AFL 1 year ago

Which top ten pick has the best history?

  • Which top ten pick has the best history?

With the draft fast approaching in November, it's a critical and crucial time for the recruiters to make sure that they get their draft picks right for their clubs. 

In this article, we'll be looking over the last ten years of the top ten draft picks and see which pick works out best.

I'll also be grading each pick on which players I believe have made it or have the potential to make it big time in the AFL. 

PICK #1

2004 -
Brett Deledio (Richmond)
2005 - Marc Murphy (Carlton)
2006 - Bryce Gibbs (Carlton)
2007 - Matthew Kreuzer (Carlton)
2008 - Jack Watts (Melbourne)
2009 - Tom Scully (Melbourne/GWS Giants)
2010 - David Swallow (Gold Coast Suns)
2011 - Jonathon Patton (GWS Giants)
2012 - Lachie Whitfield (GWS Giants)
2013 - Tom Boyd (GWS Giants/Western Bulldogs)
2014 - Patrick McCartin (St Kilda)
2015 - Jacob Weitering (Carlton)

While the jury may still be out on the likes of Weitering, Patton, Whitfield, Boyd and McCartin, there's only one genuine star of the competition in this lot, which I believe to be Brett Deledio. Murphy is a very good footballer, but not sure I classify him as an "absolute star". Bryce Gibbs much the same. Matthew Kreuzer has the potential to be that big star if he can get some continuity into his game. David Swallow much the same with Kreuzer also. Injuries have slowed their careers down at some point and if they can get themselves fit, then we'll see the best of them.

RATING: 6/10

PICK #2

2004 -
Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn)
2005 - Dale Thomas (Collingwood/Carlton)
2006 - Scott Gumbleton (Essendon/Fremantle - retired)
2007 - Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
2008 - Nic Naitanui (West Coast)
2009 - Jack Trengove (Melbourne)
2010 - Harley Bennell (Gold Coast Suns/Fremantle)
2011 - Stephen Coniglio (GWS Giants)
2012 - Jono O'Rourke (GWS Giants/Hawthorn)
2013 - Josh Kelly (GWS Giants)
2014 - Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
2015 - Josh Schache (Brisbane Lions)

This group of number two's has just about everything. Stars, injuries, off-field issues, early retirements and over half the group having spent time at a different club that they were originally drafted too. Jarryd Roughead is the big star in this group. He is one of the most valuable players in the competition with the amount of roles that he can play on the field for the Hawks, although unfortunately we won't be seeing him for a while. Nic Naitanui is quickly catching him however as his impact on games is growing with every game that he plays. If Harley Bennell can get his head right at the Dockers, when he returns from injury, then he could easily be the pick of the bunch. Trent Cotchin does everything right, except finishing in front of goal. I feel that's the only think he lacks. Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly have shown this year just how good they both can be also.

RATING: 7.5/10

PICK #3

2004 -
Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs/GWS Giants)
2005 - Xavier Ellis (Hawthorn/West Coast)
2006 - Lachie Hansen (North Melbourne)
2007 - Chris Masten (West Coast)
2008 - Stephen Hill (Fremantle)
2009 - Dustin Martin (Richmond)
2010 - Sam Day (Gold Coast)
2011 - Dom Tyson (GWS Giants/Melbourne)
2012 - Lachie Plowman (GWS Giants/Carlton)
2013 - Jack Billings (St Kilda) 
2014 - Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne)
2015 - Callum Mills (Sydney Swans)

Pick three seems to be a good fit for any team as it's one of just two picks inside the top ten that still has all players currently playing. It's a group that is filled with proven talent and filled with a bucket-load of potential talent. The likes of Stephen Hill and Dustin Martin are two of the competition's best at this point in time. Hill with his run and drive along the big wings of Domain Stadium and Martin's ability to play through the midfield, rack up 25+ disposals and kick four goals and be a match winner. It was a slow start for Chris Masten, but he too is now becoming a prolific midfielder for the Eagles. Ryan Griffen had a lean year at the Giants, but there's no denying the type of player he can be after what we saw at the Doggies. On potential however, Jack Billings has the most to offer out of this group in my opinion.

RATING: 7.5/10

PICK #4

2004 -
Richard Tambling (Richmond/Adelaide - delisted)
2005 - Josh Kennedy (Carlton/West Coast)
2006 - Matthew Leuenberger (Brisbane Lions/Essendon)
2007 - Cale Morton (Melbourne/West Coast - delisted)
2008 - Hamish Hartlett (Port Adelaide)
2009 - Anthony Morabito (Fremantle)
2010 - Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
2011 - Will Hoskin-Elliott (GWS Giants)
2012 - Jimmy Toumpas (Melbourne/Port Adelaide)
2013 - Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
2014 - Jarrod Pickett (GWS Giants)
2015 - Clayton Oliver (Melbourne)

Pick four is very much a hit and miss looking at this list. On one hand you have the highly disappointing Richard Tambling and Cale Morton, and at this point at time, you can throw in Will Hoskin-Elliott and Jimmy Toumpas. However, on the other hand, you've got a Coleman Medallist in Josh Kennedy, and three stars in Hamish Hartlett, Andrew Gaff and Marcus Bontempelli, so it is very much a mixed bag. A fit Matthew Leuenberger can be one of the competition's best rucks, however he is rarely fit which is a great shame given he has played just 100 games since 2006 when he was first drafted. Anthony Morabito has an abundance of talent, but just cannot get over a knee injury.

