The Roar’s 2018 AFL top 50: 30-21

Maddy Friend Columnist

By Maddy Friend, Maddy Friend is a Roar Expert

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    After we announced our top 20 players over the past two days, I have the unenviable pleasure of following on from Ryan and Josh with the next ten, the 21st to 30th best players.

    This is where the list starts to get interesting, and it was the section where we had some of the biggest discrepancies in our list rankings.

    21. Tom Lynch
    Lynch was one of the most polarising players for the group – three of us had him ranked in the 20s, but two outliers had him in their top ten, and as their 51st player respectively.

    Perhaps this is a result of Lynch playing as a key forward in a fairly non-competitive, non-Victorian team. However, as this list is based on potential and what we think they’ll be able to do in 2018, I was comfortable having him in ranked in this group.

    He’s young, at 25, and already one of the best key forwards in the game – still behind Josh Kennedy and Buddy Franklin – averaging 15.2 disposals, 2.3 goals and 6.3 marks per game in 2017.

    If he can have a clear run with injury, and under the guidance of new coach Stuart Dew, Lynch may well push himself into the top 20 next season.

    Tom J Lynch

    Tom Lynch. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    22. Toby Greene
    If not for his suspensions in 2017, Greene may be ranked higher on this list. Given a clean bill of health and a better suspension record this season, we’ll likely have him in our top 15 next year.

    Despite playing only 19 games last year, Greene was ranked sixth in goals per game, tenth in score involvements, and 15th in contested marks – with average figures of 18.2 disposals, 2.4 goals and 2.8 tackles.

    Toby Greene GWS Giants AFL 2017 tall

    Toby Greene of the Giants (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    23. Dylan Shiel
    One of the best developing contested midfielders in the game, his importance to the Giants was evident when he was missing for their finals through injury.

    I had Shiel ranked at 31, a result of having several players who I judged to be slightly ahead of him at this stage. It’s really splitting hairs though – Shiel should be much higher next time.

    Dylan Shiel GWS Giants AFL 2017

    Dylan Shiel. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    24. Matt Crouch
    All five of us had Crouch ranked around this mark, so he was a fairly unanimous choice. The fact that he was able to step up to practically lead Adelaide’s midfield last year in the absence of the injured Rory Sloane and the departed Patrick Dangerfield – averaging 33 disposals, three marks and 4.8 tackles per game – is testament to his ability.

    Matt Crouch of the Adelaide Crows tall

    Matt Crouch of the Crows. (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    25. Joe Daniher
    Daniher was the player with the biggest ranking differential between the five of us. Cam and Josh had him in their top ten, Jay had him raked around this mark, while Ryan and I had him (either very astutely or very stupidly) ranked 51st and 53rd respectively.

    I suspect Ryan’s reasoning may be that he personally rates ‘small ball’ forwards more highly than key position players, and I’m a bit the same.

    Daniher finished third on the Coleman Medal tally last year, a fantastic feat for a player only 23 years old. Based on potential, maybe he should be ranked higher, but I’m not sold on Essendon’s forward line, which may affect Daniher’s form.

    Joe Daniher Essendon Bombers AFL 2017

    Joe Daniher. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    26. Dayne Beams
    The fact that Beams is ranked this far down is probably a result of the injuries he’s had over the past two years.

    He’s a gun, and after averaging 27 disposals, 4.5 marks and 4.2 tackles in his 19 matches in the side that finished on the bottom of the ladder last season, a clean bill of health should see him much higher up next year.

    Dayne Beams Brisbane Lions AFL 2017 tall

    Dayne Beams of the Lions. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    27. Zach Merrett
    
Merrett was rewarded for another excellent season with All Australian selection, and was a fairly unanimous choice at this stage on our list.

    He averaged nearly 30 disposals (ranked fourth in total disposals per game in the competition), 4.3 marks and 5.5 tackles last season, and developed into one of the competition’s most consistent midfielders, pushing himself close to the elite bracket.

    28. Mitch Duncan
    Researching this article, it was a surprise to learn Duncan is only 26 – it seems like he’s been around for ages, and he’s constantly getting better and better.

