Expert analysis of every club’s draft picks and who is set to star in 2018
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MORE than 70 young stars have had their dreams fulfilled.

Brisbane has crowned Cameron Rayner as the 2017 No.1 pick with Andrew Brayshaw, Paddy Dow, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Lochie O’Brien rounding out the top five.

Herald Sun draft expert Sam Landsberger casts his eye over each club’s draft haul.

See every pick and have your say on how your club fared.

The 2017 top 10 (back from left) Lochie O’Brien, Jaiden Stephenson, Aaron Naughton, Nicholas Coffield, Hunter Clark, (front from left) Adam Cerra, Paddy Dow, Cameron Rayner Andrew Brayshaw and Luke Davies-Uniacke.


DARCY Fogarty in for a homesick Charlie Cameron? Yep, you’d take that. The 192cm powerful forward slipped to No.12, the selection received for Cameron. South Australian Fogarty began the year as the favourite to go No.1 but knee surgery allowed others to leap ahead. One of the best kicks in the draft and some say he’ll become a Matthew Pavlich-type with midfield capabilities. Andrew McPherson battled soft-tissue injuries, but averaged 27 disposals and 132 SuperCoach points in the SANFL under-18s in 2016 as a half-back flanker. Went local after losing Cameron and Jake Lever last month. Father-son Jackson Edwards should arrive as a rookie on Monday.

CROWS PICKS: Darcy Fogarty, 12. Andrew McPherson, 40.


THE need for Gabba speed was eased as the Lions plumped for three top-20 midfielders with a thirst to burst. They settled on Cameron Rayner and hope he will become a crowd dazzler that puts bums on seats. Lions supremely confident the Hillside kid won’t return home and, like Christian Petracca, will start at half-forward before evolving into a midfielder. Lions targeted midfielders and paired Rayner with Zac Bailey and Brandon Starcevich, the nephew of Collingwood premiership player Craig Starcevich. Bailey and Starcevich both recorded sub-3sec times in the 20m sprint. Key forward Toby Wooller is the grandson of Geelong premiership captain Fred Wooller and they snared 199cm swingman Connor Ballenden from its academy cheaply after a quiet year.

LIONS PICKS: Cameron Rayner, 1. Zac Bailey, 15, Brandon Starcevich, 18. Toby Wooller, 41. Connor Ballenden, 43. Jack Parker-Payne, 54.

Carlton’s top draft picks Lochie O’Brien and Paddy Dow.


PADDY Dow and his Geelong Grammar schoolmate and Bendigo Pioneers teammate Lochie O’Brien deliver the Blues a one-two punch of inside and outside footy. Dow recorded 60 per cent of his Vic Country possessions contested and O’Brien is the outside wingman who blows up GPS devices. Think Andrew Gaff for former athletics and cross-country star O’Brien, who struggled with a knee injury this year but dominated in 2016. He wants to study aviation and will help pilot the Blues’ rebuild. Dow plays taller than 184cm and is a goalkicking midfielder, which the Blues crave. West Australian Jarrod Garlett drafted by Gold Coast at No.15 in 2014 and then walked out to deal with a personal matter at home. Tom De Koning a ruckman who should be ready by the time Matthew Kreuzer retires.

BLUES PICKS: Paddy Dow, 3. Lochie O’Brien, 10. Tom De Koning, 30. Angus Schumacher, 70. Jarrod Garlett, 78.


THE Magpies considered reaching for Nathan Murphy at No.6 and got him at No.39. They were the first to interview the former cricketer, who was batting for Australia against Pakistan at under-16 level exactly two years ago. Murphy a brilliant athlete who was a goalkicker for Brighton Grammar but likely to settle on a back flank, as will trade target Sam Murray. Jaidyn Stephenson an ideal fit at the Magpies as a line-breaking midfielder who can kick bags of goals. He’s a great size and was best-afield in the under-18 curtain-raiser on Grand Final day. Stephenson’s instinct is to move the ball forward aggressively, which Nathan Buckley’s side needs. New list boss Ned Guy matched a late bid for father-son Tyler Brown, who requires patience as a very skinny midfielder but has natural class.

MAGPIES PICKS: Jaidyn Stephenson, 6. Nathan Murphy, 39. Tyler Brown, 50.

Nathan Buckley presents Jaidyn Stephenson with a Collingwood guernsey.


JOE Daniher won Mark of the Year and Jordan Houlahan might one day. He’s kicked 91 goals from 52 junior games as a marking forward, but has recorded more than 18 disposals only once. Quiet kid off the field plays with pizzazz on it. Skinny kid Brandon Zerk-Thatcher has such a nice leap he has spent time in the ruck at just 195cm. Matt Guelfi a handy contested grab for his size. All about trade period for this mob though. Over to you, Jake Stringer.

BOMBERS PICKS: Jordan Houlahan, 49, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, 66. Matthew Guelfi, 76.


