2023 AFL Draft Review: Carlton

CARLTON made a single selection across each day of the 2023 AFL Draft, ending up with three fresh faces to go with the signing of delisted free agent, Orazio Fantasia. We recap the Blues’ haul with a look at what each player may add to the squad which made a spectacular finals run this season.

>> UPDATED: Every Pick in the 2023 AFL Draft


29. Ashton Moir
34. Billy Wilson


15. Matt Carroll

Image Credit: via Carlton FC

While recent years have either been a touch more intense and busy with live trades in play, Carlton’s 2023 intake was relatively straightforward. The Blues stayed true to their draft board with two picks in quick succession – at the end of round one and early in round two.

South Australian forward Ashton Moir was the first name called out at pick 29. Perhaps the newly vacant number four guernsey beckons, as the Glenelg product follows in the footsteps of fellow former Bays Bryce Gibbs and Stephen Kernahan to Princes Park.

>> ANALYSIS: Big winners, bolters & sliders

Rated highly as a bottom-ager, Moir endured a frustrating top-age campaign stuttered by injury, but has all the talent to become a dangerous AFL player. The Blues are backing him to get his body right and showcase traits like his dual-footed kicking, speed off the mark, and aerial ability at 187cm.

His story is somewhat similar to 2022 state Under 18s teammate Harry Lemmey, who Carlton took with pick 47 last year. The key forward was just as highly rated heading into his draft year, but slipped down the order only for the Blues to show faith in his ability.

Having closed out night one, the Blues’ only point of call on night two came relatively early with the selection of Billy Wilson at pick 34. While labelled as a bolter by some, Carlton List Manager Nick Austin maintains that wasn’t the case for his team, who rated the Dandenong Stingrays prospect highly.

For the large part, Wilson cut his teeth as a running defender for the ‘Rays and Vic Country, but impressed the Blues most during a late-season shift into midfield. Carlton sees his ability to step through traffic and hit targets by foot as being a key point of difference in its current on-ball group.

While Wilson’s versatility landed him a spot on Carlton’s list, Matt Carroll‘s is a big reason why the Blues would have been happy to nab him in the National Draft. Instead, the 188cm defender slipped all the way through to pick 15 in the rookie intake.

A part of Sandringham Dragons’ premiership side, Carroll played on all three lines this year but looks like settling into defence where he looms as both an intercept and rebound threat. He’s gutsy overhead and takes the game on with his speed and left-foot kicking.

All up, Carlton has worked to aid its young small forward group with the inclusion of Fantasia, while also adding another unique avenue to goal in Moir. Wilson and Carroll are developable types with traits typical of the modern day AFL athlete, and could help make up a crop which yields high rewards.

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