The 2005 draft was one of the deepest in AFL history. From Marc Murphy at #1, all the way down to Matthew Stokes at #61, there is quality sprinkled throughout.
Despite injuries and a bit of bad luck ending three of the top 10 players careers early, AFL recruiters can be very proud of what was achieved in the 2005 AFL Draft.
However, like the drafts before, it is time to redraft the top 10 of the 2005 draft. No rookie-drafted players have been included when putting together these articles.
Pick 1: Marc Murphy (Carlton)
Pick 2: Dale Thomas (Collingwood)
Pick 3: Xavier Ellis (Hawthorn)
Pick 4: Josh Kennedy (Carlton)
Pick 5: Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
Pick 6: Beau Dowler (Hawthorn)
Pick 7: Patrick Ryder (Essendon)
Pick 8: Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls (Richmond)
Pick 9: Mitchell Clark (Brisbane)
Pick 10: Marcus Drum (Fremantle)
Pick 1 (Carlton) – Scott Pendlebury
With out a doubt, Pendlebury is the number one pick of my redraft. How he slipped to pick five is almost unbelievable considering how much he’s achieved while still in the prime of his career, at only age 27.
He is the most classy, skilful and creative midfielder in the competition. Commentators often note how slow he makes the game look, with his composure under pressure one of his best assets.
His trophy room would be quite the spectacle, boasting three Copeland trophies, two Anzac Day Medals, the Norm Smith Medal in Collingwood’s 2010 premiership and he is a five-time All Australian.
He was the natural successor to Nick Maxwell’s captaincy in 2014 and played his 200th game in black and white this season. An outstanding career for the Magpie.
Pick 2 (Collingwood) – Marc Murphy
Murphy has carved out a terrific 194-game career, all with the Blues. Murphy has improved every season he has been in the competition, and has elevated himself to the elite midfielder category.
He’s kicked 146 career goals and has averaged 24 disposals over his career. He’s been the Carlton captain since 2013 and had an extraordinary 2011 season where he was named All-Australian, won Carlton’s best and fairest award, and was the Age Player of the Year.
His second half against the Crows a few weeks back exemplified the very best that Murphy has to offer.
The next level is to lead his side deep into the finals. But it may be a while...
Pick 3 (Hawthorn) – Nathan Jones
This is a big call, but Jones, originally pick 12 for the Demons, is my third pick.
Jones has been the shining light for Melbourne over the past few seasons; he is the heart and soul of that football club and was rewarded by being named co-captain in 2014, and sole captain in 2015.
He is the most ferocious midfielder in the AFL, a ball magnet, and will put his body on the line weekly. Since 2011, he’s averaged over 23 disposals a game and is a clearance machine. Jones has won the past three best and fairest for the Demons, and is their best player.
He would be rated a boatload more if he played for a contender. He's a star.
Pick 4 (Carlton) – Josh Kennedy
Well, Carlton got this pick right. But perhaps it ended wrong? In 2007 Kennedy was traded to West Coast as part of the high-profile exchange to get Chris Judd to Carlton. Since his move west, Kennedy has played 151 games and kick 331 goals.
He is a strong, consistent mark, who can dominate the forward 50 when he is on. He is also known for his unique stuttering approach to goal, which has helped him become one of the AFL’s most accurate set shots for goal. He’s led West Coast’s goal kicking three times and has had two 60-goal (and one 59 goal) seasons.
He bagged 11 goals straight against GWS last year, 10 against the Bulldogs in 2008, and bags of seven and eight against the Suns last season.
Pick 5 (Collingwood) – Grant Birchall
The Hawks got him with pick 14 in 2005, but Grant Birchall is the fifth overall pick in my redraft. Birchall is an elite half back flanker who runs and attacks all day for the Hawks. His penetrating left foot is one of the most valuable weapons the Hawks have as their disposal.
