AFL Phantom Draft 2021

The Inner Sanctum's AFL Phantom Draft for 2021.

The Inner Sanctum's AFL Phantom Draft for 2021 looks ahead to the second night of the draft, with picks from 21 onwards set to be selected.

The Inner Sanctum’s AFL Phantom Draft for 2021 looks ahead to the second night of the draft, with picks from 21 onwards set to be selected.

Fremantle will be on the clock at 7:30pm AEDT, after securing the selection in the Will Brodie trade from Gold Coast.

Expect trades to come thick and fast as clubs attempt to scramble up the board and snap up prospects they rate highly. The Tigers’ three consecutive selections in the second round, as well as the Cats and Dees’ picks could be on the table, with the Bombers one team confirmed to be trying to move up the board.

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

For all your information on draft, free agency, trades, retirements and delistings stay up to date with The Inner Sanctum’s AFL off-season hub.


The Inner Sanctum’s 2021 AFL Phantom Draft Night 2

Matthew Johnson is the big slider from night one, invited to the event in WA but not finding a home akin to Deven Robertson in 2019. The classy midfielder shouldn’t have to wait too much longer, with the Dockers having considered him at Pick 8 (10) on the first. night.

Jesse Motlop finished the season in scintillating form, producing goals for South Fremantle in the WAFL Grand Final. The son of Daniel is mercurial and evasive, and will be a high-pressure forward at AFL level

Tyler Sonsie is as silky as it gets in this draft class, but has had an inconsistent season with injuries hampering his impact. At his best the Hawks are gaining a starting-calibre midfielder, but it may take some patience to get it out of him.

Mitch Knevitt bolted into first-round contention at the end of the season with superb performances for the Falcon. The Cats are needing to inject some youth to their midfield and the tall, athletic local talent is a brilliant option.

With back to back picks the Cats might take best available, and Arlo Draper can be anything at the next level. He’s agile and quick, able to play tall or small in the forward line and planning a move into the midfield at some point in his career.

The Hawks have kept tabs on Rhett Bazzo, with the WA defender a nice interceptor who projects to become a really good AFL defender. He’s got the right temperament and uses the ball well out of the backline as well.

GWS will match this bid where it comes, with Josh Fahey producing some of the best defensive drive of anyone in the pool. He’s quick and has good endurance, able to take 15 metres before using his penetrating left leg to clear 50 metres of ground.

Judson Clarke is one of the best small forwards in the class. He’s got some tricks, but at his best his timing to crumb balls of packs and snap goals in on point, and he becomes a very difficult player to slow down.

Mitch Owens made it through the first round, so the Saints will match a bid anywhere it comes. He’s a brave wingman who is good in the air and has good endurance already. Owens is one of the big risers this season.

Richmond will have three picks in a row but one of them could be moved. Josh Goater slides to this point in a big surprise, and he’s has too much upside for the Tigers to pass on. Goater could be the steal of the draft given his elite athleticism and contested flashes.

Zac Taylor might be the best kick inside 50 in the draft, able to use the ball on both feet and hit chests without any difficulty. He’s the type of midfielder that is two steps ahead, knowing what he’s doing before he gets the ball in his hands.

Blake Howes has a superb second half of the season as he transitioned onto a wing. His athleticism is elite and he’s a good mark above his head. Howes projects to become one of the best link-up players in this draft.

Sam Butler – the brother of St Kilda’s Dan – has good midfield craft and exits stoppages with a lot of power. He also has good forward nous and knows where the goals are at all times. He should start his career as a small forward before shifting into the midfield.

Toby Conway is the best pure ruckman in the draft, and has suitors across the board. He’s aggressive and tidy with disposal, plus has good endurance and is a smart footballer. The Cats would be rapt to grab him here.

Alastair Lord finished the SANFL Under-18s exceptionally well and is one of the most aggressive runners off half-back in the pool. He has blazing pace and a will to take everyone on, which can get him in trouble but also results in a lot of scores for his team.

Corey Warner had a good season, but his combine puts him over the top as a genuine second-round prospect. He finished first in WA for the running vertical leap, standing vertical jump and was exceptional in his 2-kilometre time trial. Warner could be an elite wingman at the next level, with more of an outside mould than his brother Chad.

Cooper Murley had an injury interrupted campaign in 2021, but clubs know how good he is in full flight. He had a brilliant Under-16s State Championships, with the midfielder regularly finding the goals and doing nice stuff forward of centre consistently.

The Saints will have the opportunity to match both Owens and Marcus Windhager bids. The NGA prospect is a bull at stoppages, with raw power and aggression. There are kinks to round out before he appears at AFL level, but as a blank canvass Windhager is about as good as it gets.

Mature-ager Greg Clark has claim to being the best midfielder outside of the AFL right now. He had a terrific season in the WAFL with Subiaco which culminated in the 2021 premiership. He’s a big body at 194 centimetres and is a tackling machine, as well as hitting the scoreboard and moving around the ground well.

