2017 AFL Draft FAQ: Everything you need to know

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


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    The AFL Draft is just a day away! It’s one of my favourite events on the AFL calendar, and I’ve put together everything you need to know to enjoy it to the fullest right here.

    » 2017 AFL Phantom Draft top 25, rumours, bolters, sliders
    » The top five according to Twitter
    » A club-by-club guide to the 2017 AFL Draft

    The key info

    When is it?
    The event gets underway at 6:30pm AEDT on Friday 24 November. However, there’ll be some pomp and ceremony before the actual picking of players begins.

    Where is it?
    The draft will be held at the Sydney Showground Exhibition Centre which is in Olympic Park, near Spotless Stadium and ANZ Stadium.

    Can I watch it?
    It’s on TV via Fox Footy, so you can live stream it with the Foxtel App or Foxtel Now, or through AFL live pass. We’ll have a live blog here on The Roar too.

    Can I go?
    Maybe! Tickets are free, but limited. You can register for a chance to get some here.

    Who is going No.1?
    Good question! There’s some debate about that this year, but it looks like it will be Cam Rayner. Sam Landsberger reported on Wednesday that Brisbane have settled on him as the No.1 pick, and Cal Twomey has him going there in his phantom draft.

    Cameron Rayner AFL Draft 2017 tall

    What’s the full draft order?
    You can find it here.

    Who will my club pick?
    Nobody can say for sure, but I’ve taken a stab at a club-by-club guide here.

    How about a mock/phantom draft?
    Myself and Maddy Friend put one together last week that you can read here, and I’ll be putting out one final stab at a phantom tomorrow morning.

    What about the pre-season and rookie drafts?
    They’re on Monday 27 November, kicking off at about 5pm AEDT. They won’t be on TV or anything, but we’ll be live blogging them here on The Roar.

    The players

    Who is the best tall defender?
    Aaron Naughton. He’s played a decent run of senior WAFL footy towards the end of the year and acquitted himself well, and could go as early as pick 5 or 6 in the draft.

    Who is the best tall forward?
    A hard question to answer because there are some swingman types who could settle as forwards or backmen. Of the players who look destined to be forwards, Oscar Allen is probably the most highly rated, but even he is arguably a little short for the job at 191cm.

    Who is the best inside midfielder?
    It’s hard to split as many of the midfielders in the mix are hybrid players to some degree, but big-bodied Luke Davies-Uniacke is probably the best of the group in terms of ability to win the ball inside the contest. Charlie Constable would be the clubhouse leader when it comes to players who are closer to being purely inside mids.

    Who is the best outside midfielder?
    In terms of a players whose roles are almost exclusively outside the contest, Lochie O’Brien is probably the leading prospect here, with Ed Richards also a chance to go early.

    Who is the best ruckman?
    Sam Hayes is widely regarded as the best ruck talent in the pool, but the reluctance of clubs to invest high picks in this area means he is still unlikely to be drafted inside the top 20.

    Sam Hayes

    Who is the most versatile?
    This draft doesn’t necessarily have that sort of play-everywhere utility that we see crop up every now and then. It might be Jaidyn Stephenson whose height and speed give him the ability to play a number of roles, or defender Nick Coffield who has the attributes to match up on just about any opponent.

    Who is the best kick?
    There isn’t necesarilly a player who has separated themselves from the pack in this regard as has often happened in years previous. Adam Cerra is widely regarded for being extremely classy user of the ball, Lochie O’Brien would also be in the mix.

    Who has the most pace?
    Jack Petrucelle is the best sprinter in the mix, running 20 metres in 2.87 seconds. Aiden Bonar, Nick Coffield, Jaidyn Stephenson and Paddy Dow are some other players in the mix that are known for their speed.

    Who is the tallest?
    208cm Ned Reeves is probably the tallest player with a serious chance of getting selected, though he might wind up needing to take his chances in the rookie draft. Sam Hayes will certainly get picked up by someone and he is 203cm.

    Who is the smallest?
    Brent Daniels (171cm) and Charlie Spargo (172cm) look to be the smallest players in the mix to get picked up. Daniels is a small forward, Spargo a mid-forward who has drawn a few comparisons to Brent Harvey.

    Who has the funniest name?
    Aiden Bonar by a country mile. Seriously, if I ever get the sack here at The Roar, it’ll be because of an inappropriate pun headline involving this bloke. Jordon Butts, Alex Martini and Oscar Clavarino are all worth a giggle too.

    Aiden Bonar AFL

    Father-son and academies

    How does it work?
    Safe to say the bidding system can be a bit of a headscratcher at times. Check out the first half of this article for a full explanation. On draft night itself the equation will flash up on screen, so you won’t need to have your calculator on hand.

    Who are the father-son players?
    The only father-son player likely to attract a bid in the early area of the draft is Patrick Naish for Richmond, the son of Chris. He’s a promising wingman but is a bit undersized and will probably attract a bid somewhere in the 20s.

