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Draft experts give first indication into quality of 2023 class


Veteran recruiter Matt Rendell and AFL draft guru Cal Twomey have provided some clarity on what to expect from the 2023 draft class.

Harley Reid stands amongst his peers as the clear no.1 pick, with clubs expected to table significant trade offers to the eventual wooden spooners for the powerful midfielder.

But beyond that, Rendell believes clubs can’t bank on quality.

“My information is, and having watched some games already of the U18s, this is not a great draft,” Rendell told SEN SA’s The Run Home.

“This time last draft they were spruiking it was super. Last year’s draft I thought was really good and they were telling me it wasn’t that good, well it’s proven to be really good.

“I’ve watched the National Championships and I’m thinking there isn’t a whole lot of depth of this draft, so you don’t want to be having a whole lot of spots on your lists.”

Twomey instead suggested that while there was plenty of unknown for the upcoming draft, you can’t yet write off the talent.

“We don’t have that many tried and true midfielders in the first round this year, I think it’s a mix,” Twomey said on SEN Breakfast.

“We’ve got flankers, forwards, talls, some rucks and a couple of key defenders as well. Midfielders dominate draft years, the talls don’t generally, so that means that there’s a little more speck around them, but it could also mean they’re a little bit more special in the long run.

“I think what we’re seeing at the moment is a bit of a consensus on the top 10-12 and then it really opens up, which is generally the way around the mid-season… I like the top 10 though, I think there are some really good players in there.”

Of last year’s top 10 picks, Essendon’s Elijah Tsatas is the only one yet to debut.

The Eagles currently have pick one in the 2023 draft, with North Melbourne and Hawthorn sitting above them in 17th and 16th respectively.

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