Leagues: NAB League Boys
Picture credit: The Mercury
POSITION: Small Forward
DRAFT ANALYSIS: “Menzie is an exciting, raw small forward who has some top-level traits but plenty more to develop." - Peter Williams
Jye Menzie is a raw AFL Draft prospect who is one of those players that just catches the eye. Not consistently, or quite the entire package just yet, Menzie has terrific forward craft, footy IQ and goal sense inside 50, with plenty of X-factor and upside for the future. He has not been able to piece together too many four-quarter performances this season, but has nonetheless done enough with North Hobart in the TSL to earn a late call-up to the Tasmanian Draft Combine.
- Goal sense
- Footy IQ
- Forward craft
- Scoreboard impact
- Off-ball impact
Menzie is arguably best known for his match-winning goal last year in the NAB League against Bendigo Pioneers. He just has that match-winning ability and is one of the players you would trust with the ball in his hands taking a clutch set shot or the last kick of the game to win a match. He is one of those players that you can picture playing at the top level be it next year or in future years, simply because he has that X-factor about him. It is not always consistent, and he has a lot of areas to work on, but in terms of his forward 50 ability, he is so damaging with ball in hand and a handful for any opposition defender, including those senior players he ran rings around in 2020 for the Demons.
With a keen goal sense, Menzie is able to kick multiple goals in a quarter and either haul his side back into a contest, or break open said contest with a blistering purple patch. The biggest knock on him is his consistency, as he can be quiet for long patches - as most small forwards can - but it is just about closing that gap between his best and his worst. Nearly every game he does something special, and whilst he does not need to pull out the tricks every match, it is just getting his hands on the ball more often. Playing deep in the forward line for a young side that itself was up and down at times, Menzie would have to push up the ground to win the ball on the wing, which whilst he would be able to win it, needed to have greater impact. Once inside 50, it was hard to contain the exciting forward because he was just smarter than those around him.
His football IQ when the ball is in his area is very good, and he can think through situations quicker than most. It would have been great to see him play more permanently up the ground to increase his versatility and perhaps get him into the game more, but he has no problems doing so when anywhere in the vicinity of goals. One that will no doubt win goal of the year at some point in his career, Menzie could snap them from left or right pockets or on the run under pressure. Given he was able to hold his own at senior level, it would have been even better to see him perform at Under 18s in the NAB League where no doubt he could have pushed into the midfield some more. As a whole, while it might seem he has plenty to work on, at times he was one of the most exciting draft prospects from the Apple Isle and his best is good enough to play at the top level.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Rookie
As a raw prospect and a late call-up to the AFL Draft combine, the Tasmanian talent is viewed as a rookie prospect at this stage. Menzie is the quintessential rookie prospect in the sense that he has those traits that catch the eye, but also still needs to round out his game as a whole. To earn a combine invite shows he is still in consideration from AFL clubs, and considering his upside, he looms as a low risk, high reward selection at the back-end of the draft for a club needing an incredibly talented small forward.