Infotainment Factory: Why the Suns are 2018's big draft winners

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Friday, 23 November 2018

Why the Suns are 2018's big draft winners


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The AFL draft is in the books for 2018 and there is no way that you can let a draft go by without analysing just who came out with the best haul and which team could have done better. 

The addition of live trading definitely spiced up the draft process as we saw several teams making shrewd trade moves over the two days. 

Now that all the moves have been finalised, here are the teams that 'won' the draft and those who might walk away lamenting the moves they made. 

WINNERS

Gold Coast Suns

If there was any team in the AFL that deserved and needed a win over the draft period, it was the Gold Coast Suns. 

The past two years have been as painful as any two years in the history of the league for the Suns as they have lost their last three captains in Gary Ablett, Tom Lynch and Steven May. 

While the Suns coughed up a ton of talent during this year's off-season, fans can be buoyed by the way they managed to turn over the leaf instantly. 

After Lynch announced his intentions to leave the club as a free-agent, the club did well to press Steven May into making a move on his future, as opposed to having a third consecutive season of a star player's possible defection hanging over the club.

As a result, the Suns arrived at the AFL Draft with three picks inside the top 10 and nailed on all three. 

In Jack Lukosius the Suns have a player who can be the poster boy of football up in the north, and a player who can potentially fill the void left by Lynch.

They were also able to pick up another All-Australian in Izak Rankine with the very next pick and then finished it with gigantic big man Max King.

Now that they have nailed their draft, the challenge for the Suns comes in building a culture that is good enough to convince these stars to stay three or four years down the road when interstate clubs will come calling.

Sydney Swans

With the live trading being introduced for the first time in AFL Draft history, there were bound to be rules that could be exploited and the Swans looked to be well ahead of the curve with their creative trade which allowed them to keep a second-round pick.

The Swans widely expected academy product Nick Blakey to be bid on in the range of picks 6-10 but the bid arrived later than expected, at pick 9, meaning that the Swans were not only able to grab an incredible talent at pick 9 in Blakey, but also retained its second-round pick.

Sydney is widely thought of as one of the smarter organisations in the league and they were able to continue their success with a shrewd move. 

While the drafting of Blakey isn't necessary a genius move due to his presence in the Swans academy, he possesses excellent size and skill as the team looks to continue to keep the list refreshed as household names such as Lance Franklin age.

Getting throttled by its cross-town rival in this year's finals series was a culture shock for the Swans and they acted immediately by offloading premiership star Daniel Hannebery as well as Gary Rohan. 

Pressure will be on the likes of Callum Mills and Isaac Heeney to take the next step next year in order to take a load off the likes of Franklin and Josh Kennedy.

Geelong

Another team that has been a powerhouse over the last 15 years continued its incredible run of success with a strong draft period. 

At pick 15, the Cats were able to pick up Claremont defender Jordan Clark who was widely expected to go somewhere between picks 5 and 10.

Fox Footy draft analyst David King praised the selection describing the selection of Clark as a "steal" for the Cats.

"That's a steal for Geelong, they've done it again," King said during the draft coverage.

"This guy is a destination kicker, he kicks the ball where the forwards are likely to arrive."

Like Sydney, the Cats are in a similar situation where they are on the back end of a golden era and are looking to continue the club's tremendous success into the next decade. 

The club has recently lost defensive stalwarts in Corey Enright and Andrew Mackie and will be hoping that Clark can eventually slot in defensively alongside Zac Tuohy.

LOSER

Carlton

It is not often that you walk away with the best player in the draft but still wind up with people questioning your draft but that's just what fans will be doing with the Blues after a dubious draft-day trade. 

By the way, lets just get this out in the open, the problem with the draft is not the selection of Sam Walsh with the first overall pick at all.

Walsh is widely thought of as the best player in this draft and with good reason. 

He is one of the most complete midfield prospects to come through the draft process in years and has been compared to Geelong captain Joel Selwood with good reason. 

Walsh is likely to be able to slot in alongside Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps right away and has the potential to truly be one of the league's most elite midfield players. 

However, the Blues may have undone all their good work by a trade with the Adelaide Crows. 

Carlton clearly saw a player it liked in Liam Stocker and traded 2019 first-round picks with the Crows in exchange for Adelaide's pick 19 and the rights to draft Stocker. 

Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni defended the trade and suggested that the team saw the move as the ability to get a player in a year early.

But make no mistakes about it, despite the positive moves they made throughout this off-season, including the trades to acquire Mitch McGovern and Will Setterfield, they are likely to be chained to the bottom of the ladder, making that 2019 pick a very valuable asset for the Crows.