    Last year, with Patrick Dangerfield going forward for periods of time, Duncan was one of the prime movers in the Cats’ midfield, which should continue this season as returning favourite son Gary Ablett and Dangerfield share midfield and forward time.

    One area where he can improve is goal scoring – he only scored 15 in 2017 and would be hoping to develop into a ‘goal-kicking midfielder’, to use a current AFL buzzphrase.

    Mitch Duncan Geelong Cats AFL 2017

    Mitch Duncan of the Cats. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    29. Eddie Betts
    Betts was another player who divided opinion, with the five of us ranking him 16th, 51st, 38th, 27th and 23rd respectively.

    I had him 38th, which is only fair – he didn’t perform as consistently well in 2017 as he did the year before, but we all know he has the talent to be one of the best players in the competition.

    I’d still rate him as one of the best small forwards going around, probably behind Green and Michael Walters.

    Eddie Betts Adelaide Crows AFL 2017

    Eddie Betts of the Crows. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

    30. Jack Riewoldt
    Riewoldt’s stellar 2017 culminated in a well-deserved premiership. He played a lone hand as the tall, marking forward in the Tigers’ forward 50, and looks set to reprise that role this year.

    He ranked first in the competition for total marks inside 50, and finished eighth on the Coleman Medal tally, with 54.

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    The Crowd Says (109)

    • February 14th 2018 @ 7:54am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      Love your work Maddy and stoked to hear Cam and Josh agree with Big Harry that Joey D should’ve been top ten! There you are folks listen to big H he knows his footy! Joey D is already better than Lynch and Cameron. Merrett too low on the list too. Duncan should be around 45-55, Beams and Crouch should be way higher too

    • Roar Guru

      February 14th 2018 @ 9:08am
      JamesH said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      Lynch a better forward than Daniher?!?!? That’s a hard pill to swallow, Maddy. I can’t understand how anyone could rank Joe outside the top 30, let alone outside the top 50. Put it this way: GC and EFC aside, how many clubs would choose Lynch over Daniher right now? Probably not many, regardless of how close to, or far from, a flag they are.

      Smallball might have won the Tiges a flag, but take Riewoldt out of that side and their premiership turns to dust. Tall forwards are still crucial; they are just far more valuable when they are mobile, as opposed to big space-fillers. Daniher is one of the most mobile going around (certainly moreso than Lynch) and adds value outside of pure scoring.

      I’m curious to know why you aren’t sold on Essendon’s forward line. I’d understand question marks over their midfield or defensive pressure but their forward line was pretty dangerous all year, mostly thanks to Daniher.

      • February 14th 2018 @ 9:19am
        Rissole said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        Four players in the top 26 goal kickers.
        Daniher – 65
        Hooker – 41
        Fantasia – 37
        Tippa – 34

        I’m pretty sold. Hooker and Fantasia missed a few games too. Just need more goals from the midfield.

        • February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am
          Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          And you still won just 12 games.

          You were the worst top 8 side for points against but the 3rd best team in the league for points for – I don’t think a lack of goals from the midfield is your issue.

          • February 14th 2018 @ 11:17am
            Rissole said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

            I know we only won 12 games and I know we had the worst defense for a top 8 team. We were discussing the offense. Not sure what point you are trying to bring up in a discussion about the Essendon forward line.

            • February 14th 2018 @ 11:23am
              Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

              Because you said ” Just need more goals from the midfield” which won’t help you as much as getting your midfield to defend better,

          • February 14th 2018 @ 11:20am
            Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            and your side, the once proud Blues Macca were the worst points for side in 2017 by a country mile. perhaps concentrate on how Brendan “save my contract” Bolton is going to get you out of the super glue holding you down the bottom.

            • February 14th 2018 @ 11:43am
              Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

              HTH – Last year the blues had just 34 points more kicked against them than your boys. Unless you are happy accepting the mediocrity of middle tier finishes and getting belted every time you make a final you need to fix this.

              I know it is easier to find fault in others than accept your own but the bombers need to improve their defence. Given they recruited Smith and “The Package” it will be interesting if they can achieve this.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

                Thats strange Macca I thought I had quoted “points for”? Oh yeah but I did! How can you fix your “points for”too hard a question for Brendan “get me another contract” Bolton?

