On Friday night, 78 hopefuls were selected in the 2017 AFL national draft.

Some have been taken by their respective clubs with an eye on the future while some will become an instant hit in 2018.

We take a closer look at your club and which of the 2017 draft crop we expect to have an immediate impact next year.


Darcy Fogarty

The Crows managed to land the Glenelg boy at 12, which many consider a steal.

Best suited as a tall forward who can spend time in defence and in midfield, Fogarty will play at AFL level in 2018 after experiencing SANFL footy this year.

Possesses a Dustin Martin-like fend off, uses the ball smartly and has the scope to become the best player out of the entire 2017 draft.

Get excited Crows fans!


Brisbane Lions

Cameron Rayner

No surprises here.

The Lions, as expected, used their prime pick to take the dynamic forward/midfielder who many believe could be absolutely anything.

Rayner will be thrown straight into the AFL fray to gain experience at the top level but with the Lions expected to be in the lower half of the ladder, will be rested at stages throughout season 2018.

May spend more time in the forward line to begin with but will soon show off his ball-winning ability in a midfield that has lost Tom Rockliff.

Is very strong in the air for his size, an accomplished finisher and equally creative with both foot and hand.



Lochie O’Brien

Many would expect Pick 3 overall Paddy Dow to be nominated as Carlton’s ‘immediate impact’ player but we have O’Brien narrowly on top.

The gaping hole left by Sam Docherty’s ACL injury could well be instantly commandeered by O’Brien such is his composure with ball in hand.

The Bendigo product prefers to kick rather than handball which makes him a prime candidate for the half-back role and his ability to consistently hit targets further improves his chances of becoming a fixture in Brendon Bolton’s plans.

However, there’s no doubting Dow’s ability and he will see plenty of action at senior level next year alongside his Pioneers and Geelong Grammar mate O’Brien.



Nathan Murphy

Taken at 39, the star cricketer may see some AFL action in 2018.

While Jaidyn Stephenson was selected at 6 overall, his slighter physique and questions surrounding his heart may see the Magpies take their time developing him.

Murphy is more at home as a small forward which could see Nathan Buckley throw him in as direct competition to Alex Fasolo.

If that is not the notion, he is comfortable in defence which would be a clever way to improve his forward-line game by experiencing how the games better forward pocket and half-forward flankers operate.



Jordan Houlahan

Hard to assess Essendon’s draft haul given they stocked up on established players during the trade period.

Houlahan may possibly be afforded some game time if John Worsfold opts to play Cale Hooker down back in a bid to steady the leaky Dons defence.

Is a more than reliable shot for goal, remarkably competent overhead and could provide a little extra X-factor in an already exciting Bombers forward line.



Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra

Cannot decide between Fremantle's Pick 2 and Pick 5.

Freo have significantly bolstered their list by selecting two quality midfielders at the pointy end of the draft.

Brayshaw is strong over the ball and carries very good skills while Cerra is filled to the brim with poise and polish.

Both will slot seamlessly into the Dockers midfield where they will learn their craft from none other than Nat Fyfe. Expect Brayshaw and Cerra to be regulars under Ross Lyon in 2018.



Tim Kelly

23-year-old recruit who impressed in the WAFL with South Fremantle, finishing runner-up in the Sandover Medal.

Is ready-made for the rigours of AFL football so it just depends where Chris Scott wants to play him.

Looks an obvious replacement for departed small forward/mid Steven Motlop with his ability to accumulate the ball up the ground and finish with aplomb when in the 50.

The club saw Tom Stewart and Sam Menegola dominate at lower levels before affording them an opportunity and it certainly worked a charm so the same tact could be taken here with the mature-age Kelly.


Gold Coast Suns

Charlie Ballard

It appears as though draft bolter Will Powell, taken with Pick 19, may take some time so we are leaning towards Ballard.

The rangy midfielder may be given the chance to show his wares on a wing if new coach Stuart Dew is that way inclined.

He produced some striking performances for South Australia in the Championships courtesy of his athleticism and may be the one of the four Suns draftees granted get game time in 2018.


