The Roar
The Roar


2018 AFL Draft

Number 1 pick Sam Walsh (centre). (AAP Image/James Ross)

The 2018 AFL Draft was held across two days; Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23.

Sam Walsh was the first selection of the draft, being picked by the Carlton Football Club. Gold Coast made headlines with the next two picks, selecting highly-touted South Australian duo Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine – sparking fears the embattled Suns were setting themselves up for yet another exodus.

2018 AFL Draft order

Round Pick Club Player
1 1 Carlton Sam Walsh
1 2 Gold Coast Suns Jack Lukosius
1 3 Gold Coast Suns Izak Rankine
1 4 St Kilda Max King
1 5 Port Adelaide Connor Rozee
1 6 Gold Coast Suns Ben King
1 7 Western Bulldogs Bailey Smith
1 8 North Melbourne Tarryn Thomas
1 9 Adelaide Crows Chayce Jones
1 10 Sydney Swans Nick Blakey
1 11 GWS Giants Jye Caldwell
1 12 Port Adelaide Zak Butters
1 13 Collingwood Isaac Quaynor
1 14 GWS Giants Jackson Hately
1 15 Geelong Jordan Clark
1 16 Adelaide Crows Ned McHenry
1 17 Fremantle Sam Sturt
1 18 Port Adelaide Xavier Duursma
1 19 Carlton Liam Stocker
1 20 Richmond Riley Collier-Dawkins
1 21 Brisbane Lions Ely Smith
1 22 GWS Giants Xavier O’Halloran
1 23 Gold Coast Suns Jez McLennan
2 24 GWS Giants Ian Hill
2 25 Sydney Swans James Rowbottom
2 26 Western Bulldogs Rhylee West
2 27 Melbourne Tom Sparrow
2 28 West Coast Eagles Xavier O’Neill
2 29 Collingwood Will Kelly
2 30 Adelaide Crows William Hamill
2 31 West Coast Eagles Luke Foley
2 32 Fremantle Luke Valente
2 33 Melbourne James Jordon
2 34 GWS Giants Kieren Briggs
2 35 West Coast Eagles Bailey Williams
2 36 Brisbane Lions Tom Berry
2 37 Western Bulldogs Laitham Vandermeer
2 38 Essendon Irving Mosquito
2 39 West Coast Eagles Jarrod Cameron
2 40 Brisbane Lions Tom Joyce
2 41 St Kilda Jack Bytel
2 42 Brisbane Lions Connor McFadyen
2 43 Richmond Jack Ross
3 44 Sydney Swans Justin McInerney
3 45 Western Bulldogs Ben Cavarra
3 46 North Melbourne Curtis Taylor
3 47 St Kilda Matthew Parker
3 48 Geelong Ben Jarvis
3 49 North Melbourne Bailey Scott
3 50 Geelong Jacob Kennerley
3 51 Sydney Swans Zac Foot
3 52 Hawthorn Jacob Koschitzke
3 53 Melbourne Aaron Nietschke
3 54 St Kilda Nick Hind
3 55 Brisbane Lions Noah Answerth
4 56 Melbourne Marty Hore
4 57 Fremantle Lachlan Schultz
4 58 Richmond Fraser Turner
4 59 Fremantle Brett Bewley
4 60 Essendon Noah Gown
4 61 GWS Giants Connor Idun
4 62 Richmond Luke English
4 63 Hawthorn Mathew Walker
4 64 Adelaide Crows Lachlan Sholl
4 65 Geelong Darcy Fort
4 66 Carlton Finbar O’Dwyer
4 67 St Kilda Robbie Young
4 68 Geelong Jake Tarca
4 69 North Melbourne Joel Crocker
5 70 Carlton Ben Silvagni
5 71 Gold Coast Suns Caleb Graham
5 72 Essendon Brayden Ham
5 73 Port Adelaide Riley Grundy
5 74 Geelong Oscar Brownless
5 75 Melbourne Toby Bedford
5 76 Port Adelaide Boyd Woodcock
5 77 Collingwood Atu Bosenavulagi
5 78 Western Bulldogs Will Hayes
Sam Walsh Liam Stocker

Sam Walsh and Liam Stocker of the Blues. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Back in its VFL days, the national draft was introduced in 1981, allowing the Victorian teams to acquire interstate players depending on where they finished on the ladder.

