Since the players drafted in 2012 are only three and a half years into the AFL system, this redraft will combine the player’s achievements so far, as well as the future potential I see them being capable of.
This article is not suggesting that a club ‘should have’ or ‘could have’ taken the player mentioned beside them in the redraft. If one club drafted a ruckman in 2012, I’m not suggesting they should’ve taken a midfielder instead. Rather, this redraft will highlight the best of the 2012 draft so far.
This redraft will include father/son selections, but rookie-drafted players will be omitted. This rules out the likes of Kane Mitchell, Jack Frost, Callum Sinclair, Adam Oxley, Dane Rampe, Brett Goodes and Jake Lloyd - all of whom have started their careers off brightly.
Lastly, it is important to note the two mini-draft selections (Jack Martin for Gold Coast and Jesse Hogan for Melbourne) will not be included. I’ll start by listing the real order of the 2012 AFL Draft and then will begin the redraft.
2012 AFL DRAFT
Pick 1: Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney)
Pick 2: Jonathan O'Rourke (Greater Western Sydney)
Pick 3: Lachlan Plowman (Greater Western Sydney)
Pick 4: Jimmy Toumpas (Melbourne)
Pick 5: Jake Stringer (Western Bulldogs)
Pick 6: Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
Pick 7: Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide)
Pick 8: Sam Mayes (Brisbane Lions)
Pick 9: Nick Vlastuin (Richmond)
Pick 10: Joe Daniher F/S (Essendon)
Pick 1 (Greater Western Sydney) – Ollie Wines
Like Chad Wingard in 2011, Ollie Wines has been the stand out talent from this draft group.
Selected with pick 7 by Port Adelaide in 2012, Ollie Wines couldn’t have started his career off any better. 57 games (played the first 50 consecutively), 26 goals and he’s already in Port’s leadership group.
His hunger for the contest is inspiring. He’s a tough inside midfielder who provides grunt, hardness and impact at the contest. He’s a see-ball, get-ball player who knows how to gather up the possessions consistently.
He can burst through packs, he can tackle, he can kick goals and he’s a quality leader. He is averaging 22 disposals and 5 tackles a game over his young career.
The question on everyone’s mind is: Why didn’t Melbourne draft Wines with pick 4, knowing that he and Jack Viney were best friends? Hmm...Oh well, you win some and you lose some.
Pick 2 (Greater Western Sydney) – Jake Stringer
This pick made its way to the Giants via a trade with the Suns, which saw the Giants’ 1st pick in the mini-draft go to the Suns, and the 2nd pick in the national draft go to the Giants. Other picks were exchanged as well.
The Suns drafted Jack Martin with their mini-draft pick, whilst the Giants drafted Jonathan O'Rourke, who is now at Hawthorn. However, enough with the background information... Jake Stringer, the exciting forward from the Western Bulldogs was drafted with the fifth pick in 2012.
Injuries have limited him to 39 games, but 63 goals is a remarkable return for Stringer. He’s a great size for a forward at 192cm. He’s explosive, he’s quick, he’s creative and he is strong. He knows where the goals are and his defensive pressure and contested marking all make for an awesome highlight reel.
He lights up the Bulldogs forward line, and as I’ve said before, he brings a spark and unpredictability factor to a former stagnant Bulldogs forward 50.
Watch out, as he will push up into the midfield when he improves his engine. To date, him and Jack Crisp are the most improved players in 2015.
Pick 3 (Greater Western Sydney) – Jackson Macrae
GWS received pick 3 in 2012 after they traded the 2nd pick in the mini-draft to Melbourne. Melbourne drafted Jesse Hogan and GWS drafted a defender, Lachlan Plowman. Plowman is still developing, so Jackson Macrae takes the third spot in my 2012 redraft.
Macrae was drafted to the Bulldogs with the 6th pick (the compensation pick for Callan Ward) in the 2012 draft.
Like Stringer, Macrae has been a wonderful recruit for the Dogs. 44 games into his career and Macrae has already proven to be an exciting and smooth weapon in the midfield for the Dogs.
like Bontempelli, Macrae has great size for a midfielder. His run and carry can be damaging, and his ability to rack up the disposals (43 possessions is his career-high) so early into his career is exciting.
Pick 4 (Melbourne) – Jack Viney
Pick 4 in 2012 was allocated to the Melbourne Demons, as the compensation pick for the controversial exit of Tom Scully.
They went with Jimmy Toumpas. Everyone says they should have gone with Ollie Wines. Funnily enough, Jack Viney (drafted via F/S, pick 26) is the fourth pick in this redraft.
Like his good friend Ollie Wines, Viney came into the AFL with a mature-body, ready for professional football.
Viney is a raging bull. He is a hard nut, tough-as-nails kind of footballer. His disposal needs a lot of work, but there is one thing that Viney has that is unteachable; his attack and hunger for the contest.
For such a young player, he holds an important presence for Melbourne at stoppages. Injuries have held him to 39 games, but his career averages of 19 disposals, 4 tackles and 3 marks a game should not be scoffed at.
He’s a great kid with an exciting future ahead of him. If he continues to emulate Nathan Jones, Viney could have a long and successful career at the Demons.
Pick 5 (Western Bulldogs) – Lachie Whitfield
Lachie Whitfield was drafted number one overall in 2012, selected by the GWS Giants. He’s a skillful, classy midfielder who has shown great signs in his first 41 games with the club.
Whitfield is perhaps overshadowed at times by his starring teammates (Shiel, Treloar, Greene, Ward), but he is still a quality player and an exciting prospect for the Giants.
