JLT Series Review: How every club shapes up

With just over one week until the AFL season begins, Christopher Doerre looks at your club's most impactful draftee, breakout contender and the player in line for a rebound season following this year's JLT series.


Most impactful draftee: Showing glimpses through the front half and midfield, Chayce Jones demonstrated class and tackled strongly through both JLT matches. He looks like a strong Round 1 chance and a possible regular this season.

Breakout contender: Missing 2018 due to a persistent groin injury and having played no more than 17 AFL matches in a season, Brad Crouch led the way through Adelaide's midfield and appears primed for his best season yet.

Rebound season: After rupturing his ACL early in Adelaide's qualifying final against Greater Western Sydney in 2017, Brodie Smith returned for two games late in 2018. He looks set to resume where he left off as one of the competition's most damaging kicks.


Most impactful draftee: A dominant contested-ball winner who does his best work around the ball, Ely Smith will face tough competition for spots but may earn senior opportunities later in the season if there is a midfield vacancy to fill.

Breakout contender: Earning 12 games in his debut season, Zac Bailey had some good moments in 2018 with his reliable skills, but his impact was mostly limited. Expect Bailey to win more of the ball in his second season and to see more explosive run.

Rebound season: While I can make a case that Jarryd Lyons was Gold Coast's best player in 2018, the reality is he was dropped twice and not part of Gold Coast's long-term plans. Lyons though is one of the competition's premier stoppage players and as he showed during both of Brisbane's JLT matches, he looks like he will be a fixture in the Lions' best side.


Most impactful draftee: Last year's No. 1 draft pick Sam Walsh is expected to be a fixture in Carlton's best side from Round 1. He is expected to achieve immediate success through the midfield as a prolific ball winner with elite endurance.

Breakout contender: Assuming a clean bill of health, Will Setterfield as a tall midfielder who wins his own ball, displays clean skills and evasion should earn Round 1 selection and become one of Carlton's primary long-term midfield pieces.

Rebound season: Earning just 11 matches in 2018 for Sydney, Nic Newman after moving to Carlton for a fourth-round pick will be looking to re-establish himself and fill the gap left by the injured Sam Docherty.


Most impactful draftee: A physically developed defender, Isaac Quaynor should have little difficulty adjusting to playing against AFL forwards. He is able to play either as a negator or a running defender and could enter the selection mix early in the season.

Breakout contender: Threatening to have a breakout season for a few years now, Darcy Moore should establish himself in Collingwood's team as an athletic key defender - if he can remain injury free. His form in JLT2 was ominous as a capable stopper who flies for intercept marks. His best is still to come.

Rebound season: Playing 17 games in 2017 but missing the 2016 and 2018 seasons, Jamie Elliott will be hoping to put injury behind him and get through the season unscathed. If he can, he is a major addition to Collingwood's front half as a dangerous small marking forward who can be relied on to kick 30 goals each season.


Most impactful draftee: A lively small forward, Irving Mosquito is a forward pressure machine and may with strong VFL play earn opportunities.

Breakout contender: Likely to break through as a regular in 2019, Jordan Ridley is quickly developing as a defender who beats his direct opponent, accumulates the ball and rebounds effectively by foot.

Rebound season: Missing most of 2018 with osteitis pubis, Joe Daniher should re-establish himself as one of the competition's best key forwards. In JLT2, Daniher was flying for marks and moving well.


Most impactful draftee: Unlikely to debut in Round 1 but good enough to become a regular once he gets a chance, Brett Bewley will provide run and drive on a wing and win plenty of the ball.

Breakout contender: Thriving with greater midfield responsibility during the preseason, Andrew Brayshaw made a mark in both JLT matches and should find more of the ball in 2019.

Rebound season: After missing 2018 with a foot injury, former top-10 selection Griffin Logue can re-claim his position in defence.


Most impactful draftee: A ready-to-go defender, Jordan Clark should debut in Round 1 as a rebounding defender who limits the influence of his direct opponent. He possesses class, composure and pace and is good enough to impact games in 2019.

