ONLY five players have been plucked from Tasmania across the last three drafts, but 2020 could be the year to buck the trend.

Previously, crops of talented Tasmanians had their best chance to impress AFL scouts in a handful of national carnival games, but that was clearly a limited window and left little margin for error.

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That changed in 2019 with the Tasmanian Devils joining the premier under 18 competition – the NAB League.


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It didn't reap immediate benefits with Mitch O'Neill being the only player from the Apple Isle drafted last year, but it shone a bright light on four talented bottom-aged players who have all been part of the AFL Academy system.  

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Defender Sam Collins, forward Jackson Callow and midfielder Oliver Davis all represented Australia and also got the opportunity play on the MCG on Grand Final day last year in the under-17 NAB All Stars Futures match.

Silky defender Patrick Walker might not have the same resume as his Devils teammates, but the exposure he got in the NAB League last year has left some recruiters thinking he might be the best player in Tasmania's bumper crop this year.

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Callow is a 194-cm forward who booted 24 goals from 14 NAB League games as a 17-year-old and averaged six marks per game.

"Probably the difference between Jackson and most key forwards is his endurance, he covers the ground super well and his hands are vice-like," North Launceston coach Taylor Whitford said of Callow.

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Meet the forward with 'vice-like' hands

Tasmanian key forward Jackson Callow is one of the best overhead marking forwards in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft Pool

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Recruiters have concerns over whether he can play as a true key forward in the AFL, but his 20.5 yo-yo test score put him just outside the top 10 endurance runners at Tasmania's testing day.

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That tank could lend well to a role as a high half forward or even as a midfielder, which was where he was set to be unleashed before the season was paused.


Patrick Walker will have some fans as a 186cm rebounding defender who rarely fumbles.

"He's a pretty smooth mover, very classy," North Hobart coach Richard Robinson said of Walker.

"I like his ball use and his courage last year went to another level."

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Meet Tassie's smooth mover

Patrick Walker is courageous in the air and rarely wastes a kick off half-back. Should your club draft him?

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Walker reads the ball well in the air and has no issue backing into oncoming traffic to fly for intercept marks.

The defender was one of the youngest players to debut for North Hobart at age 15.


Like his fellow North Hobart teammate Walker, Collins could fit in as an intercepting defender at the highest level.

The 188cm backman plays as a third tall and loves to run off his man to impact the contest.

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Could Collins be the next gun interceptor?

Tasmanian defender Sam Collins loves to fly for intercept marks and could be an early selection in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft.

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"He's worked his backside off in the last three months since isolation," Robinson said of Collins.

"His work rate in the last three months, I think the penny has dropped.

"He realises whatever happens this year he has to have a massive work ethic and develop his tank."

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Collins loves the high-risk, high-reward kicks out of the backline which put his best and worst efforts a fair way apart last season, but his kicking has gone to "another level" in 2020 according to Robinson.


Davis sits as one of the biggest ball magnets of this year's draft crop and is a clean operator below his knees.

"He's an extremely hard worker and he's what you'd call a contested ball king," Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley said of Davis.

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Is Davis this draft's 'clearance king'?

Tasmanian draft prospect Oliver Davis wins plenty of the hardball and possesses plenty of leadership qualities already.

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"He's got a soccer background, so when he does get in traffic he can generally elude and then make good decisions with the footy around the contest."

Davis shines as an inside midfielder, but he's been working on his skills to become a bit more balanced.

We could see him play more as an outside midfielder or off half-back in the future.