Picks, bids and swaps: Chris Doerre's first round analysis

After much anticipation, the first round of the 2018 AFL Draft has been selected after a history-making night at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium.

The Blues stuck to the script in selecting Sam Walsh with the first pick of the draft, while the Suns followed suit by grabbing Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine at 2 and 3.

From there, a few surprises were thrown up with some draft bolters selected, some sliders slipping through and some eyebrow-raising pick swaps.

ESPN's draft expert Chris Doerre followed Thursday night's action with a close eye and offers his take on the selections made during the first round.

Pick 1, Carlton: Sam Walsh
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Walsh fits Carlton's list needs as a hard-running midfielder who can play inside or outside. It's a safe choice - Walsh is Round 1 ready and looks likely to become a 250-game midfielder for the Blues.
If I was Carlton's list manager: Unless a deal could have been struck where I could have secured pick 2 and one of Gold Coast's second round selections, I would have selected potential generational key forward Jack Lukosius with a view towards adding midfielders later. There is no way I would let the best prospect I have seen in my 10 years of watching junior football slip, irrespective of list needs.

Pick 2, Gold Coast: Jack Lukosius
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: A Swiss Army knife of winning, Lukosius is a potentially unstoppable key position prospect either creating separation on the lead and marking inside 50m or pushing high up the field to take marks and hurting the opposition with his kicking. There is no way to defend Lukosius.
If I was Gold Coast's list manager: I would have taken Lukosius and ensure I surround him with a strong core of veteran leaders to maximise his development.

Pick 3, Gold Coast: Izak Rankine
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: No one influences the outcome of games quite like Rankine. So dominant in a practice match that he was once asked to switch sides at half time. In the Under-18 Championships decider against Vic Metro, he elevated South Australia to a four-goal-to-none first quarter lead, including three goals of his own in a showing of his individual brilliance. Gold Coast may have selected the two best prospects in the draft with their first two picks.
If I was Gold Coast's list manager: Like with Lukosius, take Rankine and surround him with a strong core of veteran talent.

Pick 4, St Kilda: Max King
Doerre's Power Rankings: 5
Doerre says: As dominant close to goal as any key forward since Joe Daniher. Upgrades the front half and is a key forward who can become a number one option inside 50m.
If I was St Kilda's list manager: I would take Bailey Smith. Smith is not only the best available talent at this pick but an ideal fit into St Kilda's midfield, which would benefit from the injection of speed in combination with skill and ball-winning that Smith provides.

Pick 5, Port Adelaide: Connor Rozee
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Adds pace, x-factor and versatility. Impressive athlete who is dangerous aerially and at ground level.
If I was Port Adelaide's list manager: Noting that Port Adelaide's midfield is aging and in need of an injection of ball-winning power and skill, Smith is not only the best available but fits the Power's list needs.

Pick 6, Gold Coast: Ben King
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: With the list losses of Tom Lynch and Steven May, Ben King is a natural fit at either end as a tall, long limbed key position player with a powerful overhead mark.
If I was Gold Coast's list manager: I would take Bailey Smith. With Gold Coast needing to build up a strong midfield, add skill, pace and develop a strong culture, Smith would have been the ideal as arguably this year's best midfielder and most hard working and driven prospect.

Pick 7, Western Bulldogs: Bailey Smith
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: A bargain here and arguably the best midfielder in this draft with his contested ball-winning, skills and acceleration standing out above his peers.
If I was Western Bulldogs' list manager: I would take Smith. Instantly improves the club's midfield, injecting much needed ball-winning, acceleration and skill.

Pick 8, North Melbourne: Tarryn Thomas
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: A skillful talent who wins the ball and pressures the ball carrier to a high level. A higher bid than expected.
If I was North Melbourne's list manager: With Thomas rated outside of my top 20, I would have passed and allowed Adelaide to take him with the view that a similarly or possibly higher rated player would be available in the 40s. The athletic Bailey Williams may will be available in that range as a freakishly athletic key forward/ruckman, with Sydney Stack and Noah Gown two others who would represent value later in the draft.

Pick 9, Adelaide: Chayce Jones
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Following a bid on Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas, Adelaide select a second Tasmanian in two choices in Jones. A proven performer in the Tassie State League, Jones has featured among Launceston's bests in six of seven matches. A surprise to see Adelaide bid on Tarryn Thomas and not Nick Blakey. With many believing Jye Caldwell would be the choice here, some will be surprised Jones was Adelaide's choice of midfielder.
If I was Adelaide's list manager: I would have placed a bid on Nick Blakey instead of Tarryn Thomas. With Sydney sure to match a bid the bid on Blakey, I would then select Jye Caldwell who I believe is the best available. Caldwell's combination of contested ball-winning and acceleration separate him from the other prospects available.

Pick 10, Sydney: Nick Blakey
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Sydney rightly matched Greater Western Sydney's bid - Blakey is one of the best key position players in the pool. His athleticism, skills and work at ground level separate him from his peers.
If I was Sydney's list manager: I would match this bid with conviction. Blakey is a great value get here.

Pick 11, GWS: Jye Caldwell
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: A surprise to see Caldwell slip through Adelaide's first choice, with a few clubs earlier considering him. The Giants will be ecstatic to secure the explosive, contested ball-winner here, with Caldwell possessing the scope to become one of this year's premier midfielders.
If I was GWS' list manager: I would take Caldwell who is the best available talent here. As good of a Dylan Shiel replacement as GWS could hope to draft here.

Pick 12, Port Adelaide: Zak Butters
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Butters adds speed, skill and x-factor. A deliberate decision by Port Adelaide to seek out speed and skills to replace the departing Chad Wingard, Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard and Jimmy Toumpas.
If I was Port Adelaide's list manager: Riley Collier-Dawkins would be my selection. The highest rated remaining talent in my power rankings, Riley Collier-Dawkins in his own right possesses speed, skill and x-factor, but stands 12cm taller than Butters and possesses greater upside as a ball winner.