He’s a great size for a midfielder, he has speed to burn, he is incredibly skillful and he is a strong overhead mark. A consistent run of games and a few more preseason’s will do Whitfield the world of good.
He averaged 20 disposals and 6 marks a game over his young career. I can’t wait to see what he is like at game 100.
Pick 6 (Western Bulldogs) – Brodie Grundy
As I mentioned earlier, the Bulldogs received this pick as a compensation for Callan Ward. They drafted Jackson Macrae (who moved up three spots in my redraft), but Brodie Grundy lands this spot in my redraft.
Collingwood selected the ruckman with the 18th pick in 2012. At only 21 years of age, Grundy has exceeded all expectations, shouldering the majority (if not all) of Collingwood’s ruck work since the departure of Darren Jolly.
Grundy is a big, athletic ruckman who works tirelessly around the ground. He is strong, incredibly physical and a player who uses his aggression. His second and third efforts at the stoppages are noteworthy, and his tackling provides great support for his midfielders.
At 21, and having played only 32 games, Grundy’s upside is scary. Well, exciting for Collingwood, and scary for everyone else. He is a player who gets better and better with each game played.
Before his neck injury a few weeks ago, he was averaging 16 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles and 24 hit outs a game. He is exactly what Collingwood needed.
Pick 7 (Port Adelaide) – Nick Vlastuin
Richmond drafted Nick Vlastuin with the 9th pick in the 2012 draft. Vlastuin is a halfbacker who has made a really strong start to his career with the Tigers.
At this point in his career, he plays a good uncontested, outside game. His contested possessions need work, but that will come with more experience in the midfield.
Vlastuin provides great run for the Tigers from defense. He has just hit the 50-game milestone and he already looks like a future leader for the club.
As a young defender, Vlastuin has already exhibited his ability to play smart, tough and composed football. I see him being a 250 game player for the Tigers and a wonderful contributor off half back, or in the middle, for the club.
He has been a quality second-tier player for Richmond in 2015, and Vlastuin’s future looks very exciting.
Pick 8 (Brisbane Lions) – Joe Daniher
Joe Daniher was a father/son selection for Essendon in 2012, and they used the 10th pick in the national draft to get him.
Interestingly, Brisbane is desperate for a key forward, but Daniher was already locked and loaded as a Bomber.
Joe Daniher has the makings of being a super full forward for the Bombers. He has been blessed with many gifts that could turn him into a dominant forward in the future. He has great size, great athleticism, extraordinary speed for his frame and a good pair of hands. There’s one problem...he really struggles in front of goal.
His ability to mark the ball at its highest point will be a career-defining highlight. He needs to bulk up and kick straight, and if he manages to do so, he could cause headaches for defenders.
He was Essendon’s leading goal-kicker last year with 28 goals and has 21 to his name this season. In a young and inexperienced forward line, Daniher just needs time. He has 38 games and 52 goals on his young CV.
There is a boatload of untapped talent ahead for Daniher, and if he can capitalize on all of his attributes, he will be a starring forward in this league.
Pick 9 (Richmond) – Troy Menzel
Carlton scooped up the exciting Troy Menzel with the 11th pick in the 2012 draft. Niggling injuries have limited him 34 games, but Menzel has already proved how dangerous and damaging he can be in Carlton’s forward line.
Along with Stringer, Menzel could be one of the most exciting talents in this draft. Don’t give him space and don’t give him time, because Menzel will embarrass you.
He has cemented a spot in Carlton’s forward line, but Menzel could push up into the midfield if he gets his body right.
He is fast, he can tackle and he can cause chaos. He brings excitement and a spark to Carlton’s predictable forward line.
He has kicked 46 career goals and made a huge impact last season, kicking 26 goals from 18 games.
He is a wonderful prospect with a huge future ahead of him.
Pick 10 (Essendon) - Jackson Thurlow
This last spot was a difficult one to choose. But, I’ve gone with Jackson Thurlow, who was drafted with the 16th pick in 2012 by Geelong.
Thurlow is a defender who been a big improver in 2015 for the Cats. He has played 20 career games (10 this season), and already, like Nick Vlastuin, plays with poise, smarts and toughness.
He is a good defender who provides plenty of run and rebound football from the back half. He will take over from Corey Enright when Enright hangs up the boots, but the Cats would be thrilled with his early development.
In 2015, he has been averaging 19 disposals and 6 marks a game. The Cats may have found another gem in Jackson Thurlow. Watch out.
My next three redrafted picks:
Pick 11 – Sam Mayes (originally pick 8)
Pick 12 – Jimmy Toumpas (originally pick 4)
Pick 13 – Nathan Hrovat (originally pick 21)
It’s definitely too early to tell, but the class of 2012 are showing signs of being an exciting young bunch of players.
The Bulldogs did a brilliant job with their two top ten picks in this draft. Along with Stringer and Macrae, they picked up Lachie Hunter and Nathan Hrovat, and Brett Goodes in the rookie draft.
Collingwood did a solid job as well. They drafted Grundy, Tim Broomhead and Ben Kennedy with three consecutive picks. And, in the rookie draft, they added Adam Oxley and emerging defender, Jack Frost.
Along with Daniher, Essendon picked up Marty Gleeson with pick 53, and he seems to be a good player.
GWS’ drafting in 2012 is the interesting one. Two high draft picks, Jonathan O'Rourke (pick 2) and Kristian Jaksch (pick 12) are already gone, whilst many of their other prospects are still developing.
Let’s take a look back at this redraft when this group hits 100 games. Who do you think will be the movers and the sliders in and out of the top ten?
So, did I get this right? Who would you redraft with the top ten picks in the 2012 AFL Draft?