    Tyler Brown is the son of former Collingwood captain Gavin Brown and will likely join his brother Callum at the Pies, with a bid probably not coming until the third round or even later.

    Jackson Edwards (son of Tyson) will join the Crows as a rookie if he doesn’t get picked up by another club in the national draft.

    Who are the academy players?
    Connor Ballenden is the highest-rated academy prospect this year, a tall player who was rated high at the start of the season but indifferent form has seen him slide to probably being bid on the 20s or 30s. The Lions may also pick up Jack Payne in this way.

    Brayden Crossley to Gold Coast and Nicholas Shipley to GWS are other academy picks that look reasonably likely to happen, while Changkuoth Jiath might make history as the first ‘next generation’ academy player to be taken in the national draft.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (73)

    • Roar Rookie

      November 23rd 2017 @ 7:41am
      Andrew Blake said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Jack Payne is a Brisbane Lions Academy Player. As are Jack Clayton and Campbell Walker.

      • Editor

        November 23rd 2017 @ 11:32am
        Josh Elliott said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        Apologies Andrew, have fixed up the error.

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 9:04am
      Slane said | November 23rd 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      Just had a gander at Cal Twomeys phantom draft. I’d be pretty chuffed as a Tigers supporter if it all comes to pass.

      • Editor

        November 23rd 2017 @ 11:32am
        Josh Elliott said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        Would be an insanely good haul for the Tigers if what he was written down comes to pass.

        • Roar Guru

          November 23rd 2017 @ 5:44pm
          Dalgety Carrington said | November 23rd 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

          Hopefully, some of it comes to pass, namely WC’s picks to hopefully give Freo some chance at Ryan.

          I wonder whether Freo would take both LDU and Brayshaw? Both inside mids. I would think they might go for more spice, like Stephenson, if they grabbed LDU. Whereas, if Raynor slipped through, they might then go for Brayshaw as their second pick.

    • November 23rd 2017 @ 9:29am
      Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Wce & freo fans it will be a entertaining night for wa footy! Sumich had a few interesting things to say in the game podcast yesterday.
      Hoping Oscar Allen is picked up by wce along with starcevich only worry is apparently Carlton are pretty keen on Tim Kelly.

      • Roar Guru

        November 23rd 2017 @ 10:01am
        AdelaideDocker said | November 23rd 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Yeah, sounds like it’ll be a great night for the WA teams. Probably more so for Freo, though.

        Liam Ryan is the other bloke that both our clubs should be aiming to draft. From what I’ve seen, he’s a very good talent.

        • November 23rd 2017 @ 10:59am
          Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          Ryan is a gun and future wce champion ;), I’m really happy with wce strategy this year especially if gaff does end up leaving under fa next year compo will nullify trading out of first round next year.

          • Roar Guru

            November 23rd 2017 @ 5:26pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | November 23rd 2017 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

            Talking about that trade strategy, had to laugh at the WA media trying to credit the WC with helping Freo get the Suns trade done when it was more the other way around.

            Essentially the Suns were fishing around to get a pick to satisfy Freo, which opened the door for WC to convert next years first round pick into all those handy picks this year.

            • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:01pm
              Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

              It was a mutually beneficial transaction, wce giving gcs their first rounder next year contributed to freo being able to secure pick two for Weller.
              Your boys have duffield as a supporter so can’t seriously complain about the media bias dalgetty come on man.

              • Roar Guru

                November 23rd 2017 @ 7:29pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                lol How did it contribute?

                The Suns were scrambling around in the last minutes of the trade period, trying to get a deal that would satisfy Freo and keep their #2 pick, when WC got in their ear. They obviously were so rushed they didn’t have time to check with Freo whether they’d be satisfied with a future first rounder. Turns out they weren’t and the Suns had to cough up the #2.

                What Freo knew is that the Suns had godfathered Weller. That deal was always going to happen once Freo dug their heels in, regardless of WC’s involvement.

                And as stated I’m not complaining about the WA media fawnication of WC, developed a comfortable level of detachment from that years ago, hence just having a laugh about it. Also always interested to see what sort of gauge WC fans have of it. 😉

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:44pm
                Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

                I think both wa teams made Hay but also think Weller for pick two and a guaranteed two first round picks next year indicates gcs are laughing as well imo 😉

      • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:20pm
        Aligee said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

        Tom O’donnell from West Perth and Liam Martin East Perth probably top 30 2018 draft

    • Columnist

      November 23rd 2017 @ 11:15am
      Tim Gore said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      Josh, what are us Pies likely to get in the draft – apart from Brown?
      We need a key forward and key back badly. Any chance we’ll get some?

      • Editor

        November 23rd 2017 @ 11:34am
        Josh Elliott said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        Probably not Tim – there’ll be a midfielder of some kind available at pick 6 who is just too good to ignore, there isn’t really a tall player who can justify being drafted there. I’d reckon they go for some of those types latter in the draft, but they’ll be a bit speculative by then.

