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A snapshot of the key 2021 mid-season draft prospects


AFL Media draft guru Cal Twomey says there is a clear top pick in this year’s mid-season draft, provided the player in question actually nominates.

Sandringham Dragons talent Jacob Edwards is rated as the most likely candidate to go at no.1 in next month’s draft, but is also tipped to go in the first round of the National Draft if he opts for that path.

Twomey, who expects around 15 picks total to be made on June 2, says Edwards is yet to make a call on whether he will nominate for mid-season or wait for another opportunity later this year.

Edwards would likely attract considerable interest from both North Melbourne and Hawthorn if he were to nominate, according to Twomey.

“There’s a guy who looks like being the number one pick, if he does nominate, and that’s Jacob Edwards,” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“He’s a 19-year-old key forward/ruckman out of the Sandringham Dragons. He’s 202cm, agile, a nice kick.

“He’s still weighing up whether he does nominate or not. You can either wait it out and push to the end of the year where he could probably be a first round pick. That would be a pretty likely scenario if he did hold out.

“Not many can get access to him now because if he does nominate for the mid-season draft, I’d be shocked if North Melbourne didn’t take him at pick 1 or the Hawks at the next pick.

“However, he’s weighing up and he hasn’t nominated yet. I think he’s leaning towards nominating, but if he held out and actually waited until the end of the year, at this point given his athleticism, his kicking, his start to the season, I’d view him as a top 20 pick.

“He’s the guy that everyone has been hyping up a bit around this mid-season draft.

“He’s not a mature-ager, he’s still at school, so he’s a long-term investment rather than a short-term fix.”

Twomey also commented on a number of players plying their trade around the country who are also in the mix for the draft that will take place in the week between Rounds 11 and 12 of the AFL season.

“There’s Ned Moyle (Oakleigh Chargers/Collingwood VFL) who is a big ruckman and I think is a good chance to get taken,” Twomey added.

Cam McLeod from the Murray Bushrangers. He’s a 190cm goalkicker who has done some good stuff.

Max Heath (Sandringham Dragons) is another ruckman who is in that boat.

Luke Cleary (Sandringham Dragons), Josh Green - the brother of Tom at GWS - has played some VFL (with the Giants), he’s 19 as well.

“They’re the group of names that are in that bracket, but I don’t think as many have emerged as they might have expected at the start of the season.”

From a more mature age perspective, there are some former Adelaide Crows who are making an impact in both the SANFL and VFL.

Tyson Stengle and Riley Knight are playing well for for Woodville-West Torrens, while Jordan Gallucci is doing some good things for Williamstown.

“Tyson Stengle is a player who will be looked at by clubs, there’s no doubt about that,” Twomey said.

“There’s a view that he is the most talented player outside the AFL system right now.

“Does a club give him his third chance at AFL level? He’s a prospect.

“Riley Knight from the Crows as well, has been playing some really good footy in the SANFL in the midfield. Does a club bring him in and just hope that over the next six months he can really help their premiership push?

“Jordan Gallucci is another former Crow who trained at the Tigers in the pre-season. Started the year pretty well with Williamstown in the VFL.”

Former Collingwood and St Kilda midfielder Nathan Freeman is another with previous AFL experience who is attracting interest.

He has tallied 40, 42, 36 and 44 disposals in four games for Frankston, but would have to make a call on nominating again or focusing on his player-management career.

“What a start to the VFL season he’s had, averaging 40-plus,” Twomey said of Freeman.

“He’s going to have to want to nominate. He’s in the game as a VFL player but also a part of the Connors Sports Management group, so it’s going to be a decision he’ll have to make.

“He’d have some clubs looking at him, but it’s a matter of whether a club backs him. He’s getting a great run at it fitness-wise for the first time in a long time.”

The Gold Coast Suns have some ruck woes with co-captain Jarrod Witts and youngster Matt Conroy sidelined for the season with knee injuries. They are keeping an eye on a number of mature aged big men.

Corey Gault, the former Collingwood ruckman, Wylie Buzza, who has been at Geelong and Port Adelaide, they are guys that Gold Coast are looking at as part of their ruck conundrum,” Twomey said.

Michael Knowles, he was part of the mid-season draft two years ago with the Swans, is on the Gold Coast radar as well. One to look for whether he is a two-time mid-season drafter.”

Twomey then provided a quick snapshot on a number of names fired at him.

Luke Partington (Glenelg)
“Unlikely I think. I think he’s done enough at AFL level and the clubs he’s been at to say that.”

Myles McCluggage (South Warrnambool/GWV Rebels)
“I don’t think so. He’s probably a better chance at the end of the year.”

Frank Anderson (Swan Districts)
“He’s been around the system for a little while now. He’s been overlooked a few times so a club would had to have seen some improvement in him over the past six months to suggest they’ll take a chance.”

Ryley Stoddart (Carton VFL)
“He’s an interesting one. He’s got some real attributes. He’s a really nice kick and can run with the footy pretty well.

“I think clubs have been keeping an eye on him. He’s part of that Carlton VFL mix and part of their leadership group as well.

“His experience at the Swans would count for a fair bit.”

Toby Wooller (Carlton VFL)
“I don’t think so. He’s probably found that level where he’s playing some good footy but I’m not sure he was at that point at the Brisbane Lions.”

And any nibbles for Kade Simpson?

“Not as yet. He’d take the right club, wouldn’t he?”

The 2021 AFL Mid-Season Draft takes place on Wednesday, June 2.

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