Re-ranking every club's 2018 AFL draft haul

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Inside the push for a Tasmanian AFL team (1:07)

Tasmanians are feeling positive about the push for a standalone AFL team based on the Apple Isle. (1:07)

We're almost 12 months on from the 2018 AFL Draft, so we think it is the perfect time to use some hindsight and re-rank each club's draft haul from last year.

Adelaide

2018 Draft Picks: 9 (Chayce Jones), 16 (Ned McHenry), 30 (Will Hamill), 64 (Lachlan Sholl)

Trades:
In: 28, 67, 2019 Carlton first, second and fifth round selections
Out: 19, 24, 64, Adelaide's 2019 fourth round selection and fifth round selection

Grade then: A

Grade now: D+

Rationale: The Crows looked a winner last year after seemly robbing Carlton in a trade involving a move of pick 19 and Adelaide's 2019 first round pick for Carlton's 2019 first round selection. The story 12 months on looks very much contrasting which has resulted in a radically different grade. Carlton's first round pick of No. 4 is not as early as expected while Adelaide's first round pick of No. 9 is lower than expected. The dynamic early in this year's draft has also changed from how it looked 12 months ago - this time last year there appeared to be a clear top five in this year's draft, but now -- including GWS Academy prospect Tom Green -- that group has reduced to a clear top 3. With little difference between picks 3 and 9 in this year's draft, Carlton as things stand looks to be the team to get more out of the trade.

The other trade of pick 24 and Adelaide's 2019 fifth round selection for pick 28 and Carlton's 2019 second round selection was the other component of the draft that made this look like a positive one for Adelaide at the time, though with less pick separation between Carlton and Adelaide than expected this year, this trade feels more like a wash now.

The selections made by Adelaide at the time of the draft felt suboptimal with opportunities missed at picks 9 and 16 - one year later these selections look no better. Chayce Jones will contend for further opportunities in 2020 while Ned McHenry will be challenging for games and should receive senior opportunities following the departures of Eddie Betts and Richard Douglas. With Port Adelaide selecting Zak Butters (pick 12) and Xavier Duursma (pick 18), to add insult to injury, it appears the Crows' crosstown rival have secured better players despite picking after Adelaide. Will Hamill looks some way away from being ready to play while Lachlan Sholl may contend to replace Richard Douglas if he improves further.

Brisbane

2018 Draft Picks: 21 (Ely Smith), 36 (Tom Berry), 40 (Tom Joyce), 42 (Connor McFadyen - Academy), 55 (Noah Answerth)

Trades:
In: 54
Out: Brisbane's 2019 fourth round selection

Grade then: A

Grade now: A

Rationale: The Noah Answerth pick is the standout so far by the Lions, with the overager slotting straight into Brisbane's defence. Connor McFadyen as a tall ball-winning midfielder and marking forward could prove to be a second bargain for Brisbane - once he starts to earn opportunities, he possesses the scope to be a difference maker for Brisbane. Ely Smith has shown promise in the NEAFL as a ball-winning midfielder and while he has the scope to earn games in 2020, with Lachie Neale and Jarryd Lyons adding to Brisbane's midfield last year and Cam Ellis-Yolmen adding further to the ball winning brigade this offseason, it will be difficult for Smith to earn games. Tom Joyce, who also performed solidly in the NEAFL, will experience similar difficulty through the midfield to earn opportunities, though has shown signs if required that he could step in and contribute.

Carlton

2018 Draft Picks: 1 (Sam Walsh), 19 (Liam Stocker), 66 (Finbar O'Dwyer), 70 (Ben Silvagni - father-son)

Trades:
In: 19, 75, Adelaide 2019 first and fifth round selection, St Kilda 2019 fourth round pick
Out: 64, Carlton's 2019 first round selection

Grade then: D

Grade now: B+

Rationale: Sam Walsh has been a resounding success for Carlton and is already arguably Carlton's second-best player, having the strongest first season of the 2018 draft class and exceeding expectations.

What made this draft look terrible at the time was the trade with Adelaide involving Carlton's 2019 first round selection for pick 19 and Adelaide's 2019 first round selection. With the 2020 first round selection Carlton traded less favourable than expected, the 2020 first round selection Adelaide traded more favourable than expected and pick No. 4 in this draft not looking much better than pick No. 9, the trade 12 months on looks favourable now to Carlton.

