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The Phantom Draft with Callum Twomey

AFL.com.au's draft guru Callum Twomey reveals his top 30 ahead of Thursday's NAB AFL Draft. 






PADDY McCARTIN – 19/4/96, 193cm, 95kg, Geelong Falcons
The most imposing key forward in the draft, McCartin carries a presence like all the best power goalkickers. His game is based around his marking: he uses his size to crash packs and take contested grabs, and his smarts and breakaway speed to get on the lead and find space. Some injuries got in the way of him putting together a more productive campaign, but in the games McCartin played he kicked goals and accumulated plenty of shots. He'll give his all every time the ball's kicked to him, and would offer long-term back up to the Saints' forward line with Nick Riewoldt nearing the end of his glittering career. McCartin has probably deserved more discussion as a possible No.1 pick through the year, because he's got some special traits. 


If not him? It's been a line-ball call (and a really hard one) for the Saints the whole way. If not McCartin, the Saints will go with star midfielder Christian Petracca.




ANGUS BRAYSHAW – 9/1/96, 187cm, 86kg, Sandringham Dragons
Melbourne has long been linked to him, and with good reason. The season couldn't have gone much better for Brayshaw, who established himself as a likely top-five pick very early and held his form for the remainder of the year. Brayshaw is a game-changer who wins his own possessions, breaks away from stoppages, kicks well on both feet and has a relentless attitude. He's tough, throws himself at the ball and does everything for his team. Brayshaw has just as much going for him as any other midfielder available. 


If not him? The Dees might push Brayshaw down to pick three and use pick two on Christian Petracca, or vice versa. But if the Saints go with Petracca, clearly Paddy McCartin is there to take at two or three.  




CHRISTIAN PETRACCA – 4/1/96, 186cm, 92kg, Eastern Ranges
The damaging and explosive Petracca pushed himself up to the top end of the draft with an outstanding season. He started the season as a half-forward with question marks on his running, but by the end of the year had proven his ability to move into the midfield and retain his match-winning talents near goal. Petracca is a brute: he barges through people, is dominant in the air, and will be expecting to play plenty of AFL next season. He is desperate to be a great player at the top level and Melbourne would love to introduce him to its midfield mix next season.


If not him? They could swap Angus Brayshaw to pick three and push Petracca up a place. Either way the end result would be the same. Defender Jake Lever the only other consideration.



JARROD PICKETT – 18/8/96, 180cm, 76kg, South Fremantle
With speed, a leap, and a take-me-on attitude, Pickett should excite plenty of crowds in his AFL career. The youngster had an inconsistent season but has brilliant talent, and has worked hard over the past 12 months to improve his endurance and long-distance running to add to his burst-away moments. The Giants have kept tabs with Pickett since coach Leon Cameron and the club's recruiters interviewed him in July, and he has no qualms about moving out of Western Australia to follow his football. He's an enthralling player who would add a point of difference to the very talented GWS list.
If not him? Any number of players, but Paul Ahern and Jordan De Goey are most likely.




JORDAN DE GOEY – 15/3/96, 187cm, 82kg, Oakleigh Chargers
The clubs that like De Goey rate him very, very highly – and with good reason. He's a win-the-ball-at-all-costs type of player who loves fighting for it, pushing an opponent out of the way and making it his. But he also lifts when his team needs him, he kicks goals and takes strong overhead marks for his size. With some more development, he has the frame and skills to become a premium midfield option. For the short-term, he'll probably start as a high half-forward.

Click here to check out Jordan De Goey's draft profile and watch his 2014 highlights

If not him? The versatile Jayden Laverde has been linked to Collingwood strongly for some time. They like Jarrod Pickett as well, while a tall like Jake Lever isn't out of the question. Kyle Langford has also been strongly linked but it would be a big surprise now.





PAUL AHERN – 1/8/96, 181cm, 77kg, Calder Cannons
Ahern's standout games this season came on the biggest stage, including two best-afield efforts for Vic Metro against Western Australia, and a more-than-solid outing for the Calder Cannons in their TAC Cup Grand Final defeat. The midfielder is crafty, clever and has class: he sets up the play with deft and damaging disposal, but runs and takes the game on. Nearer to goal, he marks well above his head and has the pace to hit a pack and bolt off. If the Giants want some more brilliance, they get it in Ahern.

