PICK 1 - GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - BRODIE GRUNDY (ORIGINALLY PICK 18 - COLLINGWOOD)
ORIGINAL PICK: LACHIE WHITFIELD
Like most ruckman, the big man took a little while to develop, only playing 22 senior games in his first two seasons. However, the Pies persisted and since then he, alongside Max Gawn, has become one of the competition’s premier ruckman, being selected in the All-Australian side each of the last two years. Grundy not only dominates the hit-outs but is almost seen as an extra midfielder with the amount of possessions he racks up. He also has two Pies’ Best and Fairest Awards and a 2018 Herald Sun Player of the Year Trophy to his name, highlighting why he is my number one pick of the 2011 crop.
Photo: Brodie Grundy by Flickerd available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.
PICK 2: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - LACHIE WHITFIELD (ORIGINALLY PICK ONE - GWS)
Not a huge drop for Whitfield who after copping a suspension for an illicit drugs code breach early on in his career, has matured into one of the competition’s elite runners and ball users at both half-back and on the wing. The Giant can find plenty of the ball and is just as comfortable on his left foot as he is his right. Earned All-Australian honours in 2018 and wasn’t far off last season.
Pick 3 – Greater Western Sydney – Dane Rampe (originally pick 37 in the rookie draft to Sydney)
Original pick Lachie Plowman
Another feather was added to the cap of the Sydney Swans recruiting staff, when they selected the mature-aged Rampe with pick 37 in the 2013 Rookie Draft. Since then the slightly undersized Swan has played 161 games and gone on to become Sydney’s number one defender, one who regularly takes the scalps of opposition sides’ top forwards. Rampe received All-Australian honours in 2016 and was named Swans Co-Captain in 2018, where he led by example and took out the 2019 Bob Skilton Medal.
Pick 4 – Melbourne – Jack Macrae (originally pick 6 to the Western Bulldogs)
Original pick Jimmy Toumpas
Another player who suffers from leather poisoning, Macrae has become a model of consistency in the Bulldogs midfield, averaging just under 28 disposals a game over his impressive 143 games. Was finally rewarded with All-Australian selection in 2019 after narrowly missing out in the previous year. Showed his ability to perform on the big stage when he had 33 disposals as part of the Bulldogs’ 2016 Grand Final winning side.
Photo: Jack Macrae by Flickerd available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.
Pick 5 – Western Bulldogs – Joe Daniher (originally pick 10 F/S to Essendon)
Original pick Jake Stringer
The 201cm key forward has been plagued by injuries over the past two seasons only playing 11 games in total, but in the previous seasons showed us what he was capable of. Returned solid season goal tallies of 28, 34 and 43 between 2014 and 2016, but it was 2017 where he really broke out. The athletic Bomber kicked 65 goals that year and showed us that if he gets his body right, he could be anything.
Pick 6 – Western Bulldogs – Jake Stringer (originally pick 5 to the Western Bulldogs)
Original pick Jack Macrae
A matchwinner in every sense, Stringer is one of the few players who doesn’t need a lot of possessions to impact a game. The forward/midfielder had a career best year in 2015 for the Bulldogs, kicking 56 majors and becoming an All-Australian, before backing it up in 2016 with 42 goals in a premiership winning year. Has been consistent without setting the world alight since joining the Bombers in 2018, however Bombers fans would be pleased seeing him take out the club’s leading goalkicker award in both years.
Pick 7 – Port Adelaide – Ollie Wines (originally pick 7 to Port Adelaide)
Original pick Ollie Wines
The Port Vice-Captain keeps his spot in the draft, after becoming one of the game’s elite inside-midfielders in his 141 games to date. Averages over 24 touches a game, with 11 of them being contested.
Photo: Ollie Wines by Flickerd available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.
Pick 8 – Brisbane Lions – Jack Viney (originally pick 26 F/S to Melbourne)
Original pick Sam Mayes
Similar to Wines, Viney is another inside-bull who refuses to shirk a contest. He had a career best year in 2016, taking out the Demons’ Best and Fairest at just 22, averaging 26 disposals and 7 tackles a game. Has been hampered by injuries since then, however could be set for a big 2020 after collecting 34 disposals and a goal in round one.
Pick 9 – Richmond – Jesse Hogan (Originally pick 2 in mini-draft to Melbourne)
Original pick Nick Vlastuin
Hogan would likely be lot higher had he not been plagued by injuries and off-field issues which have seen him only play 83 games to date. That being said good key forwards are hard to come by and when Hogan is fit and firing, he is one of the best. The 2013 Rising Star recipient averages just under two goals a game over his career and during his four seasons at Melbourne he kicked over forty goals a season on three occasions. If he can get back on the park, I’d expect him to make his way up this list in the years to come.
Pick 10 – Essendon – Jake Lloyd (Originally pick 16 in the rookie draft to Sydney)
Original pick Joe Daniher
Another rookie bargain from Sydney, Lloyd has cemented himself in the top echelon of running defenders in his 139 games. After not debuting until 2014 the backman has played 21 games or more every season since. Lloyd averages a touch over 24 disposals a game and had a career best year in 2018 when he took out the Swans’ Best and Fairest and was named in the All-Australian squad.
Unlucky to miss selection - Lachie Hunter, Nic Vlastuin, Tim Membrey, Zac Williams, Jack Martin.