              • February 14th 2018 @ 1:07pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                HTH – Yes the blues have to fix their points for, that’s why they will roll out a more aggressive game plan, look to bring in Harry McKay, hope that the likes of Pickett develops and have increased the speed and foot skills of the squad – but here is the thing, you don’t fix a deficiency in your team by pointing to a deficiency in another.

                The blues issues scoring is irrelevant to the bombers issues.

      • February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am
        nerd foo said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        You just pre-empted my thoughts, James. Jack Riewoldt should be placed higher than both Lynch and Daniher simply because of the influence he has on games. Far more consistent than the aforementioned pair. If Lynch and Daniher aren’t kicking bags their influence and impact is minimal at best, yet Jack’s ‘assistance’ to his team mates remains fairly constant irrespective of how many goals he kicks. Nevertheless, stoked to have 4 Tiger players ranked in the top 30 here.

        • February 14th 2018 @ 9:27am
          truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          You just pre-empted my thoughts, James. Jack Riewoldt should be placed higher than both Lynch and Daniher simply because of the influence he has on games. Far more consistent than the aforementioned pair. If Lynch and Daniher aren’t kicking bags their influence and impact is minimal at best, yet Jack’s ‘assistance’ to his team mates remains fairly constant irrespective of how many goals he kicks. Nevertheless, stoked to have 4 Tiger players ranked in the top 30 here.

          • February 14th 2018 @ 9:48am
            truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

            Oops. Cat’s out of the bag. He made me do it. Half baked apology.

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 12:39pm
            JamesH said | February 14th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

            Bit harsh on Daniher, he’s more than just goals.

        • Roar Guru

          February 14th 2018 @ 9:35am
          JamesH said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          I could handle Riewoldt being higher than Daniher, NF. He’s done it for longer and found the consistency that the others are still working towards.

          • February 14th 2018 @ 9:46am
            Tom M said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            Few people are getting carried away with this small ball concept. Key bigs still have a place in the game

            • February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am
              guttsy said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

              Key bigs are still the key, pardon the pun.

              Without the top shelf bigs of Rance and Riewoldt, tigers wouldn’t have finished in the eight, let alone won a Premiership. In fact I argue that it was the quality and work rate of these two bigs that allowed Richmond to go “small”. If they went small with two or even three middle of the road talls then I think they would have struggled.

              Riewoldt should not only been ahead of Danniher and Lynch, I think he should have been rated around 15th and definitley no higher than 20th.

              • Roar Guru

                February 14th 2018 @ 12:11pm
                Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Without Martin and Cotchin having career years in the middle the Tigers would have struggled too.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                yeah cat silly comment. You could say that every year. Without The Bont and Boyd in the 2016 GF the Dogs wouldnt have won it, without Tommy Hawkins rag dolling Ben Reid while Malthouse slept you wouldn’t have won 2011! Without a lucky toe Poke St Kilda would have beaten you in 2009! Without Varcoe being too scared to go marke the ball you wouldve beaten Hawthorn in that other final and maybe won another flag….if’s and biuts Cat ifs and buts bloke!

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:08am
      Mattician6x6 said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      Fact lynch plays for a non Vic team shouldn’t even enter any equation.
      Fact that at times he looked about as interested as a dog in a vegan meal should.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:09am
      Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Interesting that of the top 10 disposal winners (on average) for 2017 4 of them have yet to make an appearance Oliver (equal 4), Ross (equal 6), Treloar (equal 6) and Murphy(equal 9), (the other 6 are 1 Mitchell, 2 M Crouch, 3 Ablett, equal 4 Merrett equal 6 Dangerfield & equal 9 Martin).

      Of the that top 10 only 5 kicked 10 or more goals (Dangerfield 45, Martin, 37, Treloar 13, Murphy 11 and Mitchell 10)

      Of that top 10 the highest disposal efficiency was Murphy at 72.9% just above Mitchell and Ross on 72.8%.

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am
        Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        Outside players should have a higher DE, they get more time and space than the players working in an under winning the CP.

        • February 14th 2018 @ 9:33am
          Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

          Cat yesterday you provided these definitions;

          “EFFECTIVE HANDBALL: A handball to a teammate that hits the intended target.