The AFL draft is in the books for 2018 and there is no way that you can let a draft go by without analysing just who came out with the best haul and which team could have done better. 

The addition of live trading definitely spiced up the draft process as we saw several teams making shrewd trade moves over the two days. 

Now that all the moves have been finalised, here are the teams that 'won' the draft and those who might walk away lamenting the moves they made. 

WINNERS

Gold Coast Suns

If there was any team in the AFL that deserved and needed a win over the draft period, it was the Gold Coast Suns. 

The past two years have been as painful as any two years in the history of the league for the Suns as they have lost their last three captains in Gary Ablett, Tom Lynch and Steven May. 

While the Suns coughed up a ton of talent during this year's off-season, fans can be buoyed by the way they managed to turn over the leaf instantly. 

After Lynch announced his intentions to leave the club as a free-agent, the club did well to press Steven May into making a move on his future, as opposed to having a third consecutive season of a star player's possible defection hanging over the club.

As a result, the Suns arrived at the AFL Draft with three picks inside the top 10 and nailed on all three. 

In Jack Lukosius the Suns have a player who can be the poster boy of football up in the north, and a player who can potentially fill the void left by Lynch.

They were also able to pick up another All-Australian in Izak Rankine with the very next pick and then finished it with gigantic big man Max King.

Now that they have nailed their draft, the challenge for the Suns comes in building a culture that is good enough to convince these stars to stay three or four years down the road when interstate clubs will come calling.

Sydney Swans

With the live trading being introduced for the first time in AFL Draft history, there were bound to be rules that could be exploited and the Swans looked to be well ahead of the curve with their creative trade which allowed them to keep a second-round pick.

The Swans widely expected academy product Nick Blakey to be bid on in the range of picks 6-10 but the bid arrived later than expected, at pick 9, meaning that the Swans were not only able to grab an incredible talent at pick 9 in Blakey, but also retained its second-round pick.

Sydney is widely thought of as one of the smarter organisations in the league and they were able to continue their success with a shrewd move. 

While the drafting of Blakey isn't necessary a genius move due to his presence in the Swans academy, he possesses excellent size and skill as the team looks to continue to keep the list refreshed as household names such as Lance Franklin age.

Getting throttled by its cross-town rival in this year's finals series was a culture shock for the Swans and they acted immediately by offloading premiership star Daniel Hannebery as well as Gary Rohan. 

Pressure will be on the likes of Callum Mills and Isaac Heeney to take the next step next year in order to take a load off the likes of Franklin and Josh Kennedy.

Geelong

Another team that has been a powerhouse over the last 15 years continued its incredible run of success with a strong draft period. 

At pick 15, the Cats were able to pick up Claremont defender Jordan Clark who was widely expected to go somewhere between picks 5 and 10.

Fox Footy draft analyst David King praised the selection describing the selection of Clark as a "steal" for the Cats.

"That's a steal for Geelong, they've done it again," King said during the draft coverage.

"This guy is a destination kicker, he kicks the ball where the forwards are likely to arrive."

Like Sydney, the Cats are in a similar situation where they are on the back end of a golden era and are looking to continue the club's tremendous success into the next decade. 

The club has recently lost defensive stalwarts in Corey Enright and Andrew Mackie and will be hoping that Clark can eventually slot in defensively alongside Zac Tuohy.

LOSER

Carlton

It is not often that you walk away with the best player in the draft but still wind up with people questioning your draft but that's just what fans will be doing with the Blues after a dubious draft-day trade. 

By the way, lets just get this out in the open, the problem with the draft is not the selection of Sam Walsh with the first overall pick at all.

Walsh is widely thought of as the best player in this draft and with good reason. 

He is one of the most complete midfield prospects to come through the draft process in years and has been compared to Geelong captain Joel Selwood with good reason. 

Walsh is likely to be able to slot in alongside Carlton co-captain Patrick Cripps right away and has the potential to truly be one of the league's most elite midfield players. 

However, the Blues may have undone all their good work by a trade with the Adelaide Crows. 

Carlton clearly saw a player it liked in Liam Stocker and traded 2019 first-round picks with the Crows in exchange for Adelaide's pick 19 and the rights to draft Stocker. 

Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni defended the trade and suggested that the team saw the move as the ability to get a player in a year early.

But make no mistakes about it, despite the positive moves they made throughout this off-season, including the trades to acquire Mitch McGovern and Will Setterfield, they are likely to be chained to the bottom of the ladder, making that 2019 pick a very valuable asset for the Crows.

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