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Why Eagles should be haunted by letting local product McVee get to Demons in 2022 Rookie Draft


Gerard Healy can’t understand how West Coast missed Melbourne defender Judd McVee in the 2022 Rookie Draft.

McVee was selected at pick No. 18 in that Rookie Draft out of Geraldton and East Fremantle in the WAFL. West Coast had pick 10 in that draft but passed on the chance to select any player, let alone the local product who was still on the board.

Since being drafted by Melbourne, the 20-year-old has developed into a reliable small defender with some neat kicking skills across his 30 career games so far.

McVee has picked up 20 disposals in four of his five games so far for Melbourne in 2024 and Healy was stunned that he slipped under West Coast’s draft radar given their successes of picking unknown quantities from the area previously like Liam Ryan.

“Judd McVee, he was pick 18 in the (2022) Rookie Draft,” Healy said on SEN Sportsday.

“How he came out of Geraldton … which is basically the West Coast footy factory, is beyond me.

“I mean, he's nearly the best kick in the competition and he was pick 18 (in the rookie draft).

“I mean, they (West Coast) didn't even know about him or didn't rate him.

“They’re rebuilding their recruiting machine, and it needs rebuilding.”

West Coast’s miss was Melbourne’s gain with McVee and Healy credited the Demons for again finding a diamond in the rough and a player that looks set to be a key contributor to another premiership push.

“Judd McVee, how Melbourne could pick him up is a great tick to them,” Healy said.

“It's a smack in the chops for the West Coast Eagles,

“He's exactly what they need out of defence.”

McVee picked up five AFLCA Champion Player votes for his 20-disposal, four-mark and six-rebound 50 performance in the 63-78 win in the Gather Round clash against Adelaide.

The Eagles hired former Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke to fill their list manager role in February as the club looks to rebuild their off-field program.

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Melbourne Sportsday

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