          EFFECTIVE KICK: A kick of more than 40 metres to a 50/50 contest or better for the team or a kick of less than 40 metres that results in the intended target retaining possession.”

          Murphy averages the 4th highest number of kicks from the top 10 and I would suggest that given he isn’t the longest kick in the world the majority of his kicks are less than 40m – are you suggesting that kicking 40m and hitting a target is easier than handballing to target 5m away?

          Murphy also averages more contested possessions than Merrett and Ross from the top 10.

          • February 14th 2018 @ 9:51am
            truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:51am | ! Report

            Agree, Macca. Murphy has way more class than Merrett and Ross. If he played in a higher placed team that would be recognised. Unfair? Maybe.

            • February 14th 2018 @ 10:13am
              Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              I wouldn’t say it was “unfair” because these lists are so subjective and often splitting hairs but just interesting. Merrett gets massive wraps but statistically is almost identical to Murphy, Duncan makes the top 30 but Murphy outperforms him.

              Perception plays a massive part in these lists and as you say that is often shaped by team performance.

              • Roar Guru

                February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am
                Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                Duncan makes the top 30 but Murphy outperforms him.

                Really?
                https://www.footywire.com/afl/footy/ft_player_compare?playerStatus1=A&tid1=4&playerStatus2=A&tid2=10&type=A&pid1=1607&pid2=3341&fid1=S&fid2=S

                I’d say Duncan shaded him by just a touch last season.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:10am
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

                Murphy is ahead in Disposals, Contested possessions, Clearances & Inside 50’s and the are equal on combined Goals, Behinds and Goal assists. Given Murphy isn’t playing behind Selwood and Dangerfield and lost Cripps and Ed Curnow during the year I would give Murphy the win.

                At the very least the arguments to put Duncan in apply just as much to Murphy.

                I would also say one swallow does not make a spring – Murphy has been better for longer.

              • Roar Guru

                February 14th 2018 @ 11:15am
                Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

                Murphy also has a worse DE, lays less tackles, gains fewer metres, has less score involvements and has more turnovers per game.

                Most of the differences are very minor. You’d never notice 0.1 difference in a game.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:20am
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

                Cat – As I said Murphy doesn’t have the luxury of playing behind Selwood and Dangerfield and has been better for longer.

                Personally I would rate Disposals, Contested possessions, Clearances & Inside 50’s higher for a midfielder than metres gained, tackles or score involvements for a mid but others might disagree.

                And again as I said “At the very least the arguments to put Duncan in apply just as much to Murphy.”

              • February 14th 2018 @ 12:30pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                you guys and your stats, here’s a Harry stat for free macca! Merrett is 22, Murphy is 30. Eat that!

              • February 14th 2018 @ 1:08pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

                Once again Harry you give something out for free and it isn’t worth the price.

              • Roar Guru

                February 14th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                Paul D said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                Hey Harry, so by that logic given you’re 68 or whatever it is and I’m 35, you’re basically worthless? It’s the Soylent Green factory for you next

              • February 14th 2018 @ 1:30pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Ah Paul, newsflash bloke, neither of us are playing AFL or AFLX so your ageist comment is irrelevant toi the discussion apart from showing your lack of experience. (are your folks still paying your internet?)

              • Roar Guru

                February 14th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                Paul D said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                No, and they don’t pay my mortgage either

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:29pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                HTH – you do realise…. ahh forget it, what the point.

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 9:54am
            Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            I’d suggest any play where a player is uncontested is much easier (handball or kick) than a play where a player has a bloke or blokes hanging off them.

            • February 14th 2018 @ 10:10am
              Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

              I do need to correct my previous statement about Murphy being the highest DE of the top 10, I missed Oliver who has by far the highest with 77.1% and he averages 21.9 handballs and just 8 kicks with only Dangerfield averaging more contested possessions.

              It is pretty hard to argue that handballing isn’t an easier skill to execute than kicking, it is also hard to argue that the greater distance the ball has to travel the harder it is to hit a target. So yes physical pressure make executing a skill harder but it is an easier skill to perform in the first place.

              Also not all contested possessions are executed under pressure – the ball was won in a contested situation but by the time they dispose of it they may have found space.

