The 10 best mid-season SuperCoach rookies

Former Cat Wylie Buzza could make an instant impact for SuperCoaches if drafted from VFL club Werribee. (Picture: Werribee FC)

With all football eyes towards the mid-season draft, many SuperCoaches are looking forward to seeing some new rookie prospects coming through to AFL clubs.

The SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast look at ten mid-season draft prospects who could come in and make an impact immediately.

Jacob Edwards – Sandringham Dragons

18 years old – 203cm – 83kg

Grade: D

Edwards looms as the likely number one pick of the mid-season draft, however he’s seen as a project for North Melbourne. Overlooked in the 2020 national draft, the rangy left-footer has gone back to the NAB League this year for the Sandringham Dragons and school Mentone Grammar and dominated after piling on over 10kg in the off-season. In his three games for Sandringham, Edwards is averaging 12 disposals, 14 hit-outs and has kicked five goals as he spends time up forward and in the ruck.

With Tom Campbell playing good footy and Todd Goldstein still going strong, Edwards is unlikely to debut if/when he’s selected by North Melbourne.

Nathan Freeman – Frankston Dolphins

25 years old – 183cm – 88kg

Grade: A 

Freeman has shown resilience that many thought may not be possible. After being drafted to Collingwood in the top ten, he waited 1718 days to make his debut at St Kilda after countless injuries and surgeries. Now in the VFL, Freeman is averaging 40.5 disposals a game this season. As long as he can stay injury-free, Freeman will play AFL this year. 

Hawthorn needs some dash on the outside of contests, or could he return to Collingwood who has the third pick?

Billy Gowers – Southport Sharks

24 years old – 187cm – 87kg

Grade: C

Gowers led Western Bulldogs’ goal kicking one year, but after that he struggled to perform at the AFL level. He recently spoke out about his difficulties with the mental side of playing AFL, saying the scrutiny he faced was hard to cope with. However, Gowers is averaging four goals a game for Southport, and if he accepts a return to AFL-level football is on the cards, he may be a ready-made goal scorer. His price will be elevated since he’s played AFL in the last few seasons, but he could be an elevated rookie price.

Paddy McCartin – Sydney Swans Reserves

25 years old – 194cm – 97kg

Grade: C

McCartin has made the draft process difficult for himself, having been suspended for five games for punching Aaron Black. If he does get picked up, he will provide his club with a ready-made key position option who can play at either end. His concussion issues are concerning, but he’ll be at a bargain price and will be a good option if he goes to the right side.

Wylie Buzza – Werribee Tigers

25 years old – 199cm – 100kg

Grade: B

Buzza spent some time on Geelong and Port Adelaide’s list, but struggled to get consistent games alongside Tom Hawkins and then Charlie Dixon. Now playing for the Tigers in the VFL, the key forward has performed strongly as a key forward and pinch-hitting ruck. If selected, expect Buzza to potentially slot into a side immediately, and having been out of the system for a couple of years now, he’ll be a bargain

Listen to the latest episode of the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast:

Tom Downie – Williamstown Seagulls

28 years old – 203cm – 104kg

Grade: A

Downie is truly a ready-made ruck who has dominated at the state league level so far. Averaging 34 hit outs and 15 disposals a game, the former Giant will be the perfect ready-made ruck for any side who needs one. At 28 years old, he’s not a project, but he can come in and provide a team with someone who can compete now.

Ben Crocker – Carlton Reserves

24 years old – 185cm – 84kg

Grade: C

Crocker provides an interesting option. He’s kicking goals for Carlton’s reserve side, and looks likely to get picked up by the Blues, but he’ll come in at an elevated price and history has shown he doesn’t score particularly well at AFL level. He’d come in and play some senior football, but he may struggle to justify his price. He’s kicked 16 goals this season.

Kade Simpson

37 years old – 183cm – 75kg

Grade: D

Simpson’s potential return to football would be a facinating story. He can only be selected by a team that’s not the Blues, but would only be targeted by a team that needs a rebounding defender. He’d come in and play footy straight away, but having played last season at a somewhat decent level means his price will be around $400k. I doubt it’s worth it in a year littered with good defenders.

Jack Avery – Perth Demons Colts

19 years old – 190cm – 83kg

Grade: B

Avery has dominated in the midfield this season for Perth. The tall midfielder is averaging 34 disposals and eight marks a game, but has struggled to impact the scoreboard. Sides who are looking for a player who could come in and play some senior football may be attracted to this strong midfielder.

Josh Schoenfeld – East Fremantle Sharks

23 years old – 188cm – 85kg

Grade: B

After spending five years at the Suns, Schoenfeld found himself relegated to playing WAFL football this season. The endurance king of Gold Coast is averaging 33 disposals a game, and any side looking to add a mature body who runs both ways would be remiss to ignore this athlete. May need a little bit of development, but could potentially play this season.

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