Breakout contender: Stringing together promising VFL form in 2018, Charlie Constable demonstrated during both JLT matches that he is ready to take his talents to AFL level. He is a tall and skilful ball-winning midfielder and will be a welcome addition to Geelong's veteran-filled midfield.

Rebound season: Looking comfortable in JLT2, Luke Dahlhaus is an excellent addition to Geelong's front half and will bring much needed class and forward pressure.

Gold Coast

Most impactful draftee: Amassing a record 110 intercept marks in 17 games in the VFL in 2018, Sam Collins if allowed freedom in defence should be an intercept marking monster and one of the club's most valuable defenders.

Breakout contender: After showing promise in 2016 and 2017, Peter Wright during both JLT matches found another level. He looks ready to develop into one of Gold Coast's best and take over the mantle as their No. 1 key forward.

Rebound season: With health a question mark after playing just three matches in 2018 due to a shoulder injury, if he can remain injury free, Pearce Hanley is sure to be one of Gold Coast's most important contributors. His run and drive will be important on the outside and off half-back. Signs shown in JLT2 and his two late 2018 performances suggest he still has more good football in front of him.

Greater Western Sydney

Most impactful draftee: GWS' first pick, Jye Caldwell is the club's most exciting selection. Playing only three TAC Cup games in 2018, he looks a natural, showing class and looking like a potential Round 1 debutant.

Breakout contender: Ready to take the next step, Harry Perryman has performed strongly through both JLT matches and looks ready for the opportunity to rotate through the midfield. As a junior he was an excellent ball winner and may be one of the beneficiaries of the club's offseason departures.

Rebound season: Playing two finals and no home and away matches in 2018, Zac Williams should re-establish himself as one of the competition's premier defenders. His run and ground-ball winning has been a much-missed ingredient in GWS' defence.


Most impactful draftee: Gathering 25 disposals in JLT1, Will Golds fit in seamlessly for Hawthorn and appears ready to step up if an opportunity arises this season.

Breakout contender: Likely to shoulder a large portion of the responsibilities at stoppages in the absence of Tom Mitchell this year, James Worpel possesses rare strength and power at stoppages which will allow him to become the club's primary contested ball and clearance winner.

Rebound season: Greater Western Sydney showed serious doubt that Tom Scully would get back to the footballer he was; he was traded to Hawthorn for a 2019 fourth round selection. But Scully's legendary professionalism has allowed him to get into shape that suggests he can play this season. It's unclear how conservative Hawthorn be, but Scully once in the side will add value and earn a regular spot.


Most impactful draftee: While competition for spots in defence will be competitive and he is no certainty to play early in the season, Marty Hore is a ready-to-go defender who is an excellent interceptor and rebounder who can earn senior opportunities this season.

Breakout contender: Kicking eight goals during his final five senior matches in 2018, Sam Weideman, following the trade of Jesse Hogan, should this year establish himself as a regular in Melbourne's front half. The fourth year for key forwards is often the breakout season and this should be it for Weideman as he establishes himself as an AFL-quality key forward.

Rebound season: Selected for only 21 games over the past two seasons for Gold Coast, Kade Kolodjashnij appeared to peak in his second season and has failed to develop further. While Kolodjashnij won't be available to play in Round 1, he possesses enough class to break into Melbourne's senior side and re-establish himself as a regular at AFL level.

North Melbourne

Most impactful draftee: Having an impact in both JLT matches, father-son selection Bailey Scott is staking his claim for selection early as a hard running outside midfielder with clean skills.

Breakout contender: Set to play in Round 1 with North's key defence stocks depleted, Ben McKay should get his opportunity to earn a regular position at the beginning of the season. His VFL form in 2018 was strong and suggests he is ready-to-go, powerful key defender and once he has played a number of senior matches should look more comfortable.

Rebound season: Missing time in 2018 with injury and getting dropped despite being one of Gold Coast's most capable contributors, Aaron Hall should make his position permanent for North Melbourne. An attacking machine, Hall wins the ball through the midfield and generates meaningful drive with his run and carry and skills.

