#10

Jordan Johnston

height: 184.8cm

weight: 77.1kg

D.O.B: 09-09-1999

DRAFT ANALYSIS: "An excitement machine down forward with elite agility and vertical leap. The next step for him is finding consistency through building his endurance.”

Leagues: Under 18s Championships, NAB League Boys

OVERVIEW

Jordan Johnston has become well-known for his highlight reel with plenty of high-flying marks up forward for the GWV Rebels. In the final month of the 2017 TAC Cup season, Johnston slotted into the midfield and played a greater role on the inside, indicating with development he could have a future in the position. Likened to Jamie Elliott in terms of his vertical leap and ability to influence a contest in front of goal, Johnston has elite athletic traits gifted to him which make him rare compared to the likes of Elliott. He needs to develop greater consistency on a week-by-week basis, but as a whole, I expect Johnston to land at a club somewhere between the third round to rookie draft.

STRENGTHS

  • Vertical leap
  • Agility
  • Contested marking
  • X-factor

Johnston has a huge vertical leap and elite agility which make him very difficult to make up on as a defender. When he has time to leap at the football he has no problem sitting on opponents' heads, but he can also clunk the mark without fanfare. He is strong overhead and a reliable set shot for goal making him a dynamic forward who primarily kicks goals from set shots, but can also crumb when a taller forward brings the ball to ground.

Johnston has the ability to light a game up which he showed earlier in the year against the Eastern Ranges at Box Hill. In that match, Johnston booted six goals and was a handful up forward as he dominated the airways with four goals in the third term to break the game right open. He has serious X-factor and his goal sense combined with his ability in the air or at ground level make him a prospect that could be very valuable in the future. A more recent player who might be comparable is James Sicily who was known for his strong hands and goal sense and has this year found a niche down back.

While Johnston will undoubtedly start as a lead-up forward, once he builds his tank and adds more minutes to his midfield development, it is possible that he plays further up the ground at the elite level. While there is still much improvement to come from Johnston, he has shown in patches what he is capable of, and his last month in the midfield showed he can play a future role there and not be overwhelmed.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Consistency
  • Endurance
  • Further midfield development

The biggest improvement for Johnston has always been his consistency. Even in his bottom-age year, Johnston seemed ear-marked as that frustrating forward who was capable of things some players could only dream of, but would only deliver them on a part-time basis. In 2017 the first half of the season seemed to mirror that, with some very good performances, but some very meagre ones as well. He is often among the Rebels' best due to his influence on the contest, but his consistency and in particularly within games must improve if he is to become a top player at the elite level.

While Johnston is athletically gifted in terms of his agility and vertical leap, his endurance could still improve which is a key reason he continued to play as a forward primarily. Over the season it is clear he has been able to build a tank, playing closer to 70 per cent midfield time in the last month, which is something recruiters would have taken into account after his pre-season beep test ranked him below average for the draft crop.

Finally, while the past month might have got the tick of approval from the recruiters that Johnston could develop into a future midfielder, no doubt he will be asked to work on a few areas, particularly in close to further improve his midfield game. There is little doubt he is capable of the eye-catching aerial stunts, but the club which selects him will be keen to hone in on his inside work and improve his kicking efficiency when under pressure.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Round three-rookie

SUMMARY:

Jordan Johnston is an exciting prospect who when forward of the centre can do some eye-catching highlight-reel worthy things. He is strong in the air, good on the lead, slick at ground level and has a great goal sense to make himself a damaging forward. His consistency lets him down more often than not, but improvements in the second half of 2017, particularly in regards to his endurance and midfield capabilities have given the talented forward a much greater chance of being drafted into the AFL.

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2016GWV Rebels11341154430047000025138.73.211.83.30.03.61.954
2017GWV Rebels2064925580139112883536615211712.12.915.04.70.25.21.282
Total-319904091231391121353536615463010.63.013.64.10.14.51.5136

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2016Vic Country000000000000000000000
2017Vic Country33625140000113.03.06.02.00.04.01.027
Total-33625140000113.03.06.02.00.04.01.027
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