FIVE years after the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, how did your club actually perform? 

Did they get it right and set themselves up for success, or was it a swing-and-miss? Our experts look back at every club's draft haul and, with the benefit of hindsight, deliver the verdict on their selections. 

2016'S PHANTOM DRAFT Where did Cal Twomey have them going? 

As the 2021 draft draws closer, take a walk down memory lane and check out your club's picks from half a decade ago. 

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Jordan Gallucci (pick No.15), Myles Poholke (44), Elliott Himmelberg (51), Matthew Signorello (62), Ben Davis (75)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Sam Shaw, Ben Jarman

Verdict: This makes grim reading for the Crows. With just one pick inside the first two rounds and a team that would play in a Grand Final the following season, young talent wasn't at the top of Adelaide's list of needs at the time. However, getting just 27 games in four seasons from Gallucci before delisting him was a disappointment, as he's the type of zippy half-forward/midfielder the club could do with right now if he'd developed. Himmelberg is the only player still on the list from the 2016 crop, a nice back-up option as a key position player, and at 23 years of age, still has a chance to forge a strong career. - Michael Whiting

Jordan Gallucci was the top pick for Adelaide in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Hugh McCluggage (pick No.3), Jarrod Berry (17), Alex Witherden (23), Cedric Cox (24), Jacob Allison (55), Corey Lyons (71)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Jake Barrett, Mitch Hinge, Oscar McInerney, Matt Eagles (category B), Blake Grewar (category B)

Verdict: This was the start of the Lions' rebuild under newly appointed coach Chris Fagan and football manager David Noble. Getting McCluggage has been a home run selection, with the classy midfielder making the past three All-Australian 40-man squads. His great mate Berry was hampered by injury in 2021 but is a clear long-term piece of Brisbane's midfield as well. The Lions would have hoped for either Witherden or Cox to become regulars, but both were moved on after four seasons as the club found help at half-back and the wing through trades. One of the club's recent great selections was unearthing ruckman McInerney in the rookie draft, now such an integral part of their success. - Michael Whiting

Brisbane draftees Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Sam Petrevski-Seton (pick No.6), Zac Fisher (27), Harrison Macreadie (47), Cam Polson (59), Tom Williamson (61), Pat Kerr (65)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Kym Lebois, Alex Silvagni, Ciaran Sheehan (category B)

Verdict: Just two of nine players from Carlton's 2016 draft haul remain, though that's not to say it was a total bust. The club still got 94 games out of Petrevski-Seton before he was traded to West Coast earlier this month, while Macreadie (nine games), Polson (19) and Kerr (four) all tasted senior football. Fisher remains an integral part of the side's forward line, while Williamson provides solid cover off half-back and enjoyed a standout maiden season at the club. The centrepiece of Carlton's draft was Petrevski-Seton. Having targeted midfield depth, its bid on Will Setterfield was matched by Greater Western Sydney while it had previously eyed Tim Taranto as an option before he was snapped up at pick No.2. - Riley Beveridge

Then Carlton coach Brendon Bolton hands Sam Petrevski-Seton his jumper at the 2016 draft. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Sam McLarty (pick No.30), Callum Brown (35), Kayle Kirby (50), Josh Daicos (57)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Mitch McCarthy, Henry Schade, Liam Mackie, Max Lynch

Verdict: Collingwood's father-sons have saved its 2016 draft haul, with Brown and Daicos the only two remaining players. Brown attracted a bid from North Melbourne at pick No.35 and has since played 64 senior games, while Daicos was drafted by the club with pick No.57 and has emerged as an important player across 52 appearances. McLarty was targeted to provide much-needed key defensive depth at the time, though never made his AFL debut and was delisted when his initial two-year contract expired. Kirby had shown promise at VFL level, but was forced to retire at age 20 due to a heart condition. Lynch was another who had been developing nicely after being recruited in the rookie draft, but was traded to Hawthorn last month. - Riley Beveridge

Collingwood father-son picks Josh Daicos and Callum Brown with their dads Peter and Gavin. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Andrew McGrath (No.1), Jordan Ridley (22), Josh Begley (31), Kobe Mutch (42), Dylan Clarke (63)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Sam Draper, Shaun McKernan, Yestin Eades, Ben McNiece (category B)

Verdict: The Bombers landed three players via the 2016 national and rookie drafts who are already crucial to their fortunes and will be for the next decade. With their first ever No.1 pick, Essendon chose the speedy McGrath ahead of Hugh McCluggage, who ended up being the No.3 choice to Brisbane. McGrath has gears to go in his game but is a future skipper and impressive player. Ridley's rise over the past two seasons has been phenomenal and he is now one of the best intercept defenders in the AFL, while Draper has had his share of injuries but is one of the leading young rucks in the competition and was the No.1 pick in the rookie draft. Begley and Mutch were delisted and Clarke remains without a contract for next year, while McKernan gave the Bombers good service. - Callum Twomey

