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Jacob Weitering: What are the Blues getting for their No.1 draft pick?

Weitering ready to make an impact New Blue Jacob Weitering can't wait to get to get started at his new club
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Jacob Weitering of the Stingrays competes for the ball during the 2015 TAC Cup Semi Final match between the Dandenong Stingrays and the Eastern Ranges at Ikon Park, Melbourne, Australia on September 19, 2015. (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media)
Jacob Weitering has been selected by Carlton at No.1 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft

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WHAT are the Blues getting for their No.1 pick?'

Jacob Weitering has been compared to Geelong premiership defender Harry Taylor and has massive leadership potential, having captained Vic Country to victory this year in the NAB AFL Under 18 championships.

Those two things alone are pretty impressive, but there are many reasons why Carlton used the No.1 pick in the NAB AFL Draft to secure him on Tuesday night.

They maintain they didn't speak to him on Tuesday, and stuck with the line that they hadn't entirely settled on him in the hours before the draft kicked off in Adelaide.

But there's no doubt they were sold much earlier than that, given he not only showed incredible potential this year but could easily slot into their line up next season. 

When he was in year nine at The Peninsula School, Weitering had a good role model three years ahead of him.

Lachie Whitfield was touted as the likely No.1 draft choice for more than a year before he was finally taken by Greater Western Sydney at the 2012 draft.

Weitering watched Whitfield handle the acclaim and spotlight and still manage to perform on the field. He couldn't have known at the time that in his own draft season – this year – he would be in a very similar position.

Weitering was viewed as the likely No.1 choice from the start of the season, when he dominated older and senior opponents playing for the NAB AFL Academy against VFL teams.

So comprehensive was his case to be taken with the top pick, the Melbourne supporter was interviewed by just two clubs at last month's NAB AFL Combine.

Weitering had fans at the Brisbane Lions, having won over coach Justin Leppitsch when he trained with them last year,  but the Queensland club haven't walked away from the draft losers, having secured key forward Josh Schache with the second pick overall in a time where they desperately need to bolster their attack.

Weitering is a towering and powerful key defender who is unmatched in the air. His hands grip the ball and he has so far proved very difficult to budge when in the right position. At TAC Cup level he averaged nearly eight marks a game, and it's very rare you see him make a mistake or appear rushed. 

While his intercept marking and confidence in the air is how Weitering influences games most, his spoiling is smart and with power and he has a natural competitiveness that comes out on the field. His foot skills are also exceptional. He is able to pinpoint passes with composure and he can also send the ball nearly more than 50m out of the backline to clear trouble.

His endurance is at the top end (he ran a 15.1 beep test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine) and his pace is solid as well (3.04 seconds in the 20m sprint). Weitering caps off his on-field traits with an off-field persona that never gets flustered. He's humble and dedicated, and oozes leadership qualities. 

No draft prospect is flawless, because teenagers still have plenty of time to develop. That's especially the case for Weitering, who only turned 18 the day before the draft. But you'd have to be nit picking to find a fault in his game because he does everything with a level of class and composure. His tackling has been raised as a potential area of improvement, but really, it's an extremely minor point.  

With his aerial dominance and foot skills, Weitering plays in the same way as Geelong's Taylor. Both players can not only hold down their direct opponent, but also provide cover for teammates around them with their brilliant marking abilities.  

Weitering is so ready for the AFL that he would have played 20 games in most senior teams this season had he been allowed. Clubs see him as a future captain, and it won't take long for him to graduate to his new team's leadership group. He's an ultra-competitive, professional and determined prospect ready to play.