JR Phantom Draft 2021
With the draft getting underway on Wednesday night, it’s become a JR tradition to have a phantom draft with resident draft enthusiasts, Azza, Patch and Damo.
We had divided the selections up with each of us selecting for six teams:
Patch – North Melbourne, GWS, Richmond, Carlton, Port Adelaide, St Kilda
Azza – Gold Coast, Fremantle, Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane, Western Bulldogs
Damo – Essendon, Sydney, Hawthorn, Adelaide, West Coast, Collingwood
The first round started as expected with Patch as North Melbourne selecting Jason Horne-Francis. Patch also had GWS and perhaps the first curveball of the night was that he bid on Sam Darcy instead of Nick Daicos at 2. Both were eventually bid on and matched though, with GWS eventually selecting Finn Callaghan at 4.
Gold Coast’s draft plans must’ve changed in Azza’s eyes because he then selects Josh Ward, a slight bolter but makes sense given that Suns have just recently lost Hugh Greenwood.
Damo was next with Adelaide and then Hawthorn. He selected Josh Rachele for Adelaide and then for Hawthorn he selected Neil Erasmus which created a domino effect.
Azza had Fremantle, they were off-limits to Damo, he selected Jye Amiss after a lot of deliberation between himself, and then after Patch as Richmond selected Mac Andrew, he then entered trade discussions with Patch looking for Richmond’s Pick 17 and 26, plus later unspecified picks which would’ve been swapped to even it up in a real scenario. Damo didn’t want it, but that didn’t matter. Azza did the trade anyway. Patch as Richmond now had Pick 10.
Pick 10 became Ben Hobbs. Damo was crying. Azza was laughing. Patch was trying to console Damo, while revelling in Azza’s seminal victory.
Saints picked up slider Josh Gibcus, who probably is a good fit for them anyway so Saints fans should be happy for the moment with that. Damo as West Coast select local midfielder Matt Johnson and then Essendon look over a few to select Josh Sinn, who 12 months ago was in the number 1 pick conversation.
Port Adelaide select Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera to keep the Wanganeen name at the club, while also keeping the impressive winger in his home state.
Patch as the Giants, with their need for key position players, take Jacob Van Rooyen. Probably at the top of his range but still a very good selection considering who was next on the board.
Fremantle then trade with Brisbane, swapping positions, to select Josh Goater. Now Brisbane selecting for the first time pick up rebounding half-back Darcy Wilmot.
Sydney makes no friends at St Kilda selecting Mitchito Owens, a Saints NGA player. Saints can’t match though because it’s in the first 20 selections.
Rounding out the first round Brisbane select Sam Butler, and Melbourne select Mitch Knevitt.
The second round went a little more to script with not a lot of surprises, and no more trades agreed to. Although we did somewhat agree at the beginning of the livestream that trading would more likely happen late in the first round, or not at all until round 2.
Fremantle had offers for Pick 21, but none were followed through and Azza selected Tyler Sonsie. Damo wasn’t happy, but conceded after the broadcast that it was probably a good selection.
North Melbourne take Jesse Motlop off the board, and Hawks get in before Geelong to nab Rhett Bazzo to partner Denver Grainger-Barras for the next 8-10 years.
Geelong pick up another ruckmen in Toby Conway.
Hawthorn select Arlo Draper with the next selection at 25 as a “how did he slide this far” kind of selection, but comparisons to Chad Wingard help the cause.
Carlton are on the board with Judson Clarke, a great selection for them that will compliment their other off-season additions.
Fremantle, with their fourth and probably final selection of the national draft, select Jack Williams.
Richmond bid on GWS Academy player Josh Fahey after selecting Zac Taylor. Giants match Tigers bid, so Tigers then select Blake Howes at 30.
WCE bid on Marcus Windhager before taking local lad Corey Warner, another local boy to help rejuvenate their list.
Damo realises that Campbell Chesser has slide to pick 36 so jumps on him right there and then, then the final selection of the night Azza does similarly for Melbourne with Matthew Roberts.