AFL LOWDOWN: Your club's picks, targets and their dream recruit at the 2012 AFL national draft
By some miracle, Adelaide has managed to secure their participation in the draft despite all expectations to the contrary. Bully for them. They've already got mini-draft selection Ben Crouch (a midfielder) up their sleeve, so with their first pick the Crows will be hoping for a fleet-footed small forward/outside midfielder to crumb off Taylor Walker and inject some speed at the stoppages. Given the exodus of players from West Lakes of late, a South Australian native would be ideal. But if one of the draft's high-quality talls is still without a suitor at pick 20 the Crows will surely swoop.
Picks: 20, 54, 64
Dream pick: Jimmy Toumpas (Woodville West Torrens)
Their midfield and ruck depth were bolstered in the trade period, so the Lions are expected to use their first-rounder to take a punt on a KPP prospect. They're far from alone in that regard but with a high pick they should get their hands on the second- or third-best tall going. Ex-Crows forward Kurt Tippett had been sounded out as an option but the Lions have no chance of getting him in the pre-season draft. Height, size and the ability to take a contested mark are the attributes Brisbane will be looking for.
Picks: 8, 24, 33, 87, 99
Dream pick: Kristian Jaksch (Oakleigh Chargers)
The Blues are deficient in both their key back and key forward stocks, so a versatile tall is what they're all about. Someone in the vein of Michael Hurley, Jarryd Roughead or even Jarrad Waite, though hopefully without the latter's propensity for injury. Levi Casboult looked promising up forward in the latter part of the season, so a key defender is the higher priority. Lachie Plowman is the pick of this year's crop but he will probably be snapped up by GWS, in which case Carlton will be hoping Jaksch slides through to them.
Picks: 11, 36, 56, 71, 76, 90, 102
Dream pick: Lachie Plowman (Calder Cannons)
The Magpies will sweep up the leftovers from the dwindling pool of first rounders, and will be crossing their fingers that one of the highly rated small forward/midfielders falls to pick 18. A ball-winning goalsneak would give the black-and-white army another edge in attack, especially as Andrew Krakouer nears his use-by-date. Their KPP stocks took a hit with Chris Tarrant and Chris Dawes departing, so expect Collingwood to chance their arm on one of the remaining key talls too.
Picks: 18, 19, 21, 39, 82, 95
Dream pick: Dayle Garlett (Swan Districts)
The Bombers have already committed their first-rounder to key forward type Joe Daniher, who would have gone top two most likely, so they're laughing. They won't get another bite at the cherry until pick 35, and by that stage it's all speculation and educated guesswork anyway. Essendon will plump for the best available but will probably be leaning towards a ball-carrier to add to their already impressive midfield depth.
Picks: 10 (father-son selection committed to Joe Daniher), 35, 52, 55, 75, 89, 101, 106
Dream pick: Daniher was the dream pick, so let's say Jackson Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers)
Rumour has it the Dockers are keen on pint-sized midfielder Nathan Hrovat, but the Fremantle faithful are crying out for a KPP prospect to wait in the wings as bookends Matthew Pavlich and Luke McPharlin near retirement. The Dockers have a long-standing policy of taking the best available regardless of need, and may prefer to throw truckloads of cash at next year's crop of free agent forwards anyway, but if a talent the likes of Stringer is still available Fremantle will surely pounce.
Picks: 17, 37, 40, 80, 94
Dream pick: Jake Stringer (Bendigo Pioneers)
The Cats don't have any pressing needs on their list but will probably be hoping for a second or third forward to fall into their laps at pick 16. James Podsiadly is getting on in years and Geelong would ideally like to groom a youngster to take his place alongside Tom Hawkins in future seasons. Jake Stringer would be a good choice – the Cats certainly have the patience to work with him as he continues to progress from a broken leg – but it's doubtful he will fall past North Melbourne.
Picks: 16, 79, 93
Dream pick: Troy Menzel (Central District)
It's all about the midfield for the Suns, who desperately require some hardness and leadership around the contest. Gold Coast will be on the lookout for a plug-and-play inside mid who doesn't mind a bit of crash-and-bash, and who can feed the ball out to Harley Bennell. The ability to rotate between the middle and the half-back line would be a massive bonus, though the Suns have somewhat addressed this area by trading for Fremantle defender Greg Broughton.
Picks: 13, 57, 59, 60
Dream pick: Nick Vlastuin (Northern Knights)
Just like last year, the competition's newbies will steal away the best young talent in the country while the rest of the AFL watches through gritted teeth. It seems likely GWS will plump for the two most promising midfielders in Lachie Whitfield and Jimmy Toumpas, leaving a tall defender as their only need. The Giants could pull any number of surprises with pick three but we think it'll come down to Lachie Plowman or South Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy.
Picks: 1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 28, 65, 69, 84, 97
Dream pick: Lachie Whitfield (Dandenong Stingrays), come on down.