Click here to check out Paul Ahern's draft profile and watch his 2014 highlights

If not him? Jordan De Goey is a chance, as is ruckman/forward Peter Wright. Caleb Marchbank is also in the mix.




HUGH GODDARD – 24/8/96, 195cm, 92kg, Geelong Falcons
The off-season departures of several young key position players at the Giants means the club is looking for replacements, and could turn to Goddard. The tall defender has been thrown around from position to position over the past two seasons but looks most comfortable in the backline, where he can mark well and compete in the air to spoil or stop opponents. Despite some inconsistencies, he finished his year well for the Geelong Falcons and tested strongly at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.


If not him? They've liked fellow tall defender Caleb Marchbank for some time, and he is a real contender here. It would not be a surprise if they called his name. Peter Wright and Jake Lever are also in with a shot.




PETER WRIGHT – 8/9/96, 203cm, 102kg, Calder Cannons
It's been an intriguing build-up to the draft for Wright. Having been seen as a possible No.1 choice for much of the year, lately there's been many clubs who believe he might get through to the middle of the first round. He's had a stack of club interviews, a medical and a private fitness assessment for clubs searching for more data. Despite the Suns' interest in Liam Duggan, Wright would be hard to pass. It's not easy finding 203cm forwards who can play in the ruck and have such great skill near goal, too.


If not him? Liam Duggan. The half-back/midfielder has had a great season, is seen as captain material in the future and continues to develop his game. Hard to see the lively Jarrod Pickett getting this far.



DARCY MOORE – 25/1/96, 199m, 93kg, Oakleigh Chargers
For some at Collingwood, Darcy Moore's arrival has been a long time coming. As the son of club great and dual Brownlow medallist Peter, the Pies were always in the box seat to recruit the youngster under the father-son rule. That became official in October, when they matched the Bulldogs' bid at pick five for him. Moore is an athletic key position player who moves extremely well for a player his size. He might take some time, but looms as a long-term option.


If not him? Nobody else. Moore has started training with the Pies, has been given his jumper number (No.30, like his dad), and has already begun his Collingwood career.





SAM DURDIN – 6/6/96, 198cm, 87kg, West Adelaide
Durdin's best football has come in the ruck, he has played in the forward line, and looks set to be a key defender at the next level. So, adding that all together, he's a pretty flexible option for a club looking to add a young tall to its list. He's athletic and mobile, and when up and going, likes to run at the ball and take marks – even when he is stationed in the backline. Geelong's tall defenders, like Tom Lonergan and Jared Rivers, are at the backend of their career and Durdin would provide a flexible option.


If not him? Caleb Marchbank is a big shot here if GWS hasn't picked him, and he can do a lot of what Durdin does, he's just a touch shorter. The same applies for Jake Lever. The Cats like Jordan De Goey, and Peter Wright would be seriously considered if still on the board.




LIAM DUGGAN – 11/12/96, 183cm, 76kg, Western Jets
Duggan's ability to shift from a neat kicking half-back into a ball-winning midfielder saw him rise rapidly up the draft ranks this season. The left-footer showed he could thrive in contested situations, rip the ball out of a pack and get going, but recruiters also like his defensive traits: he tackles, harasses, and won't give up. He might start his career as a set-up player out of defence but he has shown he won't be limited to that role. Clubs love him, and he'd be a perfect fit for the Eagles with his foot skills adding another layer to the club's midfield in time. 


If not him? Jayden Laverde and Lachie Weller seem the main contenders for this selection, and both would bring plenty to the Eagles. Like every club, they'd have to think about Peter Wright should he be there.





