Tbetta’s Phantom Draft

The Draft is a day away, and I thought this year is as good a year as any to first publish my Phantom Draft, and hopefully get some discussion going on here.

The following is what I think will be the most likely outcome, and hence I’ve played it safe with a few selections. I’ve only done the first two rounds – partly due to time constraints, partly due to less knowledge of the lower picks, and partly due to the incredibly unknown nature of this year’s draft. I’ve included likely positional eligibility for DT and, for the first 30 selections, I’ve commented on the pick and estimated the range in which the players will be selected, and I’ll be very surprised if they don’t fall within that category.

It’s also important to note how influential Pick 5 will be – It will change the whole landscape, depending on who GWS go with there.



1. GWS – Stephen Coniglio  MID/FWD

It’s hard to differentiate between Coniglio and Patton. Both are such good players, but in completely different moulds, and both would be worthy recipients of the first choice. Ultimately I think they’ll give the honour to Coniglio, mainly because he is a midfielder and is likely to succeed quicker than Patton, or at least get the opportunity to.

Range: 1-2

2. GWS – Jonathon Patton  FWD

Enough has been said about the prospective number 1 and 2 picks, so I’ll get to the point; Patton is the best big man in this draft by a country mile. He will not get past this second selection.

Range: 1-2

3. GWS – Dom Tyson  MID

A highly intelligent elite midfielder, Tyson is a shoo-in at 3 and will likely get a lot of playing time next year with the Giants.

Range: 3-4

4. GWS – Will Hoskin-Elliot  MID

Hoskin-Elliot is a speedy, flashy, skilful wingman who could have easily gone at 3. If GWS let him go to 6, Port would almost have to take him, so the Giants won’t let a talent like this past 5.

Range: 3-6

5. GWS – Matthew Buntine  DEF

This will be the most important pick in the draft – or at least the one that shapes it. GWS have a few options here; Longer, Wingard and Greene are all possible selections. But because Port has pick 6 and GWS aren’t as keen on Wingard, they’ll let him slide and take a player they are desperate not to leave to an eagerly-awaiting Brisbane. Buntine is the best key defender in this draft class, and will easily hold down a spot on the half-back line for the Giants next year.

Range: 4 – 12

6. Port – Chad Wingard  FWD

Port get their man and local boy Wingard at 6, and they’ll be more than happy with that, considering a month ago he was touted as a top 3 pick. They’ll think about Longer for a second or two if he’s still available, but they’d be foolish to miss out on what could end up being the best player from this draft.

Range: 5-6

7. GWS – Billy Longer  RUCK

Longer is good enough to go top 5, but it all depends on the mind games of the recruiters and list needs of the teams in a position to take him. Brisbane would love to get him as a long-term replacement for Clarke, which is why I think GWS will snatch him here.

Range: 5-11

8. Brisbane – Adam Tomlinson  DEF/FWD

Without Buntine or Longer on the table, Brisbane will still look to fulfil list needs by taking Tomlinson at pick 8. They could have picked up a quality mid here, but there is no chance of Tomlinson being available at 12 if they pass on him, so they’ll pull the trigger here with the best KPP available.

Range: 7 -12

9. GWS – Taylor Adams  MID

Apparently Brisbane aren’t as keen on Adams as the rest of the recruiting world, so GWS can afford to let one of their most favoured players slide to 9. Adams is a hard-at-it inside midfielder who would be a perfect fit for the GWS’ inaugural midfield.

Range: 7-17

10. GWS – Liam Sumner  MID/FWD

Many had him higher than 10 in draft predictions mid-year, but Sumner has dropped down the order slightly, mainly due to other players rising. He’s skinny, but he has some dazzle and he always gets the job done.

Range: 9 – 17

11. GWS – Nick Haynes  FWD

One of the bigger bolters of this draft crop, Haynes looks set to be taken in this block of GWS picks. He’s a tall half-forward type, and due to his skinny frame and strong over-head mark he is being likened to Fyfe. Haynes is one that could easily slide if a GWS let him go and a few teams have already made their mind up with their first pick. Not likely, but possible.

