2022 AFL Draft Review: Brisbane
BRISBANE came into the 2022 AFL Draft knowing it would be a relatively straightforward one, having prepared well to take in two father-son nominees within the first round. Thereafter, the Lions added two pre-listed rookies and re-listed an experienced pair to round out a successful intake. We recap the Queensland club’s crop and analyse what each new player may offer.
QLD zone: Shadeau Brain (Medium Forward, Lions Academy/Queensland)
Father-Son: Darryl McDowell-White Jr (Basketball/Brisbane VFL)
#15 Ryan Lester (re-listed)
#29 Nakia Cockatoo (re-listed)
Brisbane was brought into the action early on night one, as expected, and matched North Melbourne’s bid for father-son nominee Will Ashcroft. The Sandringham Dragons premiership captain and Larke Medallist enters the Lions’ den after a remarkable top-age season, which yielded a slew of accolades and had him pegged by many as the best junior in the country.
The swiftly matched bid was the equal-highest in draft history for a father-son, after Bulldog Sam Darcy was taken at the same pick last year. Speaking of the Bulldogs, they forced Brisbane to saddle up and match another bid, this time for Jaspa Fletcher. Though perhaps a touch early at pick 12, an early trade with North Melbourne further allowed the Lions to avoid points deficit.
Fletcher is a balanced midfielder who will likely start his career on the outside. His first preseason will be interrupted by injury, but he looks a classy player having captained the Lions Academy and Allies this year. His acquisition capped off Brisbane’s National Draft intake, as a trade with Adelaide saw the Lions part with pick 50 for a future third rounder.
Darryl McDowell-White Jr marked yet another father-son inclusion for Brisbane, though the 25-year-old earned his place on the Category B rookie list. He played a handful of VFL games for the Lions this year having come from a basketball background, and looks a chip off the old block with his natural skill and athleticism.
The Lions also had access to Queensland zone draftee Shadeau Brain. While the medium forward did not spend enough time with the club’s academy to be tied to the club that way, Brisbane was able to list him as a rookie once he slid through the National Draft. Ryan Lester and Nakia Cockatoo were re-listed as rookies, rounding out a shrewd trade and draft period for the Queensland club.