COREY ELLIS – 9/10/96, 185cm, 76kg, Western Jets
He might not have the highlights tape of others, but the poised and composed Ellis has plenty going for him. His decision-making is top-shelf, he reads the game well, is brave enough to go and win his own ball, and skilled enough to then deliver it. Like he is off the field, Ellis doesn’t seem to get flustered or rushed; he just gets on with things. He might have a delayed start to his AFL career, having just recently begun running again after a stress fracture in his foot. Has been strongly linked to the Tigers, who are searching for more midfield class. Ellis has got it.


If not him? Lachie Weller and Liam Duggan are among the handful of other options, but one or both could be gone by Richmond's pick.




JAKE LEVER – 5/3/96, 194cm, 84kg, Calder Cannons
The Dockers will have watched Lever closely through the season, knowing his long absence could see him get through to their later first-round pick. Lever's unique circumstances have made him a very difficult player to position. He played great football last year as a bottom-ager, but that's the only football they are judging him on after his off-season knee reconstruction ruled him out of 2014. But he's still among the handful of standout talls on offer, given his competitiveness, run and drive, and exceptional leadership off the field. Fremantle desperately need some more quality young talls and Lever ticks that box.


If not him? Sam Durdin is a good chance here, and Caleb Marchbank may be considered. But they have a few midfielders in their range, including Lachie Weller and Jayden Laverde.





JAYDEN LAVERDE – 12/4/96, 189cm, 82kg, Western Jets
Could one of the most exciting and versatile players in the draft fall in Adelaide's lap? Laverde offers plenty of options for clubs. His height, athleticism and speed is attractive to recruiters, who can see him becoming a big-bodied midfielder who marks well overhead and streams the ball forward. He's creative and adventurous, can be used across half-back and also closer to goal. He springs into games when he needs to, and once he develops more of an inside game he'll have close to the full package of skills to work with. Few would have predicted he would get to pick 14, but if not taken by Collingwood at pick five it's possible.


If not him? All the rage is for Kyle Langford at this spot, and you can see why: he's a vibrant forward with a few tricks. Tall trio Caleb Marchbank, Sam Durdin and Jake Lever would be looked at closely.




NAKIA COCKATOO – 23/10/96, 185cm, 86kg, NT Thunder
Cockatoo has had more than half a dozen clubs visit him in Darwin since his breakout game on Grand Final day in the curtain-raiser at the MCG. The strong and quick midfielder hustled and bustled and showed his wares as an exciting prospect, in what was his first game of the season after a year-and-a-half ruined by recurring foot fractures. They've been medically assessed and the results came back fine last week for clubs. It's a tight call for the Suns, with a few others who are very even around this mark.


If not him? Speedster Jarrod Garlett is a big shot, but it could go a few ways. Lachie Weller is a chance, as is Kyle Langford, who they have been strongly linked to. And in the very slim chance Liam Duggan got through to pick 15, the Suns would surely be quick to read his name out.




LACHIE WELLER – 23/2/96, 181cm, 77kg, Southport
A silky midfielder who kicks well, has speed and likes to push forward to set up goals, if not slot them himself. There aren't many players like Weller at the top-end of this year's draft with his precise kicking ability and outside run. He's not a big midfielder so can leave the inside play to others, but Weller is a direct mover, taking the ball towards the goals at every opportunity. He's ready to test himself at the next level, and will enjoy the professional elements of an AFL environment. His class would appeal to North, who have built a strong and sturdy midfield group and can do with his outside skill. 


If not him? Expect the Roos to think long and hard about Nakia Cockatoo if he's still on the board, and the same with Jarrod Garlett. Corey Ellis, if he surprisingly got past Richmond, would also be in that bracket.




JARROD GARLETT – 11/5/96, 180cm, 69kg, South Fremantle
As one of the prominent run-and-carry players in the draft, Garlett has many admirers. He has the speed and endurance mix every club is looking for, and he likes to stream with the ball down the wing and then deliver it into attack. He's got some confidence, and plays with dare. Garlett was a standout for WA at the Under-18 Championships, and went on to feature in South Fremantle's senior team late in the WAFL season. The Bombers are interested in Garlett and he would fill a hole for them by bringing an immediate burst of run and dare. 


