2023 AFL Draft Review: Richmond

RICHMOND entered the 2023 National AFL Draft on night two and traded down twice before making its first live selection at pick 40. A pair of South Australians landed at Punt Road, as the Tigers addressed their need for key forward and midfield depth in one go. We recap the club’s draft haul.

>> UPDATED: Every Pick in the 2023 AFL Draft


40. Kane McAuliffe
43. Liam Fawcett

>> ANALYSIS: Big winners, bolters & sliders

After an actionless night one, Richmond was poised to make its first selection with pick 35 but traded back twice to eventually get on the board at pick 40. In doing so, the Tigers bolstered their collection of future picks to nine overall, including three each in the third and fourth rounds.

Eventually, Richmond called out North Adelaide midfielder Kane McAuliffe, a competitive inside ball winner with plenty of power. A product of Port Augusta, McAuliffe is also a gun cricketer and has good scope for improvement relative to his role, as demonstrated in his top notch National Combine results.

The 18-year-old is certainly not afraid to thrown his weight around. His penetrative left-foot kicking is a handy point of difference, as is his senior experience in the form of seven SANFL Reserves games. He could provide great value much like fellow former Rooster and new Tigers teammate, Jack Graham.

In a draft haul consisting of just two players, Liam Fawcett was the other name called out by Richmond at pick 43. The key forward out of Central District impressed the Tigers with his work as a marking target, constantly working his opponent over on the lead and presenting strongly at the kicker.

He booted 32 goals in 16 SANFL Under 18s games this year, averaging 6.6 marks as a spearhead for the Bulldogs. That scoring tally could easily have been increased with better conversion, so while Fawcett is already a good size, there remains room for growth in his game.

Unfortunately, the 18-year-old has already returned home having been diagnosed with glandular fever. It means he’ll have a disrupted preseason as he recovers, but looms as a long-term option who should be given the time to develop regardless.

Having teased a move up the order pre-draft, Richmond ended up going the other way but played to its plan of making two selections. Former basketballer Oliver Hayes-Brown has also joined as a Category B rookie, along with delisted free agent Sam Naismith as key position support.

Two players have also been announced as train on players in hopes of earning a SSP spot. Namely, they are East Perth tall forward Mitch Schofield and New Zealand native Mykelti Lefau. The former booted 30 senior goals for the Royals this year, while the latter is on Richmond’s VFL list.

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