Blake Schlensog is one fo the best key defenders at state level, and at just 20 years old is one for the future as well. North is in need of a Robbie Tarrant replacement, and Schlensog has the size to fit that position well.

Connor MacDonald slides a bit here, with clubs not getting a great deal of vision on him this year. He’s a consistent midfielder that runs all day and steps up in the big moments. The Dees can continue to take best available here.

Sydney loves its contested players that can use the ball well, and Jake Soligo is all of that. He’s smaller but pouts his head over the ball courageously and wins it a good percentage, while also using is exceptionally well going forward.

Matthew Roberts has slid a bit this year, but the Lions will be interested in his contested ability for the future. He’s aggressive and doesn’t shirk a contest – if he can improve his ball use he’ll be a good AFL player.

Eamon Wilkinson has been superb in the SANFL, kicking 19 goals in 18 games but more importantly proving himself as the best pressure forward in the league. He averages 4.3 tackles per game and applies himself to every contest in the forward half.

Sam Banks should be the first Tasmanian off the board, with the Devils captain proving he’s a great prospect with run and carry from the back half. He’s a good ball user and has shown an ability to push up the ground as well.

Charlie Dean deserves his opportunity, and he should get it after winning the VFL’s best first year player award. He’s an intercepting defender that has shown flashes up forward as well and projects to become a very good player in the league when he adds more size to his frame.

Brady Hough has come from the clouds this year and will excite Essendon as a rapidly developing player that can play across all three areas of the ground. His best football might be on a wing where his marking and field kicking comes to the fore.

Ned Long falls here, but not due to ability. He had an untimely injury in the season, with the 194-centimetre midfielder previously looking a very exciting prospect. Long can go forward and take contested marks, and the contested side of his game in general is very good.

Paul Curtis is a lively goal-kicking forward that tackles hard and is always involved in the play. The Dons have looked for a small forward in the trade period and Curtis presents as the best option at this stage of the draft.

The Dees round out their draft with a father-son decision. They should pick up Taj Woewodin, who has elite athleticism and has had a good season with East Fremantle. With some work over pre-seasons he could become a damaging outside midfielder.

Lukas Cooke is a mobile tall that has kicked bags in the SANFL Under-18s all season. He’s really good on the lead, but will need to add some kilos to his frame before he pushes for senior selection.

Lachlan Rankin is a busy small forward that manages to bob up and convert his opportunities whenever they present. He was one of the best small forwards in the NAB League this season.

Kade Dittmar put in a superb State Championships and deserves a list spot. He is aggressive and unselfish in the middle of the park, with a big frame to protect space and smart decision making while he’s in contested situations. He needs to round out his game but the Dockers could use the determination of Dittmar.

The Power will pick up another Burgoyne, with Jase an electrifying defender that takes the game on. His kicking is currently inconsistent but his pace and agility is eye-catching, and it’s a package that could make for a very good half-back.

Lewis Rayson produced well for the SA, captaining the state in the State Championships. He runs off the half-back line and uses the ball exceptionally well. Add to that his leadership capabilities and Rayson is a nice prospect for the Blues to look at.

Josh Cripps had a successful return from his ACL tear in his draft year. His final game of the State Championships showed what he was capable of as a ruckman with his aggression in stoppages a standout. Cripps is taller and bigger than his brother Patrick, with the Eagles needing to plan for the future at the ruck position.

Jai Serong is much taller than his brother, and able to play several positions across the ground. He could start his career as a third-tall in the forward line with his pace and vertical jump both elite.

Jackson Archer will join Bailey Scott as father-sons on North’s list. The son of Glenn is similar in his uncompromising approach and defensive mindset. Archer will spend time in the VFL next year while he rounds out his game.

Port Adelaide will decide if it picks up Trent Dumont through the national or rookie draft, or as a delisted free agent. He adds immediate competition is a wingman that uses the ball well and has good experience at AFL level.

Jack Avery has been superb for Perth this year, playing as a 190-centimetre defender that can play above his height and use the ball well. As a 19-year-old, he averaged 34 disposals in the Colts before moving up to league level.

The Crows will look at James Willis as a player that can burst out of stoppages as a midfielder and regularly hit the scoreboard. He’s quick and tough, with the only question marks on his ball use and decision making.

The Suns need to take two selections on the second night, and Charlie Constable is a player that has shown promise whenever he’s played at AFL level for Geelong. It’s a low risk pick-up that might pay off for the Suns.

Rory Thompson will be re-added to the Suns list at the end of the draft after being delisted by the club.

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3 thoughts on “The Inner Sanctum’s 2021 AFL Phantom Draft Night 2

  1. I really like your phantom draft it’s base a lot around needs not best available and a part from the first couple of players it’s a very even draft.
    If GWS go with Mac Andrew at pick 4, it could be a genuine move or a disaster, either way he’ll be worth the risk.

  2. Would love more explanation on how a small forward fits a need for St Kilda. Saints have moved Lonie on, barely resigned Kent, have seen Sharman emerge with Butler and Higgins still in there. Gresham likely to return and play mid/forward… None of those guys I’ve mentioned are particularly old…

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