Then Essendon coach John Worsfold with No.1 pick Andrew McGrath at the 2016 NAB AFL Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Griffin Logue (pick No.8), Sean Darcy (38), Brennan Cox (41), Luke Ryan (66)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Taylin Duman, Luke Strnadica, Brady Grey, Josh Deluca

Verdict: This draft haul shapes as one of the Dockers' best, given both the elite talent that has emerged from it and the value picks they were acquired with. Darcy is the pick of the bunch, emerging in 2021 as arguably one of the game's best three ruckmen. A key member of the club's young core, he is committed until the end of 2024 and has formed an excellent connection with the top-end midfielders that have arrived in recent seasons. Ryan has been an inspired selection as a mature-age draftee, winning the best and fairest in 2020 and developing the versatility to play as a rebounding half-back or a lockdown key defender. In Logue and Cox, the Dockers have two of their best six defenders, meaning this draft could later be seen as a key plank in a future run at a premiership. - Nathan Schmook

Sean Darcy and Brennan Cox celebrate a goal for Fremantle in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Brandan Parfitt (pick No.26), Tom Stewart (40), Esava Ratugolea (43), Quinton Narkle (60), Timm House (68), Ryan Abbott (69)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Jack Henry, Zach Guthrie, Jamaine Jones, Sam Simpson, Mark O'Connor (category B)

Verdict: The Cats knocked it out of the park, with Stewart an inspired choice at No.40. The gun defender is now a three-time All-Australian, a club best and fairest winner and at 28 is viewed as a future Geelong captain. Parfitt played 23 games in 2021 before a hamstring injury brought his season to an end, while Ratugolea's versatility should see him be a first-team regular for years to come. Midfielder Narkle has been starved of opportunities but signed a one-year deal to stay at the Cats next season, despite starting seven of his 16 games this year as the sub. House (zero games) and Abbott (five) never got going but rookie selections Henry and O'Connor have become crucial cogs in Chris Scott's side. Jones played just seven matches before being delisted in 2019. - Brandon Cohen

Geelong recruits Zach Tuohy, Esava Ratugolea, Aaron Black, Timm House, Ryan Abbott, Mark O'Connor, Tom Stewart, Jack Henry; (front) Brandan Parfitt, Quinton Narkle, Zach Guthrie, Jamaine Jones in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Ben Ainsworth (pick No.4), Jack Scrimshaw (7), Will Brodie (9), Jack Bowes (10), Brad Scheer (67)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Keegan Brooksby, Cameron Loersch, Max Spencer (category B)

Verdict: This draft was seen as a bit of a 'rebuild on the run' for the Suns after losing Dion Prestia and Jaeger O'Meara during the previous Trade Period. With four coveted selections in the top 10, it was meant to set Gold Coast up for a decade or more. It hasn't – yet. Scrimshaw came-and-went within two years, and now Brodie has moved on after five seasons that yielded just 25 games. Ainsworth and Academy product Bowes are best-22 players but are yet to get anywhere near fulfilling their undoubted potential. If that pair takes off in coming years, it would shine a whole different light on this draft crop. - Michael Whiting

Gold Coast draftees (L-R) Jack Bowes, Will Brodie, Ben Ainsworth, Jack Scrimshaw and Brad Scheer in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Tim Taranto (pick No.2), Will Setterfield (5), Harry Perryman (14), Isaac Cumming (20), Lachlan Tiziani (54), Matt de Boer (58)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Tendai Mzungu, Jake Stein (category B), Zach Sproule (category B)

Verdict: A classic bag of liquorice allsorts for the Giants. Trading up to get the second pick has been well-and-truly justified by the exceptional start to Taranto's career, which has included a best and fairest in 2019 when the Giants played in a Grand Final. Their next three selections, all in the top-20, were Academy players. Setterfield didn't fit into a crowded midfield and was traded to Carlton after just two years, while Perryman and Cumming are now entrenched in the Giants' best team. Veteran de Boer has turned out to be a great budget pick-up, playing 73 games in five years. All in all, 2016 was a quality haul of talent for a Giants team that was coming off a preliminary final appearance. - Michael Whiting

New Giants (L-R) Isaac Cumming, Tim Taranto, Will Setterfield and Harry Perryman in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Harry Morrison (pick No.74), Mitch Lewis (76)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Oliver Hanrahan, Jack Fitzpatrick, James Cousins, Conor Nash (category B)

