2022 AFL Draft Review: North Melbourne

NORTH Melbourne parted with pick one to wield two top five selections at this year’s draft, with a father-son nominee and bargain slider among seven fresh faces to land at Arden Street. We review the Roos’ haul, analysing what each player may offer to their new club.


#3 Harry Sheezel (Medium Forward, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
#4 George Wardlaw (Inside Midfielder, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#26 Brayden George (Medium Forward, Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
#56 Cooper Harvey (Midfielder/Forward, Northern Knights/Vic Metro)


#1 Blake Drury (Forward/Midfielder, Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
#19 Hamish Free (Ruck, South Fremantle/Western Australia)
#33 Daniel Howe (Hawthorn)
#39 Kayne Turner (re-listed)

North Melbourne had two top-end picks to make use of and brought in a couple of youngsters who go way back through the junior pathway. After the inevitable Will Ashcroft bid, medium forward Harry Sheezel was the Roos’ first pick, before they added George Wardlaw with the very next selection.

Sheezel was a reliable goalkicker across two NAB League seasons and possesses serious smarts inside attacking 50. He can mark overhead, play deep or high, and kicks goals from everywhere, while also having the endurance base for future scope in midfield. While he may not have the speed of other small-medium types, Sheezel is fleet of thought and a genuinely elite prospect.

Despite missing much of his top-age campaign through repeat hamstring strains, Wardlaw remained among the top talents this year and his draft position justified that. He is a contested beast who draws comparisons to Clayton Oliver for his acumen on the inside, but also offers explosive athleticism which points towards handy upside.

Cooper Harvey was North Melbourne’s father-son coup | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

The Roos would have been thrilled to nab Brayden George early in the second round, though he looms as a long-term recruit given he is currently recovering from an ACL tear. The powerful forward is another who can kick goals from all distances and angles, possessing a booming kick and strong hands on the lead. He could have pushed for top 15 status with a full season on the park.

With three selections in the bank, all that was left for North Melbourne to do during the National Draft was take father-son nominee Cooper Harvey with its final pick. The Northern Knights graduate overcame two broken arms this year to crack a Vic Metro berth and help Assumption College take out the AGSV football title. He’s a strong mid-forward with clean hands and good goal sense.

With a strong National Draft crop in tow, North held pick one in the rookie intake and snapped up hard-running small Blake Drury, who was unlucky to miss out previously. The Roos then looked interstate with the selection of mature-age South Fremantle ruck Hamish Free, who averaged 42 hitouts per game this year. Daniel Howe was also picked up from Hawthorn, and Kayne Turner was re-listed.

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