              Also Matt Crouch averages 6 more handballs than Murphy and 3 less kicks but just 3 more contested possessions but averages a lower DE.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 10:17am
                truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

                . . . and Crouch all too often crabs sideways while Murphy is far more direct.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:12am
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

                I think that Adelaide worked wonders last year in their midfield with the draft hands they have had to build it from. Consider Sloane was a lower pick, Matt Crouch a pick in the 20’s, Brad Crouch was a 17 year old pick that was a trade for a 1st round pick outside the top 10, Greenwood was a speculative category B? pick, Cameron a rookie pick, Atkins was a pick in the 80’s or 90’s from memory and Douglas was a 1st round pick from a long way back. Sauce Jacobs was also a trade from Carlton who saw limited time and was behind a few others there when their list was fit. For Matt Crouch to have stood up like he did last year was great and the crows midfield was one of the elite midfileds in the comp last year and I’ll wager that they had the least number of high end picks (players) running around in there

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:35am
                truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

                So Sammmy, that’d be two first rounders, a second rounder and what you gave up for Sauce? Over embellishment maybe.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:46am
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                over embellishment….not at all. Our premier midfielder was a pick in the 40’s, Our best midfielder from last year – M Crouch was a pick in the 20’s when the club had draft sanctions and had to give up Bernie Vince, Brad Crouch was a 17 year old pick outside the top 10, Greenwood was a cat B rookie and Atkins was a pick in the 80’s. Douglas is more a half forward than midfielder. As for what the crows traded for Sam Jacobs ( a carlton rookie selection) was picks 33 & 67 – hardly top end drafting

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:23pm
                Scorching said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

                I really respect what Adelaide have done with their drafting/recruitment over years of limited opportunity due to respectable finishes

                However, Brad Crouch was taken with what equates to pick 2. O’Meara was the only player from that draft pool who they didnt have access to as far as I can tell? The rest were taken in 2012 including Whitfield Macrae and Stringer (I may be completely off here and would be glad of correction)

                He was still a very good pick anyway as I would rate him as at least equal to anyone from that pool, and they got that pick cheap too, trading it in for a pick in the teens, but still Crouch was (as far as I can remember) a pick 2 in my mind

              • February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

                Just on Jacobs, he was on the blues list for 2 years and managed 4 in his first and 13 in his second including the narrow elimination final loss to the swans.

                The blues wanted pick 17 for him but Adelaide wouldn’t budge and he was out of contract.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:32pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

                @ scorching. Re brad crouch, that is not quite right. There were select 17 year olds that were available to GWS and were traded out to clubs for draft picks as part of the franchise agreement. Brisbane offered a higher pick than the crows did and got first pick of the 17 year olds – of which they chose O’Meara. The crows then bagged Brad Crouch. These guys were a year younger than their draft counterparts and were not permitted to play in the AFL until they were 18. The crows nor brisbane had access to any of the draft age players other than what their draft pick equated to, so whilst Brad crouch was a pick 2 – it was not a pick 2 in the full draft so he certainly was not considered a pick 2 (the 2nd best player available in that draft year)

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:36pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

                Sammy – so the crows got second pick of all the 17 year olds who weren’t allowed to be “drafted” until the next year and you picked Crouch but you still think he wasn’t a pick 2 simply because you took him a year before he was allowed to play? Come on!

                If Crouch wasn’t considered “the 2nd best player available in that (his) draft year” why did the Crows take him, they had the pick of the board.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm
                Scorching said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                I have had a look in more detail at the minidrafts…. only those born in the first third of 1994 were eligible which obviously cuts the field down. Still, guy like Knightmare rated BCrouch in the top 3 or 4 prospects from that entire pool anyway so I would still call him a top 5 pick at worst

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:46pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                Because Macca, not all 17 year olds were available (it was a 17 year old mini draft) – I can’t recall what the stipulation for the 17 years olds to nominate was at the time. As for players being considered picks 1 & 2 a year out from the actual draft, how many players have we heard from the recruiters will be the next big thing a year out but over the course of the year others step up and move ahead. There was absolutely no guarantee that Brad Crouch was going to be a great player in a year’s time (ie his actual normal draft year) and considering he was a year younger than the rest being drafted in the main draft, it was a big risk to trade away a guaranteed 1st round draft pick to operate in the GWS minidraft

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:54pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Sammy – you can cut it anyway you like but the fact is he should be treated as a high draft pick, as scorcher say minimum top 5.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:55pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

                @macca..I need to respond to the second part of your comment

                ‘If Crouch wasn’t considered “the 2nd best player available in that (his) draft year” why did the Crows take him, they had the pick of the board.’