RATING: 6/10

PICK #5

2004 -
Lance Franklin (Hawthorn/Sydney Swans)
2005 - Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2006 - Travis Boak (Port Adelaide)
2007 - Jarrad Grant (Western Bulldogs - delisted)
2008 - Michael Hurley (Essendon)
2009 - Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
2010 - Jared Polec (Brisbane Lions/Port Adelaide) 
2011 - Matt Buntine (GWS Giants)
2012 - Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs)
2013 - Kade Kolodjashnij (Gold Coast Suns)
2014 - Jordan De Goey (Collingwood)
2015 - Darcy Parish (Essendon)

Pick five is the pick of the bunch. Stars galore everywhere you look over the last ten years. With the exception of Jarrad Grant and to a lesser extent Matt Buntine, the rest have showed that they are or will be quality AFL footballers. A handful of All-Australians, Coleman Medal, Norm Smith Medal, Premierships, Best and Fairest's, this group has it. Franklin nor Pendlebury really need to be spoken about as they are both top five in the AFL currently. Boak is a wonderful and tough leader of the Port Adelaide Football Club, Michael Hurley has shown the type of player he is in defence. Ben Cunnington is an underrated member of the Kangaroos midfield. Jared Polec needs to get his body right and he'll be flying along the wings for the Power. Jake Stringer is Jake Stringer, we know what he is all capable of. Kade Kolodjashnij showed an incredible amount of leadership in just his second season. And finally, Jordan De Goey is just another important future cog in the Collingwood midfield machine and then there's Darcy Parish who has absolutely flourished in his first season.

RATING: 9.5/10

PICK #6

2004 -
Tom Williams (Western Bulldogs - retired)
2005 - Beau Dowler (Hawthorn - delisted)
2006 - Mitch Thorp (Hawthorn - delisted)
2007 - David Myers (Essendon)
2008 - Chris Yarran (Carlton/Richmond)
2009 - Gary Rohan (Sydney Swans)
2010 - Reece Conca (Richmond)
2011 - Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide)
2012 - Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
2013 - Matthew Scharenberg (Collingwood)
2014 - Caleb Marchbank (GWS Giants)
2015 - Aaron Francis (Essendon)

Pick six is the exact opposite of what neighbour, number five is like. While it has vastly improved over the last couple of years, it didn't get off to the greatest start with the top three no longer in the competition. David Myers has really had just the one outstanding season, with the rest of his career plagued by injury with a number of hamstring and shoulder injuries, and missing 2016 through suspension hasn't helped his progression. Chris Yarran has the potential to be one of the competition's best but his attitude just anywhere where it needs to be at the moment and given that he hasn't played this year due to off-field issues doesn't help either . Rohan and Conca, much like Myers have had injury troubles that have hindered them from showing their best football and what they're capable of. The pick of the bunch is no doubt Chad Wingard and Jackson Macrae who are both close to top three players at their club at the moment.

RATING: 5/10

PICK #7

2004 -
Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn)
2005 - Patrick Ryder (Essendon/Port Adelaide)
2006 - Joel Selwood (Geelong)
2007 - Rhys Palmer (Fremantle/GWS Giants)
2008 - Daniel Rich (Brisbane Lions)
2009 - Brad Sheppard (West Coast)
2010 - Josh Caddy (Gold Coast Suns/Geelong)
2011 - Nick Haynes (GWS Giants)
2012 - Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide)
2013 - James Aish (Brisbane Lions/Collingwood)
2014 - Paul Ahern (GWS Giants)
2015 - Jacob Hopper (GWS Giants)

Probably the second best group after pick five is the number sevens. Class, determination, skill and hardness is just a few words to describe this group. Jordan Lewis and Joel Selwood are two of the competition's best and have an amazing seven premierships between, as well as a host of Best and Fairest's. Patrick Ryder has always been inconsistent but his best is some of the best in the competition. Again, unfortunately we haven't been able to see that this season due to obvious reasons. Daniel Rich and that booming left foot can be very damaging, but Rich, I've felt has struggled to have much of an impact on games. Hopefully that'll change in the second half of 2016. Brad Sheppard announced himself as a player in 2015, playing a crucial part in West Coast's rise to the Grand Final and has continued on this season. Josh Caddy provided great assistance to Joel Selwood in a break-out year in 2016, but must say that the addition of Patrick Dangerfield has seen Caddy's impact limited. And well, there's not much that needs to be said about Ollie Wines. He could just about be the best of the lot, and that's saying something.

