This is HPN’s fourth annual attempt at the Consensus Phantom Draft, combining the wisdom of multiple draft watchers and also Reddit, to find out what the consensus view is. In most years the method is within the two or three most accurate phantom drafts overall, and the final draft-day version is generally the most accurate as intelligence-gathering pulls the overall views closer to club intention.
The drafts used in this analysis are:
- Matt Balmer (AFL Draft Central)
- Chris Doerre/Knightmare (ESPN)
- Sam Landsberger (Herald Sun)
- Daniel Cherny (The Age)
- Cal Twomey (AFL.com.au)
- Brent Sternberg (The Sideline Report)
- Sporting News
- Riley Beveridge (Fox Sports)
- Brett Anderson (SEN)
- Josh Elliot (The Roar)
- Bede Briscomb (Footyology)
- r/AFL collective phantom draft (Reddit)
This year, views on the number 1 pick coalesced very late. with most drafts now having the Lions taking Cameron Rayner with pick 1. With Brisbane not taking Luke Davies-Uniacke currently there’s more support for him going to Fremantle at pick 2 than anyone else (such as Adam Cerra or Paddy Dow).
Fremantle’s pick 2 and pick 5 creates an intriguing mind-game with Carlton and North Melbourne around who will be left at 5 if they don’t take them at 2.
Later in the first round, Jaidyn Stephenson and Lachlan Fogarty show a fair bit of variance in where they might go.
Round 2 sees two bid-matching selections and a couple of players with surprisingly little variation in where they’re expected to go.
Richmond’s Patrick Naish is expected, on average, not to slip past the Tigers’ pick 25. If he were to get past there, Richmond would get a third live pick before taking Naish by matching with later picks or points next year. They traded picks to try to create this outcome and they’ll obviously be sweating on what clubs before them do.
Brisbane should expect to grab Connor Ballenden well after they take pick 18, with pick 40 (and, if necessary 44) likely to pay for him. Charlie Ballard, interestingly, is either omitted from drafts completely or placed around the pick 19 (Gold Coast) or 20 (Richmond) range and the same is true for Sam Taylor around Geelong’s pick 22 and pick 25. This is a strange bifurcation in views that may be based on specific club information, and it will be interesting to see where they go.
NOTE: HPN will be covering the 2017 AFL Draft LIVE from Sydney’s The Dome. Follow us on Twitter at @hurlingpeople for coverage of things that aren’t just pick announcements.