Are We Witnessing A Superdraft?: Reconstructing The 2013 AFL Draft

From My Blog Site – Bulldogs Centre


About five years ago, the AFL held themselves their yearly AFL Draft. On this night, we saw over 70 young men realise their dream of making it to the AFL. Five years on from this night, we have seen a multitude of players emerge as either stars or emerging stars in a draft that not many people would’ve predicted would possess such talent. Could we be witnessing a superdraft that can be compared to that of 2001?


It remains to be seen yet, but for the while, I thought I’d have a go at reconstructing the 2013 AFL Draft. Over the past couple of years, I have done re-drafts and they’ve been a lot of fun. Like last year’s re-draft, there will be no father/son selections, no academy picks, and those rookie listed are available to be drafted here as well.


It’s just teams and players going where I think they would land if we started the draft today, so without further ado, let’s get underway here.


NOTE: Stats As Of 30/4/2018

Pick 1 – Greater Western Sydney
Original Selection: Tom Boyd
Do-Over Selection: Marcus Bontempelli (Pick 4)
Games: 91
Goals: 84


The Western Bulldogs landed an absolute ripper in Marcus Bontempelli with their fourth pick in the 2013 Draft. There were doubts about him in the lead-up, but within three seasons, the Bont became an All-Australian, a club best and fairest winner and a premiership player. GWS wouldn’t hesitate to pick him first in the re-draft. He’s such a classy user of the ball, he hardly makes an bad decision and has proven to be a go-to player in the dying stages of a close contest. Without the Bont, there would be no Bulldogs premiership – that’s how important he is to them.


Pick 2 – Greater Western Sydney
Original Selection: Josh Kelly
Do-Over Selection: Josh Kelly
Games: 87
Goals: 56


They nailed this pick with Josh Kelly back in 2013, so nothing changes here as the Giants take him again at two in the re-draft. He broke out in 2017, averaging nearly 30 disposals and a goal per game to be named not only an All-Australian, but was named the club’s best and fairest. Melbourne traded away their second pick to acquire Dom Tyson and pick nine in the draft – imagine if the Demons had held onto their number two pick. Even more so, what would happen if the Bont and Josh Kelly teamed up at Greater Western Sydney? Could they have a premiership to their name by now?


Pick 3 – St. Kilda
Original Selection: Jack Billings
Do-Over Selection: Patrick Cripps (Pick 13)
Games: 65
Goals: 25


Jack Billings has shown plenty during his time at St. Kilda, but I think the Saints would’ve loved to draft someone like Patrick Cripps to overtake Lenny Hayes as the club’s number one contested player. He’s a good size (195cm, 93kg), he’s not afraid of a contest and he’s willing to work on the deficiencies on his game that will make him the complete player. Cripps was stiff to miss out on the 2015 Rising Star award, but since then, he has been a contested beast for the Blues in times that have seen them struggling severely – averaging a staggering 19 contested possessions a game in six starts this year.


Pick 4 – Western Bulldogs
Original Selection: Marcus Bontempelli
Do-Over Selection: Matt Crouch (Pick 23)
Games: 75
Goals: 18

With the Bont already gone in this re-draft, the Bulldogs opted to go with the next best midfielder in this draft class. You could make a claim to go with Zach Merrett, but I went with Matt Crouch, because of how important he has proven to be in Adelaide’s engine room – particularly since the exit of Patrick Dangerfield. He found the ball a fair bit and used it well – averaging 33 disposals, six clearances, four tackles and three marks per game last year to be named All-Australian and Adelaide’s best and fairest.


Pick 5 – Gold Coast Suns
Original Selection: Kade Kolodjashnij
Do-Over Selection: Ben Brown (Pick 47)
Games: 83
Goals: 177


North Melbourne plucked themselves a bargain by selecting 21-year old Ben Brown with the 47th overall pick in the AFL Draft, In the re-draft, he rounds out the top five because of how far he’s come since making his debut for North in 2014. At 200cm, Brown’s height is a massive advantage as a full-forward and has proven over the past couple of years how reliable he is in front of the big sticks. Last year he kicked a PB 63.30 and was stiff to miss an All-Australian spot, but he is on target to bust that this year, kicking 23.5 in six games so far. How good would a Lynch/Brown combo work out in the Gold Coast?


Pick 6 – Collingwood
Original Selection: Matthew Scharenberg
Do-Over Selection: Zach Merrett (Pick 26)
Games: 87
Goals: 32


The Bombers acquired Pick 26 in a deal with the Bulldogs that saw them get Stewart Crameri. This pick saw them land talented midfielder Zach Merrett, who has been sensational over the past couple of years. The Pies have the next pick in the re-draft and select him here as a midfielder that could mesh well with what they’ve got right now, Merrett is a terrific finder of the ball and is an elite outside player. He was Essendon’s best and fairest in 2016 at just the age of 20 and the following year, was named All-Australian on the wing – averaging just under 30 disposals over the past couple of years.


