Key Forward


Jordan Croft

height: 200cm

weight: 81kg

D.O.B: 12-05-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “An athletic tall who moves well and attacks the aerial ball hard, Jordan Croft offers enormous upside at 200cm.”

Yet another key position prospect attached to the Western Bulldogs through the draft, Jordan Croft has officially nominated to end up there under the father-son rule. His father Matthew played 186 games in red, white and blue, and Jordan is poised to join a stacked list of club tied talent to have been recruited to Whitten Oval in recent years. The rangy, athletic 200cm forward has developed nicely in his top-age year to enter first round contention, projecting as a top 15 selection on account of his considerable upside.

Croft showed potential in nine bottom-aged outings with Calder Cannons last season, booting a goal per game from an average 6.7 disposals and 2.4 marks. His output lifted in 2023, where he tallied 23 Coates Talent League majors in 11 appearances and also represented Vic Metro. Among his standout performances, Croft booted four goals in a Metro trial against the Young Guns, before snaring three against South Australia once the National Championships rolled around. His best tally for Calder was a bag of five in the Cannons’ 173-point win over Northern Territory. Team of the Year honours came his way after a terrific campaign with the Cannons, and Croft also helped guide Maribyrnong College to the Herald Sun Shield final.



+ Aerial ability
+ Aggression
+ Athleticism
+ Mobility
+ Running capacity
+ Upside


- Consistency
- Ground balls
- Strength

Croft does a lot of things well for a player his size, but the most notable of his traits is athleticism. The 200cm forward is capable of covering serious ground and runs a 2km time trial most midfielders would envy - clocking in at 6:05 during the National Draft Combine. He's also spring-heeled and attacks the aerial ball hard, while having the capacity to both carry the ball with speed or hunt the opposition down in punishing tackles. That kind of all-round athletic profile is hard to find, no less in a key position prospect.

Much of Croft's best work on-field is done in the air. Around a third of his average disposals across all competitions come from marks; in the Coates Talent League that translated to 10.2 disposals and 3.5 marks (2.0 contested) per his 11 games. He utilises his range and length in the ruck too, pinch-hitting at the centre bounces and taking stoppages inside 50. A significant positive with Croft is that he has the kind of aggression required of talls, jumping at the ball with little regard for his own safety and rising above packs.

The type of player to make his few possessions count, Croft is a consistent goal kicker. He was held goalless just twice in the Talent League season and held together a seven-game streak of snaring multiple majors. It's a relatively simple game when Croft is playing - jump, mark, score. His conversion was a touch inconsistent throughout the season, either catching fire as he did with a deadeye four-goal haul against the Young Guns, or spraying shots out on the full and into the mark. Regardless, he's a constant aerial and scoring threat.

As a capable runner with both speed and endurance, Croft is difficult to contain on the lead. He has the tank to overwork his opponents as a high centre half-forward, but has arguably been more prominent when stationed closer to goal this year. At the next level, more key defenders will be able to match him for reach and leap, meaning he'll have to lean on his endurance base to have a sustained impact. Croft posted under 10 touches in six of 11 Talent League games this year, so his four-quarter consistency and overall production level can certainly lift.

Other areas of his overall craft like ground balls could also do with some polish, though Croft is quite nimble for his size. His tackling numbers, which sit around two per game, do not jump off the page but the 18-year-old applies good defensive pressure and makes sure his opponents feel it when they're caught. With those added elements, Croft will become an all-round force in the AFL system and likely gives the Bulldogs selection headaches down the spine for years to come as he slots in alongside young talls Sam Darcy, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, and Aaron Naughton.



The compromised nature of the AFL Draft means such a prodigious talent as Croft will be unavailable to all bar one club, with the Bulldogs licking their lips at the prospect of netting another promising tall talent. Recruiting teams from around the league will make them pay a pretty penny, however, with the key forward poised to be snapped up in the middle of the first round. He’s among the consensus top 10-12 players available this year, so earns that honour on merit regardless. The Bulldogs have also done the groundwork required to match an early bid. He’ll likely take a little bit of time to develop and make an impact at the next level, with the Bulldogs’ key position depth holding the silver lining that Croft will be allowed to hone his craft before being thrust into the big time.

Aerial ability
Ground balls

AFL U18 Championships

2023Vic Metro20828101315416350436.

Coates Talent League Boys

2022Calder Cannons33276022001519091993.
2023Calder Cannons724011239002234016023116.53.610.
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