He’s averaged 22 possessions over his 201 game career and has been a consistent name in the Hawks’ line-up over his career. The kid from Tasmania is now a three-time premiership player and was named an All-Australian player in 2012.
Birchall has barely put a wrong foot forward in his 200 game career in the AFL.
He was drafted with pick 7 by the Bombers in 2005, but Ryder slides up one spot in my redraft. He played 170 games for the Bombers before signing with Port Adelaide in the offseason of 2014.
Ryder is a goal-kicking ruckman who is athletic, very quick and can take a strong mark. Consistency has always been the knock on him, but the move to Port should rejuvenate his career.
He averages 15 hit outs, 11 disposals and four marks a game over his career, but needs to elevate those numbers if he wants to be the All-Australian ruckman he was drafted to be.
Pick 7 (Essendon) – Dale Thomas
Thomas exploded onto the scene in 2006 as an excitement machine that could run, tackle, mark, kick and emulate the ‘freak’ of Steve Johnson. He was nominated for the Mark of the Year and Goal of the Year in the 2006 Anzac Day Game.
In his 157 games at Collingwood, he kicked 121 goals, played almost every position on the field and was arguably the most popular player in black and white. He was an All-Australian in 2011 and a part of the Collingwood premiership side in 2010.
However since then, bad injuries and poor form have crippled his career. He signed with Carlton in 2013 and has unfortunately only managed 25 games. His bad luck continued in Round 1, when he did his shoulder and he is now ruled out for the season. Don't forget his Collingwood days... he was a star there.
But unfortunately for Carlton, Daisy’s best is past him.
Pick 8 (Richmond) – Shannon Hurn
Hurn has played 163 career games and is the captain of the West Coast Eagles in 2015. It is unfair to compare, but the kid who Richmond actually drafted, Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls, only played 13 games.
Hurn is a half back flanker with a devastating kick, is a running rebound defender, and in the past few years has become the general for the Eagles’ defence.
Hurn is a reliable and consistent player for the Eagles and will thrive with the captaincy this season. I don't think anyone saw West Coast's emergence coming this year, so could Hurn taste some finals success this year?
Pick 9 (Brisbane) – Travis Varcoe
Travis Varcoe was a two-time premiership player for the Cats and remarkably won 114 out of 138 games while playing for Geelong. Varcoe is a quality utility who has had some trouble with injuries in the past few seasons. At his best, he can break open a game with his pace and efficient disposal. He is also a dangerous goal kicker (136 goals in his career) who can make big time plays using his class and skill.
He’s 27 now and should still be in his prime. The move to Collingwood this offseason has refreshed him, and his experience has been extremely valuable to their youthful side.
So far, you'd have to say, that Collingwood are winning the three-team trade with Varcoe having an awesome start to 2015.
Pick 10 (Fremantle) – Andrew Swallow
If I told you that the current North Melbourne captain was drafted at pick 43 in the third round of the 2005 national draft, would you believe me?
Swallow is a tough inside midfielder who works hard, tackles, clears the ball and is selfless. He’s averaged 21 disposals and six tackles over his 173 game career. His disposal is poor at times, but he is one player of the Kangaroos list who performs week in and week out.
He cops a lot of slack when North don’t play well but no doubt will be the one leading the way as North push for a top four spot in 2015.
My next three redrafted picksPick 11: Bernie Vince (originally pick 32)
Pick 12: Joel Patfull (originally pick 32)
Pick 13: Matthew Stokes (originally pick 61)
To show you just how deep this draft went, the players that I didn’t have room for in my redrafted 2005 list include Mitchell Clark, Shaun Higgins, Alipate Carlile, Sam Gilbert and Richard Douglas.
Collingwood was the stand out of this draft. Essendon and Adelaide also picked up two quality players each. Interestingly, besides Birchall, Hawthorn didn’t have a good drafting year at all.
So, did I get this right? Who would you redraft as the top 10 picks in the 2005 draft?