Port Adelaide

Most impactful draftee: Looking a class above in Port Adelaide's practice match and both JLT matches, Zak Butters has recovered from shoulder surgery that kept him out for much of 2018. He looks primed to play Round 1 across and wing and half-forward with his spread from the contest and classy ball use a much needed.

Breakout contender: Playing only one SANFL match in 2018 due to a foot injury, Willem Drew if he can remain healthy and available for selection is a ready-to-go ball-winning midfielder who can earn a position in Port Adelaide's midfield. Leading Port in clearances in JLT1, he plays an aggressive brand of football in the mould of a Joel Selwood. He will become a fan favourite with his hardness in contested situations winning the ball and tackling.

Rebound season: After a disappointing season for Tom Rockliff, his play in JLT2 -- with 42 disposals, nine clearances and two goals -- is enough of an indication that he can return to a standard of play more consistent with what he produced for Brisbane.


Most impactful draftee: It will be a challenge for Riley Collier-Dawkins to break into Richmond's midfield, but it would not be surprising to see him earn selection at some point over the second half of the year as a classy, tall, ball-winning midfielder.

Breakout contender: Richmond's most influential during the second quarter of JLT1, Noah Balta took six marks, kicked two goals and had the ball on a string, playing a pivotal role in Richmond's comeback. He's a freakish athlete who takes contested marks and wins ground balls. If he can develop the consistency to become a four-quarter player, he can be a key piece for Richmond going forward.

Rebound season: Playing only 10 matches in 2018 for Gold Coast due to PCL surgery, Tom Lynch should re-establish himself this season as one of the competition's best key forwards once he has a month of match play under his belt.

St Kilda

Most impactful draftee: Lively forward Matthew Parker has impressed with his speed, leap and goal sense through both JLT matches. He can hold his spot for the season and add value to the Saints' best side.

Breakout contender: After a weaker than expected season where he got dropped, Jack Billings should play a more consistent brand of football and more through the midfield in what can be his best season yet.

Rebound season: Missing most of 2018 due to a heart scare, Dylan Roberton has had a positive preseason and during both JLT matches was among the Saints most impressive. Assuming no further heart issues, he can return to his best.


Most impactful draftee: With Sydney not afraid of awarding their young key position players early opportunity, Nick Blakey is a Round 1 chance and could earn regular senior selection this year.

Breakout contender: Ready to take the next step through the midfield with his best preseason yet, Isaac Heeney can become the club's leading ball winner. He will still receive minutes up forward but should spend a higher percentage of game time through the midfield and elevate his game.

Rebound season: Playing just the first nine games in 2018 due to a broken foot, Callum Mills looks set to pick up where he left off and may receive some addition midfield opportunities.

West Coast

Most impactful draftee: Jarrod Cameron, a next-generation academy talent and brother of Brisbane's Charlie, may be the best chance to debut this year after receiving a chance in JLT1 against Geelong. Cameron is a forward pressure specialist with speed and goal sense.

Breakout contender: Kicking five goals in the two JLT matches and eight goals in his last three WAFL matches last year, second year tall forward Oscar Allen appears ready to go and is good enough to earn a regular position in West Coast's senior side.

Rebound season: With Andrew Gaff suspended for eight matches in 2018 for a punch on Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw and missing West Coast's Grand Final win, Gaff will be available for selection in Round 3. He will want to get back to playing the consistent brand of football he has throughout his career.

Western Bulldogs

Most impactful draftee: Dominating in the TAC Cup and during the Under-18 Championships in 2018, Bailey Smith, health permitting, should become a fixture in the Western Bulldogs midfield as an explosive, clean skilled, ball winner. He is good enough to become one of the Dogs' better midfielders this year.

Breakout contender: Never appearing fully secure in the Western Bulldogs' best side, this should be the year Mitch Wallis as a midfielder who rotates forward, makes his spot permanent. Signs through both JLT matches suggest his best season yet.

Rebound season: After rupturing his ACL during the first round of 2018, Tom Liberatore will be a valuable midfield addition with his contested ball winning and tackling. His performance through both JLT matches should see others shift out of the midfield to make way.