Of Carlton's other picks, Liam Stocker looks a likely prospect and should improve upon his five games from 2019 as his endurance builds. Finbar O'Dwyer is a project player who looks unlikely to play in 2020 while Ben Silvagni as a key position player will need more time to develop.

Collingwood

2018 Draft Picks: 13 (Isaac Quaynor - Next-Generation Academy), 29 (Will Kelly - father-son), 77 (Atu Bosenavulagi - Next-Generation Academy)

Trades:
In: 59, 60, 2019 Hawthorn fourth round selection
Out: 51, 63, 2019 Collingwood fifth round selection

Grade: C

Grade now: C

Rationale: A draft where Collingwood did nothing other than matching bids on next-generation academy and father-son selections.

Isaac Quaynor looks like a long-term piece in defence and is good enough to earn a regular position. Will Kelly and Atu Bosenavulagi by contrast remain development projects. Kelly was restricted to just four VFL games due to ankle and hamstring injuries, looking out of position up forward when he did play. Bosenavulagi needs more time developing before he can contend for a position up in the front half as a forward pressure specialist.

Essendon

2018 Draft Picks: 38 (Irving Mosquito), 60 (Noah Gown), 72 (Brayden Ham)

Trades: N/A

Grade then: A

Grade now: A

Rationale: Brayden Ham has shown class and promise during his five AFL opportunities and looks like a long-term piece. Noah Gown's first season in the VFL has been strong for a young key position player and early signs are he was a good value selection. Irving Mosquito has pressured effectively up forward in the VFL and with more time could play that role at AFL level.

Fremantle

2018 Draft Picks: 17 (Sam Sturt), 32 (Luke Valente), 57 (Lachie Schultz), 59 (Brett Bewley)

Trades:
In: 30, 57
Out: 34, 41

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B

Rationale: Top picks Sam Sturt and Luke Valente struggled in their first seasons due to injury with Sturt battling concussion and Valente groin issues. The duo should debut in 2020 if not push for regular senior opportunities. Mature age pair Brett Bewley and Lachie Schultz both got a taste of senior football, playing seven games each in 2019. With the departures of Bradley Hill and Ed Langdon there may be heightened opportunity for Bewley to play regularly, though the pair will both need to improve to secure their long term futures at the club.

Geelong

2018 Draft Picks: 15 (Jordan Clark), 48 (Ben Jarvis), 50 (Jacob Kennerley), 65 (Darcy Fort), 68 (Jake Tarca), 74 (Oscar Brownless - father-son)

Trades:
In: 51, 68
Out: 59, 60, 2019 Geelong fourth round selection

Grade then: C+

Grade now: B

Rationale: The choice of Jordan Clark has been a resounding success, playing 18 games in his debut season and becoming an integral part of Geelong's defence before succumbing to an elbow injury which kept him out of the latter portion of the season. Darcy Fort appears to be depth while Ben Jarvis, Jacob Kennerley, Jake Tarca and Oscar Brownless all appear to need more time developing before they contend for senior opportunities.

Gold Coast

2018 Draft Picks: 2 (Jack Lukosius), 3 (Izak Rankine), 6 (Ben King), 23 (Jez McLennan), 71 (Caleb Graham - Academy)

Trades:
In: 23, 2019 West Coast fifth round selection
Out: 27, 32

Grade then: A+

Grade now: A+

Rationale: The first season of Jack Lukosius was solid from the classy key position player. Lukosius took 90 marks from 21 games and became comfortable at AFL level over the second half of the season where he established himself in defence. The first season of Izak Rankine was marred by injury setbacks and restricted the talented forward to three NEAFL games. Expect Rankine if healthy to walk into Gold Coast's best side, hold his position and become one of Gold Coast's most influential over the next few seasons.

Ben King showed signs he will be a a star of the future and a key piece the club can build around. In defence, Jez McLennan will be looking to earn senior opportunities in 2020 as a rebounding defender and should earn some games if his improvement continues. Caleb Graham debuted late in the season and will be hoping to expand on his three games in 2020 and push past some of the club's older key defenders over the next few seasons.