Range: 9-22

12. Brisbane – Toby Greene  MID

I personally like Greene the most of anyone in this draft, and it surprises me that he can even last to 12, but it looks like happening. I think he’s an outside chance at 5, and he could be taken anywhere after. He has the grunt and desire of a Joel Selwood, and I see him playing a similar role for Brisbane if they pick him here. He’s the safest bet of any of the mids left available, but Brisbane could always pick up a slider or pull out a smokie with their second pick.

Range: 5-18

13. GWS – Shane Kersten  FWD

Kersten is a third-tall forward who plays a similar role to Jack Darling. His marking is elite and his agility and athleticism is surprisingly good for a 190cm forward. Fremantle would love to take him at 16, but I think GWS will take him here or at 14.

Range: 13 – 16

14. GWS – Elliot Kavanagh  MID

Kavanagh was a consensus top 5 pick during the season, but lingering doubts over his durability and a serious hamstring injury has damaged his stocks significantly. He has the talent though, and with GWS already having so many picks, they can afford to take a risk here.

Range: 9 – 26

15. Richmond – Sam Docherty  DEF/MID

Deledio needs help on the half-back line long term, and Docherty has the pace and skills to suit. Almost a done deal unless someone slides.

Range: 13 – 26

16. Fremantle – Hayden Crozier  FWD

Hayden Crozier is the skinny kid who took that huge mark. He must be sick of hearing about it by now, because I am. He is a confidence player, but has an x-factor that will not only break lines but get bums on seats. I think he deserves to be taken in the 20’s at the earliest, but with Fremantle’s success with Fyfe, they might be tempted to take him here.

Range: 15 – 29

17.  Bulldogs – Sam Frost  DEF

Bulldogs are light on with talls, and Frost is a solid option. McKenzie or Ellis could easily go here instead though, if the Bulldogs go with a best-available approach.

Range: 16 – 50

18. North – Brad McKenzie  MID

McKenzie is what North have been looking for. A long-kicking rebounding defender out of South Australia, McKenzie has been likened to his namesake in Trent from the Suns. Again, Ellis could go here instead.

Range: 16 – 25

19. Essendon – Brandon Ellis  DEF

Ellis is classy, composed and skilful, which is why he should be taken in the first round. He’s also a gifted all-rounder who is not particularly damaging in any one area, which is why he could slide into the 2nd round. Essendon needs a good outside player to compliment Watson, and Ellis is their guy.

Range: 16-35

20. Fremantle – Shane Nelson  FWD/MID

Fremantle are likely to keep it local unless they see a slider here at 20. Nelson is quick and can play both forward or midfield. Murray Newman is also an option here, but Nelson is strictly the better player.

Range: 20 – 45

21. Sydney – Tom Mitchell  MID

A gun player, top 5 material, and the Swans get him as a Father/Son selecton at 21. An Absolute bargain.

Range: 21

22. Carlton – Todd Elton  DEF

Carlton get a solid KPP in Elton here, who will be groomed to help out Henderson and Jamison in the future.

Range: 12 – 35

23. West Coast – Devon Smith  MID/FWD

I think Devon Smith will slide and West Coast will be the beneficiaries. A genuine mid/forward threat, Smith could easily go to GWS with one of their earlier selections. West Coast had ideas for Lockyer or Murdoch here, but best available guides this pick.

Range: 11 – 24

24. Gold Coast – Clay Smith  MID

The Suns have been very tight lipped about this pick, so it’s hard to know what to expect with this selection. Elite endurance and clearance ability will suit the young Suns perfectly, who relied too much on Rischitelli and Ablett last year.

Range: 16 – 36

25. St Kilda – Michael Talia  DEF

The Saints need talls given Dawson’s departure, and Talia is a good pick at 25. Brother of Adelaide’s Daniel, which means nothing, except that he could move ahead of the learning curve like Daniel did at the Crows.

Range: 22 – 38

26. Richmond – Mitch Grigg  MID

Grigg was a potential top 10 pick at one stage, but the queries over his pace are too loud and too plentiful to ignore. He’ll be a solid clearance midfielder wherever he goes, and his kicking is nothing short of elite when he finds some space.

Range: 9 – 36

Priority Selections

27. Adelaide – Daniel Markworth  FWD

Markworth should probably be taken higher, but I think he will slide due to clubs fulfilling list needs. Adelaide can get the best available player here, whilst also filling the hole that Gunston left and Dangerfield should vacate once he moves into the midfield permanently.