GWS Giants

Aiden Bonar

The Giants used Pick 11 on the versatile tall who is strongly built and possesses a great amount of pace.

Back from two ACL injuries, which is a slight concern, but the Giants are confident he can take the next step and fulfil his very exciting potential.

Bonar adds an air of X-factor to the Giants talent-laden list and will be a player to keep a keen eye on next year and beyond.



James Worpel

The inside midfielder will definitely be donning the brown and gold for the Hawks senior side in 2018.

Taken at 45, Worpel is a hard nut who loves to tackle while winning his own footy, almost making him an instant selection for Alastair Clarkson.

Co-captained Vic Country at the Championships and won their MVP for the tournament plus helped the Geelong Falcons win the TAC Cup premiership.

Is ready and raring to go. 



Bayley Fritsch

The 20-year-old forward is ready to go following an extremely impressive 42 goals in 19 games for Casey in the VFL.

Has recovered from back issues to improve his art as a genuine forward who has a brilliant goal nous.

While still a little bit raw, Fritsch is expected to see enough game time from Simon Goodwin in a bid to make his mark on footy’s top competition after showing some brilliance in the level below.


North Melbourne

Luke Davies-Uniacke

The Kangaroos got their man at Pick 4 and now hope to see him flourish in the royal blue and white for many years to come.

Davies-Uniacke is ready for senior football now so the Roos will throw him into the fray as their rebuild continues.

Classy, clever, strong and at 189cms, has all the attributes of a modern day midfielder who will command respect from opposition mids early in his AFL career.

The other obvious choice is Billy Hartung who has been given a second chance after playing 63 games for Hawthorn.


Port Adelaide

Dom Barry

Handed a lifeline by the Power following a stint with Melbourne back in 2014, when he played five AFL games.

Taken at Pick 61 overall, the 23-year-old is the most ready-made of Port’s five draftees considering that he has already experienced the top level.

Barry played in the SANFL with Glenelg in 2017 and could slot into Ken Hinkley’s bolstered side if there are some injuries floating about.



Jack Higgins

The 2017 Morrish Medallist is set to place some worrying pressure on the premiership-winning Tigers’ fleet of small men.

A real steal at Pick 17, Higgins will be breathing down the neck of the Jason Castagna and Dan Butler types as Damien Hardwick strives to continue improving his hard-working outfit.

Is constantly accumulating the ball, creative with his disposal and has a keen eye for goal which makes him a promising asset in the forward 50.

Will also spend a little bit of time up the ground to gain experience alongside Dusty Martin, Trent Cotchin and co.


St Kilda

Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield

The Saints landed Clark and Coffield at 7 and 8 respectively in what is a major coup for the club.

Both are expected to play senior footy in 2018, primarily playing as half-back flankers who can move into the midfielder.

Coffield has an extra string to his bow in that he can also operate up forward but Clark could be considered more prolific as he averaged more possessions over the TAC Cup season.

Without attempting to separate the pair, both will wear St Kilda colours next year and for many more to come.



Matthew Ling

The Swans brought in the Geelong Falcons dasher at 14 and he looks likely to feature at some point in 2018.

John Longmire feels some run and creativity off half-back is required and the club pulled no punches in bringing in the highly-skilled left-footer.

Ling may not arrive on the scene early next season but his penchant for taking the game on and using his precision foot skills will be used by the Swans at some point in time.


West Coast Eagles

Jarrod Brander

With Pick 13, the Eagles selected a 195cm key defender in Brander.

He is ready to contribute at senior level and given his versatility, will add depth not only in the back half, but presents as a forward option as well.

Brander is considered the best defender in the draft and a player that the Eagles can see representing them for a significant amount of time.


Western Bulldogs

Aaron Naughton

The Bulldogs parted with Pick 9 for Naughton who showed what he is made of in the WAFL with Peel Thunder in the latter part of 2017.

Strong overhead, tough to play on and provides dash out of defence which are the key reasons why he will play senior footy next year.

Naughton was Western Australia’s best player at the Championships and looks primed to make an immediate impact for Luke Beveridge’s side.