Greater Western Sydney

2018 Draft Picks: 11 (Jye Caldwell), 14 (Jackson Hately), 22 (Xavier O'Halloran), 24 (Bobby Hill), 34 (Kieren Briggs - Academy), 61 (Connor Idun)

Trades:
In: 24, 2019 Adelaide fifth round selection, 61
Out: 28, 2019 Carlton second round selection, 2019 Gold Coast fourth round selection, 2019 Greater Western Sydney fourth round selection

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: Greater Western Sydney could have considered other positions of greater need early but Jye Caldwell and Jackson Hately represent strong value at their respective choices. The questions with Caldwell and Hately will be whether they will become regulars through GWS' midfield or whether they will need to move to rival clubs to get that opportunity in the future. Bobby Hill earned eight games, showing glimpses and injecting pace during the second half of the season.

With further improvement Xavier O'Halloran may contend for games as an outside runner. Kieran Briggs showed positive signs in the NEAFL through the ruck in the latter part of the season when he received greater opportunity. Connor Idun, who made is debut late in 2020, will be looking to add to that as a defender with the versatility to play tall or small in defence.

Hawthorn

2018 Draft Picks: 52 (Jacob Koschitzke), 63 (Mathew Walker)

Trades:
In: 63, 2019 Collingwood fifth round selection
Out: 2019 Hawthorn fourth round selection

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B

Rationale: Jacob Koschitzke is a project key position player who improved over the second half of the season but will need time to develop. Mathew Walker showed promise during his first season and showed signs up forward that he may contend for senior opportunities in 2020 with further improvement.

Melbourne

Draft Picks: 27 (Tom Sparrow), 33 (James Jordon), 53 (Aaron Nietschke), 56 (Marty Hore), 75 (Toby Bedford)

Trades: N/A

Grade then: B

Grade now: B

Rationale: Tom Sparrow debuted following strong VFL play for two games and the hard-nosed ball-winner will be looking to push for further senior opportunities in 2020. The addition of Marty Hore in defence has proven a solid one, with the mature ager playing 14 AFL games, looking settled at the level. James Jordon and Toby Bedford will take more time to develop while Aaron Nietschke missed the season due to a knee injury sustained during the preseason.

North Melbourne

2018 Draft Picks: 8 (Tarryn Thomas - Next-Generation Academy), 46 (Curtis Taylor), 49 (Bailey Scott - father-son), 69 (Joel Crocker - father-son)

Trades:

In: 2019 St Kilda third round selection, 46, 2019 Brisbane fourth round pick
Out: 51, 2019 North Melbourne third round selection, 54

Grade then: B

Grade now: B+

Rationale: In a strong first season, Tarryn Thomas earned 20 senior games and looked at ease at AFL level. Bailey Scott showed promise during the preseason and opening round at AFL level and will be looking to build upon that with further senior matches in 2020. Curtis Taylor also debuted, playing two games and showed glimpses to suggest that he add to his two AFL games played in 2020 with further improvement. Joel Crocker, who suffered an ankle injury which kept him out of his draft year, was solid in the VFL and can push to debut in 2020.

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1:07

Inside the push for a Tasmanian AFL team

Tasmanians are feeling positive about the push for a standalone AFL team based on the Apple Isle.

Port Adelaide

2018 Draft Picks: 5 (Connor Rozee), 12 (Zak Butters), 18 (Xavier Duursma), 73 (Riley Grundy), 76 (Boyd Woodcock)

Trades: N/A

Grade then: B

Grade now: A+

Rationale: Connor Rozee has far exceeded expectation to be one of the best performed so far from last year's crop with only Sam Walsh having a stronger first season. Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma are further successful selections playing 19 and 20 games respectively and looking like long-term core pieces.

Late selections Riley Grundy and Boyd Woodcock are not as advanced. Grundy struggled in the SANFL with just one game where he secured 10 or more disposals in defence while Woodcock was solid but will need to continue improving if he is to earn senior opportunities.