                The crows did not have the pick of the board – they swapped their 1st round pick for 1 of 2 GWS 17 year old minidraft picks that they had to trade out to other clubs. It was a big gamble because of the age difference. But in no way could they have had an overall pick 2 in the main draft unless they traded with GWS for it

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:57pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                @ macca. I think Crouch is a very good player – make no mistake, but as for being a top 5 player in the year when he was an underager in a separate minidraft, I will beg to differ – considering the likes of Coniglio, Patton, Wingard, Greene, Tomlinson, Docherty, Tom Mitchell etc were all in that draft

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:58pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

                Sammy – see Scorchers statement – Croch was still rated one of the top 5 picks in his draft year.

                And every draft pick is a gamble – none come with guarantees.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:03pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                @macca – but the crows did not draft him in his draft year (ie when he was 18) so it is a hypothetical

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:15pm
                Scorching said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                A. BCrouch was as close to a ready made prospect as 17 year olds get (think Wines, SPP)
                B. If he wasn’t picked in that minidraft then he would have gone into the much weaker 2012 pool. Look at the names there. Probably only 5 genuine guns I reckon. None clearly were clearly better prospects than Crouch except maybe Daniher who was a fatherson selection and OMeara

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:07pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Yeah OK Sammy – Every pick adelaide have ever had was above 80 and it has just been that you are such a fantastic club that makes everyone into a champion.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:12pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                cmon Macca – not like you to admit you have lost an argument by throwing out the toys with the pram

                ‘Yeah OK Sammy – Every pick adelaide have ever had was above 80 and it has just been that you are such a fantastic club that makes everyone into a champion.’

                What you have not factored in with Brad Crouch is that in his draft year he had had a year in an AFL club with a full preseason, fitness, medical, psychological and strength advantages over all other 17 year olds (apart from O’Meara) so of course he was going to put his best foot forward so to speak in comparison and hence why he would have been rated as highly in 1 phantom draft.

                As for Adelaide’s ability to shape up players outside the top 10 draft picks and in many cases lower order picks and rookie picks, I would think they just about set the standard in the AFL – now not all turn into champions, but they have had a fairly good success rate of identifying talent and crafting it

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:22pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                I am not admitting I lost, just realising you can only see what you want to in this case.

                As I said earlier the blues wanted to keep Jacobs and rated him so highly they wanted pick 17 for him, because he could walk for nothing the Crows got him for a bargain but you only see that he was a late pick made good.

                With Crouch clearly he was a great prospect and highly rated but because you didn’t get him in the draft suddenly he was just a speculative pick you moulded into a star.

                as scorcher said the Crows have done a great job – you don’t have to gild the lily.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:36pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                Ok macca…splitting hairs I guess but re jacobs, you did draft him as a rookie pick and he was only getting games due to injury to Warnock, Kreuzer and your other ruckman at the time..it was sticking out the neck to expect a 1st round pick for him (particularly as he was uncontracted)

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:45pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                Sammy – If you watched him in his last game for the blues (the elimination final loss to Sydney in Sydney) you would see why the blues wanted a first round pick for him. He wasn’t behind the others by the time he left.

                The point is you got a bargain because he was uncontracted – he was a ruckman with 2 years in the system who had just been dominant in a final, he was a valuable commodity.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:51pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

                and if you saw Sam Kerridge kick 6 goals against North Melbourne for the crows, you would have thought this guy is going to be a star – how come Carlton didn’t offer a 1st round pick for him straight out / or the crows demand one for him..or is it because the way the AFL is is that players who have the odd good game and are not playing regularly are not traded for such high picks?

