2021 AFL Draft review: Collingwood

WITH the 2021 AFL Draft done and dusted, Rookie Me Central takes a look through each clubs’ hauls to assess the areas they bolstered and what each fresh face promises to bring to their new side. Next under the microscope is Collingwood, a side that welcomed a much-anticipated father-son, as well as a trio of South Australians.

National Draft selections:

#4 Nick Daicos (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#45 Arlo Draper (South Adelaide/South Australia)
#49 Cooper Murley (Norwood/South Australia)
#52 Harvey Harrison (North Adelaide/South Australia)

Rookie Draft Selections:

#2 Charlie Dean (Williamstown/VFL)
#17 Isaac Chugg (re-listed)

Collingwood fans were excited about the draft haul long before any names were read out last week. Knowing the Magpies were going to commit to highly-touted father-son Nick Daicos was already a huge tick in their books. Daicos was offered an additional two years – tying him to the club until the end of 2025 – which was a massive commitment on a player yet to step on the field at AFL level. Nonetheless, more good news was to follow with the potential Pick 1 candidate sliding to fourth after both North Melbourne and GWS GIANTS opted not to bid on him. When Gold Coast did, the Magpies were all too happy to quickly match and get the exciting midfielder into the club.

Daicos was joined in the black and white stripes by a trio of South Australians all with different stories. One of the big sliders on the night was Arlo Draper, with the South Australian tipped to go as high as the Top 20, but certainly inside the Top 30. The midfielder-forward kept sliding, and the Magpies pounced on a live trade to jump ahead of a frustrated Essendon and snag the talented player. He will likely start forward and eventually rotate into the midfield, but also caught the eye off half-back for his state.

Under 16 All-Australian Cooper Murley did not get much of a chance in 2021 with injury curtailing his year, but after an outstanding 2020 bottom-age season – earning him AFL Academy honours – the Norwood prospect is another taken much lower than his ability might suggest. He is a little smaller than the other two picks – standing at 178cm – but his attack on the ball and ability to win it on the inside and outside is arguably right up there. He can also hit the scoreboard and is one that with a good clean run at it, could really impress at the top level.

Harvey Harrison was plucked out off the back of an impressive late showing for South Australia, and then an eye-catching State Combine. Possessing some elite athletic traits, Harrison is one who could fit a variety of roles, and whilst raw, has plenty of upside. In the Rookie Draft, Collingwood picked up the key position player fans were crying out for, by selecting mature-ager Charlie Dean. The Williamstown product was judged the best young player in the VFL playing off half-back, though he has also played up forward such as in his top-age year for Sandringham Dragons a couple of years ago. The Magpies completed their draft haul by re-listing Tasmanian speedster Isaac Chugg.

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