AFL 3 years ago

Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft

  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2010 AFL Draft
The 2010 AFL Draft was the last point of business for the Gold Coast Suns to tick off  before their inaugural AFL season in 2011.

I wrote down 30 names from this draft, all of whom have become worthy players in the AFL. However, that list will be reduced to ten as I redraft the class of 2010.

Since this draft class is only five years into the elite level, the list of players I choose will be based on a combination of existing value, future potential and a little bit of 'which ten players I would pick to build my team around'.

The likes of Luke Dahlhaus, Jeremy McGovern and Will Langford will not feature, as they were rookie-drafted in 2010, and I am not including rookie-drafted selections.

Harley Bennell has been in the newspapers recently, and I believe if I ask ten people where they'd redraft him today, I'd get different answers...so keep that in mind.

Obviously, the Gold Coast Suns dominate the top ten picks, but keep your eyes peeled for some wonderful picks by West Coast, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.

2010 AFL Draft
Pick 1: David Swallow (Gold Coast)
Pick 2: Harley Bennell (Gold Coast)
Pick 3: Sam Day (Gold Coast)
Pick 4: Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
Pick 5: Jared Polec (Brisbane)
Pick 6: Reece Conca (Richmond)
Pick 7: Josh Caddy (Gold Coast)
Pick 8: Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
Pick 9: Dion Prestia (Gold Coast)
Pick 10: Daniel Gorringe (Gold Coast)

REDRAFTED

Pick 1 (Gold Coast) - Luke Parker

How did Luke Parker get drafted at pick 40 in this draft? Does anyone have the answer? Steal. Bargain. Gem. Extraordinary.

Parker was an unbelievable get for the Swans. He is a mature-minded, mature-bodied midfielder. Parker is a hard-hitting, contested ball-winner who will tackle, mark, run and kick goals all day long.

He has established himself as one the breakout starts in the competition. He's an emerging leader at the Swans and an extremely courageous player.

Parker is the player you would just love to have lining up in your midfield every week. He averages 21 touches, three marks and four tackles over his 95 games and he's kicked an impressive 74 goals to go along with that.

2014 was a super year for him; he picked up the best and fairest honours at Sydney and was stiff to miss out on an All-Australian selection. And, just to add a cherry on top, he's also already a premiership player.

Pick 2 (Gold Coast) - Dyson Heppell
The Essendon recruitment team would be ecstatic after Heppell fell to them with the eighth pick in this draft.

One of the few positive stories to come out of Tullamarine in the past few years is the rise of Dyson Heppell. He is an intelligent footballer who plays similiarly to Scott Pendlebury.

From the minute he debuted in 2011, Heppell put the competition on notice that there was a new star in town. He plays with composure, flair and he is already a well-liked and well-respected player in the AFL.

In just his fifth season, Heppell is already averaging 24 disposals, five marks and four tackles a game. He won the AFL's Rising Star Award in 2011, as well as almost snaring Essendon's B&F in his first year with the club.

2014 was the year he confirmed his superstar credentials; being named All-Australian and winning his first best and fairest medal.

He's an incredibly consistent player who'll play his 100th game in three weeks time.

Pick 3 (Gold Coast) - Tom Liberatore
Technically, this would never of happened because Liberatore was a father/son selection for the Bulldogs, drafted with pick 41. However, he is still worthy of my third pick in this redraft.

In just a few seasons, Liberatore has quickly emerged as one of the Dogs' best and most important players, as well as one of the premier inside midfielders in the AFL.

Liberatore is tough, he loves the contest and he is a stoppage and tackling machine. In just 77 games, Liberatore has lived up to his famous surname. His career averages read as 23 disposals, three marks and six tackles a game.

2014 was a breakout year for him - he led the league in tackles and clearances, he finished eighth in contested possessions, he won his first B&F and he was also nominated for an All-Australian selection.

He is out for the entire season with an ACL, but he will no doubt lead the Bulldogs to some much desired finals success in the future.

Pick 4 (West Coast) - Dion Prestia
Dion Prestia is another prolific midfielder to have come out of the 2010 draft. Gold Coast drafted him with the ninth selection in the draft and would be absolutely thrilled with the output of his first 81 games as an AFL player.

Prestia is a small, tough, contested midfielder who's ball-winning skills are elite. At just 23 years of age, he plays deputy to Gary Ablett in the leadership group.

He is a master at the clearances and he works tirelessly both on offense and defense.

He finished second in the B&F in 2013, third in 2014, plus he's already nabbed 22 Brownlow votes for his career.

Before his season damaging knee injury, he was averaging 27 disposals and 5 tackles to start off the season in sizzling form. He was also in the top ten for both contested possessions and clearances per game.

Pick 5 (Brisbane) - Jack Darling
After some off-field behavioural issues, Darling fell to the West Coast Eagles with the 26th pick in the draft.

Darling, a former WAFL product, is a wonderful young centre half-forward who couldn't compliment Josh Kennedy and the Eagles' forward line any better.

In 93 games, he has kicked a remarkable 167 goals, leading West Coast's goal kicking in 2012 with a career-best 53 goals. Not only is he a very accurate kick in front of goal, he works relentlessly to keep the ball inside the Eagles' forward 50 with his defensive pressure.

Darling plays his role brilliantly; he gives the Eagles structure, and, he can be used all around the ground because of his flexibility, athleticism and stamina.

