DRAFT ANALYSIS: A classy outside midfielder who also hits the scoreboard and covers the ground through his elite endurance. Domic's biggest improvement continues to be developing his inside and defensive games further.
Leagues: NAB League Boys
Aiden Domic is regarded as one of the more skillful players in the draft crop given his inherent ability to hit targets across short, medium and long distances. His endurance is elite and his ability to cover ground is quite apparent, often involved in a number of scoring chains, which works well with his footy smarts and game sense. He has won more inside ball in the back-half of the season, but it will be an area of continued improvement at the top level, as will his focus and defensive attributes. Overall, Domic has the offensive weapons to become a damaging player in the AFL, it will come down to development at his chosen club.
- Score chain involvement
- Game sense
Aiden Domic is a very classy outside user when in space who can run all day and just wear his opponents to the ground. He is most damaging when running along the wing because his ability to pinpoint a teammate on the lead or in space inside 50 is among the best in the TAC Cup. He also has the ability to change his kick mid-motion without a disruption to the disposal, and when given an inch he takes a mile.
Domic's endurance is up there with the best and while he is not one of the faster players going around, he can often come into his own late in games and therefore his lack of speed does not hinder him on the ground. He covers the ground exceptionally well, having his fair share of rebounds and inside 50s although his clearance numbers could be higher at times.
His outside game is impressive but earlier in the season it was also the knock on him because of his inability to get his hands dirty. Unlike many outside midfielders, Domic copped the criticism on the chin and went about his business winning more of his own ball and this was reflected in a greater percentage of his possessions being contested. His game sense and ability to stand up when games are on the line is noticeable, often among the Rebels' best even in losses.
- Inside/Clearance work
For me, Domic's inside game has certainly come along in leaps and bounds, but I see it as a two-step process. Domic has gone from not winning much inside ball to winning the inside ball but not being as effective with it by foot. Being a "kick-first" player as outside midfielders traditionally are, Domic's hands in close could improve further as could his effectiveness while under pressure. He averaged just two clearances per game in 2017 and even as an outside midfielder that is quite low, which is something he will need to develop.
In the second half of the season, Domic's inside game really came to the fore, and in my opinion did enough to erase some concerns from recruiters. But his below average clearance count and tendency to kick first rather than look for a quick handball to the outside means there are still question marks there. Another area in which Domic could improve is his defensive attributes which will come with more inside time. His tackling count doubled in 2017 compared to last year, but Domic must improve on one per centres, such as shepherds and blocks.
Finally, the other area in which Domic lacks is his speed, which was exemplified by running a 3.2 20-metre sprint at the pre-season TAC Cup combine testing. However, in the recent National Combine, Domic shaved a tenth of a second off his 20m sprint, meaning his results went from well below average to average. If he can continue to work on his speed in the same diligent manner, then it will not hamper him at AFL level.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late-rookie
Aiden Domic has all the tools to become a really good AFL player. There are holes in his inside game and defensive attributes that leave some recruiters with questions, but his outside game and ability to influence a contest when in space is top notch. Domic will look to improve his contested ball numbers, in particular his hands in close with just 25 per cent of his disposals being handballs, while also improving his clearance numbers. In space, Domic is very damaging but his speed hinders him for his role and could be a concern for recruiters.