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:57pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

                Sammy – I am not saying the blues should have got pick 17, just that it was clear Jacobs was worth more than what you paid for him – he played 13 games in his last year for the blues (only his second in the system) including 11 straight from round 6 to 16 and was playing well enough for the Crows to chase him (as opposed to Kerridge who was thrown in to a deal to get a pick). As I said he was a valuable known commodity who you got as for a bargain and well below what the blues wanted.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:08pm
                truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

                So Sammmy. It seems I was wrong. It was effectively 3 first round draft picks and a second round pick!

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:28pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                That is subjective – plenty of players traded and the club trading them wanted more and the club wanting the player wanted to pay less. Was Brad Hill (triple premiership player) with Hawthorn worth only a 2nd rounder? – only a few pick higher than what the crows paid for Jacobs?, what about Bernie Vince – one of the crows best mids for a number of seasons – a crow gold jacket winner and he was traded for only a few picks higher than what the crows paid for Jacobs. See it is subjective. Hindsight says the crows got a very good deal, but Jacobs at the time was by no means an A grade ruckman. Also in the elimination final, having read on a particular forum, Mumford was injured for that game and only back in round 16 he had towelled up Jacobs thus resulting in Jacobs being dropped. I mean, hey, I want a 1st round pick for every crow player that leaves for another club, but it does not work out that way unless they are a real topline player

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:33pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

                As I said a while back Sammy – I am not admitting I lost, just realising you can only see what you want to in this case.

                So again “OK Sammy – Every pick adelaide have ever had was above 80 and it has just been that you are such a fantastic club that makes everyone into a champion.”

                And “Hindsight says the crows got a very good deal” You didn’t need hindsight, the blues saw the value and asked to be compensated commensurate to that value. The value the blues put on him has been proved to be correct. The Crows saw the value and sensed an opportunity and chased Jacobs. The only person who seems to have needed hindsight to see the value is you.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:46pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

                Plenty of players come out of contract and move on – particularly ones who want to move back to their home state and for the crows, the ducks lined up in that they needed a ruckman and Jacobs happened to come out of contract and wanted to return home to SA. He has gone on to become one of the best in the league but when he came across, he was just 1 of 4 ruckmen on Carlton’s books who had potential but at the time had been in and out of the team and was behind others in the pecking order when injuries were not a factor. He had 1 good final and that apparently against an injured mumford (if scribes on another forum are to be believed). I am not undervaluing him and the crows were not with picks 33 & 67 either – based on a whole plethora of other trades that have come and gone over the years

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:51pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

                FFS Sammy this isn’t that hard to understand.

                The Blues knew Jacobs was going to be a very good player which is why they wanted pick 17 (AFL clubs don’t ask for first round picks for players they don’t think are any good)

                Adelaide knew Jacobs was going to be a very good player so they chased him – they simply had the leverage to get him for a bargain.

                This isn’t the case of the crows finding a diamond in the rough and polishing hard – they got a known valuable commodity for a bargain. I don’t know why it is so hard for you to admit that.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 4:57pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                FFS Macca – you are talking up Jacobs in his carlton days like he was Simon Madden reincarnated. What is so hard for you to realise that you had 4..FOUR ruckmen on your list. Clearly Kreuzer and Warnock were ahead of Jacobs in the pecking order and it is debatable that Hampson was also. Through injury, Jacobs got a run of games, but was dropped late in the season and then recalled for a finals game – injuries again?. He was no finished article- not by a long stretch and if he was, he would have been Carlton’s 1st choice all season, but he wasn’t. You got a 2nd round pick for him even though he was out of contract – that is fair quid for a non 1st choice ruckman who was not a rising star, all australian or club champion. Or have i got this wrong, were Kreuzer, Warnock and Hampson all in the all Australian team that year?

              • February 14th 2018 @ 5:04pm
                Macca said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

                Sammy – Yes Carlton had 4 ruckmen on the list, yes Jacobs got his opportunity through injury – but guess what he took it. His form got him in front of Hampson and Warnock. So by the end of the season;

                “The Blues knew Jacobs was going to be a very good player which is why they wanted pick 17 (AFL clubs don’t ask for first round picks for players they don’t think are any good)

                Adelaide knew Jacobs was going to be a very good player so they chased him – they simply had the leverage to get him for a bargain.”