Verdict: The Hawks went into the season as three-time defending premiers before bowing out in a semi-final, so the draft was not a high priority as the club continued to top up with readymade players in pursuit of more success. Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara joined via trades from Sydney and Gold Coast, respectively, while Ty Vickery and Ricky Henderson were brought in as free agents to mixed success. From the draft, Lewis is starting to come into his own in the forward line and looks to be a bargain buy, while Morrison played some dashing football in the opening half of this season before injury struck. Nash was picked up as an international selection from Ireland during this period, while fellow rookies Hanrahan and Cousins were both delisted this year. - Brandon Cohen

New Hawk Mitch Lewis poses for a photo ahead of his first season in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Mitch Hannan (No.46) Dion Johnstone (64)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Lachlan Filipovic (8), Tim Smith (25), Declan Keilty (39), Corey Maynard (category B)

Verdict: Having spent the previous three years heavily involved at the pointy end of the draft, the Demons were bit-part players in 2016 after trading their first-round pick away for a double-dip in the 2015 first round. Hannan proved a useful, versatile asset across half-forward in 50 games for the club before moving to the Western Bulldogs ahead of 2021. The remainder of the selections largely reflected their positions in the draft. Seasoned VFL forward Smith played 13 games over three seasons, ex-basketballer Maynard and tall defender Keilty managed just two games in the same period, while Johnstone and Filipovic didn't crack it for AFL debuts. The Demons' success in the previous years – when they landed Christian Salem, Christian Petracca, Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Sam Weideman as first-round picks – meant the lean harvest of 2016 had little impact. - Michael Rogers

Melbourne draftees Dion Johnstone and Mitch Hannan in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Jy Simpkin (pick No.12), Declan Watson (34), Josh Williams (36), Nick Larkey (73)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Cam Zurhaar, Oscar Junker, Matthew Taylor

Verdict: North Melbourne's 2016 draft haul is the definition of 'hit and miss'. When the Kangaroos got it right, they struck gold, with Simpkin, Zurhaar and Larkey all becoming crucial parts of North's set-up over the past five years. The trio have formed the nucleus of North Melbourne's rebuild, already showing enough promise to get fans excited about the club's future. Larkey has proven to be a steal at pick No.73, kicking 82 goals in his 51 games and leading North's goalkicking in 2021, while bullocking midfielder/forward Zurhaar has kicked 79 goals from 64 games. Simpkin won the club's best and fairest award in 2021 and has played 95 games. While the other four draftees combine for a total of two games (all via Josh Williams), the 2016 draft was still a resounding success for the Roos, as they set themselves up for the next decade in one fell swoop. – Sophie Welsh

Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar celebrate a goal for North Melbourne against St Kilda in R11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Todd Marshall (pick No.16), Sam Powell-Pepper (No.18), Joe Atley (No.32), Willem Drew (No.33)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Peter Ladhams, Jarrod Lienert, Emmanuel Irra (category B)

Verdict: The Power addressed list needs with their 2016 draft class, but the group is yet to deliver a top-10 best and fairest finish among them. Marshall was the standout key forward in the draft group and, while understanding he is not the primary tall target yet, his 57 goals from 55 games would suggest he is yet to deliver on his potential. Powell-Pepper (92 games) has not been able to move permanently into the midfield in five seasons, while Atley was delisted after four games in four seasons at the end of 2020. Drew has made the biggest recent impact of the group, playing 24 games in 2021 and cementing himself as an important inside midfielder, averaging 17.7 disposals, 3.9 clearances and 6.8 tackles. Ladhams (32 games) was a savvy rookie pick but was traded to Sydney this year in a move that saw the Power move up from pick No.16 to No.12 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft and receive a future third-round pick. Lienert was delisted this year after 23 games, while Irra did not debut in his two seasons. - Nathan Schmook

Port Adelaide's Todd Marshall and Sam Powell-Pepper celebrate a goal against Hawthorn in R16, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Shai Bolton (pick No.29), Jack Graham (53), Ryan Garthwaite (72) 
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Tyson Stengle

Verdict: A fairly small draft haul for the Tigers, but the first two selections should still have another 10 years at the club. Graham was part of the flag-winning side of 2017 in just his fifth game, played in the 2020 triumph, but missed 2019 with a heartbreaking preliminary final injury. Bolton had a slightly slower start to his career, but is also a two-time premiership star. His best work has been done forward of centre, but he has also shown glimpses of his ability in the middle of the ground, with his elusiveness and agility coming to the fore. Garthwaite was delisted at the end of the 2021 season, struggling to break into a tight-knit defence, but was a dependable performer at VFL level. At pick 72, it was hardly a bust selection. Stengle moved to Adelaide after two seasons in search of greater opportunities, given the Tigers' healthy small forward stocks. – Sarah Black