RATING: 8.5/10

PICK #8

2004 -
John Meesen (Melbourne/Adelaide - delisted)
2005 - Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls (Richmond/West Coast - delisted)
2006 - Ben Reid (Collingwood)
2007 - Lachie Henderson (Brisbane/Carlton/Geelong)
2008 - Tyrone Vickery (Richmond)
2009 - John Butcher (Port Adelaide)
2010 - Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
2011 - Billy Longer (Brisbane Lions/St Kilda
2012 - Sam Mayes (Brisbane Lions) 
2013 - Luke McDonald (North Melbourne)
2014 - Peter Wright (Gold Coast Suns)
2015 - Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coat Suns)

With the exception of Dyson Heppell, Callum Ah Chee, Sam Mayes and Luke McDonald, this seems to be the "big man's" pick as a lot of the pick eight's stand as either ruckmen or key position players. John Meesen and Jarrod Oakley-Nicholls' career certainly didn't go the way that they, nor their clubs would have hoped. It slowly got better after the first two with Ben Reid and Lachie Henderson. Reid has really struggled with injury in the past couple of years, but there's no doubt he's a talent, and with Henderson now at his third club, we may yet have not seen the best of him. John Butcher, I will say I'm surprised that he is still on an AFL list. Billy Longer asserted himself as St Kilda's number one ruckman last year, edging out Tom Hickey, but that seems to have taken a drastic change.  Sam Mayes is a great talent, but is struggling to adjust to the level of consistency needed in AFL level, much the same with Luke McDonald, despite a strong first season. We've seen enough of Peter Wright already this season to know he'll be a player. Rocket Eade just needs to persist with him. And the lone star in this group is Dyson Heppell. Future captain, already an All-Australian and who knows if a Brownlow Medal is around the corner or not. It's a pity that we haven't seen the blonde hair flopping about this season in the red and black, but that's a tale for another day.

RATING: 5/10

PICK #9

2004 -
Jordan Russell (Carlton/Collingwood - delisted)
2005 - Mitch Clark (Brisbane/Melbourne/Geelong)
2006 - David Armitage (St Kilda)
2007 - Ben McEvoy (St Kilda/Hawthorn)
2008 - Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne)
2009 - Andrew Moore (Port Adelaide - delisted)
2010 - Dion Prestia (Gold Coast)
2011 - Adam Tomlinson (GWS Giants)
2012 - Nick Vlastuin (Richmond)
2013 - Christian Salem (Melbourne)
2014 - Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
2015 - Sam Weideman (Melbourne)

Again, another mixed bag of pretty much everything for the pick nine's. Jordan Russell had all the capabilities to make it at the top level, but just couldn't string it together. Mitch Clark has suffered a number of injuries physically and unfortunately we all know about his mental health issues. Hopefully he can get over both of them as he is a terrific footballer when up and running. David Armitage showed in the 2015 season the quality of player he is and although a little quieter this season, still a fantastic footballer. Ben McEvoy was a terrific ruckman at the Saints and now has two premierships at the Hawks. Jack Ziebell is starting to come into his element as the Kangaroos number one midfielder. Unfortunately for Andrew Moore, he could never deliver his top ten status and despite being on the list at Richmond, I suspect his career may end at the end of the season. And the future of Prestia, Tomlinson, Vlastuin, Salem and Moore all looks incredibly bright with all five showing at times throughout their careers that they're all looking at 10+ year careers. 

RATING: 7/10 

PICK #10

2004 -
Chris Egan (Collingwood - delisted)
2005 - Marcus Drum (Fremantle/Geelong - retired)
2006 - Nathan Brown (Collingwood)
2007 - Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide/Geelong)
2008 - Phil Davis (Adelaide/GWS Giants)
2009 - Jake Melksham (Essendon/Melbourne)
2010 - Daniel Gorringe (Gold Coast/Carlton)
2011 - Liam Sumner (GWS Giants/Carlton)
2012 - Joe Daniher (Essendon)
2013 - Nathan Freeman (Collingwood/St Kilda)
2014 - Nakia Cockatoo (Geelong)
2015 - Harry McKay (Carlton)

Surprisingly, looking at this group that there has been six of the last ten number ten's have been traded away from their original club (Dan Gorringe was originally delisted by the Suns), which is quite a shock as it is the most out of the top ten in the last ten year. Chris Egan struggled to make a name for himself in a tough time for Collingwood. Marcus Drum never got a fair run at it because of injury. Nathan Brown has struggled with injury in the past, but his best is crucial to the Collingwood defence, but he surprisingly finds himself in the VFL. Phil Davis has shown that once his body is fit, how important he can be to the Giants side. Jake Melksham's best year was 2013 where he finished top five in the best and fairest and injuries have plagued him reaching that level since. Liam Sumner has got a fresh start at the Blues and looks the part. Joe Daniher and Nakia Cockatoo have shown what they are capable of already in their short careers. And finally, there's Patrick Dangerfield, who in my eyes, is currently the best player in the competition.

RATING: 7/10

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