Pick 6 (Richmond) - Andrew Gaff
West Coast drafted Gaff with the fourth pick in the 2010 draft, and he has slowly developed into one of the Eagles' most dynamic players.

The rest of the competition is only starting to appreciate what Gaff can do on a footy field, but West Coast supporters have been patiently waiting for this player to take over the competition.

Gaff is a speedy ball magnet who always seems to be in and around the contest, ready to explode. He uses the ball very well and is often a key part in the Eagles' counter attack from defense or from a stoppage around the ground.

Gaff has played 98 games and kicked 36 goals. 2015 has been his year to shine. He is firming for his first All-Australian selection; he is ranked fifth in the AFL for Total Disposals, eighth for Total Effective Disposals Per Game and first in the competition for Total Uncontested Possessions.

The Eagles have themselves an absolute gem in Andrew Gaff.

Pick 7 (Gold Coast) - Brodie Smith
Brodie Smith, selected by the Adelaide Crows with the 14th pick in the 2010 draft, was the breakout player in the competition last season.

A running half-back who is responsible for rebounding the ball off Adelaide's defensive 50, Smith is Adelaide's counter-attack weapon; he kicks the ball long and efficiently, rarely missing a target. Some are saying, along with Shannon Hurn, that Smith could be the most penetrating kick in the AFL.

He was fairly unknown until last year, until he was named All-Australian and finished fourth in Adelaide's B&F.

Injuries have kept him to 86 career games, but if his game against Collingwood earlier this year is anything to go by, Smith could very well develop into the best rebounding defender in the game.

Pick 8 (Essendon) - Isaac Smith
Hawthorn used their first pick (pick 19) in the 2010 draft to get VFL player, Isaac Smith. Smith is an elite runner in the AFL, who provides some of the most exciting, effective and game-changing run and carry in the competition.

He can have a spell in the contest, or even up forward, but Smith is at his best when he is released onto the wing, using his pace and damaging disposal to push the Hawk's forward.

He is a product of a successful team, but he should not be undervalued because of that. He holds his own in that Hawthorn line-up and it is rare not to see him penciled in, in the best 22 since his debut season. He's played 98 games, kicking 91 goals as well as being a two-time premiership player.

There have been a few noteworthy occurrences his Smith's career where he has kicked the clutch goal from 50. His career averages are no sleeping point either; 21 disposals, three tackles, five marks and almost a goal a game is not a bad day's work for a predominant wing player.

Pick 9 (Gold Coast) - Paul Puopolo

Paul Puopolo is arguably the most under-appreciated, underrated player in the competition; unless you are a Hawthorn supporter (which I am not for those wondering).

Hawthorn proved once again that they may be the best recruiters in the country when they selected the mature-aged Puopolo with the 66th pick in 2010. In his 99 games, it's hard to remember a time when  Puopolo hasn't chased, tackled, pressured, corralled, assisted in goals, kicked clutch goals, crumbed the ball and done all of the one percenters which win you premierships.

Like Smith, he has cemented his spot in a successful team because he is a selfless, hard-working player. He's kicked 85 goals and he is also a two-time premiership player. He doesn't mind the spectacular pack mark either...

Would  Puopolo be as successful if he were in another team? Personally, I think he would, because any team would love Paul Puopolo's passion, attack on the footy and work ethic in their squad.

Pick 10 (Gold Coast) - Tom Lynch
Three Gold Coast players to choose from...only one spot remaining in the top ten of this redraft.

There's David Swallow - Pick 1...Injuries...78 games...B&F (2014)...Emerging star.
There's Harley Bennell - Pick 2...Controversy...75 games...Star potential...Special talent.

But, this may get a lot of criticism, but I'm going with Tom Lynch, the Gold Coast centre-half forward who has made quite the promising start to his AFL career.

Taken with pick 11 by the Suns in 2010, Lynch has kicked 99 goals from 71 senior appearances. Lynch has already been likened to Taylor Walker, with his ability to demand the ball, have a solid presence and have that innate sense of leadership.

In 2014, Lynch led the Suns' goal kicking with 46 goals and finished runner up to Swallow in the B&F. He is a hard-worker and a brilliant marking target; with Lynch ranked 11th in the competition for Total Contested Marks.

Midfielders come and go, but key forwards are hard to find and develop. And therefore, with that in mind, Lynch steals the final spot in this top ten redraft of 2010.

My next three redrafted picks:

Pick 11: David Swallow (originally pick 1)
Pick 12: Harley Bennell (originally pick 2)
Pick 13: Mitch Wallis (originally F/S, pick 22)
Pick 14: Jared Polec (originally pick 5)
Pick 15: Jeremy Howe (originally pick 33)

Final Words
I'd be very surprised if we weren't still talking about the players drafted from this draft in ten years time. There is pure quality and pure talent sprinkled throughout this draft.

Just to throw a few more names into the discussion; Josh Caddy, Jamie Cripps, Josh Green, Mitch Hallahan, Alex Fasola, Cam Guthrie, Tom McDonald and Paul Seedsman couldn't smuggle their way into the top 15 of this redraft.

Obviously the Gold Coast were privy to the cream of the crop from 2010, but plaudits to West Coast and Hawthorn who recruited brilliantly.

2010 was a beauty. But did I get this right? Who would you redraft with the top 10 picks from the 2010 AFL Draft?
 


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