2022 AFL Draft Preview: Sydney
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 Sydney’s draft hand and offer insight into how the Swans may utilise the picks at their possession. With two first round picks on offer, they have already made their intentions clear in regards to getting involved with live trading.
2022 FINISH: 2nd
CURRENT PICKS: 14, 17, 42, 69, 80
FUTURE PICKS: SYD R1, SYD R2, SYD R3
ACADEMY/FATHER-SON NOMINEES: Nil.
FIRST PICK OPTIONS:
A busy night one looms for the Swans’ recruiting team, which has already signalled its intent in the live trading realm by tabling two first round picks. Open to shifting up or down the order, the Swans will have a range of prospects in their sights and some eager clubs willing to enter talks. Both Carlton and Melbourne may answer the call, while GWS has put pick 19 on offer, and Essendon could get chatting.
Among the players likely to pique Sydney’s interest, Ed Allan is a highly developable type who is attracting interest within the top 10. He and Oliver Hollands may be viable options should the Swans move up the board, as well as West Australian defender Jedd Busslinger.
Around their current range, Sydney could take a look at the likes of powerful forward Brayden George or rebounding defender Lachlan Cowan, with Josh Weddle also heavily in contention. The athletic tall defender has come on strongly this year, and has enormous upside.
Should Sydney look to slide down the order, ruckman Harry Barnett has been linked of late, while the likes of Darcy Jones, Coby Burgiel and Jakob Ryan suit the Swans’ style and will likely be available in the second round. Of course, the idea of trading will also be to boost Sydney’s 2023 hand, with next year’s crop considered a strong one.
Depending on what goes down in terms of live trading in round one, the Swans may not have too much to do thereafter. A few potential second round options have been highlighted above, and Sydney is expected to make three selections overall.
Other points of call will see the Swans upgrade Hayden McLean and Sam Wicks to their senior list, though while one Category B rookie spot remains open, the club is not yet committed to taking on an academy product.
Athletic over-age tall defender Will Edwards would arguably be the prime candidate, with father-son Indhi Kirk also available. As an aside, state combine invitee Kaelan Bradtke turned out for the Swans’ VFL outfit and could be another long-term prospect to look at.
– Will Sydney use its first round picks to move up, or down the order?
– How can Sydney bolster its 2023 draft hand?
– Will Sydney consider its academy options?