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DRAFT WRAP: Blues keep faith in Curnow, make Jake No.1

Draft night's big winners and surprises Cal Twomey and Nat Edwards break down the 2015 NAB AFL Draft
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Number 1 draft pick Jacob Weitering is presented with his Carlton jumper during the NAB AFL Draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Jacob Weitering receives his Carlton guernsey from coach Brendon Bolton at the draft

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CHARLIE Curnow's recent brush with the law hasn't cost him a chance at an AFL career, with the athletic forward joining key defender Jacob Weitering at Carlton in the first round of the NAB AFL Draft.

Curnow, who was arrested on Friday morning for allegedly refusing a breath test, was taken by the Blues with their third pick overall in Tuesday night's draft at Adelaide's Convention Centre.

He joined Weitering, who unsurprisingly was drafted with the top pick, forward Harry McKay and speedy midfielder David Cuningham as Blues picked up in the first round.

Later in the evening, father-son prospect Jack Silvagni also joined the Blues after the club elected to match Essendon's bid for him at No.53.

Touted as this year's top draftee nearly all season, 18-year-old Weitering was recruited by the Blues as their fourth No.1 pick in 11 years.

He joins Marc Murphy (2005) Bryce Gibbs (2006), and Matthew Kreuzer (2007) as No.1 draft picks at Carlton.

List manager Stephen Silvagni said as late as Tuesday afternoon the Blues had not yet settled on the ready-to-play backman, nor had they spoken to him in the hours leading up to the draft.

But they didn't hesitate in entering Weitering's number into the new draft software that debuted at this year's meet. 

Why the Blues picked Jacob Weitering

His selection allowed the Brisbane Lions to pounce on key forward Josh Schache with pick No.2, after a year where they struggled for goalkicking options.

Schache, who booted a record of 24 goals in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, made no secret of the fact he was happy to join the Lions given his late father Laurence played for the Bears in the 1990s.

As expected, the Sydney Swans catapulted into proceedings at No.3, having matched Melbourne's bid for Academy midfielder Callum Mills.

The new points-based system saw Mills as the first player to attract a bid, which changed the order of the draft as the Swans essentially cashed in later picks that then moved further down the order.

The Demons then used their first pick - which became No.4 after the Swans matched the Mills bid - to draft Murray Bushrangers midfielder Clayton Oliver, who rocketed up the order this year by winning the TAC Cup's Morrish Medal.

Essendon entered next with back-to-back picks – one of which was obtained in the Jake Carlisle trade - and took Victorian midfielder Darcy Parish with No.5 and South Australian defender Aaron Francis – who barracks for the Bombers - with No.6.

The second player to cause a draft pick shift was Jacob Hopper, who went to Greater Western Sydney with pick No.7 after the Giants matched Gold Coast's bid for their Academy midfielder.

Then, the Suns took talented West Australian half-forward Callum Ah Chee with No.8.

 

The Demons jumped back in at No.9 and secured Sam Weideman to play alongside fellow key forward Jesse Hogan, before the Blues rounded out the top 10 by also shoring up their attack with McKay.

This year's top 10 share a laugh after being taken early in the draft. Picture: AFL Media

Adelaide got involved next, much to the delight of the locals in attendance, and took Central District midfielder Wayne Milera with its first pick, before the Blues took Curnow with No.12.

Richmond entered at pick No.13 and shuffled the order by bidding for GWS Academy midfielder Matthew Kennedy, who was then snapped up by the Giants matching.

The Tigers did it again at No.14 by bidding for Lions Academy key position player Eric Hipwood, who promptly joined Schache up north with another matched bid.

Daniel Rioli then became the Tigers' first pick, with the crafty small forward moving to Punt Road at No.15.

The Crows unexpectedly bid for forward/ruckman Harrison Himmelberg at No.16, but the Giants didn't baulk and matched it to claim the Academy big man.

It was medium defender Tom Doedee who was secured by the Crows next, before St Kilda took small midfielder/forward Jade Gresham at No.19.