The Hawks are out of the first round after trading away pick 21 for Brian Lake, so next year's premiership favourites will plump for the best available draftee at pick 29. Sam Mitchell is no spring chicken anymore and Brad Sewell isn't far behind either, so a tough inside midfielder is a priority. If the Hawks can get a Mitchell type to go with NT zone selection Jed Anderson they will be laughing.
Picks: 29, 68, 72
Dream pick: Nick Vlaustin (Northern Knights)
The Dees have undergone an extreme makeover so far this off-season, and all that's left for Mark Neeld is to get a bit of grunt in the engine room. Melbourne will be after an in-and-under midfielder who slots right in to their round one side and exemplifies the brand of footy that Neeld is trying to instil in his group. Happily, the ferocious Ollie Wines should be available at pick four, and he's also best mates with father-son pick Jack Viney.
Picks: 4, 27 (father-son selection committed to Jack Viney), 49, 53, 70, 73, 74
Dream pick: Ollie Wines (Bendigo Pioneers)
The Kangaroos would ideally pick up a KPP prospect with pick 15, but it will depend on how the top 10 plays out. If Jake Stringer is still available the Kangaroos will be all over him, but it's not likely. We think the Roos will instead turn their attention to drafting a midfield/small forward type in the mould of Daniel Wells, with speed and clearance ability the big pluses.
Picks: 15, 38, 42, 48, 58, 63, 78, 92, 103
Dream pick: Ben Kennedy (Glenelg)
It's going to be a tough draft for Port Adelaide, who only have the one first-round pick with which to address a number of deficiencies on their list. Port will have to make a call on either the best available midfielder or key tall at pick seven. A lot could depend upon the availability of Brodie Grundy. The Power need a ruckman like crazy, and Grundy can also play forward, which is another area of concern. If Grundy's still around then we think that's the direction they'll head.
Picks: 7, 30, 31, 83, 86
Dream pick: Brodie Grundy (Sturt)
If Grundy falls past Port Adelaide he will surely go to the Tigers. Richmond restocked their backline with free agents and boast a wealth of talent in the midfield, so a tall forward to ease the pressure on Jack Riewoldt is the number one concern. Richmond's ruck stucks are also in dire need of a boost (Ivan Maric and Tom Derickx are the only recognised ruckmen on their list) so Grundy ticks all the boxes.
Picks: 9, 32, 34, 43, 88, 100
Dream pick: Brodie Grundy (Sturt)
Like the Hawks, the Saints traded themselves out of the first round in order to snare mature-aged forward Tom Lee and ruckman Tom Hickey. When the second round kicks off the Saints could make a play for wantaway Port Adelaide defender Ben Jacobs, who would fill an immediate need for Scott Watters. St Kilda have made no bones about their lack of key defenders and have even flagged the possibility of reinventing Justin Koschitzke as a backman.
Picks: 25, 26, 41, 44, 77, 91
Dream pick: Aidan Corr (Northern Knights)
The Swans were willing to use pick 23 on Kurt Tippett, so obviously they're after a key forward, but the premiers are still confident of securing the ex-Crow in the pre-season draft. Assuming that confidence doesn't falter before Thursday the Swans will look to their next need – a ball-carrier to join Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery in their next-gen midfield. Enjoy that cost-of-living bonus, young man!
Picks: 23, 45, 47, 66, 67, 96, 104, 107
Dream pick: Jackson Macrae (Oakleigh Chargers)
The Eagles also traded themselves out of the first round in order to secure Collingwood midfielder Sharrod Wellingham, but speed in the middle is still of great importance. West Coast are stocked to their eyeballs in the forward line, and pulled off a trade coup by acquiring Jamie Cripps without losing Mitch Brown from their defensive stocks. But their midfield was too one-paced last season and got exposed against the quicker sides. A line-breaking ball-carrier would give the Eagles a major leg-up down the track.
Picks: 46, 61, 62, 81
Dream pick: Josh Simpson (East Fremantle)
The Dogs are in full-on rebuild mode and will draft the best available players regardless of need, so Whitten Oval will scoop up whoever gets overlooked by GWS and the Dees. Having said that, Brendan McCartney would be insane not to inject some pace into his midfield and find a tall he can plonk in the forward line as a marking target.
Picks: 5, 6, 22, 50 (father-son selection committed to Lachie Hunter), 51, 85, 98, 105
Dream pick: A Jonathan O'Rourke (Calder Cannons) and Taylor Garner (Dandenong Stingrays) double-whammy
Draft and trade features from the vault:
• Trades from hell: Top 10 disasters
• Trades from hell: Docker shockers
• Trades from hell: Past their prime
• Trades from hell: Bad boys
• Draft busts: Wasted trades
• Draft busts: First-round picks
• Draft busts: No.1 picks
• Draft busts: Pick No.6
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