2023 AFL Draft Review: Collingwood

FRESH off premiership success, Collingwood took just two players at the 2023 AFL Draft, one on each night of the national intake. In the short term, the Pies’ picks will help release a star player into midfield, while bolstering the back line and on-ball group over the long-term.

>> UPDATED: Every Pick in the 2023 AFL Draft


25. Harry DeMattia
37. Tew Jiath

Collingwood pulled the trigger on a first round bid for Swans Academy product Caiden Cleary – a decision Sydney was not entirely pleased with but duly matched. It left the Magpies to then make their first live selection in Dandenong Stingrays co-captain Harry DeMattia.

A powerful utility with serious speed and intent, the talented dual sportsman is seen as a high back who will be able to release Nick Daicos into the midfield in 2024, with nothing holding him back from impacting in his first year. Eventually, he’ll likely shift into the on-ball group himself.

>> ANALYSIS: Big winners, bolters & sliders

Having bid on Cleary, there was speculation that Collingwood would do the same with Suns Academy graduate Will Graham, and while he was thereabouts for the Pies, was not the first player on their board. With DeMattia in, that marked the club’s final dealings on night one.

Only one more selection loomed for the Victorian powerhouse, which was used to bring in Hawthorn Next Generation Academy talent Tew Jiath just before the pick 40 mark. The brother of current Hawk Changkuoth is a similar player, but perhaps better developed than his elder sibling at the same age.

Still, he projects as a more long-term proposition compared to DeMattia, again likely to slot into the defensive group. Jiath bolted up draft boards late in the year after only making his Gippsland Power debut in Round 9. His raw athleticism, reading of the play and distributional skills are exciting traits.

Collingwood passed on its final pick in the National Draft and opted against dipping into the pool of rookies, instead leaving list spots vacant for the pre-season supplemental selection period. In all, the Pies have inadvertently bolstered their starting 22 and looked to the future in one shrewd swoop.

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