2022 AFL Draft: Night Two – Bolters, talls & passes
NIGHT two of the 2022 AFL Draft saw 38 players added to AFL lists, capping off a national intake of just 59 picks overall. Across an even crop of players, there were plenty of surprise bolters, with a blend of tall talent and outside runners proving popular as clubs lodged their selections at at Marvel Stadium.
Like on night one, GWS kicked off proceedings and opted against trading out the first pick of the second round. The Giants snapped up Oakleigh Chargers swingman Max Gruzewski, making it two talls among their crop of four fresh faces to that point.
Things again went largely to script across the first handful of picks, with West Coast electing for top ruck Harry Barnett at pick 23, followed by the Western Bulldogs’ coup of small forward Charlie Clarke and Essendon’s selection of tall defender Lewis Hayes.
That left North Melbourne to pounce on Brayden George, who is set to miss his entire first season at AFL level as he recovers from an ACL tear. Though, before his unfortunate injury, the powerful medium forward was considered a top 15 talent.
Pick 27 was where things got interesting and it was no surprise to see that Sydney was the team mixing things up. After delivering daggers to local rival GWS on night one before trading back into round two with Hawthorn, the Swans selected Hawks NGA product Cooper Vickery.
He made it five of six second rounders to be taken from Victoria, before Collingwood got their man Jakob Ryan and West Coast secured Coby Burgiel. Both clubs had been linked to their respective recruits, making for successful first-up picks on night two.
The first trade of the night saw rivals Collingwood and Carlton shake hands. Pick 30 became the Blues’ in exchange for a future second rounder, allowing Carlton to snap up rebounding ace Lachlan Cowan. They added even more running power two picks later with Jaxon Binns.
While both selections loom as high value ones for Carlton, there were a couple of potential steals which headlined round two. St Kilda would have been stoked to see Olli Hotton available at pick 35, and same goes for Hawthorn as they read out Henry Hustwaite‘s name.
A quartet of key defenders also went off the board as things continued to heat up. James Van Es (St Kilda), Hugh Davies (Fremantle), and Jed Adams (Melbourne) were all taken in the 30s, as was Tom McCallum, who was Port Adelaide’s first pick of the draft.
Fremantle also entered proceedings with the addition of Davies, before springing a surprise in calling out mature-age forward Tom Emmett and developing ruck Max Knobel with consecutive picks at the start of round three.
After Essendon father-son nominee Alwyn Davey Jr snuck into the third round, Hawthorn drew a line in the sand and made the incumbent bid. The Bombers duly matched and later took his twin brother Jayden Davey with pick 54 – their final selection.
Adelaide fans would have had a slight twitch in seeing Crows NGA product Isaac Keeler head to St Kilda just one pick after they acquired local midfielder Billy Dowling (43). The Crows opted against nominating Keeler, who would have been available to match with a bid after pick 40.
There were some good news stories to round out proceedings, too. Joe Richards completed a remarkable ascent into the elite level having impressed in country footy for Wangaratta, landing at Collingwood, while former Roo and Dee Corey Wagner was taken by Fremantle.
Elsewhere, the likes of Jack O’Sullivan (Hawthorn) and Noah Long (West Coast) shook off injuries as top-agers to secure selection, while Harry Lemmey got his chance at Carlton having previously been touted as a top prospect.
Cooper Harvey rounded out the club-tied selections to get to North Melbourne with the Roos’ last pick, before athletic South Australian defender Kyle Marshall became the 59th and final name read out on night two of the 2022 AFL Draft.
Stay tuned to Rookie Me Central as we continue to analyse the fallout from this year’s intake. We’ll recap all the key stories after today’s Rookie Draft at 3pm on our YouTube channel.