2023 AFL Draft Review: Melbourne

MELBOURNE came into the AFL Draft with clear targets in mind, making use of two first round picks after the club’s pursuit of pick one fell short. One draftee’s outside run and class blends nicely with another’s grunt and effort work, making for a handy haul in the national intake. We recap the Dees’ efforts.

>> UPDATED: Every Pick in the 2023 AFL Draft


7. Caleb Windsor
13. Koltyn Tholstrup


12. Jake Melksham (re-listed)
22. Kynan Brown

>> ANALYSIS: Big winners, bolters & sliders

Melbourne has a knack for impacting the first round of each draft, and despite being unable to tempt West Coast into trading pick one, was still prominent with two selections on night one. The Dees’ targets were evident and they followed through to bring in a pair of players who compliment each other nicely.

Somewhat of a bolter, Caleb Windsor is a wingman capable of holding down his spot for the long-term. He plays the outside role expertly and is one of the draft’s best athletes – demonstrating a strong speed-endurance mix both through his agility and ability to snatch metres with each possession.

Windsor worked on his deficiencies this year – from ground balls, to kicking on the run – and accelerated from being a first round chance to top 10 draftee. The Dees describe his work as classy and were very happy to add him to an already very strong list.

Blending with Windsor’s class is the grunt and power of Koltyn Tholstrup (pick 13). The West Australian impressed with his willingness to perform roles in Subiaco’s senior side this year, shaping as a character who will only boost the quality of a team’s culture.

He plays with great energy and flair going both ways, which should quickly endear him to fans. Even his exploits off the field are eye-catching. While he’ll likely start as a forward, Tholstrup certainly has scope to shift into the on-ball group in future.

Melbourne also made a new selection via the Rookie Draft, adding father-son Kynan Brown to the fold after re-listing Jake Melksham. Brown, the son of 146-game Dee Nathan, is a slick midfielder-forward who runs hard and is capable of accumulating high numbers of possessions.

Brown turned out for Oakleigh Chargers over the last couple of seasons and was one of Vic Metro’s most consistent, albeit unheralded performers at the Under 18 National Championships. Expect him to provide handy list depth and work to get the best out of himself at the top level.

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