2022 AFL Draft Preview: Carlton
WITH season proper and trade period done and dusted, AFL fans and staff alike now turn their attention towards the draft (November 28-30). The chaos has settled on player and pick swaps, and budding prospects have completed their combines, leaving a nervous wait until they learn their fate.
In the next of our club by club previews, we take a look at Carlton’s draft hand and offer insight into how the Blues may utilise the picks at their possession. A club which often contributes to the drama of draft night, they may get busy once again after a quieter trade period.
2022 FINISH: 9th
CURRENT PICKS: 10, 29, 49, 64, 74
FUTURE PICKS: CAR R1, CAR R2, CAR R4, ESS R4
ACADEMY/FATHER-SON NOMINEES: Nil.
FIRST PICK OPTIONS:
Carlton is well poised to hit a target in terms of list needs at pick 10, but could extract further value from its first rounder if a slider becomes available. That may not necessarily be in the sense of selecting said slider, but the scenario could entice another club collaborate with the Blues to climb up the order instead.
In terms of talent in that range, Oliver Hollands has been heavily linked. The Carlton supporter would be an ideal choice given he hits a massive list need in running power. With a strong endurance base, he can play on either side of midfield and will likely compliment the addition of Blake Acres on a wing or flank.
Should Mattaes Phillipou slide past the likes of Essendon and Hawthorn within the top 10, he would be difficult to pass up. The South Australian has massive upside as a wonderfully athletic midfielder-forward. The Blues are also interested in Bailey Humphrey, though he is extremely unlikely to be available at their current pick.
Elsewhere, Elijah Hewett has played senior footy in Western Australia and has an explosive streak which many clubs will value. The Blues could also trade down for a key defender like Lewis Hayes, especially if Jedd Busslinger is already snapped up or not seen as the ideal fit.
Carlton’s second round pick will likely shift into the 30s after father-son bids roll in, and there remains some strong running power, positional specialists, and versatile types in that range. A goalkicking medium forward like Brayden George would suit the Blues nicely and take some heat off their talls, though he will probably be off the board by then.
The same goes for utility Jakob Ryan and midfielder-forward Olli Hotton, the latter of whom’s father played for Carlton. Coby Burgiel is another powerful mid-forward in that range, while Jaiden Magor looms as a potential second rounder for his power and talent inside 50.
In terms of specialist smalls, Darcy Jones could slot in on a wing if available and offers terrific creative intent. Carlton VFL-listed over-ager Harvey Gallagher does similar things from behind the ball, and Noah Long is a small midfielder who may yield interest for his forward craft.
Depending on what the Blues do with their first pick, running power could still be on the agenda. If that’s the case, Jaxon Binns has it in spades, and Kaleb Smith has been linked as a potential bolter in the mix. East Fremantle teammate Jed Hagan may be another in contention, given the Blues already have a few Sharks in their midst.
Overall, some late value is available to Carlton and list needs can certainly be addressed on top of simply taking the best available talent. Even with live trading in play, the Blues will likely end up with four selections in the National Draft and are deciding on whether move veteran Ed Curnow to the rookie list.
– Does Carlton get involved in live trading on night one?
– Will Carlton nab a slider or draft for needs with pick 10?
– Can Carlton extract late value on night two?