        • November 23rd 2017 @ 11:47am
          dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report


          • Editor

            November 23rd 2017 @ 1:24pm
            Josh Elliott said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

            Don’t think so, Collingwood unlikely to pick him over whichever of Cerra/Brayshaw/Fogarty is available at their pick.

            • November 23rd 2017 @ 1:30pm
              Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              Everything over here is saying pies are knee deep in naughton so shall be interesting.

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 1:34pm
                Macca said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

                I certainly hope so – the more KPP taken in the top 10 the better for the blues

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 2:01pm
                Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                Apparently Carlton ate very keen on Tim Kelly, whoever gets him will land a beauty macca.

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Macca said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                Will he last until 30?

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 2:19pm
                Mattician6x6 said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                Unsure, reckon it is dependant on how highly wce or geel rate him macca

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 2:29pm
                Macca said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Thanks – I can’t see th elbues taking him at 10 but fingers crossed he slips through.

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 7:09pm
                steve said | November 23rd 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Macca, got my fingers crossed for Cerra or Dow at pick 3, Lachie O “Brien at pick 10, Tim Kelly at pick 38.

    • Roar Guru

      November 23rd 2017 @ 11:25am
      Paul D said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      I have come to terms with the club likely taking Rayner. I remember last year I was pushing hard for Ben Ainsworth but McLuggage was picked on the strength of being the best available talent – certainly so long as he stays, he looks a fantastic player. Hint of Shaun Burgoyne with his excellent short kicking and precision.

      I know I said Rayner wasn’t an endurance athlete – I didn’t realise he was a sprint merchant, but as someone said yesterday, what’s the point if he can’t be bothered getting up for the big games.

      I totally understand what Fagan and Noble are trying to do. They’re trying to conduct themselves without paying heed to the geographic realities of Brisbane and this club, and figure that if we’re balking at drafting the best possible players because of what they might do over their contract in two years we’ve already lost. And they may well be right. Particularly with Hodge for Rayner to worship at this season. Maybe that will get him started on the right foot.

      But gee if McLuggage and Rayner and Schache are all gone by 2020 – eminently possible – this will be a colossal, colossal failure.

      • Editor

        November 23rd 2017 @ 11:35am
        Josh Elliott said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        Fingers crossed Hodge really has that kind of influence on players. If he does he’ll be worth every penny.

      • November 23rd 2017 @ 1:16pm
        Macca said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        ” I didn’t realise he was a sprint merchant” I did tell you.

        • Roar Guru

          November 23rd 2017 @ 1:38pm
          Paul D said | November 23rd 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

          After I’d already said my piece. It’s just opinion, I don’t know anyone in the draft. He just looks like a greasy spud, the sort of player who’s another Jamie Elliott, in it for the tatts and the $. Call it a gut instinct superficial assessment that could be totally misplaced

          • November 23rd 2017 @ 2:13pm
            Macca said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

            PaulD – you said he was slow, I told you he wasn’t and you got all snippy instead of accepting the fact.

            But anyway you might be right about him being “in it for the tatts and the $” but a player matching that description just won the brownlow.

            • Roar Guru

              November 23rd 2017 @ 2:29pm
              Paul D said | November 23rd 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

              After 7 years in the system, yes. Betcha Rayner ain’t still at the Gabba in 7 years

              I always get snippy at you straight away, I find it saves time because sooner or later you’re going to get on my tits with your tireless rebutting. Easier to walk away

            • November 23rd 2017 @ 4:09pm
              Peter the Scribe said | November 23rd 2017 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

              Oh yes… a bit of pain and investment in Dusty and the Tigers end up with the current best player in the AFL. Good point Macca that should have resulted in an apology from Paul.

              • Roar Guru

                November 23rd 2017 @ 4:42pm
                Paul D said | November 23rd 2017 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                Helps if you’re a big Melbourne club and can offer huge crowds, passionate supporters and a host of other fringe benefits that the Lions simply can’t compete with

                Far easier for Richmond to grow a star from a draft seed than Brisbane, which is why I don’t agree with the point

          • November 23rd 2017 @ 4:07pm
            Peter the Scribe said | November 23rd 2017 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

            Jamie Elliott a “greasy spud” Paul? I had grown to quite like reading some of your comments but that one is not only out of line it’s also poor on football knowledge. I’d say a straw poll of Roarers would end up with all other clubs taking Elliott if he was up for grabs. He is no spud Paul if you watch him you’d know.

            • Roar Guru

              November 23rd 2017 @ 4:46pm
              Paul D said | November 23rd 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

              I don’t like him Pete, and I don’t care what you think. Come back as Harden up Harry or something and I’m sure you’ll have a different view anyway

              • November 23rd 2017 @ 6:26pm
                Peter the Scribe said | November 23rd 2017 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

                Come on Paul I’ve had my own stoushes in here with a Halfway Harry, You really think I’d argue with myself for the sake of it?

    • Roar Guru

      November 23rd 2017 @ 11:47am
      Wayne said | November 23rd 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

      I just hope Saints don’t screw it up. We seem to be a bit hit/miss with Draft picks recent years.