Pick 7 – Brisbane Lions
Original Selection: James Aish
Do-Over Selection: Jack Billings (Pick 3)
Games: 70
Goals: 54


There’s a reason why the Saints drafted him at the number three slot. He has great athleticism, showed great skills on either side of his body and he showed that he can be a match-winner as a forward or as a midfielder. The last couple of seasons in front of the big sticks have hurt a fair bit (23.36 last year and 4.11 so far this season), but he’s proven that he’s a top-10 talent in this draft group. See his performance against the Bulldogs in 2015, where the Saints came from 55 points down, or watch his five-goal performance against Carlton last year if you want to see what his best is capable of.


Pick 8 – North Melbourne
Original Selection: Luke McDonald
Do-Over Selection: Luke McDonald
Games: 80
Goals: 11


North had to use their first-round pick to secure Luke McDonald via the old Father-Son rule. But even in this new re-draft, North could use someone like McDonald going into the future. The son of Donald McDonald has predominantly played in defence in five seasons and has proven that he can either play a shutdown role well, or provide some drive out of defence. The one thing you will get from him week after week though is consistent efforts. He always tries his hardest and the fact that he played every game in his first season and finished in the top-three in the Rising Star award in 2014 shows his talent.


Pick 9 – Melbourne
Original Selection: Christian Salem
Do-Over Selection: Zak Jones (Pick 15)
Games: 58
Goals: 17


The Demons traded away the second overall pick along with a second-round pick in the draft for a spot further down the top 10 plus Dom Tyson. With this pick, I think the Demons need to get some competitive players in their line-up, so I think Zak Jones may be a very good pick-up here. A reunion with older brother Nathan is also on the cards here, but Jones is selected here because he’s every bit as tough as his brother, he’s got good-enough pace to be a good piece at half-back and he’ll give his all every game. He’s been a solid player for Sydney over the past couple of years.


Pick 10 – Collingwood
Original Selection: Nathan Freeman
Do-Over Selection: Kade Kolodjashnij (Pick 5)
Games: 74
Goals: 13


Having used their first pick on a midfielder with pace earlier in the re-draft, the Pies go for someone who can provide rebound and drive off half-back and the perfect fit is here in Kade Kolodjashnij, who was taken inside the top five back in 2013. He’s got good size at 190cm, and also has great pace and has proven to be an exceptional rebounding defender, particularly in his first years at the Gold Coast. In 2013, the Pies took Matt Scharenberg with the sixth pick, who has similar traits to Kolodjashnij, but has had numerous knee injuries hold him back until now.


Pick 11 – West Coast
Original Selection: Dom Sheed
Do-Over Selection: Dom Sheed
Games: 66
Goals: 26


The Eagles originally had the sixth pick in the Draft, but traded down the order to 11th as part of a package deal to get Elliot Yeo from Brisbane to the Eagles. But it didn’t matter too much, as they had their eyes set on Kalgoorlie boy Dom Sheed, which they acquired with the 11th pick in the original draft. Nothing changes as the West Coast Eagles have a player on their hands here. Sheed’s form early in his career has been a bit up-and-down, but he’s starting to hit his straps and can play either inside or outside midfielder to really good effect.


Pick 12 – Richmond
Original Selection: Ben Lennon
Do-Over Selection: Orazio Fantasia (Pick 55)
Games: 49
Goals: 71


The Tigers originally selected Ben Lennon with the 12th pick in the draft, but Lennon struggled a fair bit during his tenure for the Tigers, so in the re-draft, I’m going for someone who has proven a little bit more as a forward in Essendon goal-sneak Orazio Fantasia, who was snagged at a bargain selection with pick 55. Fantasia is remarkably quick and has proven over the past couple of years that he can be a terrific small forward, booting 29.25 in 2016 and 39.22 last year. Imagine him lining up with Daniel Rioli, Dan Butler and Jason Castagna last year if this actually happened?


Pick 13 – Carlton
Original Selection: Patrick Cripps
Do-Over Selection: Lewis Taylor (Pick 28)
Games: 91
Goals: 66


Carlton plucked a gem with this pick in Patrick Cripps, but in the re-draft, he is long gone, so instead, we are going to go a little smaller and pick out a talented small in Lewis Taylor. Now even though there are many that believe he didn’t deserve the 2014 Rising Star award over Marcus Bontempelli, however this guy still has a lot of talent on offer. His size, speed and ability to find the footy and be a scoring option up forward had many believe he was going to be the next Brent Harvey. Since Chris Fagan’s appointment as coach of the Lions, Taylor has looked quite impressive playing as a half-forward/midfielder.


Pick 14 – Greater Western Sydney
Original Selection: Cam McCarthy
Do-Over Selection: Rory Lobb (Pick 29)
Games: 58
Goals: 54


Rory Lobb is a very important piece in the Giants’ structures, so instead of taking him later, the Giants will snare him with the 14th pick instead of Cam McCarthy, who despite showing promise, was never going to fit at GWS. Lobb however, is a very good second-ruck option and his sticky mitts, in conjunction with his height, size and athleticism, make him a very dangerous forward option behind both Jeremy Cameron and Jon Patton. Following the retirement of Shane Mumford, Lobb is expected to play more ruck than forward, but he is still a very critical piece of the Giants’ premiership puzzle.