It has since been expanded to include players from all locations, and is now the primary source of new talent for every AFL club.

The draft order is determined each year by awarding the clubs their draft picks in reverse finishing order – the club that finished last receives the first pick, and so on.

However these picks can then change hands during the trade period and the final draft order is often quite different to the original one released after the end of the season.


After originally being held in 1981 and 1982, the draft was then not held again until 1986, but has been held in some form every year since.

For much of its early history it was held in Victoria each year, but in recent times it has regularly been held interstate.

The draft was brought to the Gold Coast for the 2010 event, then to Sydney for 2011, and then returned to Gold Coast for several years, before being moved to Adelaide in 2015 and to Sydney again in 2016.

The draft has returned to Melbourne for 2018, however.

The No.1 draft pick is always a prized possession, though clubs have gotten smarter about using it in modern times than they were in the past.

1987 No.1 pick Richard Loudner for example only ever played four games for his club, Richmond. But in recent times No.1 picks like Nick Riewoldt, Luke Hodge and Adam Cooney have won premierships, Brownlows, and become legends of the game.

In the table below is every No.1 draft pick in VFL/AFL history, from 1981 onwards.

Draft Player Selected by Recruited from League recruited from
1981 Alan Johnson Melbourne Perth WAFL
1982 Andrew Purser Footscray East Fremantle WAFL
1986 Martin Leslie Brisbane Bears Port Adelaide Magpies SANFL
1987 Richard Lounder Richmond Central District SANFL
1988 Alex McDonald Hawthorn Ballarat YCW Ballarat Football League
1989 Anthony Banik Richmond Won Wron Woodside Alberton Football League
1990 Stephen Hooper Geelong East Perth WAFL
1991 John Hutton Brisbane Bears Claremont WAFL
1992 Drew Banfield West Coast Eagles Subiaco WAFL
1993 Darren Gaspar Sydney South Fremantle WAFL
1994 Jeff White Fremantle Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup
1995 Clive Waterhouse Fremantle Port Adelaide Magpies SANFL
1996 Michael Gardiner West Coast Eagles Claremont WAFL
1997 Travis Johnstone Melbourne Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup
1998 Des Headland Brisbane Lions Subiaco WAFL
1999 Josh Fraser Collingwood Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup
2000 Nick Riewoldt St Kilda Southport Sharks QAFL
2001 Luke Hodge Hawthorn Geelong Falcons TAC Cup
2002 Brendon Goddard St Kilda Gippsland Power TAC Cup
2003 Adam Cooney Western Bulldogs West Adelaide SANFL
2004 Brett Deledio Richmond Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup
2005 Marc Murphy Carlton Oakleigh Chargers TAC Cup
2006 Bryce Gibbs Carlton Glenelg SANFL
2007 Matthew Kreuzer Carlton Northern Knights TAC Cup
2008 Jack Watts Melbourne Sandringham Dragons TAC Cup
2009 Tom Scully Melbourne Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup
2010 David Swallow Gold Coast Suns East Fremantle Football Club WAFL
2011 Jonathon Patton GWS Giants Eastern Ranges TAC Cup
2012 Lachie Whitfield GWS Giants Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup
2013 Tom Boyd GWS Giants Eastern Ranges TAC Cup
2014 Paddy McCartin St Kilda Geelong Falcons TAC Cup
2015 Jacob Weitering Carlton Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup
2016 Andrew McGrath Essendon Sandringham Dragons TAC Cup
2017 Cam Rayner Brisbane Lions Western Jets TAC Cup
2018 Sam Walsh Carlton Geelong Falcons TAC Cup

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