By Matthew Hughes
Brodie Grundy becomes our new number one selection of the 2012 AFL Draft. Photo: Collingwood Football Club.
The 2012 AFL draft was stacked with some of the most top end talent we've seen over the past decade. The 2011/2012 drafts included a 'mini draft', with the Greater Western Sydney Giants given the opportunity to select up to four players as part of their entry concessions. The players in the mini draft had to be 17 years of age and ineligible for the national draft, with them not being able to play until the 2014 season. While the Giants weren't able to select any of these players themselves, they were able to trade these selections to other clubs. Our re-draft is largely made up of rookie draft, father son, and mini draft selections.
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 is a two time Collingwood Best and Fairest winner, and was the 2018 Herald Sun Player of the Year, highlighting why he is my number one pick of the 2011 crop.
PICK 2: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - LACHIE WHITFIELD (ORIGINALLY PICK ONE - GWS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JONATHAN O'ROURKE
Not a huge drop for Whitfield, who after copping a suspension for an illicit drug 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 on 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 - 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 167 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 as a Sydney Swans Co-Captain in 2019, a year in which he took out the Bob Skilton Medal as well.
Dane Rampe. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
PICK 4: MELBOURNE - JACK MACRAE (ORIGINALLY PICK SIX - WESTERN BULLDOGS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JIMMY TOUMPAS
Another player who suffers from leather poisoning, Macrae has become a model of consistency in the Western Bulldogs midfield, averaging just under 28 disposals over his impressive 150 games. He was finally rewarded with an All-Australian selection in 2019, after narrowly missing out the previous year. Showed his ability to perform on the big stage, when he had 33 disposals as part of the Bulldogs’ 2016 Premiership side
PICK 5: WESTERN BULLDOGS - JOE DANIHER (ORIGINALLY PICK 10 F/S - ESSENDON)
ORIGINAL PICK: JAKE STRINGER
The 201cm key forward has been plagued by injuries over the past three seasons, only playing 11 games in total, but in the previous years Daniher has showed us what he is 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 proved that if he gets his body right, he could be anything.
PICK 6: WESTERN BULLDOGS - JAKE STRINGER (ORIGINALLY PICK FIVE - WESTERN BULLDOGS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JACK MACRAE
A match winner 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 Essendon in 2018, however Bombers fans would be pleased seeing him take out the club’s leading goal kicker award in both years.
Jake Stringer. Photo: Michael Klein
PICK 7: PORT ADELAIDE - OLLIE WINES (ORIGINALLY PICK SEVEN - PORT ADELAIDE)
ORIGINAL PICK: OLLIE WINES
The Port Adelaide Vice-Captain keeps his spot in the draft, after becoming one of the game’s elite inside-midfielders in his 148 games to date. Averages over 24 disposals a game and 11 contested possessions.
PICK 8: BRISBANE LIONS - JACK VINEY (ORIGINALLY PICK 26 F/S - 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 Melbourne's Best and Fairest at the raw age of 22, averaging 26 disposals and seven tackles per game. Has a career average of 22 disposals per game and has kicked 34 goals to date, but expect both statistics to rise if he stays on the park over the next few years.
PICK 9: RICHMOND - JESSE HOGAN (ORIGINALLY PICK TWO IN THE MINI-DRAFT - 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 86 games to date. That being said strong 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 has averaged just under two goals a game over his career, and during his four seasons at Melbourne he kicked over 40 goals a season on three occasions. If he can stay on the field, I’d expect him to make his way up this list in the years to come.
Jesse Hogan. Photo: AFL Photos.
PICK 10: ESSENDON - JAKE LLOYD (ORIGINALLY PICK 16 IN THE ROOKIE DRAFT - SYDNEY)
ORIGINAL PICK: JOE DANIHER
Another rookie bargain for Sydney, Lloyd has cemented himself in the top echelon of running defenders in his 145 games. After not debuting until 2014, the defender has played 21 games or more every season since. Lloyd averages a touch over 24 disposals per 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.
Cover photo: Getty Images.