If not him? Fellow midfielders Lachie Weller, Tom Lamb and Touk Miller are a chance here, and the club may look to snare a tall defender if one snuck through. Could it be Caleb Marchbank?




ISAAC HEENEY – 5/5/96, 186cm, 82kg, Cardiff
There's not much this midfielder can't do, which makes him a special pick for the Sydney Swans. They got first access to Heeney via their local academy program, which he joined as a 12-year-old from Newcastle. He's grown to become a standout in his draft pool, impressing with his dash and dare, but also his hardness and competitive streak. Expect him to play a fair chunk of senior footy for the Swans, who were forced (and more than happy) to use their first pick on him during the bidding process.


If not him? He's already a Swan. He would have been a top-five pick in an open field.




CALEB MARCHBANK – 7/12/96, 192cm, 85kg, Murray Bushrangers
Marchbank has suffered an injury-affected past two seasons, but his draft stocks remain high. As a third tall defender, 192cm prospect can read the flight of the ball well, he has good courage in marking contests, and competes when it's up for grabs. But he can also play in the forward line, where his leading and contested marking takes the eye. The Blues want run, but if Marchbank gets to pick 19 he'd be too hard to miss.


If not him? Some other contenders for Carlton include Touk Miller, Tom Lamb and Connor Menadue.




TOUK MILLER – 22/2/96, 177cm, 80kg, Calder Cannons
Miller is a small, inside midfielder but he's also more than meets the eye. He can kick long goals, is strong overhead for his size, and hunts the ball like he really, really wants it. He also captained Vic Metro and the Calder Cannons this year, highlighting his leadership tendencies. Essendon has been strongly linked to him and it needs more ball-winning power.


If not him? Daniel McKenzie is in with a chance for the Bombers, as might be Tom Lamb. Connor Menadue, too, could be in the mix but is more likely later on, while Connor Blakely is a possibility.  




ALEX NEAL-BULLEN – 9/1/96, 182cm, 77kg, Glenelg
Having recruited Luke Dunstan last year with a pick around this mark, the Saints could look for another no-frills, no worries midfielder from South Australia. Neal-Bullen's hard-at-it attitude has won plenty of plaudits through the season, and he enjoyed a consistent campaign through the national championships and playing for Glenelg at senior level in the SANFL. He's a clearance player without heaps of flash but he gets his job done most weeks. His kicking is solid and he exudes leadership on and off the field.


If not him? Connor Blakely has been a name that has been raised, as has Daniel McKenzie. 




DANIEL McKENZIE – 17/5/96, 183cm, 77kg, Oakleigh Chargers
McKenzie has been interviewed by every club this season, which means there's a few out there who are interested in him. That would have only grown late in the season, after McKenzie's breakout game in the Oakleigh Chargers' Grand Final win, and his subsequent testing at the draft combine where he was in the top-10 for most categories.


If not him? Touk Miller is in with a show, and this might be where Tom Lamb comes into things. If the Saints are keen on a tall, Oscar McDonald could be the one here, because the key defender won't get through to pick 41.




KYLE LANGFORD – 1/12/96, 190cm, 73kg, Northern Knights
Has become a bit of a pre-draft buzz player. Langford's trajectory towards the draft started early in the year, when he booted back-to-back five-goal hauls in the TAC Cup. He's a player with bounce and spring: he leaps well into marking contests, brings down the ball and gets moving. At his height he's a leading and marking half-forward, but he'll likely become a midfielder given his strong endurance. He has some spark, and would bring a new element to the Giants' forward line should he be available here.

If not him? The Giants have been linked to Declan Hamilton at this selection, a medium forward and the nephew of Darren and Andrew Jarman. But others might still be available, like Tom Lamb, Touk Miller and Lukas Webb.




JACK STEELE – 13/12/95, 188cm, 85kg, Belconnen
Having been overlooked by every club at last year's draft, many were keen on Steele this year. Steele was eligible for the 2013 draft, but suffered a kneecap injury mid-year and was out of footy for months. When he wasn't picked, he set himself to get there this year. He improved, was a brilliant performer for the NSW-ACT Rams through the season, and showed his midfield AFL traits: height, mobility, endurance, marking and strength. A member of the Giants' academy, they snapped him up with their second-round pick after an early bid came from a rival.


