Geelong boasts four second-round picks in the 2021 AFL Draft – should the Cats rejuvenate their list with local talents from the Falcons?
After a preliminary final exit to back-up grand final heartbreak, the Cats’ list isn’t getting any younger and the rebuild can’t be delayed much longer.
Touted by pundits as the ‘sweet spot’ in the draft, the second round looks to have some excellent value with an even crop of prospects all the way through to 40 in the draft.
The Cats are set to come out of the draft with four prospects in that range, which could see them walk away as the big winners on draft night.
2021 AFL Draft: Will Geelong eye off a trade up?
Geelong’s current selections: 22, 30, 32, 34, 50, 91
With four selections in the second round and another in the third, the Cats have some chips that could be utilised at the trade table. A package of two selections in the 30s would tempt a club looking for more picks in that range, with value on offer due to the lack of football played in Victoria and across the country over the past two years.
Brisbane’s Pick 18 could be a target. The Lions’ pick is obviously worth more than any of the Cats’ selections, but the final pick on night one is slightly less desirable than an early pick on night two. This is because it gives clubs an opportunity to field any and all calls for that selection over the next 24 hours to find the best deal available to them.
A package of 22 and 34 for Pick 18 could help the Cats grab the prospect that’s highest on their board, while giving the Lions an opportunity to find a deal for that early night two selection.Embed from Getty Images
Additionally, the Bulldogs will be moving Pick 23 early on draft night and the Cats could take the opportunity to offer their second-round selection in 2022 as well as one of their picks in the 30s to move up the board. It would give the Dogs the points to match a bid for Sam Darcy while also strengthening their hand in a future draft.
Moving in the other direction, there are clubs looking to move into the draft and Geelong could take the opportunity to strengthen their hand in 2022. Essendon will be looking to move their future second selection on draft night, and the Cats have 30, 32 and 34 to consider trading away for that selection on the second night.
Options will be plentiful for the Cats to make trades on Wednesday and Thursday.
2021 AFL Draft: Geelong in the ‘sweet spot’ of second round
Geelong has continually topped up over the years with experienced players as it mounts further challenges on the flag and extends its premiership window. Now in the twilight years of so many of its stars including Tom Hawkins and Joel Selwood, it’s the perfect time to rejuvenate its ageing list with a bounty in the draft.
Around this mark are two Geelong Falcons prospects who the Cats have had eyes on for the past few years.
Mitch Knevitt is a bullocking midfielder with tantalising athletic traits. His speed-endurance mix is highly sought after, and his end to the NAB League season saw him as one of the best players in the competition.
Knevitt’s final game was a 36-disposal, one goal demolition of the Bendigo Pioneers. The Cats are moving on from Charlie Constable, and he would be a fantastic addition to the list at 193 centimetres.
His Falcons teammate Toby Conway was putting the ball down his throat all year. An aggressive ruckman that has good endurance and tidy disposal, Conway offers shades of Reilly O’Brien and could be the long-term solution for a club that has cried out for a good ruckman since the day of Brad Ottens.Embed from Getty Images
Outside of the Falcons, Angus Sheldrick is a hard-nut midfielder that led WA to three wins over SA in the State Championships. He has steadily risen throughout the year off the back of an insatiable work-rate and brilliant contested traits.
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With the Cats continually struggling to find an answer down back, two mature-agers could appeal as plug-and-play propositions.
The VFL’s best young player in 2021, Charlie Dean is an intercepting machine at 195 centimetres and has shown his AFL capabilities against the bigger bodies. He was a standout for Williamstown all season and looks set to play senior football early in 2022.
Standing alongside Dean is one of the SANFL’s premier interceptors in the back-end of 2021 – Leek Alleer. Breaking the AFL Combine’s running vertical jump record, Alleer has all the wares of a top-level intercepting defender who can also blanket his opponent.
One of these two should be in the radar early in the second round of the 2021 AFL Draft for Geelong.
In need of a bonafide goal sneak, the Cats could also turn to Judson Clarke or Jesse Motlop.
Clarke has electrified in the NAB League, but showed his true ability with five goals in a Vic Metro vs Country trial and is well-and-truly in consideration for a selection on the first night of the draft.Embed from Getty Images
Motlop is a Fremantle NGA prospect that will end up in the open pool given the Dockers can’t match a bid inside the top 40. He has matched it with bigger bodies in the WAFL all season and kicked the first goal of South Fremantle’s Grand Final.
To round out the prospects in the second round, Tom Brown (son of Paul) has missed father-son eligibility for Geelong by just 16 games. Despite this, he may still be taken by the Cats.
Brown is a rebounder who offers silky skills, defensive instincts and a composed head in the back half. His athletic traits were on display at the combine and he shapes as a high-floor prospect that the Cats can bring into their system.
Geelong doesn’t have any father-son or NGA options in the 2021 AFL Draft.
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