Range: 15 – 30

28. West Coast – Jordan Lockyer  DEF

The Eagles get their man in Lockyer, a mobile defender who helps greatly in the Glass succession plan. He’s also a local boy, which protects the Eagles from the go-home factor that affected Judd and, more recently, Brad Ebert.

Range: 20 – 29

29. Fremantle – Josh Bootsma  DEF

Bootsma has come out of nowhere to be a serious consideration by Fremantle at 29. Inquiries were made into his Father/Son status at the Dockers, indicating some level of interest. He would fit right in down back, especially with the loss of Tarrant and the inevitable retirements of Grover and McPharlin looming.

Range: 28 – Rookie

30. Brisbane – Henry Schade  DEF

Schade is another bolter who theoretically could be in line for selection at 12, especially if Brisbane take a midfielder at 9 and miss out on both Buntine and Tomlinson. He’s a key defender out of Tasmania who has no qualms with putting his body on the line, and Brisbane would be stoked to have him at 30.

Range 12-47

Round Two

31. Essendon – Seb Ross
32. Geelong – Andrew Boseley
33. Hawthorn – Fraser McInness
34. Geelong – Murray Newman
35. St Kilda – Tom Downie
36. Melbourne – Jackson Paine
37. St Kilda – Elliot Yeo
38. Hawthorn – Tom Sheridan
39.  Bulldogs – Julian Dobosv
40. North – Alex Forster
41. Adelaide – Jordan Murdoch
42. St Kilda – Clay Smith
43. Sydney –Tom Curran
44. Carlton – Zyrus Manson
45. Port – Sam Kerridge
46. Adelaide – Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
47. Brisbane – Myles Bolger
48. Geelong – Kyal Horsley


So there it is. Let me know what you think, rip it to shreds, whatever – we’ll find out tomorrow evening in the real thing. Also, keep an eye out for the DT relevant players, especially those who get past Pick 18 and are assigned base price!

Hit me up on Twitter – @tbetta9


  • Consensus says you’re right T-Betta and GWS will pick up all the midfielders (I’m reminded of adzman’s Hitler furious that he didn’t get all the good rooks last year) but this can’t be in the best interests of building their squad. Considering they have Scully, Callan Ward, Rhys Palmer, Sam Darley, Dylan Shiel, Adam Treloar and numerous others and will get Stephen Coniglio, Dom Tyson, Will Hoskin-Elliot…surely their biggest needs are defenders to add to Phil Davis, Tim Mohr, Bugg, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get Matthew Buntine, Tomlinson and Docherty and if I was gearing up to support them, I’d hate to see them line up with their threadbare defence as is.

    By the way, if you want to protect your suit, best to put the elbow pads UNDER the elbows.

    • Haha, they’re my Bicep pads…

      I agree, but I also think that GWS aren’t concerned with this season too much, and will take purely the best available for their first few picks. More player poaching will ensue once they find out where their areas of weakness are – and it does look like being in defense (interestingly, almost the complete opposite of the Suns this year).

      I think GWS are looking at the big picture – taking the best available so that they can be in a good position to win a premiership in 3 – 5 years, and not focusing on being competitive in their first year in the competition.

  • Giant draft picks are horrible, no offence. Pretty much all midfielders. They only need a few. They’ve already got plenty at the club like Shiel and Treloar (Who would be top 5 if the giants hasn’t already got them).

    Buntine, Tomlinson are certainties at the Giants. Talia might be snared at 14 aswell. They need some defenders to join Hombsh, Aylett, Mohr, etc

    • None taken! See my reply to the post above, it applies here too.

      I disagree with them being all midfielders – Coniglio, Patton, Haynes and Kersten are all forwards, Buntine is a defender and Longer is a ruckman. There are only about 3 defenders worthy of top 14, and they are Buntine, Tomlinson and Docherty – and that’s just the way I think it’ll fall.

      Don’t forget that GWS still have picks 56, 79, 87, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, where they can possibly pick up a Blee, Tynan, Clarke, Kelly or a Dale.

      • Coniglio isn’t a forward……..and Giants already have guys like Josh Bruce and Jez Cameron (top 5 pick not already at the Giants). Giants have pretty much forwards covered once they get Patton. They won’t need to many more

        • They’re not going to pass up the best available player because of untried (at AFL level ) players already on their list. I still believe they will go with best available players up until pick 14, then meet list needs with their later picks.