If not him? A confirmed Giant, Steele has relocated to Sydney from Canberra and begun his first AFL pre-season. 



OSCAR McDONALD – 18/3/96, 196cm, 84kg, North Ballarat Rebels
Clubs' late interest in McDonald was evident in the fact he was upgraded to attend the national draft combine at Etihad Stadium, having previously only been invited to the state screening. The tall defender is a good option for clubs trying to find his type: he's strong and tough, disciplined and works hard. He had a consistent second half of the season despite not featuring in Vic Country's under-18 team, and has had a number of recruiters push him up in recent weeks. The Kangaroos are interested, they placed a bid on Brisbane Lions academy tall defender Harris Andrews, and it looks an area to bolster. 


If not him? If the Saints don't pick Daniel McKenzie, the Roos would be likely to consider here. There's a chance Jarrod Garlett gets through, while Ed Vickers-Willis and Tom Lamb could be around this mark. 



CONNOR MENADUE – 19/9/96, 188cm, 69kg, Western Jets
The Western Bulldogs could look locally with their first pick at the draft for Menadue. He adds something a bit different to the pool with his run and carry, his drive from half-back and his long-kicking. Menadue loves to grab the ball and just run, and that appeals to many clubs looking for players to break the lines. The wiry teenager will need time to develop but booted 16 goals for the Western Jets this season, playing mostly on a wing or defensive line.


If not him? Ed Vickers-Willis could be hard to ignore, given he's so reliable in defence and can move up the ground and shut down players. Expect Oscar McDonald to be considered, as with Daniel McKenzie, if they're there.



HARRISON WIGG – 14/10/96, 179cm, 74kg, North Adelaide
The South Australian with a booming left-foot kick had his season cut short by a stress fracture in his foot. That was discovered after a terrific national carnival by the small defender, who made the All-Australian side after averaging 19 disposals a game at nearly 80 per cent efficiency. Wigg sets up the play from half-back with his elite foot disposal and clear mind. He has played the sweeping role, but has also shown he can find the ball wherever he plays, having averaged 28 disposals at under-18 SANFL level. The Bulldogs are interested and he's unlikely to make it to their next pick.


If not him? Another nice-kicking left-footer could be here, in Lukas Webb. The Bulldogs have shown strong interest in him. West Australian Clem Smith is also a chance.



TOM LAMB – 19/10/96, 193cm, 84kg, Dandenong Stingrays
Lamb has been one of the most interesting players in this draft, and has been linked for a while to the Blues. Perhaps it's for this season: Lamb can do nearly anything. His athleticism for a player his size is rare, and some recruiters think his best footy is better than anyone's in the draft. Lamb has had a number of interviews in the past week or so as clubs try to get a gauge on where he fits. He could tick off a few areas for the Blues in one hit as a tall runner.


If not him? Connor Menadue would be looked at if the Dogs don't grab him, while Brayden Maynard is a chance along with mature-ager Blaine Boekhorst, who the club has been heavily linked to.


CONNOR BLAKELY – 2/3/96, 186cm, 81kg, Swan Districts
With little fuss or fanfare, Blakely just gets the ball, feeds it out, and does it most weeks. He had a strong season: carrying his senior WAFL form into the championships, and then continuing for the remainder of the season. He's a pure midfielder, he doesn't really play anywhere else, but he's good at what he does and that's finding the footy and winning clearances.


If not him? Harrison Wigg is a chance here, as is Tom Lamb. Also been linked with South Australian Josh Glenn, although that would surprise.


ED VICKERS-WILLIS – 28/3/96, 190cm, 82kg, Sandringham Dragons
He might not be exactly what Collingwood is after, but Vickers-Willis might be too good to surpass. He will do what's asked of him, which makes him a very coachable player and versatile one too. That's meant at different stages this year the mobile defender has played on key forwards, and also had run-with jobs through the midfield. He doesn't gather heaps of the ball, but is reliable when he's got it and clubs like him for his disciplined approach.