ROSS Lyon will quickly fall in love with Andrew Brayshaw, who moves west with brother Hamish (West Coast). He is the future captain who does everything right and was coached by Dockers list boss Brad Lloyd’s brother Matthew. Brayshaw slows down when kicking for goal like Gary Ablett and is simply the complete midfield package. Perhaps they thought North would take Brayshaw at No.4, so Freo pounced at No.2 and then slipped Adam Cerra through to No.5. Well played. Cerra mixes class and toughness and would’ve been in No.1 frame if not for injuries. Sam Switkowski a slippery and hard-tackling small forward from Box Hill who represented the VFL this year.

DOCKERS PICKS: Andrew Brayshaw, 2. Adam Cerra, 5. Hugh Dixon, 44. Mitchell Crowden, 59. Thomas North, 65. Lloyd Meek, 69. Sam Switkowski, 73. Scott Jones, 75.


THE Cats wilted under Richmond’s searing pressure in the qualifying final and added players ready to serve it back. Lachlan Fogarty averaged 9.7 tackles and 145 SuperCoach points per game and should evolve into an inside midfielder while fellow small forward Gryan Miers booted seven goals in the TAC Cup grand final. The dreadlocked local has uncanny goal sense. Charlie Constable a tall midfielder who isn’t fast but an old-school footballer with a knack for delivering in big games. Tim Kelly, 23, another mature-ager who finished second in the WAFL’s Sandover Medal. Will they rookie Stewart Crameri on Monday?

CATS PICKS: Lachlan Fogarty, 22. Tim Kelly, 24. Charlie Constable, 36. Gryan Miers, 57.

Lachlan Fogarty was Geelong’s top pick. Picture: Ian Currie
Charlie Constable is also a Cat. Picture: Kylie Else


SCOTT Clayton pulled one of the biggest shocks in what is likely to be his final draft at the Suns by taking Will Powell at No.19. The skinny midfielder was considered a rookie prospect after missing Western Australia’s team this year and averaging 14 disposals in the WAFL Colts. But the Suns liked the athletic kid and thought he could go in the 20s following some comparisons to Jack Martin. Charlie Ballard a late developer who grew 20cm in the past year and played as a rangy wingman. Capped off the night with two academy picks – aggressive ruckman Brayden Crossley and rebounding defender Connor Nutting.

SUNS PICKS: Will Powell, 19. Charlie Ballard, 42. Brayden Crossley, 52. Connor Nutting, 55.


THE Giants moved quickly to secure pick No.11 from Essendon with Aiden Bonar in mind. When the explosive and powerful utility was available, they couldn’t draft him fast enough. Bonar has already overcome two knee reconstructions and to go at No.11 after those setbacks shows his raw talent. Of PNG and Scottish heritage, Bonar will be fun to watch and shares traits with Charlie Curnow and Christian Petracca. Little fella Brent Daniels a smart and skilful small forward and Sam Taylor a key defender who will take time.

GIANTS PICKS: Aiden Bonar, 11. Brent Daniels, 27. Sam Taylor, 28. Zac Giles Langdon, 56. Nick Shipley, 64.


THE weakness was midfield depth and Alastair Clarkson received another three onballers. Dylan Moore a brilliant runner and one of the hardest workers in the draft. He’s a lot like premiership Tiger Kane Lambert and averaged 130 SuperCoach points this year. James Worpel complements him as a big, aggressive midfield bull who co-captained Vic Country and won its MVP. Jackson Ross plucked from the tennis court with good endurance and goal sense. The Hawks were happy to trade out of this talent pool but Graham Wright will be keeping his early picks in next year’s super draft.

HAWKS PICKS: James Worpel, 45, Dylan Moore, 67. Jackson Ross, 71.

Charlie Spargo in action for the Murray Bushrangers. Picture: Stuart Milligan
James Worpel in action for the Geelong Falcons in the TAC Cup.


CHARLIE Spargo averaged 219 SuperCoach points at the under-16 championships in 2015 and has been injury-hit ever since. Clever small forward is in Brent Harvey’s mould and his dad Paul played 81 games for North. Former GWS academy member before the zones were shrunk this year. Bayley Fritsch a high-marking forward with a thumping left foot was the fourth draftee from Melbourne’s VFL team Casey in 12 months. Key defender Harrison Petty is strong one-on-one but broke his elbow at Norwood pre-season last week and Oskar Baker a 19-year-old dashing wingman who was cut by the Brisbane Lions Academy. Nice draft mix but Jake Lever is the recruit who will help drive the Dees back into September.

DEMONS PICKS: Charlie Spargo, 29. Bailey Fritisch, 31. Harrison Petty, 37. Oskar Baker, 48.


WHY would you tank when you can get ‘LDU’ at No.4? North’s Round 23 win is officially no worries now with this big-bodied and powerful midfielder heading to Arden St. The Rye surfer can burst out of the centre like Chris Judd and be a tough match-up forward like Nat Fyfe. Some recruiters say he is the most likely player from this draft to win a Brownlow Medal and the high-impact player dragged Dandenong to victory from 50 points down in a final. Only one top-20 pick a worry given the mega rebuild, but Will Walker is a quick outside midfielder with zip. Must find a way to attract multiple early picks in next year’s super draft, where they have some academy and father-son prospects.

