Adelaide hit the draft hard over the past few years, and will take another top-5 selection into the 2021 AFL Draft.
The Crows head into the 2021 AFL Draft having conducted the biggest piece of business in the trade period by acquiring Jordan Dawson. Additionally, they put together a godfather offer for North’s Pick 1 with Jason Horne-Francis the sought-after acquisition.
North was quick to knock that back, so it leaves the Crows with pick 4 and a late second-rounder to find more young talent to add to a rising list.
2021 AFL Draft: Adelaide list taking shape
Adelaide draft selections: 4, 33, 75, 80
With Dawson joining Paul Seedsman on the outside for the Crows, they boast one of the most potent wingman duos in the league. Their issues have arisen inside 50 without Taylor Walker, but a group of Riley Thilthorpe, Darcy Fogarty, Elliot Himmelberg and Billy Frampton will continue to mature.
An area of need is a small forward that can kick goals. Although impossible to replace in his entirety, someone needs to fill the void of Eddie Betts and there are good options in each round of the draft.
Jake Kelly left in free agency which puts some pressure on Andrew McPherson to step up, but another ball user out of defence has been a point of emphasis since Rory Laird made his move into the midfield.
Adelaide won’t enter the 2021 AFL Draft with any NGA or father-son prospects. Leek Alleer came through the Crows’ academy, but a broken leg crueled his draft year in 2019 and as a mature-ager Adelaide won’t be able to match a bid for the athletic tall on draft night.
2021 AFL Draft: Adelaide set to grab Josh Rachele
After taking five prospects in the draft last year, the Crows will be keeping a lower profile.
With Pick 4, Sandringham Dragon Finn Callaghan is the ideal player that the Crows would snap up if he did fall to them. The classy midfielder has suitors in the Giants and Suns beforehand though, so Murray Bushranger Josh Rachele seems the most likely at this spot with his game-changing ability in the forward half and leadership qualities.Embed from Getty Images
There’s a good argument to be had for the Crows moving down and gaining another selection – the Dockers could package one of their top-10 selections with pick 19, while the Tigers could offer up Pick 7 and one of their selections in the second round.
These offers – if made – would give the Crows something to think about as they must take three players in the national draft. Academy graduate Alleer could be snapped up with a selection in the 20s which adds another layer to the Crows’ considerations.
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Pick 33 will likely shift down three spots after bids are matched for Josh Daicos, Sam Darcy and Josh Fahey. The late second round of this draft will uncover some hidden gems – South Australian product Matthew Roberts is one who has fallen down some draft rankings after an injury-interrupted year, but he would be a prime option at this spot with his contested, in-and-under qualities and showcased ability to play in multiple positions.
If the Crows don’t get Rachele with their first selection, a small forward would be a need at this pick and Judson Clarke is one of the best in the draft. He has brilliant forward craft and goal sense as a crumber.
The other area of improvement is ball use out of the back half and SA products Alastair Lord and Lewis Rayson will present as good options at the end of the second round. Lord has rocketed into draft calculations after a scintillating end to his SANFL U18s campaign, while Rayson captained SA at the State Championships and is viewed as a future leader.
There will be value for the Crows late in the piece, and Lord could be the best list fit for them at Pick 33 so should be in considerations if he lasts through to the late-second round.Embed from Getty Images
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