If not him? A chance for 21-year-old midfielder Blaine Boekhorst, as with Daniel McKenzie if he's still available.


WHO WILL YOUR CLUB TARGET LATER IN THE DRAFT?
This year's draft is considered the most even in recent times, from pick one through to the final live selection. Here are some whispers for each club's picks outside the top 30.
 
ADELAIDE
Picks: 14, 35, 43, 58
Adelaide has three live picks beyond the top 30, and it is likely to look for some depth in the talls department. Forward Mitch McGovern and defender Dan Howe have been linked to their upgraded second selection at No.35, and both are marking types. Later on, Queensland key defender Nick Jackson may be of interest, while they have put some time into ruckman Marc Pittonet. He's in with a shot at pick 58 and is probably the best pure ruckman in the draft. Of the smaller types, brutish Brayden Maynard is a slim chance to be still available at 35 and that would delight the Crows, while goalkicking half-forward Bailey Dale is another possibility. 
 
BRISBANE LIONS
Picks: 44 (Liam Dawson academy selection), 61 (Harris Andrews academy selection), 65, 73, 81, 86 (Josh Clayton father-son selection)
There will be some talent around at the Lions' first two live selections - No.65 and 73. At 65, the Lions could look to add another running tall defender in Tasmanian Josh McGuinness. At 189cm, he collects plenty of disposals and uses them well. Speedy midfielder Jaden McGrath will be considered should he get through after an injury-interrupted season, as with hard-running midfielder Teia Miles. Academy player Matt Hammelmann is more likely as a rookie than national draftee for the Lions, given they have first access to him then. They are unlikely to use pick 81, but will decide on draft night.
 
CARLTON
Picks: 19, 28, 60, 63, 71, 82, 87
Having recruited inside midfielder Patrick Cripps last year, the Blues have made their intentions clear that they will search for run-and-carry midfielders at the draft. But, having said that, there's a slight chance a tall is too good to refuse at pick 19, which might see them look at midfielders later on. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow is a possibility beyond the top-30, as is Blaine Boekhorst. The Blues have been most strongly linked to the mature-aged midfielder from WA, and he's an exciting type who can sweep the ball forward out of a stoppage. Although Dean Gore is in the Cripps' mould as a ball-getter, he could be looked at late. They are expected to use their first four picks at the draft, hold one selection over to select former Bulldog Jason Tutt in the pre-season draft, and instead of using the final two picks at the national draft, are likely to have an extended rookie list.
 
Dillon Viojo-Rainbow could add pace and skills to Carlton's list. Picture: AFL Media




COLLINGWOOD
Picks: 5, 9 (Darcy Moore father-son selection), 30, 48, 75
There's a chance the Pies use pick 75 on the night, and they'll decide during the draft. Last year they planned to be finished by pick 10, but Tom Langdon was available at pick 65 so they grabbed him. At selection 48 this time, there's a few possibilities. Athletic midfielder Damien Cavka has had some interest from the Pies and could be still available, as could his Calder Cannons teammate Matt Goodyear, who has great speed and endurance. Blaine Boekhorst could still be on the board and, as a 21-year-old, would be a little closer to being ready to go.
 
ESSENDON
Picks: 17, 20
It is an extremely important draft for the Bombers, given the club's sanctions and loss of picks in the past two years. It will also be a pretty quick one, too, with Essendon's night practically over at pick No.20. The club will upgrade rookie forward Patrick Ambrose from the rookie list. It seems likely to draft Jake Long as a rookie under the father-son rule, and also take another live pick to the rookie draft.
 
FREMANTLE
Picks: 13, 34, 54, 68
The athletic and versatile Tom Lamb may still be available at selection 34 and that would be a good result for the Dockers. Daniel McKenzie is also a chance to be there and he has some outstanding athletic traits: he's 183cm, but can jump higher than most and has exceptional running power. If they're looking for midfield power, Touk Miller might also offer it. The Dockers are likely to look to add more tall depth, and the high-leaping Mitch McGovern could also be on their radar after a strong season in WA. They could look at Liam Griffiths late in the draft, a wingman with terrific endurance.
 
