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What Could’ve Been

One of our friends, MJ Want, wanted to look at how Melbourne would look if they got their drafting right. Not so much DT related, but this is a very interesting read and deserves a place. Cheers MJ!

For the past few season we have heard media commentators and fans alike bang on about the recruiting of the Melbourne Football club. How their early draft picks “haven’t worked out” or “failed to live up to promise.” So I decided to quickly (did this all within an hour) troll through the drafts from 2007 – 2012 and see whom they could’ve picked instead. Now I’ve done this on the assumption that every other AFL club would pick the same player in their original position (eg if a club selected someone at 10 I couldn’t select them with pick #12.)

As you’ll see hindsight is a beautiful thing. Just ask the Melbourne football club recruiting team. In fairness, if we did this exercise with every club over the past 10 years we’d be able to find some player selections that just didn’t work out. So lets see how the past few drafts could’ve ended out for the Melbourne Football Club.

Year 2007 Who they Picked Who They Should’ve Picked
Selection #4 Cale Morton Patrick Dangerfield
#14 Jack Grimes Harry Taylor
#21 Adam Maric Scott Thompson
#53 Kyle Cheney Tom Bellchambers
Rookie Draft Trent Zomer
Austin Wonaeamirri
Jake Spencer
Shane Velenti
Nathan Grima
Jared Petrenko
Pierce Hanley
Shane Mumford


Year 2008 Who they Picked Who They Should’ve Picked
Selection #1 Jack Watts Nic Naitanui
#17 Sam Blease Dayne Beams
#35 Jamie Bennell Rory Sloane
#51 Neville Jetta Tom Rockliff
Rookie Draft Jordan McKenzie
Daniel Hughes
Jarryd Blair
Matthew Suckling


Year 2009 Who they Picked Who They Should’ve Picked
Selection # 1 Tom Scully Dustin Martin
#2 Jack Trengrove Nathan Fyfe
#11 Jordan Gysberts Lewis Jetta
#18 Luke Tapscott Luke Ball
#34 Max Gawn Allen Christensen
#50 Jake Fitzpatrick Kyle Hardingham
Rookie Draft Michael Newton
John Meesen
Michael Barlow
James Podsiadly


Year 2010 Who they Picked Who They Should’ve Picked
Selection #12 Lucas Cook Jack Darling
#33 Jeremy Howe Luke Parker
#50 Troy Davis Paul Puopolo
#53 Tom McDonald Alex Johnson
Rookie Draft Dan Nicholson
Michael Evans
Kelvin Lawrence
Cameron Johnston
Robert Campbell
Tom McNamara
Luke Dalhaus
Nick Lower
Ian Callinan
Jonathan Simpkin


Year 2011 Who they Picked Who They Should’ve Picked
Selection #36 Rory Taggert Jack Newnes
#52 Josh Tynan Jackson Paine
#54 James Sellar Tory Dickson
Rookie Draft Jai Sheehan
Tom Couch
James Magner
Leigh Williams
Lee Spurr
Campbell Heath
Mark Baguley
Sam Gibson


Now imagine being Mark Neeld and knowing that last weekend if the Dees had drafted this way, then they’d line up something quite possibly along the lines of this.

B:        Lower, Thompson, Johnson
HB:     Hanley, Taylor, Suckling
C:         Ball, Beams, Fyfe
HF:      Martin, Podsiadly, Jetta
F:         Blair, Naitinui, Darling
R:        Mumford, Rockliff, Dangerfield

Int: Sloane, Barlow, Christensen, Parker

Players on the Fringe: Bellchambers, Grima, Dalhaus, Gibson, Spurr, Hardingham, Petrenko, Puopolo

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Avatar


    May 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    They still would have needed to developed the players, which they are seemingly incapable of.

    • Avatar


      May 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      agree. not everyone they drafted has been void of talent. it’s what’s happened since draft that has been as much of an issue.

      look at the flip side – where could all these players they drafted have ended up?

  2. Avatar


    May 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    lmao gg

  3. Avatar


    May 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Come on, seriously. Commentators and pundits are always doing this. It’s lazy.

    In 2008, instead of Tom Swift, West Coast could have used pick 20 get Dayne Beams. Or Rory Sloane, or David Zaharakis, or Liam Anthony.

    Everyone knows Melbourne have recruited badly, but it’s obviously more of a development issue.

  4. Avatar

    johnny fontane

    May 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    it’s not about the players they recruited per se but how they develop them. if they’re introduced into a toxic culture even the most talented players won’t amoung to anything. look at what maloney’s been doing now. some of these picks were terrible like watts, morton and cook. but some of the players we’re talking about have thrived because of the environemtn they’re in (suckling, christensen, jetta etc). not saying their recruiters aren’t complete duds but it’s only the tip of the iceberg

  5. Avatar


    May 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    As a Melbourne supporter I think that we would rather Howe instead of Parker. But I agree we have made very poor decisions when it has come to drafting. Also this year we picked Toumpas instead of wines.

    All I can say is it is a dark year for the Melbourne Demons. :(

  6. Avatar


    May 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Hardigan over Fitzpatrick! Yeah right! You high or something???

    Any pick outside of the first round you can say “why didn’t” to any of the other 17 clubs! So really this was a waste of time! Why didn’t geelong & hawthorn pick Rocky or Belchambers or Sloane or Parker? Going to have a crack at them too???

    Melbournes problem is their inability to draft with first round selections, followed up by an inability to develop and nurture young talent! Not who they picked at #51 in the 2008 draft or their 2007 rookie draft selections………

  7. Avatar


    May 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    The author was quite clear about the flaws inherent in this type of analysis and so a lot of the above criticism is unfair. I thought that it was an interesting and thought provoking article. As a Gold Coast Suns member it is interesting to note that a bunch of early draft picks is no guarantee of success.

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