Pick 15 – Sydney
Original Selection: Zak Jones
Do-Over Selection: Jayden Hunt (Pick 57)
Games: 45
Goals: 10


The Swans took half-back toughnut Zak Jones in the original draft, but in this re-draft, they are going to go with someone who is amongst the best runners in the league in Brighton Grammar boy Jayden Hunt, who has proven what a find he was at Melbourne with the a pick in the late-50s. Despite not playing any TAC Cup footy or State Championship, Hunt proved when he got on the park that he is a very dangerous asset off half-back and from round 4, 2016 until round 2 this year, he did not miss a game for the Dees and still has massive scope to be a star in this league.


Pick 16 – Geelong
Original Selection: Darcy Lang
Do-Over Selection: Toby Nankervis (Pick 35)
Games: 42
Goals: 15


At the time of the draft, the Geelong Football Club didn’t have a big man that could dominate ruck contests. Toby Nankervis would’ve been a great pick down the line, so the Cats opt to go with the lad from North Launceston here. Originally picked up by the Swans, Nankervis spent the first few years as a fringe player, before being traded to the Tigers at the end of 2016. As we all know now, this has proven to be a great move by him and a master-stroke by the Tigers’ recruiters. He played every game and was a crucial part to their premiership last year.


Pick 17 – Fremantle
Original Selection: Michael Apeness
Do-Over Selection: Tom Boyd (Pick 1)
Games: 51
Goals: 47


Tom Boyd was the consensus number one draft pick back in 2013, but things have changed very dramatically since. He has shown glimpses of potential all throughout his career, but has been unable to string consistent performances together – bar his excellent 2016 Finals Series. Injuries and mental issues have also played their part in why he’s struggled in portions, but there’s no denying that his best is match-winning. With the 17th pick in the re-draft, Freo would love someone to build their forward line around after Pavlich, and whilst it’s McCarthy right now, Boyd would be a great option as well.


Pick 18 – St. Kilda
Original Selection: Luke Dunstan
Do-Over Selection: James Sicily (Pick 56)
Games: 48
Goals: 47


Having secured Patrick Cripps with the third pick in the Re-Draft, the Saints should look for some versatility here, and with James Sicily showing extreme potential in recent years, he is locked in with one of St. Kilda’s two late first-round picks here. As a forward, he is a lethal weapon, kicking 30 goals for the Hawks in 2016, but in recent times, he has shown that he can excel in defence as well – averaging over 24 disposals, nine marks and 4.5 rebound 50s in the last 10 games of last year. His hot-headedness is a huge issue and is partially why he is a bit further down here than some may want him, but he is verging on top-10 talent in this draft class.


Pick 19 – St. Kilda
Original Selection: Blake Acres
Do-Over Selection: Blake Acres
Games: 50
Goals: 23


It’s taken a little bit of time, but Blake Acres has shown that the Saints were right to take him here, so nothing changes here. Acres has got great size on him (190cm and 92kg) and has the versatility to either be a very good midfielder or a someone that can give you a goal or two up forward. Played 16 of 22 games in 2016 in a breakout season, and backed it up with 18 games last year averaging over 20 touches per game. Has played every game so far this year and is averaging 23 disposals a game. At just 22 years of age, I reckon the Saints have themselves a player on their hands here.


Pick 20 – Gold Coast Suns
Original Selection: Jack Leslie
Do-Over Selection: Charlie Cameron (Rookie Draft Pick 7)
Games: 79
Goals: 98


Charlie Cameron proved to be a really great find for the Crows back in the 2013 Rookie Draft and has proven to be a really good player in their forward line. The Gold Coast Suns – who originally drafted Jack Leslie, who has struggled to get on the park so far in his career, luck out with Queensland-born Cameron here in the re-draft. His remarkable quickness makes him such a threatening player and he’s shown already at Brisbane this year that he can hit the scoreboard with such regularity, with three bags of three goals and a bag of two this year.


Next 5 Picks


Because of how stacked this draft is, I have listed who I believe would’ve been taken with the next five picks. Not only are all five of these guys still in the system today, they’re firmly entrenched or close to being in their best 22.


Pick 21 – Port Adelaide: James Aish (Originally Pick 7)
Pick 22 – Brisbane Lions: Tom Barrass (Originally Pick 43)
Pick 23 – Adelaide: Luke Dunstan (Originally Pick 18)
Pick 24 – Hawthorn: Jarman Impey (Originally Pick 21)
Pick 25 – Brisbane Lions: Christian Salem (Originally Pick 9)


For more of Alex Docherty’s readings – opinions or match previews/reviews – go onto


About Alex Docherty

Alex is a diehard footy nut. He loves his Western Bulldogs and loves writing about them every week as much he loves running out and playing footy himself.


  1. Nicely done, Alex.
    I agree with most of what you have said here.
    Re my Kangas: Brown is proving to be one of the all-time bargains. Luke McDonald will probably never be the midfield gun that North had hoped – more a tough, but reasonably skilful, half-back flanker. Which is ok

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