2007. The year of Kevin 07. The year the final Harry Potter book was released. The year the iPhone was released, and the year Barack Obama officially declared he was running for president.
What could be more important than these moments? The 2007 AFL draft brought us Patrick Dangerfield, Trent Cotchin, Taylor Walker and Cyril Rioli.
This draft produced a handful of superstars, a long list of quality players, and as expected, a couple ‘cover your eyes’ mistakes.
2007 AFL draft
Pick 1: Matthew Kruezer (Carlton)
Pick 2: Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
Pick 3: Chris Masten (West Coast)
Pick 4: Cale Morton (Melbourne
Pick 5: Jarrad Grant (Western Bulldogs)
Pick 6: David Myers (Essendon)
Pick 7: Rhys Palmer (Fremantle)
Pick 8: Lachlan Henderson (Brisbane)
Pick 9: Ben McEvoy (St Kilda)
Pick 10: Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide)
Pick 1 (Carlton) – Patrick Dangerfield
Explosive. Destructive. Exhilarating. Dangerous. Pick 10? How?
Adelaide will be counting its blessings for the fact that they were able to scoop up Dangerfield with pick 10 in the 2006 draft. He is the most exciting midfielder in the AFL: a goal kicking, match-winning, breathtaking player who will break Crows fans hearts if he skips off to Geelong in the offseason.
He’s a two-time All Australian and club co-captain in 2014. He hasn’t even played 150 games, but is my redrafted number one pick.
Pick 2 (Richmond) – Trent Cotchin
Do you think Richmond would have guessed that Cotchin, at only 25 years of age, would be club captain, three-time best and fairest winner, 2012 All-Australian and AFLCA Player of the Year in 2012?
Cotchin is class. If his 2012 season wasn’t impressive enough, he also polled second best in the Brownlow Medal. He is a classy, skilled player who is also a great leader, although he needs to kick more goals as a midfielder.
He’s a bit stiff not to be number one based on his credentials, but it came down to which player would I pick first in my team.
Pick 3 (West Coast) – Cyril Rioli
West Coast really missed the boat here. They went with Masten, who is a good player who can kick goals – but Cyril! Oh well, all credit to Hawthorn, who just kept adding gems to their eventual premiership list (hindsight is a wonderful thing).
Where do I start with Cyril? He is just so goddamn lovable and exciting to watch. He does every one percenter known to mankind. He chases, he tackles, he does the spectacular – and he does it often. Unfortunately injuries have kept his buzz to a minimum of late, but Cyril will always be Cyril. He is electrifying to watch. He can run through the midfield and crum at your feet in the one play.
I’ll mention briefly that he’s a three-time premiership player, was All-Australian in 2012, and won the Goal of The Year in 2009.
Pick 4 (Melbourne) – Harry Taylor
In hindsight, Melbourne supporters would be fuming at their club’s selection in 2007. With all the talent available, Melbourne and Morton did not turn out to be a happily ever after story.
However, Geelong fans would be rejoicing. The club selected Harry Taylor with the 17th pick in 2006, but he is my fifth redrafted pick in 2015.
Taylor is an incredible footballer who often does not get the credit he deserves. He has been the consistent pillar in defence for the Cats ever since his debut season. He excels in one-on-one contests, can read and intercept the play like very few in the AFL, can kick a goal if you really need him to, and has been extremely consistent over his 170-game career.
He’s a two-time premiership player, two-time All Australian, he famously kept Nick Riewoldt to one goal in the 2009 grand final, and has averaged 16 disposals and six marks over his career.
Pick 5 (Western Bulldogs) – Callan Ward
The Bulldogs originally drafted Ward with their 19th pick in this draft, and he played 60 games for the Dogs before moving to Greater Western Sydney in 2012. He was named co-captain of the Giants and actually kicked the first goal in the club’s history.
Ward is a leader. He is a tough midfielder, courageous player and will always be the player you find at the bottom of the pack. He is flat-out aggressive, and will always be one of the best players in a GWS performance, win, lose or draw.
He won the Giants’ very first best and fairest medal in 2012, and has averaged 22 disposals and 5 tackles over his 132 games.
Pick 6 (Essendon) – Taylor Walker
It’s almost unbelievable that Taylor Walker was the final draft selection in 2007, the crows taking him with the 75th pick. Remarkable.
