With Matthew Kennedy set to be the 10th GWS player to join the Carlton Football Club, we have enough of a sample size to rank every player to join the Blues from the Giants.
Of the nine players Carlton has picked up from the Giants, eight were part of multi-person traded with Rhys Palmer for pick 135 being the only exception.
This may give us some insight into what could transpire with Kennedy as the Blues are reportedly interested in forward Devon Smith as well.
Until those two arrive however, here is a ranking of the nine Giants the Blues have already picked up.
9th: Kristian Jaksch
Jaksch was part of the first trade the Blues did with the Giants. They exchanged pick seven (Paul Ahern) to GWS for Jaksch, Mark Whiley and pick 19 (Blaine Boekhorst). Jaksch was hailed as the player that would carry Carlton’s backline for the next 10 years, but only managed one game across 2016 and 2017. The Blues gave up on Jaksch as a defender pretty early on, but he wasn’t able to crack into the side as a key forward either. Given what the Blues gave up for him and what he gave them, he has to be at the bottom of this list.
8th: Rhys Palmer
Palmer was clearly picked up for some list depth, but with the Blues not suffering too many injuries in 2017, Palmer was only called up to the senior side on one occasion. The Blues gave up pick 135 (passed) for Palmer so it was essentially a free hit, but they probably would’ve liked to have gotten a bit more out of Palmer this season. He is contracted for 2018, but he may be seeking to return to get out of his contract and return to the WAFL.
7th: Mark Whiley
Whiley was the other half of the Jaksch trade, but was more of a steak knife to get the deal over the line than anything. Whiley played nine games for the Blues in two seasons and was serviceable as an inside midfielder. Unfortunately for Whiley, the likes of Patrick Cripps and Ed Curnow had locked down that inside midfielder spot in the team and this saw him spending a lot of time in the VFL. He was delisted by the Blues last year.
6th: Liam Sumner
Sumner was part of the big four-man trade the Blues put together with the Giants in 2015. Carlton received Sumner, Lachie Plowman, Andrew Phillips, Jed Lamb and pick 10 (Harry McKay) in exchange for a 2016 first round pick (Jarrod Berry), pick 28 (Ryan Clarke), pick 77 (passed) and pick 95 (passed). Sumner was handy as a playing putting pressure on up forward, but fell behind the likes of Jed Lamb, Jack Silvagni and Matthew Wright for positions in the side and couldn’t get back in. Sumner never really seemed like breaking into the Carlton best 22 and was delisted at the end of this season.
5th: Andrew Phillips
Phillips was also part of that big 2015 trade and showed a lot of promise in his first season with the Blues. Phillips played 16 games in 2016 and got better as the season went on as a ruckman and up forward. Unfortunately a serious injury kept him from having any impact in 2017, but he recently received a contract extension and will be sticking around at the Blues. As far as back up ruckmen go, Phillips is a very handy addition to the Carlton list.
4th: Jed Lamb
Lamb was also re-signed recently and has quietly gone about locking himself in the current Carlton best 22. He’s been used as a defensive forward in tagging and pressure roles and played the last 11 games of 2017. He only kicked six goals for the season though and will need to increase that output to remain in the side consistently in 2018.
3rd: Jarrod Pickett
Pickett was a speculative pick up by the Blues as part of the trade for Caleb Marchbank. Carlton received the two players as well as a 2017 second round pick in exchange for Geelong’s 2017 first round pick, pick 45 (academy points) and pick 58 (Matt de Boer). We’ve only seen glimpses of what Pickett is capable of, but his final month of 2017 was electric. It took him a while to be fit enough for AFL footy and while he didn’t find much of the ball, he was damaging whenever he got near it. Carlton fans should be very excited to see what he can do next year.
2nd: Lachie Plowman
Plowman was the final link in the big 2015 trade and should be a part of the Blues’ line-up for a long time. He’s a flexible defender who can take any size forward and his ball-use is as good as anyone at the club. Plowman played 21 games in 2017 and only missed when injured. Expect him to be named in the Carlton backline indefinitely.
1st: Caleb Marchbank
Marchbank was Carlton’s 2016 GWS target and he immediately repaid the faith. Marchbank played 16 games in 2017 and received a Rising Star nomination. The 20-year-old played like someone who’d been in the system for years and like Plowman, took no time at all to cement himself in Carlton’s best 22. Marchbank usually took the third tall for the Blues, but was at his best as an intercept marker.