          Yeah, Coniglio is a forward, predominantly. If he were drafted to any other team, he’d play the majority of the season as a forward pocket/flank – That Grand Final he played in two years ago for Swans where he kicked 4 goals as a 16 year old, he played as a forward against players with bigger bodies. I’d expect the same thing to happen with him this year – think Gary Ablett in his early years. Played up forward for a couple of years where he developed his game with experience while he improved his endurance through training in an AFL environment.

          • In Coniglio’s own words “I’m a hard-running midfielder with good skills who can win the hard ball and break away on the outside” http://www.afl.com.au/tabid/208/default.aspx?newsid=123390. It just sounds like you’ve based you’re opinon around Coniglio from just one game. Yes he kicks a few goals, but it’s becoming a common trend for geniue midfielders these days. However alot of these pure midfielders are turned into forward flankers or used in other roles, etc by AFL clubs, however most of these kids are kids who aren’t selected at the pointy end of the draft. The Giants, or any club for that matter won’t use Coniglio anywhere else but the midfield because he has so much talent there.

            Seriously, the Giants will be very happy you’re not running a the recruting department with SOS. If they took the best player possible with every pick they’d a massive overload of midfielders and barley and backs. The Giants need to draft to their fill their weaknesses, just like the other 17 clubs. Using Pick 90 odd in the draft won’t fill holes for the long term (or even short term for that matter), 99% of those players are gone within 2 years normally. They will need to use a FEW (not all. It’d only be 2ish) of the later first round choices ( 9/10/11/13/14) to fill a few holes in their team. EXAMPLE: If the Giants need a another young talented KPD at this time in the draft, but there is a good midfielder still up for grabs, despite the the Giants are already bordering having too many midfielders, that the Giants would take the midfielder over the young KPD? lol. Sure this midfielder might be better than this young KPD, but the Giants need this young KPD more, Why would they select a good midfielder who will be pushed out in future years due to not enough space over someone the would need for the future? They can afford to do this as they have so many first round picks in the actual draft and so many talented kids who’d be first rounders at the club.
            There’s no point in taking 10 awesome midfielders because three quarters of them would be gone in 3-4 years. You don’t want to overload if too many talented players of the same position. They’ll just loose most of them if they do that and they would have wasted some very good draft selections. You need to spread the picks across a vairity of different talented types of players.

          • These last two expansion clubs have been given WAAAAY too many concessions. They’re like millionaires carelessly going through a few thousand in duty free shops at the airport while they wait for their ride. If they stuff it up: In your face, brother!

          • Good, a bit of conversation! Look, I agree with you for the most part, but I don’t think SOS and the recruitment staff at GWS are playing to a common or accepted recruiting strategy. Right from the start they targeted young players, Scully, Davis, Ward, Palmer, etc. so that they can be ultra-competitive in 3-5 years. They aren’t worried about 2012, or even 2013 for that matter.

            Being competitive next year is not there biggest concern, like it was for the Suns. That’s why they have recruited the older guys – Cornes, Brogan, McDonald, Power, etc, so that they can put up a fight while their core young players develop.

            That is why I see GWS taking the best quality players available, this year and the next. They have time to develop project KPPs they have on their list and the ones they can take with later selections. It’s all working towards 2014 and onwards, next year is just gathering experience.

          • Having lived in both Melbourne and Sydney for a few years, I’d like to comment on the market they are getting into. It goes without saying that sporting teams in Sydney have to win to get exposure and to pull a crowd. And Sydneysiders do not particularly want to go to watch sport – it is simply not a part of the culture like it is in Melbourne. I had this argument a million times whilst I was in Sydney but look at the facts: a good crowd to an NRL game is 18- 20 000. This is considered an embarassment for an AFL club. Look at the number of people that go to the big days during the racing carnivals. Once again, Sydney’s racing administrators are stoked with 20 000. And compare stadiums: the MCG (Cricket Ground) has something like 100 000 capacity (don’t quote me here) whilst the SCG (Cricket Ground) has more like 50 000 (err…). Not even big sporting events promoted as parties (racing) get Sydneysiders to go and be a part of it. If GWS think they can survive while their team gets smashed in front of 10 000 people for 5 years until they are any good, they could be in for a huge shock but it’s all cool so long as Big Brother at the AFL looks after them.