Fremantle is one of may clubs considering the enigmatic Tom Lamb. Picture: AFL Media




GEELONG
Picks: 10, 47, 55, 59
Geelong's strategy later on might be dependent on what happens at pick 10, their first selection. Many people see this draft as one that will run on a 'needs basis', particularly early on. The Cats lost some speed through the trade period with the departures of Travis Varcoe and Allen Christensen. They have shown some interest in North Ballarat's Daniel Butler, and he would offer some spark and hardness near goal. Another they might consider is Billy Evans, a medium midfielder who goes forward to kick goals.
 
GOLD COAST
Picks: 8, 15, 29, 64, 74
Like last year, the Suns will be out of the draft by pick 30 after choosing to upgrade two rookies and hold two selections over for the rookie draft. They will use their next two selections to upgrade rookie picks. The club has built a wealth of top-end talent since its inception and will likely take more rookies into 2015. The extra rookie depth will also help the club's NEAFL team be more competitive after a winless 2014 campaign. 
 
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Picks: 4, 6, 7, 23, 24 (Jack Steele academy selection), 72, 80, 85 (Jeremy Finlayson academy selection)
The Giants are every chance to have shut their books and finished up by pick 30, but they may use pick No.72, a decision that will be made on the night. If they go down that path, the club might choose to add another local product out of its academy, with defender Michael Mattingly and tall forwards Logan Austin and Dougal Howard the leading contenders. Those three are among the group of academy prospects the club has nominated under the rookie pre-selection rule. The Giants have also shown an interest in talented batsman Pat McKenna, who captained the Australian under-19 cricket team this year but has nominated for the draft. It's unlikely to activate pick No.80.
 
HAWTHORN
Picks: 31, 49, 50
As one of three clubs whose batch of picks come after the top-30, it would be hard for the Hawks to know exactly who will be available and to hone in on anyone too much. At 31, Touk Miller and Ed Vickers-Willis have been linked to them, while they are one of many clubs in the mix for the exciting but unpredictable tall Tom Lamb. Billy Evans could grab their attention at 49 or 50, while Hawthorn is one of a handful of clubs who have shown interest in Pat McKenna, whose' local season at Gisborne in the Bendigo Football League in the forward line caught the eye of scouts.
 
MELBOURNE
Picks: 2, 3, 40, 42 (Billy Stretch father-son pick), 53
After their prized picks two and three, the Dees have a bit of waiting to do before using their next two live selections. On the radar at picks 40 and 53 are likely to be some well-positioned prospects, with pace a possible priority. Small forward Toby McLean is crafty around goal and could be a shot at pick 40, while Ed Langdon might be in the mix for 53. The younger brother of Collingwood defender Tom Langdon had an interrupted season with a finger injury, but has an excellent mix of speed and endurance as a half-forward. If the club, as expected, doesn't pick defender Jake Lever at two or three, key back Oscar McDonald could be a chance to join his brother Tom at the Dees if not already gone.

Will key defender Oscar McDonald join his brother Tom at the Demons? Picture: AFL Media





NORTH MELBOURNE
Picks: 16, 25, 36
North is in a good position to sit and wait to see who gets through to each of its picks, particularly its third and final selection at No.36. There they would be a sneaky chance to grab athletic tall Tom Lamb, who can do just about anything on the field and may be available. The same applies for defender Ed Vickers-Willis should he get through. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow would offer some run off half-back, Dan Howe is a mobile, marking defender who has enjoyed a strong year, and although the Roos are flushed with inside midfielders, if Connor Blakely is available at pick 36 they'd have to strongly consider him. They have some interest in Daniel Nielson if they don't secure a tall back at 16 or 25, while some time has been put into Jordan Cunico, an exciting and evasive midfielder. 
 