KANGAROOS PICKS: Luke Davies-Uniacke, 4. Will Walker, 23. Kyron Hayden, 62. Tristan Xerri, 72. Billy Hartung, 77.


SAM Hayes was named All-Australian in 2016 and 2017 and started the season a top-five prospect. But with the game becoming smaller he ballooned out to pick 47. Hayes has long arms and low endurance, but Port Adelaide can be patient after its influx of October stars. Jake Patmore shed 10kg in six weeks earlier this year and averaged 29 disposals in the WAFL colts as an accumulator. Joel Garner became Scotch College’s first indigenous prefect this year and captained Vic Metro as a half-back flanker. Picked up recycled Demon Dom Barry, who will reunite with Jake Neade. Barry was driving school buses in northern South Australia after quitting the Dees to reconnect with family.

POWER PICKS: Sam Hayes, 47. Kane Farrell, 51. Jake Patmore, 58. Joel Garner, 60. Dom Barry, 61.


DRAFT dream realised securing three top-25 picks before father-son Patrick Naish. Champion Data would’ve taken Higgins at No.1 after he averaged a record 145 SuperCoach points in his junior career. Small forwards were pivotal to this year’s flag and Higgins, who dropped out of Year 12 at Caulfield Grammar, adds to that batch. His Vic Metro roommate Naish was the No.1 metres gained player at the national championships as an outside midfielder. They wanted a big man and took South Australian captain Callum Coleman-Jones who, at 201cm, won 28 disposals in a game this year.

TIGERS PICKS: Jack Higgins, 17. Callum Coleman-Jones, 20. Noah Balta, 25. Patrick Naish, 34. Ben Miller, 63.

Former Richmond star Chris Naish with his son and new Tiger, Patrick.
Nick Coffield and Hunter Clark will wear red, white and black next year.


COACH Alan Richardson wanted two midfielders at No.7 and 8 and a key defender later on. Tick, tick and tick. Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield are safe bets. Smooth mover Clark came courtesy of the shrewd deal struck with Hawthorn last year and is a brilliant kick on both feet. Coffield plays in Brendon Goddard’s mould and captained Northern Knights and Whitefriars this year. Oscar Clavarino is a key defender with good closing speed but will need patience. Time has come to throw a lot of cash at a free agent to top off the youth and Rory Sloane should be in their sights next year.

SAINTS PICKS: Hunter Clark, 7. Nick Coffield, 8. Oscar Clavarino, 35. Ben Paton, 46.


KEY forward Tom McCartin will love learning from Buddy Franklin and comes with plenty of improvement after the brother of Paddy McCartin missed all of pre-season and 2016 with viral arthritis. He was the youngest player drafted, turning 18 on December 30. McCartin’s Falcons teammate Matthew Ling was a surprise at No.14 but he brings outside class as a halfback flanker.

SWANS PICKS: Matthew Ling, 14. Tom McCartin, 33. Ryley Stoddart, 53.


SURPRISED they started with two big blokes – swingman Jarrod Brander and key forward Oscar Allen. But they help plan for life after Josh Kennedy and they never thought Allen would reach their second pick. The next four selections help replenish the midfield after Brownlow Medallists Sam Mitchell and Matthew Priddis retired. Jack Petruccelle plays with rockets in his boots as the fastest player in the draft. Stoppage star Brayden Ainsworth won the most clearances at the national carnival after moving 700km from Esperance to Perth to take footy more seriously while Hamish Brayshaw joins brother Andrew (Fremantle) in Perth in a fairytale for the family. Wildcard Liam Ryan kicked 113 goals from 39 games for Subiaco as a high-flying forward. Excitement machine.

EAGLES PICKS: Jarrod Brander, 13. Oscar Allen, 21. Liam Ryan, 26. Brayden Ainsworth, 32. Jack Petruccelle, 38. Hamish Brayshaw, 68.


ZEROED in on Aaron Naughton and got their man at No.9. The tall backman is an intercept star who won the most disposals and SuperCoach points out of all defenders at the national championships. But they already have Zaine Cordy, Fletcher Roberts, Marcus Adams, Jackson Trengove and Lewis Young and so it will be interesting to see how they structure up with Naughton. Ed Richards is a Heath Shaw-type with bright red hair who was always the smallest kid growing up, until shooting up 15cm in a year – and onto the draft radar. He’s the grandson of Collingwood great Ron Richards, who is the brother of icon Lou Richards. Secured with the pick received after punting Jake Stringer and a logical addition after Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd retired. Richards and Naughton both left-footed defenders. Midfielder Callum Porter was Gippsland’s vice-captain and won its best-and-fairest. Will they rookie Footscray’s Billy Gowers?

BULLDOGS PICKS: Aaron Naughton, 9. Ed Richards, 16. Callum Porter, 74.

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