  • In the end it matters who GWS picks up, with a number of exceptions I suppose, but GWS rookies will form the bulk of the cash cows for most of us. Pick the on baller types who are pretty certain to play the first few games at least, hopefully average70-80, take the money and run as the season progesses.

    • Good call. Shiel and Treloar are the obvious ones, and Cameron and Giles look like they can play straight up also.

  • As a Crows fan I hope your’e right but I can’t see Markworth lasting to 27. He would be a good fit for us. Wouldn’t mind if Mckenzie or Talia were still there at 27 either. PLEASE G.W.S. take Wingard at 5 -hate to see him at Port !

    • So true! As a fellow Crows supporter, I would love to see their faces when the Wingard who they so badly want, goes to GWS

    • I had both McKenzie and Talia pencilled in for consideration for 27 (local boy and brother of a player, respectively) but the way it went the were both gone by then.

      You’re right about Markworth – most other recent mock drafts have him going earlier, but he’s my pick to slide along with Devon Smith. He’d be a bargain there for sure!

  • I wonder if this will be a good year for cash cows?

    Right now I’m looking at:
    DEF: Buntine, Docherty
    MID: Tyson, Greene
    RUC: Longer
    FWD: Wingard, Hoskin-Elliott

    I also might get in Alex Forster for shits and gigs because he goes to my school, Pembroke, in Adelaide. Hopefully he gets picked up by the Crows although Murdoch is a local as well.

  • I have a feeling that GWS will take either Tomlinson or Longer in the top 5.

    Something like this

    1. Patton
    2. Coniglio
    4. Buntine
    5. Longer
    6. Wingard

    They need that KKP stocks badly. Davis is injury prone and other than that who have they got? The defence cant be stocked with developing NSW zone players and the late pick from this draft.

    • Cornes will play back, and I think they use McDonald as a half-bank flank to begin with (don’t quote me!) – so hopefully they’ll find a gem later in the draft to help them.

    • I mostly agree with this. Not sure Tomlinson will go this high, but its certainly a possibility. I think GWS will let Wingard go to Port, and take Buntine and Longer like you said. I just don’t think their recruiters will see taking him as worthwhile. They know the Crows and Power will chase him his entire career, and being Indigenous, the lure of home and family will likely be very strong for him. I think the Giants would rather take a KPP, as they will have fewer of those than they do midfielders, which means less competition for spots in the side, and less incentive to leave the club in the future for these players.

  • Awesome work, tbetta. Looking forward to following it tomorrow night and seeing how close yours (and other) phantom drafts get.

    The big thing for DT is that the first of the basement priced players end up being some clubs first picks… who are all a chance to get games, and at under $100K will be some DT gold. We will be able to load up a bit more on GWS kids (as opposed to GC this year) because there won’t be the bye for them until Round 11. But they will get their rests during the season, ala GC… however, that’s something to think about later.

    I’m excited about the draft. I will get a post up just before it starts with a live chat and we should do some ‘live commenting’ in the post with some DT ideas on some players.

  • Good work tbetta! thanks for the articles throughout the year and looking forward to reading them again next year!

  • I’m happy about Mitchell, seems we’ve done well and he outplayed Conglio in the under 18s apparently.

    • He’s a great get but I’m struggling to get my head around whether I’ll pick him. Its bloody hard for anyone to get their hand on the ball in Sydney’s midfield, let alone first year players. Then if he gets subbed a couple of times, he’ll be a staller. Further, I don’t trust Sydney’s pre-season as an indication of what’s actually going to happen which puts question marks over him for me.

    • yeah, i’m keen to see how he goes. the plus for dt is because he isnt getting picked til 21 he will be cheaper i believe than if he went around 5/6/7?

    • Can’t fit him on my bench unfortunately… Not with Marty Clarke & Dayne Zorko!
      After the disappointment of Swallow, Bennell & others this year I have stayed well away from 18yo rookies and picked ALOT of mature aged bodies. They wouldnt get drafted or picked up at 22-23 years old if they werent going to play them ;)

      Saad, S.Morris, Clarke, Zorko to name a few