2021 AFL DRAFT: Fremantle circling WA talent, should Motlop go at 19?

2021 AFL Draft Fremantle
Fremantle could look local in the 2021 AFL Draft. Photos: @WAFLOfficial

With two picks in the top 10 and a host of WA talent there for the taking, Fremantle is well set for the 2021 AFL Draft.

With Adam Cerra departed and Pick 6 received, the Dockers will again have a strong draft hand to continue building their burgeoning list. Cerra’s departure leaves the club with little depth in the engine room. 

Add to that the brilliant but ageing David Mundy and captain Nat Fyfe’s long-term injury and the hopes of the club are pinned to the capable but young shoulders of Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong.

The two gun midfielders need help in the centre square. The Dockers should be able to provide that with one of their top-10 picks, while the other could be reserved for a key forward that can help the club rise up the rankings from the worst goal accuracy side in the league.

With Pick 19, the Dockers will be fielding offers from the closure of Wednesday night’s first round and could move on from that selection if an option presents.

Pick 19 is a valuable commodity in the AFL Draft this year because it’s the first selection on the second night of the draft. That means all other 17 clubs can formulate trade packages over the next 24 hours for that selection if they look what’s remaining on the board. 

Geelong and Richmond with its multitude of second-rounders could present as options for Fremantle here, while a premiership-contending club may even offer up a future first-rounder for the selection if they eye someone who could contribute in 2022.

READ: AFL Draft Power Rankings: The Top 50 Prospects in 2021

2021 AFL Draft: NGA gun set to elude Fremantle

Fremantle is one of the biggest casualties of new NGA rules, with livewire forward Jesse Motlop set to be taken before the club can match a bid after Pick 40. He was brilliant in the WAFL this season, with his elite pressure, dazzling sidestep and goal nous all featuring in the WAFL Grand Final for South Fremantle.

Eric Benning is one who could find his way to the Dockers later in the piece. His athleticism as a ruckman was on show in the State Championships and he had some eye-catching moments with ball in hand. Benning played for Claremont in the Colts this season.

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2021 AFL Draft: Fremantle boast brilliant hand

Fremantle draft selections: 6, 8, 19, 61, 69, 84

The Dockers have interviewed all of the top prospects in the draft with the chance someone in that elite bracket falls to them.

That someone could be Josh Ward. He has been a premier midfielder of the NAB League this season and was awarded captaincy of the NAB League team of the season. A dogged runner and silky ball user, he would fit well with Brayshaw and Serong.

Two Subiaco Lions should be in the frame here as well.

Neil Erasmus was unable to show his ability in the second half of the year due to injury, but there’s a lot of excitement about what he could be at the next level. He’s a brilliant forward with his contested marking and goal-kicking knack, but electrified with his performances through the middle of the ground and has scope to become a very good midfielder at the next level.

Matthew Johnson has the height, soft hands and composure of a Scott Pendlebury type and looks like a midfielder for the future. His second half of the season was consistently great with a good State Championships, and he looks to have all the time in the world whenever he gets the ball. There are question marks on his contested ability still, but he’s a tantalising prospect.

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Ben Hobbs could also be in the frame here, with his contested ability as good as it gets in this draft pool. He has suitors before the Dockers’ first pick, and they may need to take him at that spot with the Tigers interested in between their two selections as well.

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With their other selection, the Dockers could be looking at dead-eye Jye Amiss. The key forward kicked the most goals in the WAFL Colts this season for East Perth, with his acceleration off the mark, great hands and relaxed set shot all highlights of his play.

If Pick 19 is traded on the second night of the draft, Jacob van Rooyen would be a heavy consideration given his swingman capabilities. He has lit up the Colts with his goal-kicking but also done jobs for his state in defence. The Dockers may ignore all trade offers if he’s still available at this stage.

Two more lively types that they would consider at this point are Arlo Draper and Campbell Chesser.

Draper has slid down some orders after injuries and inconsistent performances, but his x-factor in the forward half is appealing and he has the size to make a move into the midfield.

Chesser has also been cruelled by injuries but is one of the best athletes in this draft and has shown his ability in previous years. Chesser was a co-captain of Vic Country in the Under 16s and got awarded All-Australian honours at the carnival.

Like Draper, he has x-factor ability, but is more likely to shift onto a wing as his career develops where he can use his elite pace on the edge of stoppages.

If the Dockers are hellbent on acquiring Jesse Motlop regardless of NGA rules, this will be the pick to do it.

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About Jasper Chellappah 231 Articles
Jasper writes on Aussie Rules, basketball, tennis and netball for The Inner Sanctum. His main area is player analysis, with a keen focus on the AFL Draft. He also lends his voice to The Checkside and the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast each week.

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