Richmond

2018 Draft Picks: 20 (Riley Collier-Dawkins), 43 (Jack Ross), 58 (Fraser Turner), 62 (Luke English)

Trades:
In: 2019 Geelong fourth round selection
Out: 68

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: Jack Ross exceeded expectations and looks like a long-term piece, playing seven games and showing enough to suggest he can contend for regular senior opportunities in 2020. Riley Collier-Dawkins has the scope over the next couple of seasons to push through for regular senior opportunities as one of last year's most talented prospects but will need to improve his endurance and start finding more of the ball through the midfield first.

Of Richmond's later picks, Fraser Turner looks the more likely and could push for games on a wing, while Luke English will have a tough time earning senior opportunities through a competitive midfield.

St Kilda

2018 Draft Picks: 4 (Max King), 41 (Jack Bytel), 47 (Matthew Parker), 54 (Nick Hind), 67 (Robbie Young)

Trades:
In: 51, 2019 Gold Coast fourth round selection, 2019 Greater Western Sydney fourth round selection, 67
Out: 2019 St Kilda third round selection, 61, 75, 2019 St Kilda fourth round selection

Grade then: B

Grade now: B+

Rationale: Recovering from a torn ACL, Max King returned for five VFL games before undergoing ankle surgery. If King has a strong preseason, he has the capabilities to become the focal point of St Kilda's front half. Sitting out the season following back surgery on a bulging disk, Jack Bytel is a strong enough ball winner where if he has a strong preseason he has the capability to push for senior games in 2020. Matthew Parker and Nick Hind as mature age choices managed 17 and 11 games respectively in 2019, though with the club's new additions, will find competition for spots tougher in 2020. After three games, Robbie Young was delisted.

Sydney

2018 Draft Picks: 10 (Nick Blakey - Academy), 25 (James Rowbottom), 44 (Justin McInerney), 51 (Zac Foot)

Trades:
In: 24, 2019 West Coast third round selection
Out: 26, 2019 Sydney second round selection

Grade then: B

Grade now: B+

Rationale: Playing 21 out of a possible 22 games, Nick Blakey looks every bit the future star he looked at the time of the draft. James Rowbottom exceeded expectations playing 12 games in his first season and after playing in Sydney's last nine games will be hoping to solidify himself as a regular. Justin McInerney showed promise in the NEAFL with his run impressive and can contend to add to his single AFL opportunity in 2020 if he continues to improve. The speedy Zac Foot has tricks but will need to continue improving to earn senior games.

West Coast

2018 Draft Picks: 28 (Xavier O'Neill), 31 (Luke Foley), 35 (Bailey Williams), 39 (Jarrod Cameron - Next-Generation Academy)

‚ÄčTrades:
In: 26, 2019 Sydney second round selection, 27, 32
Out: 24, 2019 West Coast third round selection, 23, 2019 West Coast fifth round selection

Grade then: B+

Grade now: B+

Rationale: The signs from Jarrod Cameron suggests he will be a long-term player for West Coast. Cameron kicked a combined 10 goals from his first four AFL games with his speed and forward pressure the foundation which his career should bloom from. Except regular selection for Cameron in 2020, who will be a natural replacement for Willie Rioli. The improvement of Bailey Williams is encouraging as an athletic ruckman and key forward. Williams is unlikely to play in 2020 and will take time to develop but in a few years' time, if his upward trajectory continues, could be a long-term piece.

Xavier O'Neill will contend to replace Chris Masten's position in the side while Luke Foley will have a hard time earning midfield opportunities following the addition of Tim Kelly.

Western Bulldogs

2018 Draft Picks: 7 (Bailey Smith), 26 (Rhylee West - father-son), 37 (Laitham Vandermeer), 45 (Ben Cavarra), 78 (Will Hayes)

Trades:
In: 34, 41, 2019 North Melbourne third round selection
Out: 30, 57, 46

Grade then: A+

Grade now: A

Rationale: Bailey Smith looks like a future star and if he receives regular midfield minutes is good enough to contend with Sam Walsh for the title of best midfielder in the 2018 draft class. Smith's powerful contested ball-winning, explosiveness and precise skills can see him develop into one of the competition's premier midfielders.

Rhylee West has been dominant in the VFL and is a second midfielder who if opportunities arise through the midfield looks a long-term piece. Expect West to earn games in 2020 as a forward who rotates through the midfield. Ben Cavarra and Laitham Vandermeer will contend for senior selection in 2020 while Will Hayes will fight to add to his 11 games.