2022 AFL Draft Review: Hawthorn

HAWTHORN was one of the big players at this year’s AFL Draft, adding a half-dozen players to its list, including two first round selections and five within the National Draft. We recap the Hawks’ haul and analyse what each new player may offer to Sam Mitchell’s rebuild.


#7 Cameron Mackenzie (Midfielder, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
#18 Josh Weddle (Tall Defender, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#37 Henry Hustwaite (Tall Midfielder/Defender, Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
#46 Jack O’Sullivan (Midfielder/Forward, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#51 Bailey Macdonald (Wing/Medium Defender, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)


NGAJosh Bennetts (Midfielder/Forward, Eastern Ranges/Victoria)
#6 Seamus Mitchell (re-listed)

There was plenty of talk about which direction Hawthorn would go with pick seven, but having targeted a big bodied midfielder, Cameron Mackenzie proved the natural option. The reliable 188cm ball winner was a key part of title-winning club, school, and representative sides this season, and adds a handy point of difference to the Hawks’ regenerating on-ball brigade.

A trade with round one puppet master Sydney saw the Hawks make a second selection on night one, obtaining pick 18 to snap up Josh Weddle. The tall defender has massive athletic upside and can not only impact aerially, but loves to take ground when he can. He has the physical attributes to match it with key forwards above his 192cm standing, too.

Henry Hustwaite looms as a high value selection | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

The Swans weren’t done meddling with other clubs come night two, and snatched Hawthorn NGA product Cooper Vickery with pick 27, before the Hawks could match a bid. That may have had an impact on who the Hawks brought in down the line, but tall midfielder/defender Henry Hustwaite was their next selection at pick 37. Somewhat of a slider, he’s a unique type who adds even more height in midfield and has terrific fundamental skills at stoppage.

Joining Oakleigh teammate Weddle in the brown and gold, Jack O’Sullivan and Bailey Macdonald were the Hawks’ final two National Draft selections. The former is a tough and clever midfielder-forward who overcame repeat collarbone injuries to earn his shot, while the latter was a late-season bolter whose speed and dare will help the Hawks slingshot off half-back.

Rounding out a diverse haul, Hawthorn opted to list NGA graduate Josh Bennetts as a Category B rookie. The speedy small was joined by Seamus Mitchell as rookie selections, with the latter given a second chance after being drafted with pick 29 in the 2020 draft. He is yet to make his AFL debut.

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