Adelaide will be happy to see the back of 2018.
It was a tumultuous season for the Crows, underpinned by the infamous pre-season camp, injuries to key players and apparent discontent among the playing group, culminating in a disappointing 12th place finish.
With a vast majority of the 2017 Grand Final side still intact, Don Pyke’s men will be confident of a return to September action in 2019.
The return of gun midfielder Brad Crouch – who missed the whole of last year through injury – will be a major boost, while vice-captain Rory Sloane will be hoping his foot troubles are behind him.
Running defender Brodie Smith is another major inclusion back into Adelaide’s 22 after missing the majority of 2018 with an ACL injury.
Below is what Adelaide’s best 22 looks like pre-draft:
B: Rory Laird, Daniel Talia, Kyle Hartigan
HB: Wayne Milera, Tom Doedee, Brodie Smith
C: Paul Seedsman, Rory Sloane, Bryce Gibbs
HF: Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Richard Douglas
F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Jordan Gallucci
FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch
Int: Luke Brown, Rory Atkins, Hugh Greenwood, Riley Knight
A successor to number one ruckman Sam Jacobs - who turns 31 in April and is out-of-contract at the end of 2019 – would certainly be on the agenda for Adelaide’s list management hierarchy.
The Crows are understandably keen on prodigious young South Australian forward Jack Lukosius considering club captain Taylor Walker (28) and key forward Josh Jenkins (29) are both approaching 30.
Star small forward Eddie Betts (31) is another goalkicker they will need to look at replacing in the years to come.
An injection of speed through the midfield would be ideal for Adelaide to compliment what is already a robust midfield group.
The likes of Sloane, the Crouch brothers, Hugh Greenwood and Bryce Gibbs are all terrific ball-winners, but the lack of leg-speed is an area the Crows will look to address at this year’s draft.
Exciting South Australian teenager Connor Rozee is a player that would interest the Crows due to his athleticism and versatility.
AFL.com.au draft expert Cal Twomey described Rozee as a player with adaptability and genuine X-factor who can play all over the ground.
Draft picks: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73, 83.
Who could they target?
With three selections inside the top 20, Adelaide hold one of the strongest hands heading into the National Draft.
It’s no secret the Crows are looking to improve their draft position due to the high-end South Australian talent that are certain to be taken inside the top 10.
The likes of Lukosius, Rozee and Izak Rankine could all be snapped up before pick eight – Adelaide’s first selection – hence their desire to climb up the draft order.
If they aren’t able to secure any of the aforementioned three, Victorian midfielder Bailey Smith or one of the King twins - Max or Ben - loom as potential options to take with their coveted first pick.