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Clubs shift focus to 2018 'super' draft

AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan at the U18 All-Stars match on Grand Final day - AFL,Draft
AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan at the U18 All-Stars match on Grand Final day
We're really optimistic it could be the second of the real super drafts

WITH this year's AFL drafts done and dusted, clubs will quickly turn their focus to the 2018 'super' draft.  

The quality of next year's talent pool has seen it compared favourably to the AFL's famous 2001 super draft headed by Luke Hodge, Luke Ball and Chris Judd.  

That's high praise, but AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan says it's justified.  

"We're really optimistic it could be the second of the real super drafts," Sheehan said.  

"We're pretty excited ... in the top 10 or 12 you'd find a player from each state or territory, which is pretty rare.  

"The way the boys performed at under-18 level as 17-year-olds was very exciting. We've got some points of reference that tell us that next year's draft looks pretty special.  

"There will be a combination of players as well - midfielders, some taller players, some goalkickers who are real excitement machines."  

Monday's NAB AFL Rookie Draft was the final opportunity for clubs to add players to their 2018 rosters following Friday night's national draft selection meeting in Sydney.  

The Brisbane Lions made Victorian midfielder/forward Cameron Rayner, who has been likened to Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, this year's No.1 pick.  

In father-son developments, Chris Naish's boy Patrick found his way to Punt Road (pick No.34) and Tyler Brown, son of Gavin, joined brother Callum at Collingwood at pick 50.  

The only other father-son prospect, Jackson Edwards, the son of two-time Adelaide premiership champion Tyson, joined the Crows at the rookie draft.  

Experienced players to be given lifelines at the rookie draft included Stewart Crameri (Geelong), Lindsay Thomas (Port Adelaide), Dylan Buckley (Greater Western Sydney) and Matt Shaw (Carlton).  

Carlton was the only club to take part in the pre-season draft, selecting former Power defender Cam O'Shea.  

Players of note to miss out include Geelong's Tom Ruggles, Sydney's Michael Talia and Carlton's Blaine Boekhorst.