Who is draft bolter Tom Doedee?

North Adelaide forward Ryan Burton, who suffered a badly broken leg last year, joined the premiers Hawthorn at No.19, before the Suns claimed Victorian medium midfielder Brayden Fiorini at No.20.

 

Ben McKay, twin of new Carlton forward Harry, went to North Melbourne at No.20, and small midfielder Kieran Lovell went to the Hawks as their second pick before the Blues took Cuningham to finish off the first round.

In the second round, the Western Bulldogs added midfielder Josh Dunkley (No.25), defender Kieran Collins (No.26) and key position player Marcus Adams (No.35) to their list, while Fremantle picked up athletic half-back Darcy Tucker (No.27) and the strong-bodied Harley Balic (No.38).

Twins' rivalry set to reach another level

The Dogs' bid for Lions' Academy midfielder Ben Keays at No.24 was matched but they were able to secure Dunkley after the Swans elected not to contest for the father-son prospect.

West Coast had a pair of picks in the second round and took SA midfielder Luke Partington with No.28 and Victorian Tom Cole with No.36.

Essendon also had two selections, which saw Alex Morgan and Mason Redman claimed with No.29 and No.30 after the first request of the night for extra time.

As the new software and draft format encountered a few technical issues, two midfielders – Ryan Clarke and Mitchell Hibberd - became Kangaroos at No.31 and No.33, while Collingwood – which spent up big in the trade period – used its first pick (No.32) to recruit midfielder/forward Brayden Sier.

The Suns took another midfielder – Josh Schoenfeld – from Western Australia with No.34 before Port Adelaide got involved for the first time by recruiting local tall defender Riley Bonner with No.37.

In the third round, the Lions snared dual All Australian midfielder Rhys Mathieson in a potential steal while the Giants matched the Demons' bid for their fourth Academy player, Narrandera big man Matthew Flynn at No.41.

Mathieson and Parish's perfect double act finally ends 

The Dees compensated by using their next pick to secure another project ruckman in Mitch King from the Murray Bushrangers, and went tall again at No.46 with 193cm utility Liam Hulett.

The Lions passed on the chance to recruit Aspley Academy player Corey Wagner, with the Kangaroos grabbing the midfielder at No.43.

But, after asking for extra time, Justin Leppitsch and co. went for defender/ruckman Sam Skinner from Gippsland Power with No.47.

The Saints were made to fight for father-son prospect Bailey Rice, who nominated them as his preferred destination over Carlton, when the Tigers bid at No.49.

They matched it, which saw the Tigers add North Adelaide medium midfielder/forward Oleg Markov, who is the son of former world champion pole vaulter Dmitri Markov, at No.50.

Oleg Markov in action for SA at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Picture: AFL Media


Former Geelong forward Mitch Brown was the first of three recycled players to earn another chance, with the Bombers throwing the 25-year-old a lifeline after he appeared as a top-up player for them during this year's NAB Challenge.

The Blues were the first to jump out at No.55 with a pass, which saw the Dockers open the fourth round by recruiting Box Hill mature-aged player Sam Collins.

As the draft entered the second hour and the crowd thinned, Geelong used its first pick with assistant coach James Rahilly standing in for Chris Scott, who is overseas on a study tour.

The Cats claimed key position prospect Ryan Gardner from the Burnie Dockers with No.59 before taking former Hawthorn and Fremantle rookie Sam Menegola with No.66. 

They rounded out the draft with the final two picks, recruiting Queensland forward Wylie Buzza and South Australian Matthew Hayball with No.69 and No.70.

Geelong selected key forward Wylie Buzza with pick No.69. Picture: AFL Media

Shane Yarran, a 26-year-old forward from Subiaco, has been given a late chance at an AFL career with the flag-ready Dockers opting for mature age again at No.61.

Yarran kicked 49 goals in 18 matches this season, after spending time in prison in Western Australia up until 2013. 

Former Collingwood rookie defender Michael Hartley was the third player to earn another shot at an AFL career after being drafted by the Bombers at No.68.