He struggled early on with his form and his attitude towards the game, but you get the feeling Walker is a couple games away from breaking the competition apart. He is 24 years of age, the newly appointed captain of Adelaide, and the much-loved ‘Tex’ in South Australia. He’s only played 94 games in his career, partly due to a season-ending injury in 2013 and the early form issues, but Tex is on the verge of something incredible.
He’s kicked 223 goals and is a two-time leading goal-kicker at the Crows (kicked 63 in 2012).
He is relatively accurate in front of goal, can take a pack mark and has a ferocious attack on the ball.
Pick 7 (Fremantle) – Alex Rance
Rance was a priority pick for the Tigers, selected at 18th overall in 2006, and he has slowly improved every season he’s been on Richmond’s list, elevating himself to one of the best defenders in the AFL.
A physical player, Rance isn’t afraid of a one-one-one contest with the opposing team’s best forward. He is a courageous, skilled player who you can rely on.
Rance had an awesome 2014 season, named All-Australian and his team made the eight. He’s played 117 games, and other than Dangerfield, he could be the biggest free-agent target in the offseason. Ironic that Fremantle is supposedly pursuing him and I’ve redrafted him with their pick in 2006.
Will Rance travel? Will he retire? Will he go up North or stay with the yellow and black. Stay tuned...
Pick 8 (Brisbane) – Brad Ebert
West Coast selected Ebert with their 13th pick in this draft. He played three seasons in the west, before asking to be traded home to Port Adelaide, where his cousin Brett was playing.
Ebert has put together an excellent career, considering he was dropped every so often at West Coast due to his form. He’s played 158 games, kicking 82 goals and is known for being one of Port’s hardest working, most professional players. He is a tough midfielder, who will win the contested ball and tackle all day long. He is 25 years of age, in the prime of his career and should be one of the AFL’s premier midfielders in the next two seasons.
He’s the vice captain of the Port Adelaide football club since 2013, and has averaged 20 touches and five tackles over his young career.
(FYI, Brisbane selected Henderson with this pick, who they traded for Brendan Fevola… And, well, you know how that turned out.)
Pick 9 (St Kilda) – Jack Steven
Well done to St Kilda who were spot on with drafting Jack Steven in 2007. However, they actually drafted Ben McEvoy with this pick, and Steven joined the club via draft pick #42.
We call these kind of picks...absolute gems! In the past few years, Steven has developed himself into one of the best up-and-coming young midfielders in the game. He's explosive, he knows how to turn on the jets, and most importantly, he is damaging on the football field.
100 games in and Jack is one of St Kilda's most exciting players. He's a leader, he's ferocious and he loves the contest.
He won the Saints' B&F in 2013, and if the start to his 2015 season is anything to go by, he'll be adding a few more B&F's and some All-Australian selections to his name by the time he hits 150 games.
Pick 10 (Adelaide) – Chris Mayne
Fremantle drafted Chris Mayne with their 40th pick in 2007. Mayne isn’t a superstar, but he is a hardworking, consistent and well-performing forward who will probably be overshadowed by Matthew Pavlich until his retirement.
Mayne is known for his defensive pressure in the forward line. He tackles, he smothers, he chases and he sets up a lot of Fremantle’s goals with his pressure acts that often go unnoticed. He is one of the AFL’s most reliable, accurate shots at goal, and has kicked a very impressive 163 goals in his 138-game career.
He topped Fremantle’s goal kicking in 2011 and can be used down back if Freo needs. A remarkable talent who often goes under appreciated and under-the-radar outside of WA.
My next three redrafted picks:
Pick 11: Cale Hooker (originally pick 54)
Pick 12: Easton Wood (originally pick 43)
Pick 13: Scott Selwood (originally pick 22)
Cale Hooker was stiff to miss out. He is an All-Australian backman and is just as good as Rance, but in a struggling team. Easton Wood is having a stellar, All-Australian like year, and if this draft is revisited in a year or two time, I'm sure he will slide up into the top 10. Levi Greenwood and Matthew Lobbe are also quality names to have missed out.
Carlton didn’t have such a great draft. Kruezer is not a number one talent, although we may never know his full potential because he has been destroyed by injuries. Richmond recruited solidly, whilst North Melbourne and West Coast had a pretty respectable draft, picking up key position players and tough midfielders respectively.
However, if it isn’t obvious already, Adelaide takes home the chocolates for their recruiting in 2007. Dangerfield and Walker? Wow. Well done Crows, that was exceptional.