                But by all means feel free to think that Jacobs was some fringe VFL player that only Adelaide saw the value in and they gently nurtured his unknown talent.

                As I said “Every pick adelaide have ever had was above 80 and it has just been that you are such a fantastic club that makes everyone into a champion.”

              • February 14th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                ‘ But by all means feel free to think that Jacobs was some fringe VFL player that only Adelaide saw the value in and they gently nurtured his unknown talent.’

                You have missed the point, he was a decent player with potential – he was not a finished article at Carlton and having been dropped after round 16, was he really ahead of Warnock and Kreuzer or did injuries allow him to come in for the final.

                As I said “Every pick adelaide have ever had was above 80 and it has just been that you are such a fantastic club that makes everyone into a champion.”

                Yeah..the crows do have a good record of having moulded players to become top players – considering the club has never had a top 10 draft pick in it’s history

              • February 14th 2018 @ 7:38pm
                Scorching said | February 14th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                This little ‘discussion’ has gone on too long but did you even think to fact check yourself? They have had 4 top 10 picks from 2000-on and that doesn’t include Crouch who as I explained makes it 5 in my opinion

                Still a low number I know but surely you know not to make such an absurd claim.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 5:42pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                Sammy don’t forget Carlton are the side that gave away the best small forward the game has ever seen in Eddie Betts for nought!

              • February 14th 2018 @ 10:36pm
                Sammy said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

                This little ‘discussion’ has gone on too long but did you even think to fact check yourself? They have had 4 top 10 picks from 2000-on and that doesn’t include Crouch who as I explained makes it 5 in my opinion

                Still a low number I know but surely you know not to make such an absurd claim.

                Yep – I got a little carried away there. But all up in the clubs 26 seasons it has had 5 top 10 picks – 2 of those were pick 10 and never had a pick inside the top 5. Crouch is different and it is an absolute hypothetical where he would have been drafted so you cannot say he is a top 5 or whatever. Also for some perspective Carlton got the same number of top 10 draft picks that the crows have had in their entire history in the last 3 seasons alone, or GWS got more top 10 picks in the 2011 draft alone

              • February 14th 2018 @ 10:49pm
                Scorching said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

                Yes I see the perspective but I had to correct that point

      • February 14th 2018 @ 10:54am
        Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        As this list gets longer it becomes more and more ridiculous that Gary Ablett is in the top ten! Ridiculous! I could win the Suns B and F and average a million disposal playing for the Suns!

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:09am
      Brian said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Duncan top 30. didn’t see that coming. I wouldn’t have near it .Have not seen Parker, Walters, Ryder or NicNat yet and Duncan’s in

    • February 14th 2018 @ 9:42am
      Tom M said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Duncan Top 30, wow feel like he is more a 50-100 player, plenty ahead of him. Having Daniher outside your top 50 is way off also, he is ranked around where he should be.

      • Roar Guru

        February 14th 2018 @ 9:57am
        Cat said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        FWIW, I think Duncan’s 2017 season is criminally underrated but I would not have him in the Top 30 for the same reason I wouldn’t have Daniher and some of the others frequently mentioned – they haven’t done it consistently for long enough. A single year of making people take notice simply isn’t enough.

        • February 14th 2018 @ 10:05am
          truetigerfan said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Equally Parker had a down year, according to him, in comparison to past years. And Nic Nat didn’t even play! Sheesh! You could argue a case for Walters till the cows come home but was he a match winner beyond a few stand out games? And Ryder is probably proof of the diminished value placed on ruckmen, just ask Big Sauce!

        • February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am
          Harsh Truth Harry said | February 14th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Cat you have no idea of the entire concept of this list! It is not about gaining status over a number of years it is about who they think will be the most important players in 2018! You don’t get a player getting credit for 2014-2016, why would you?

          • Roar Guru

            February 14th 2018 @ 5:03pm
            AdelaideDocker said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

            How on earth do you think they measure how they think a player will go in 2018? Perhaps, just perhaps, they look at the players performances in past years?

            The only reason any player gets onto a top 50 list is because they’ve accomplished a fair bit and performed well in the years gone past.

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