Collingwood traded out this year’s first-round selection, but are set to welcome arguably the best prospect in the 2021 AFL draft to its side for 2022.
After a huge 2020 AFL Draft in which the club was a constant presence in each round, the Pies will to take a back seat in 2021 with the points to match a bid for their superstar father-son and the picks to take a further two prospects at the back-end of the draft.
2021 AFL Draft: Collingwood – father-son locked in, but no Dibs on NGA prospect
Son of Pies gun Peter, Nick Daicos has been prolific and purposeful in the NAB League, making his mark with brilliant ball use and a sensational sidestep. He’s quick-thinking under pressure and intelligent about where he needs to be to get the ball. He pushes forward from contests with an insatiable work rate and converts truly in front of the big sticks. He possesses tremendous leadership traits and has led by example for every team he’s played for.
His averages for the Oakleigh Chargers of 35.8 disposals and two goals per game exceed the numbers that Sam Walsh and Matthew Rowell put up. Nick Daicos is the real deal, and he’s all Collingwood’s.
The Pies have known Daicos is coming for a long time, and shifted their 2021 first-round selection out last year to accommodate a bid for him and bring in young talent with picks 24 and 30 in 2020.Embed from Getty Images
Looking back on the deal, GWS will be delighted to walk away with Pick 2. It may even eventuate that Daicos is bid on with that same selection. But the Pies didn’t lose this trade by the same extent that the Giants won it.
Just like when GWS traded Pick 6 and their future first-rounder for Pick 4 (Lachie Ash), there was an ulterior motive. Tom Green made his way to the Giants as a result of that deal, and Daicos will be headed to the Pies to join the raft of 2020 draft talent including Oliver Henry, Finlay Macrae, Caleb Poulter, Reef McInness and Liam McMahon.
If a bid for Daicos is made at Pick 2, the Pies’ selections 36, 38, 40, and 46 will all be absorbed. That means the Pies will have two more players to add to their list at the tail-end of the draft.
The club made the decision to forego NGA prospect Youseph Dib in the nominating process, so won’t be looking at the hard-nut despite an impressive season in which he split his time between the NAB League and VFL.
Dib could potentially be picked up as a rookie by the Pies, and there’s an argument to be made that by not nominating the NGA prospect, Collingwood could potentially get Dib through the national draft without attracting any interest from opposition clubs.Embed from Getty Images
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2021 AFL Draft: Collingwood – what does the list need?
Adding to the young nucleus that was formed last season is a must for the Pies, and there will be some diamonds in the rough of this draft given the scarcity of football played over 2020 and 2021.
There’s a need for a key defender with Jordan Roughead in his 30s, while additional class up forward will be a target with the Pies finishing in the bottom four for goals per game in 2021.
All in all, the Pies should be targeting the best available at any position with their later selections in the draft.
2021 AFL Draft: Collingwood – diamonds in the rough in the late rounds
Barring any trades, the Pies will be taking two prospects towards the end of the draft after using up their selections on matching a bid for Daicos.
As a late round pick or even rookie option, mature-ager Blake Schlensog would be an immediate best-22 fit in key defence. He starred for South Fremantle on its way to a Grand Final appearance in the WAFL, and has spent time in an AFL environment with his stint at Geelong. Charlie Dean is another option, but the VFL’s best young player may be gone by the time Collingwood has an opportunity to re-enter the draft after the Daicos bid match.Embed from Getty Images
Collingwood’s attention could turn to a player like Kai Lohmann who – as a medium forward – uses his vertical leap to protect the ball on the lead and kicks accurately. He shares similarities to Jamie Elliot in his controlling of the drop space in marking situations, and has also shown potential to work higher up the ground like a Jaidyn Stephenson type. A young duo of high half-forwards in Ollie Henry and Lohmann would be exciting.
Tasmanian Sam Banks is a dashing half-back who has the runs on the board over multiple seasons for the Devils. He’s set to be taken towards the back-end of the draft and would add reinforcement to that area of the ground for the Pies.
The Pies loved what they saw from Jack Ginnivan, who may be elevated to the senior list on draft night.
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