PORT ADELAIDE
Picks: 56, 69, 78, 84
Recruiting manager Geoff Parker and his team will need to wait a while before getting into the draft, but will be busy at the back end of the night. They have four picks, and should get a look at a few different types. South Australian James Rose, a half-forward with nous, is likely to come under consideration, as might Jaden McGrath, who the club recently interviewed. Another key defender and young ruckman would be good additions to a strong list, and they've been linked to big man Marc Pittonet and Hugh Beasley. Will Fordham, a midfielder with good pace, and ball-winner Dean Gore are also in the mix. Quick medium forward Matt Uebergang may be looked at late in the piece.
 
RICHMOND
Picks: 12, 33, 52, 67, 77, 83
With four live selections, the Tigers will obviously be hoping for some talent to get through late. They've shown an interest in small forward Toby McLean, and he would offer something new and vibrant to their forward line with his high-marking and goalkicking smarts. The Tigers liked Dan Howe last year but, like every other club, overlooked him come draft time. He's had a better season this year and is in the Tigers' mix at 33, while hard-at-it midfielder Nathan Drummond is a chance later having put together an impressive back half of the season. South Australian inside midfielder Dean Gore is also considered a possibility. Richmond is more likely to use five picks at the draft and hold pick 83 over for a rookie or pre-season selection.
 
ST KILDA
Picks: 1, 21, 22, 41
As per their very structured rebuild plans, most of the Saints' work will be done nice and early at the draft, leaving pick 41 as their only live selection outside the top 30. What they do there might depend on the players they've already secured, but if they look to bolster their small forwards, South Australian Cory Gregson has been linked to them and he loves to exert inside-50 pressure. Jack Lonie and Jaden McGrath are other possibilities, and either would fill a need as a crafty small option given the club has lost a few of those in recent times.
 
SYDNEY SWANS
Picks: 18 (Isaac Heeney academy selection), 37, 38 (Jack Hiscox academy selection), 70 (Abe Davis academy selections), 79
The draft hasn't even occurred and already the Swans are one of the big winners. Three quarters of their intake was sorted at the start of October at the academy bidding meeting, when they secured midfielders Isaac Heeney and Jack Hiscox, and tall defender Abe Davis. Heeney is one of the best players in it, Hiscox is a top-level natural runner, and versatile tall Davis is a bargain back at pick 70. It means the Swans head to the Gold Coast with just one live selection. Although they need a young key back, there won't be many left at pick 37. Expect them to save that specific search for the rookie draft, but Dan Howe could sneak through and would be a good addition, and Daniel Nielson does his job as a taller defender. It's considered unlikely the Swans will use pick 79 at the national draft, but instead pick another rookie-listed player.

The Swans only have one live pick but they've already secured Isaac Heeney. Picture: AFL Media



 
WEST COAST
Picks: 11, 32, 51, 66, 76 (Alec Waterman father-son selection)
The Eagles will decide on draft night whether they use pick 66 or hold it over for the pre-season and rookie drafts. There's likely to be a hard call for the Eagles at pick 32, such is the talent around that mark. Hard-working WA midfielder Connor Blakely could be still on the board, as might the athletic Damien Cavka, who runs and runs and just keeps on running. He's enjoyed a strong season, and has been linked to the Eagles. Local product Brenden Abbott might be worth a look and despite his goalkicking ability, some see him as a long-kicking rebounding defender. The Eagles have kept a close eye on Clem Smith, too, who trained with them in January and impressed.
 
WESTERN BULLDOGS
Picks: 26, 27, 39, 45, 46, 62 (Zaine Cordy father-son selection)
With five live selections – three after the first 30 – the Bulldogs have done their homework on all parts of the draft. Getting Zaine Cordy at such a cheap price through the father-son bidding system means they don't necessarily have to get another tall defender, but they have shown some interest in tight-checking tall back Daniel Nielson, who has his fans. They might also look for some pace, which could see the clever and talented Jordan Cunico in the mix, as well as Toby McLean, who would add some spark to the forward set up.
 
*Draft picks as of assigned order by the AFL
**List of club picks does not include upgraded rookie selections

AFL.com.au will publish a ‘late mail' edition of the Phantom Draft on Wednesday night ahead of Thursday's NAB AFL Draft
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs