done very well.
The Power have set themselves up beautifully for a serious crack at the title in 2018 making this years National Draft a chance to speculate a little and add some potential long term talent to their playing list.
Full credit to the Power’s recruiting team. Never before has a club been so ruthless and active pre-draft.
They will have set a benchmark for others to follow.
The Power have added class, experience, proven talent and filled needs at the same time.
Tom Rockliff and Jack Trengove bring quality to the midfield and leadership to the group. Steven Motlop adds brilliance and outside explosiveness.
Jack Watts fills a need in attack and adds some firepower up there while Trent McKenzie and his superboot indicate a return to the fast-break rebound game that was so successful a few years ago.
All five will play significant game time.
Everyone of them will make a difference off the field.
As for the 2018 National Draft, the Power are going to be compromised by what has been taken.
They will be striking names off their wish list as the count progresses.
They will be targeting long term prospects.
They do not need talent for today but will need it in the future. A robust, tall key position player, tall enough to ruck would be handy to say the least.
Justin Westhoff is closer to the end than the beginning and Paddy Ryder will need help more than just an occasional change up with Charlie Dixon or Watts..
Their eyes could be on a South Australian youngster. Callum Coleman-Jones.
Already 201cm and 98kg he is a man mountain in the making. The youngster is not yet a polished item and has plenty of room for improvement but the big ones do take a little extra time but get it right and the benefits are huge.
The Crows have a very nice first pick at the draft and they must not and can’t afford to get it wrong.
First round picks are no place for taking a risk.
Pick 12 must be saved for the very best available talent.
Andrew Brayshaw will have pricked the Crows interest but pick 12 may be a few selections too late.
And raw 93kg, 203cm beanpole Sam Hayes will also be in their thoughts.
Ruckman are a gamble but this one looks interesting.
The youngster can find the ball and hit the scoreboard. He is widely regarded as the best ruckman of his age group.
With Sam Jacobs’ clock ticking a replacement must be on the Crows radar very soon.
A strength must not become a weakness when Jacobs calls time.
It will be a punt but it may be time.