Ladies and gentlemen! If we choose not to trade, we will have the opportunity to grab two of these lads. Early days, I know, and there are always bolters as the year goes on, but these twenty are considered the cream ATM. Who would you choose? Let's have a nearest the pin/time capsule comp. The Jade Gresham Coconut will be awarded to the winner after the draft (If fugazi ever gives me my coconut). My two are Noah Balta (What an omen. Who better to break a drought than someone named Noah?) and Ethan Penrith.
Part of the Brisbane Academy, the 198cm, 95kg, Ballenden is among 2017's most promising talls. He is a strong contested mark in the forward 50m, attacks the ball in flight, hits the scoreboard and is also an effective tap ruckman. His 15 disposals, nine marks (three contested) and five goals against Tasmania during division two of the AFL Under-18 Championships is just a small glimpse into what Ballenden can do.
Freakishly athletic key forward, at 193cm, 88kg, who breaks the lines like a small or medium size running specialist. He possesses rare speed, leap and some Lance "Buddy" Franklin-like traits. Balta kicked 18 goals from his eight TAC Cup games and with continued improvement has the scope to be as good as anyone in the 2017 draft class.
It is to be determined whether the 195cm, 83kg, Jarrod Brander will remain part of GWS' Academy. He is regarded as one of 2017's premier key forward prospects with a combination of speed, agility and strong hands overhead. From his four TAC Cup games in 2016 he averaged a very promising 2.5 goals and 6.5 marks per game.
Coleman-Jones is the most physically advanced of the talls from the 2017 draft class at 199cm, 98kg. He is proficient as a tap ruckman who plays with a physical edge and uses his size effectively. He is a dominant contested-marking force who reads the ball in flight as well as any of next year's ruckman, taking powerful contested marks inside the forward 50m. Coleman-Jones also hits the scoreboard and pushes into the back half for intercept marks. His 10 contested marks from four AFL Under-18 Championships games shows what a contested marking force he already is.
Clean kick on both his left and right, Clark plays predominantly as an outside player, running off half-back and pushing up onto the wings. Clark, 186cm, 79kg, possesses pace, moving easily through traffic and displaying a high leap and strong hands overhead. While best suited to playing on the outside, Clark does not shirk the issue when it is his time to go, winning the contested ball and laying tackles.
Clavarino as a key defender plays an accountable style of game, shutting down his direct opponent and demonstrating impressive strength in the one-on-one contests. At 194cm, 80kg, Clavarino was arguably one of the best shutdown key defenders in the TAC Cup in 2016 for and also played all four games for Vic Country during this year's AFL Under-18 Championships.
The midfielder and forward only played two TAC Cup games and one Under-18 Championship match this season, but at 187cm, 86kg, he is a name to listen out for in 2017. Davies-Uniacke has pace, skill, size, strength overhead and ability to hit the scoreboard, traits that will surely have clubs drooling.
The son of Adelaide's Tyson, Jackson Edwards is eligible as a possible father-son choice. Edwards, 184cm, 73kg, has the production behind him in the SANFL Under-18s and Reserves. He is a left-footed midfielder displaying class, using the ball cleanly on both feet, providing run and winning his own ball through the midfield.
A dynamic goal kicker, Darcy Fogarty kicked seven goals from three AFL Under-18 Championships games. The 190cm, 86kg, Fogarty is equally adept through the midfield with impressive contested possession and clearance numbers through the SANFL Under-18s, suggesting potential as a rotating midfielder/forward.
One of the prime ball users of the 2017 draft class, Garner, 184cm, 78kg, is a classy kick with the versatility to play on a forward or back flank or through the midfield. He is a strong, athletic mark overhead and a damaging player who is expected to play a more prominent role for Eastern in 2017 through the midfield.
With disposal numbers exceeding any other midfielder in the 2017 draft class, Giro has been outstanding through the SANFL Under-s during the first half of the season with countless 30+ and 40+ disposal games. He has also adjusted seamlessly to Reserves football, placing in the bests in six of his eight games. At 177cm, 70kg, Giro has the capacity to play inside or outside, using the ball cleanly and moving through traffic easily.
The only player during the AFL Under-18 Championships to be awarded All-Australian as a bottom ager was the 200cm, 90kg, Sam Hayes. He has proven effective both as a ruckman and key forward - Hayes is arguably the most advanced tap ruckman from the 2017 draft class and is also a strong contested mark around the ground and forward of centre. He averaged one contested mark per game this season in the TAC Cup, attacking the ball in flight and holding his position in body-on-body contests.
Inside midfielder already playing Reserves for Norwood in the SANFL. At 183cm, 79kg, Hewson is a stoppage specialist who wins high contested possession and clearance numbers. His game is very advanced game for his age and is one of the more ready-to-play midfielders among this group.
Arguably the most advanced player in this draft class with several games of 30 or more disposals in the TAC Cup, also kicking 19 goals from his 10 games. At 176cm, 73kg, Higgins is a classy ball user who wins his share of the contested ball through the midfield. He is also a natural crumber who keeps his feet, draws high free kicks and finishes effectively around goal.
Finding a lot of the ball and doing his best work on the outside, Lochie O'Brien at 184cm, 74kg is an outside runner who evades tackles, uses the ball cleanly on his left foot, is strong overhead and in one-on-one contests. O'Brien averaged 24 disposals per game through his five TAC Cup contests and has also showed proficiency winning the contested ball.
Physically already a very mature half-back flanker at 189cm, 94kg and averaging 18 disposals, five marks and five rebound 50s from his three SANFL League games, Pascoe is among the most advanced players. He provides run off half-back, takes marks one-on-one, is a penetrating kick who hits his targets and is also a genuine goalkicking threat when he pushes forward.
The 179cm, 74kg outside line breaker takes on the game at every opportunity, dodging and weaving past opposition players effortlessly. His skills are silky, using the ball efficiently and impacting the game heavily with each possession. For someone who does his best work on the outside, Penrith displays an aggression uncommon in line breakers, bumping opposition players with force, tackling and winning the contested ball.
Strong contested-marking, 185cm, 84kg, forward who kicked 17 goals from eight TAC Cup games, leading Western Jets' goalkicking and also taking 12 contested marks. Rayner has a classy look to him, avoiding tackles, hitting targets and finishing on goal from outside 50m.
Came onto the radar in 2015 with a dynamic finals series for Eastern Rangers. Stephenson confirmed his reputation as a big game player, giving eventual premier Sandringham a scare during the first round of the TAC Cup finals kicking four important goals. Stephenson is an athletic forward at 188cm, 76kg who is freakish at ground level and is a high leaper who does his best work close to goal.
Big-bodied midfielder already at 185cm, 82kg who thrives on the contested side of the game. He was already in 2016 one of the contested ball and clearance winning beasts of the TAC Cup and may lead the competition in those categories in 2017. Worpel fends off powerfully, reminiscent of Dustin Martin and often is found diving courageously to either tackle the opposing ball carrier or smother their kicks.
Winmar to LOCKETT!!!!!