Jason Horne-Francis is widely viewed in the AFL community as the likely number one draft pick in 2021, and Jimmy Bartel isn’t sure why he still has to prove himself.
Horne-Francis, 18, has been highly impressive playing for South Adelaide in the SANFL against older bodies and his attributes point to him being the best prospect in the draft.
North Melbourne, who hold the first pick in the National Draft, have implied on numerous occasions that Horne-Francis is their man.
The youngster was at the SA combine last week, however Bartel isn’t convinced it was necessary.
“Obviously Horne-Francis has been interviewed a number of times, going through the draft camp sort of stuff, which I’m not sure why he’s doing all that stuff anyway, we already know he is pick one,” Bartel told Sportsday.
“What’s he proving? Why do they need his 20-metre speed test?
“(He’s) actually jumping through hoops.
“Why is he doing it? He’s the number one pick, you might as well get him fitted out for his club suit, that’s what he should be doing.”
North Melbourne head of player personnel Scott Clayton recently said on a member Q & A that Horne-Francis was as good as any number one pick he’s seen.
“It’s a big mantle to carry for your whole career, and this young man will carry it amazingly well. The thing about it that jumps out from him is he wants to be number one, I just get that feeling,” he said.
“He's really looking forward to stamping himself as professional athlete … he's as good as any number one in years that I can remember.”
The AFL National Draft will be held over two days on November 24 and 25, with the rookie and pre-season drafts held a day later.