Twenty-two TAC Cup players are among AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan’s top 40 prospects for next week’s 2018 NAB AFL Draft.
The first round of the draft will take place on Thursday November 22 from 7pm with the remainder of selections to be made from 12pm on Friday November 23.
Sheehan compared the quality of this year’s draft crop to the group of players selected in the 2001 AFL Draft, often referred to as the ‘Super Draft’.
“Those in the business of watching and analysing AFL Draft prospects over the last two years have been very bullish about the elite potential throughout the Draft class of 2018,” Sheehan said. “It has led to comparisons with what is generally referred to in the AFL industry as the Super Draft of 2001.
“The year produced an extraordinary number of AFL champions and stars who became household names in our game even today when only two of those draftees, Number One selection Luke Hodge and selection 40 Gary Ablett Jnr (both former Geelong Falcons) are still playing from the 65 players drafted that year.
“Brownlow Medallists Chris Judd (selection three – from Sandringham Dragons), Jimmy Bartel (selection eight – Geelong Falcons), Sam Mitchell (selection 36 – Eastern Ranges and then Box Hill Hawks), Gary Ablett Jnr and Dane Swan (selection 58 – Calder Cannons) all became champions of the game.
“The 2001 NAB AFL Draft remains the benchmark in measuring success in terms of converting Draft selections into stars. Eight of the top 20 played more than 200 games as did a further eight selected after selection 30.”
See the list of TAC Cup players in Kevin Sheehan’s top 40 prospects for the 2018 NAB AFL Draft (in alphabetical order) below and CLICK HERE to see the full list with more player information.
ZAK BUTTERS (Western Jets)
“Medium midfielder who is clever and creative using his footy smarts to set up the play… Finished fifth in the Jets best and fairest, averaged 20 disposals in just eight games.”
JACK BYTEL (Calder Cannons)
“Medium midfielder who is a contested ball winner and a star around stoppages… Averaged 22 disposals in just six weeks with the Cannons this year.”
JYE CALDWELL (Bendigo Pioneers)
“Competitive and tough medium midfielder who has been plagued by injury this year. Has a great work-rate and is a good contested ball and clearance player who makes good decisions around the ball.”
RILEY COLLIER-DAWKINS (Oakleigh Chargers)
“Medium midfielder who uses his height and power on the inside and can be line-breaking on the outside with his pace… Was impressive with the Chargers, averaging 18.1 possessions (50 per cent contested) in 15 matches.”
XAVIER DUURSMA (Gippsland Power)
“Medium defender/midfielder with an exciting burst of speed when breaking the lines from defence or out of the midfield… Finished third in Power’s best and fairest averaging 22.8 disposals in 13 matches.”
WILL KELLY (Oakleigh Chargers)
“Tall athletic defender who has the ability to play one-on-one and defend his direct opponent… Had an excellent year for the Chargers averaging 13.4 disposals and 4.6 marks across nine matches.”
BUKU KHAMIS (Western Jets)
“Sudanese-born medium defender who… reads the play well, with his intercept marking a feature of his game. Had an outstanding year for the Western Jets as he has grown in confidence running fourth in their best and fairest.”
BEN KING (Sandringham Dragons)
“Tall defender/forward who is strong overhead and both exceptionally quick and agile… An outstanding swingman prospect in the Draft, along with his twin brother Max.”
MAX KING (Sandringham Dragons)
“Tall and extremely athletic forward who is strong overhead, taking the ball at the highest point… Kicked eight goals and five behinds in his only game for the Dragons this year.”
JACOB KOSCHITZKE (Murray Bushrangers)
“Tall defender who can also go forward, he is an excellent contested mark and strong in one-on-one contests… Played 10 games at both ends of the ground for the Bushrangers averaging 11 disposals at 74.5 per cent efficiency.”
EDWARD McHENRY (Geelong Falcons)
“A competitive small forward who wins his own ball and plays with zest and passion… Averaged 21 disposals in his eight matches with the Falcons.”
TOM McKENZIE (Northern Knights)
“Medium midfielder/defender who sets up the play with his run and kicking… Averaged 23 disposals in seven matches for the Knights this year playing a variety of roles.”
XAVIER O’HALLORAN (Western Jets)
“Medium midfielder/forward who captained Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships… Runner-up in the Jets best and fairest averaging 18.8 possessions (10 contested) in 13 matches.”
ISAAC QUAYNOR (Oakleigh Chargers)
“Medium defender who can also move into the midfield and has good speed and agility, which allows him to play on medium and small opponents… Runner-up in the Chargers best and fairest.”
BAILEY SMITH (Sandringham Dragons)
“Hard-running medium midfielder with elite endurance and is a prolific ball-winner. Very good stoppage player and can hit the scoreboard.”
ELY SMITH (Murray Bushrangers)
“Medium midfielder who is competitive with repeat speed and strong attack on the ball… Won the Bushrangers best and fairest.”
LIAM STOCKER (Sandringham Dragons)
“Medium midfielder who capped off a great year at TAC Cup level, winning the Morrish Medal after averaging 21.9 disposals, 5.6 clearances and 4.5 tackles across the season.”
SAM STURT (Dandenong Stingrays)
“Left-footed medium forward who is courageous, strong overhead and presents well as a target up forward… Showed real AFL potential in his six games with the Stingrays late in the season, playing a prominent role in their first ever premiership.”
CURTIS TAYLOR (Calder Cannons)
“Composed medium forward who is a strong overhead mark and reads the play well off hands, front and square… Had an excellent year for the Cannons averaging 17.9 disposals and 4.8 marks in 12 matches. Finished third in the best and fairest.”
SAM WALSH (Geelong Falcons)
“Smooth-moving, classy medium midfielder who is a prolific ball-winner and a good distributor of the ball by hand and foot… Won the Falcons best and fairest to top off an outstanding year.”
RHYLEE WEST (Calder Cannons)
“Small midfielder/forward with a hard edge who wins his own ball… His competitive and aggressive approach, together with his elite agility and power, are features of his play.”
BAILEY WILLIAMS (Dandenong Stingrays)
“Athletic ruckman/tall forward who is quick and agile with great natural leap… Third in the Stingrays best and fairest in their premiership year.”