2023 AFL Draft Preview: Adelaide

WITH season proper and trade period done and dusted, AFL fans and staff alike now turn their attention towards the draft (November 20-21). The chaos has momentarily settled on player and pick swaps, and budding prospects have completed their combines, leaving a nervous wait until they learn their fate.

In the first of our club-by-club draft previews, we take a look at Adelaide’s hand and offer insight into how the Crows may utilise the picks at their possession. Having heartbreakingly missed out on finals this year, a couple of boom recruits could tip the South Australian side over the edge.

LADDER FINISH: 10th (11-12, 116.8%)
2023 PICKS: 10, 14, 20, 89

Pick 10

Adelaide was a club rumoured to be looking for a move up the order at the trade table, and that may still be possible. With three first round picks, all in the top 20, and a full set of future selections, the Crows have plenty of flex when it comes to potentially improving their opening pick.

Should they be successful in manufacturing a deal to move into the top five, a utility like Daniel Curtin would be a perfect fit, while Tasmanians Colby McKercher and Ryley Sanders address needs on both sides of midfield. Those options seem a stretch for the Crows at this point, though.

With a selection around the current hitting zone of pick 10, Eastern Ranges’ Caleb Windsor seems like an ideal target. The athletic wingman has rocketed up draft boards and will likely be in high demand near the Crows’ first pick. Otherwise, Darcy Wilson is a hybrid midfielder who could add class to the outside.

The latter’s Murray Bushrangers teammate Connor O’Sullivan is another to consider as key defensive depth, after the club missed out on recruiting Harrison Petty. Meanwhile, Tasmanian James Leake is an apt interceptor who could fill the hole left by Tom Doedee, or even develop as a midfielder and forward.

All Australian defender and Allies MVP Connor O’Sullivan | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


The great thing about Adelaide’s current draft hand is that they can adjust on the fly to cover multiple list needs. Should they add some much needed class and speed, or inside support through midfield with pick 10, then perhaps a key defender is in the offing next – and vice-versa.

A package of Murray Bushrangers players is possible if the Crows take O’Sullivan first, then count on Wilson being available at pick 14. Another tall defender who may enter calculations is Vic Metro MVP Ollie Murphy, who is still developing but has a strong intercept game and terrific athletic traits.

Again, Leake would be a shrewd pick with Adelaide’s second selection if available, given his enormous upside as a genuine utility. At pick 20, Vic Country co-captain Harry De Mattia is another versatile prospect whose blend of hardness and speed will appeal.

If running power is on the mind, perhaps one of Riley Hardeman or Archie Roberts will tempt the Crows with their third pick. Big bodied midfielder Charlie Edwards will also be around the mark, while rucks like Will Green and Mitch Edwards may make Adelaide jump for long-term cover.

There isn’t much local talent which leaps off the page with Adelaide’s current array of selections, with only one South Australian set to be taken in the top 30. Namely, Will McCabe is that man and the Crows could be the club to bid on the Hawthorn father-son nominee.

Another potential feel good story for the Crows, should they enter live trading, would be to nab Tasmanian Jack Callinan, the son of 32-game Crow Ian. A small forward with innate goal sense, Callinan spent time growing up in Adelaide and is a Crows fan.

All up, Adelaide is expected to make either two or three selections, depending on what is able to be done via pick swaps. The Crows have committed to promoting Nick Murray to their senior list despite likely missing a chunk of 2024 (ACL), while James Borlase will be rookie listed.


– Will Adelaide be able to move its first pick up the order?
– Will Adelaide address its midfield or key defensive list need first?
– How early will Adelaide move to ensure it can comfortably take father-son Tyler Welsh next year?

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