16/04/2024

Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher will join the Brisbane Lions in the 2022 AFL Draft.

The Lions are set to complete their boon off-season on Monday night, bringing in top prospects Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher.

Brisbane heads into the 2022 AFL Draft in arguably the most enviable position in history.

The Lions, on the back of a strong recruiting drive during the AFL Trade period, are set to add consensus top pick Will Ashcroft alongside fellow father-son Jaspa Fletcher, who would likely garner a selection inside the first round.

Given that two of the best talents in this year’s pool are already tied to the Lions, there’s only a matter of wait and see to find out how much draft capital they will lose.

READ: AFL Draft Power Rankings: The top 50 prospects in 2022

Brisbane’s draft hand: 34, 35, 36, 38, 55

Father-son superstars in waiting

The Lions have had a commitment from both Ashcroft and Fletcher will in advance of Monday’s draft, which means the most agonising wait for last year’s preliminary finalists has been seeing what they’ll have to give up in terms of draft picks.

Ashcroft looms as one of the best midfield prospects to come out of the juniors in some time and would be the consensus pick for the first overall selection in an open draft, while Fletcher is a ready-made on-baller who can come straight in and make an impact in an already stacked Brisbane engine room.

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The Lions smartly traded to target the players they wanted during the AFL Trade period as well as bolstering their late-round selections to cover bids that will inevitably come for both boys.

Are there any other moves to make?

The by-product of having such a strong father-son hand, compounded by a strong AFL Trade period, means the Lions will likely not be players outside of their set-in-stone selections.

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It would be remiss of Brisbane Lions fans to complain however, with the off-season coup of getting Josh Dunkley, Conor McKenna and Jack Gunston in a recruiting drive that should see them once again be contenders in 2023.

Will the Lions go into deficit?

Heading into the 2022 AFL Draft the only question for the Brisbane Lions is how much they’re going to have to pay to see Ashcroft and Fletcher land at the Den.

The Lions will be prepared to pay whatever the price is for both boys considering their immense talent, but two early bids on the father-son duo could see them have to eat into next year’s selections to cover the points cost.

If they go into deficit, it won’t impact their 2023 draft too much as they’ve already traded out their first-round selection, meaning the points hit would impact their second-rounder via Geelong.

It’s a problem that all other 17 clubs would love to have, with Ashcroft and Fletcher projecting to be hugely impactful players for the Lions almost immediately, and for the next decade.

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