Pick 13, Collingwood: Isaac Quaynor
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: With a physically mature body, Quaynor possesses the size and strength to play at AFL level from season one in defence as a role player.
If I was Collingwood's list manager: I would not match a bid on Quaynor so early in the draft. Quaynor while a potential immediate defender arguably does not possess the upside of some of his peers, which makes me place him much lower than he will be found on other draft boards. Key position players Noah Gown and Bailey Williams are two I would prioritise the selection of if available.

Pick 14, GWS: Jackson Hately
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Hately is one of the best performed midfielders in this draft demonstrating consistency in 12 SANFL League performances. He has the capacity to play inside or outside and is a hard runner who wins the contested ball.
I was GWS' list manager: I would select Riley Collier-Dawkins. No one at this stage possesses greater upside.

Pick 15, Geelong: Jordan Clark
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Adding more quality to their back half, Clark is an ideal fit as a productive half-back flanker with a penetrating kick who intercepts and can beat his direct opponent.
If I was Geelong's list manager: I would select Riley Collier-Dawkins and consider drafting mature age defender Marty Hore later to perform the role Clark otherwise would as a ready-to-play, productive, clean kicking defender.

Pick 16, Adelaide: Ned McHenry
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: One of the characters in this year's draft, McHenry is an ideal fit as a small pressure forward who can push up the field and run all day.
If I was Adelaide's list manager: While Adelaide's midfield is in good shape and a pressure forward may be what Adelaide need more, I believe in selecting the best player available inside the first round and as such would have selected Riley Collier-Dawkins. As a small forward if available later in the draft, local product Boyd Woodcock is an appealing after kicking eight goals in his last three SANFL League finals.

Pick 17, Fremantle: Sam Sturt
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: An athletic medium marking forward who adds potency to an improved front half. Sturt is difficult to defend and has arguably the sweetest left foot kick in this draft. Fremantle fans will compare Sturt's career against that of Ian Hill due to speculation pre-draft that Hill might join his cousins - Stephen and Bradley. In my view, Fremantle chose the better of the two with Sturt Dandenong's best player in the latter portion of the season in their run to their first premiership.
If I was Fremantle's list manager: I would take Riley Collier-Dawkins who ideally fits Fremantle's midfield needs and remains the prospect with the greatest ceiling.

Pick 18, Port Adelaide: Xavier Duursma
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: A strong value get at this point. Duursma continues Port Adelaide's speed and outside run theme. One of this draft's outstanding leaders, Duursma can play inside or outside. It is likely at AFL level he fits onto a half-back flank and pushes up onto a wing.
If I was Port Adelaide's list manager: I would take Riley Collier-Dawkins who was also my best available at Port Adelaide's previous selection.

Pick 19, Carlton (after trade with Adelaide): Liam Stocker
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Morrish Medalist for the TAC Cup's best and fairest, Stocker was one of the stoppage stars in the TAC Cup. Possesses clean skills and the endurance to run all day.
If I was Carlton's list manager: I would have retained Carlton's 2019 first round selection and would not have traded it for pick 19 and Adelaide's 2019 first round choice. In possession of pick 19 in the position of either Adelaide or Carlton, Riley Collier-Dawkins would have been my choice as the best available talent.

Pick 20, Richmond: Riley Collier-Dawkins
Doerre's Power Rankings: 9
Doerre says: Richmond take arguably the bargain of the first round with Collier-Dawkins slipping to their first selection. This may be the second consecutive year Richmond have struck gold with their first selection after snaring Jack Higgins at pick 17 last year. Once Collier-Dawkins grows into his body, he could be anything. A rare 190cm+ midfielder who wins first possession at stoppages and can burst out of congestion and hit targets reliably by foot.
If I was Richmond's list manager: I would take Collier-Dawkins who is the best available talent here.

Pick 21, Brisbane: Ely Smith
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: One of the TAC Cup's best stoppage players with his contested ball-winning, distribution by hand and tackling standout features.
If I was Brisbane's list manager: I would bid on Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West (son of Scott). If the Bulldogs were to match the bid, Luke Valente would be my choice as a powerful ball-winning midfielder with the production on the board and good skills. He would be my best available and is the standout midfielder remaining.

Pick 22, Greater Western Sydney: Xavier O'Halloran
Doerre's Power Rankings:
Doerre says: Injecting speed and athleticism, O'Halloran is a high-impact-per-possession midfielder who hurts opponents with his breakaway speed and kicking.
If I was West Coast's list manager: I would bid on Brisbane Academy prospect Connor McFadyen. If a bid was matched, I would bid on Rhylee West. If the Western Bulldogs matched bids, Luke Valente would be my choice as the best available talent and one of the best performed in this draft class.

Trade notes

Trade 1: Sydney receive: 2019 round 3 pick West Coast receive: pick 26
Doerre says
: Sydney make the trade before Blakey was bid on because they would have lost pick 26 during the bidding process.

Trade 2: Sydney receive: pick 24 West Coast receive: 2019 second round pick
Doerre says:
A trade made after the Blakey bid was matched, allowing Sydney to move back into the top 20. The trade is a win-win improving West Coast's 2019 draft position by a full round while giving Sydney the opportunity to use a pick in the 20s that would otherwise have been consumed in the matching of a Blakey bid.

Trade 3: Adelaide receive: 2019 first round pick Carlton receive: pick 19, 2019 first round pick
Doerre says:
Carlton are betting on themselves in an aggressive move to secure Liam Stocker - giving up their 2019 first round pick as part of the deal. Adelaide, pending 2019 season results, may have made the best trade this draft period.