Jack Graham celebrates Richmond's 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final victory over Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Ben Long (pick No.25), Josh Battle (39), Ed Phillips (56)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Rowan Marshall, Ray Connellan (category B), Darragh Joyce (category B)

Verdict: While the impact of Long and Battle is yet to be determined, Marshall is already one of St Kilda's most important players. An athletic forward/ruck with incredible overhead ability, Marshall's development was supercharged with the arrival of veteran ruck Paddy Ryder in 2019, with the pair combining to form one of the AFL's most dangerous ruck duos. The question still remains as to whether Marshall can shoulder the ruck burden alone when the ageing Ryder retires. As for the players that came through the national draft, Battle has played 56 games, Long has managed 60, while Phillips was delisted at the end of the 2020 season after 15 games in the red, white and black. Both Long and Battle are yet to tie down a permanent role in the Saints' best 22, playing all over the ground and pinch-hitting where needed. Both players were on the trade table at the end of the 2021 season but ended up staying put at Moorabbin. The Saints also signed Irish duo Joyce and Connellan as category B International rookies, and while the pacy Connellan didn’t play a senior game, key defender Joyce (10 AFL games) remains on the list as a depth player. – Sophie Welsh

Pick No.39 Josh Battle poses in his St Kilda shirt in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Ollie Florent (pick No.11), Will Hayward (21), Jack Maibaum (45), Darcy Cameron (48)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Ben Ronke, Robbie Fox, Shaun Edwards, Toby Pink, Sam Fisher (category B)

Verdict: In Florent and Hayward, Sydney should have two long-term players and both potentially could become stars of the competition, so the draft definitely gets a comfortable pass. The question is, however, could it have been better? The Swans left Jy Simpkin on the table who – at the moment – is a better midfielder than Florent. And it is at the backend of the draft – typically a strength for the Swans – where they've been let down. Maibaum was delisted in 2019, rookied, then delisted again in 2020. Cameron was handed to Collingwood after failing to make an impression. Edwards and Pink didn't work out, and while Ronke and Fox remain on the list, Fox has been delisted once and Ronke is hanging on by his fingernails after rising from obscurity in 2018 with a stunning seven-goal effort at the MCG. - Cameron Noakes

Will Hayward and Ollie Florent during a media opportunity at Blues Point Reserve following the 2016 NAB AFL Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Daniel Venables (pick No.13), Josh Rotham (No.37), Willie Rioli (No.52), Jake Waterman (No.77)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Tom Gorter, Drew Petrie, Fraser McInnes, Tarir Bayok (category B), Francis Watson (category B)

Verdict: This draft has its fingerprints all over the Eagles' 2018 premiership and delivered in the short-term, but those same players have been mired in controversy and sadness since leaving significant holes on the list in their absences. Venables was a premiership player in his 15th game, but a traumatic brain injury the following season robbed him of his career. He was the hard, competitive young midfielder in his draft year that the Eagles now need. Rioli was an inspired pick, debuting in 2018 and winning a premiership in his 24th game. He was suspended for tampering with urine samples 14 games later and has left a significant hole in the Eagles' forward line. Rotham (33 games) established himself as a best-22 player this year, while Waterman (53) has routinely returned to the WAFL because of the Eagles' tall forward depth. Trade acquisition Nathan Vardy played in the 2018 premiership but has since retired, while Sam Mitchell joined the club during this off-season and was midfield coach during the flag year. None of the rookie draft acquisitions remain, but Petrie has stayed in on off-field role as wellbeing and development manager. - Nathan Schmook

Daniel Venables, Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan and Jake Waterman sing the team song after West Coast's win over Western Bulldogs on April 1, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

2016 NAB AFL Draft: Tim English (No.19), Patrick Lipinski (28), Lewis Young (49), Fergus Greene (70)
AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Drafts: Nathan Mullenger-McHugh, Josh Prudden, Tristan Tweedie (category B)

Verdict: This draft group took a hit in the off-season with Lipinski leaving for Collingwood and Young heading to the Blues, both eyeing more opportunities. It leaves English as the only remaining player at the club from the 2016 intake, which came after the Dogs' drought-breaking premiership run. English was a steal that night, with the ruckman sliding down the board to be available to a club that needed a big man coming through its ranks. Lipinski played 56 games for the Dogs and is an emerging player while Young, too, was a good pick late in the draft as a versatile tall option. - Callum Twomey

Tim English looks on at a Western Bulldogs photo day in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos