Righto, so at this time of year, everyone wants to know how their teams fared in the free agency/trade window. It’s only natural – hardly any of us paid attention to what was going on all the time except for when Wayne Carey tried to win trade week all by himself on the last day.
Anyway, I thought I’d save you all the trouble of screwing around and assessing who got what and what it cost them with The Mongrel Punt Trade Grades. I’m good like that – you should become a member and support me so I can keep churning these articles out and not have to spend my time doing work… at work.
God, I hate that place.
Anyway, here we go.
IN – CHRIS BURGESS
OUT – TOM DOEDEE, SHANE MCADAM
DRAFT PICKS – 10, 14, 20, 89
GRADE – D-
Not sure that Burgess is anything more than a depth player, but it also seems that the Crows have enough of that type (Himmelberg and Gollant still on the list).
Losing Doedee and McAdam takes away two best-22 players from a team that didn’t make finals (but easily could have) so in terms of their list, they got a bit worse.
Yet, somehow I still think they’re good. The two first-round selections are handy. Picks are still able to be traded. I wonder whether the Crows could bundle a couple and move up a little?
IN – TOM DOEDEE, BRANDON RYAN
OUT – TOM FULLARTON, JACK GUNSTON
DRAFT PICKS – 30, 39, 51, 54, 67, 97
GRADE – C
Not sure the Lions have lost too much. I’ve loved Jack Gunston over the journey, but he gave them very little in 2023. Meanwhile, Fullarton plays the role currently occupied by Joe Daniher. There was no real way, other than a big injury to Joe, that he was gonna get a decent run.
Doedee won’t be ready til after the bye, and to be honest, I try not to expect too much from blokes coming back from reconstructions. I don’t think we see the best of him til 2025.
IN – ELIJAH HOLLANDS
OUT – ZAC FISHER, PADDY DOW
DRAFT PICKS – 22, 28, 70, 78, 96
GRADE – C
Hmmm, brought in Hollands on the cheap, but lost Fisher and Dow. Fisher could still be a very good player, whilst I reckon the Blues should have pulled the trigger on Dow a couple of years back. They were patient with him, to a fault.
With no first-round pick, it was a fairly quiet period for the Blues. They are consolidating now – their team is just about set.
IN – LACHIE SCHULTZ
OUT – JACK GINNIVAN, TAYLOR ADAMS
DRAFT PICKS – 19, 33, 80, 98
GRADE – C+
So, we wave goodbye to Jack Ginnivan after an eventful few years and welcome Lachie Schultz after an eventful week or so.
Is that an upgrade? I think it is, as Schultz brings the defensive pressure that Ginnivan doesn’t. Hell, a witches’ hat brings more pressure than Ginnivan did in 2023 (0.5 tackles inside 50 per game).
Adams would be considered a loss had his body not cost him his last two finals series. I don’t think the Pies were too concerned with him leaving, to be honest.
IN – XAVIER DURRSMA, TODD GOLDSTEIN, JADE GRESHAM, BEN MCKAY
OUT – BRANDON ZERK-THATCHER, MASSIMO D’AMBROSIO
DRAFT PICKS – 9, 31, 35, 61, 88
GRADE – B+
A lot of people saying the Bombers were THE winners… we’ve got a little used to hearing people saying this, so I’m not sure.
Duursma is a risk – he has been poor for a couple of years. McKay will be good due to what he means to the team around him (Ridley, Laverde, Redman), and Gresham has always threatened to be something special. Maybe he does so in new colours.
As for Goldy, he is there on a bit of a farewell tour. Not sure you can hang your hat on him joining.
Overall, McKay is a big upgrade on BZT, and Gresham is a big upgrade on D’Ambrosio. They’re enough wins to counter anything else.
IN – NOBODY
OUT – JOEL HAMLING, LIAM HENRY, LACHIE SCHULTZ
DRAFT PICKS – 34, 46, 60, 64, 85
GRADE – F+
The Dockers needed a year of stability. Instead, they lost two important pieces and also a bloke who’s barely played in three years.
Henry was flagged a long way out, but the Schultz request hurt. He is a ripping little player.
The focus now goes on ensuring Sean Darcy is re-signed. They need this to happen.
IN – NOBODY
OUT – ESAVA RATUGOLEA
DRAFT PICKS – 8, 25, 76, 87, 94
GRADE – E-
I hated Geelong’s trade period. Hated it.
Acted like petulant kids over Ratugolea, then let him go for close to what was being offered all along, and more or less acted like entitled pricks.
If this is a taste of what the Cats will deliver under Andrew Mackie, I wouldn’t want to be dealing with them. You’re not gonna have picks handed to you every year like you did last year.
Some will look at the ins and outs and consider the Suns stagnant. No… not the case.
Look at all those picks. They have Academy kids coming through, headlined by Jed Walter who could be bid on as early as pick two, and they’ll get them all because they’ve been smart about it.
Chol seems to be the type of player Damien Hardwick doesn’t think too much of, so his ticket was stamped as soon as Dimma was announced, Chris Burgess is a good VFL-level thus far in his career, and yeah… they probably let Hollands go a little too cheaply, but if they get all the kids they want, they’ll be a pretty happy bunch.
IN – NOBODY
OUT – MATT FLYNN
DRAFT PICKS – 7, 16, 43, 59, 77, 79, 95
GRADE – C
A low-grade trade period for the Giants, with nobody coming in and Flynn the only departure. They also manage to retain a top-ten pick despite finishing in the top four, so it’s hard to really fault them.
The loss of Flynn is negated by the rise of Briggs and the expected return of the walking building, Brayden Preuss.
IN – MABIOR CHOL, JACK GINNIVAN, JACK GUNSTON, MASSIMO D’AMBROSIO
OUT – TYLER BROCKMAN, JACOB KOSCHITZKE, BRANDON RYAN
DRAFT PICKS – 4, 44, 47, 49, 61, 62, 63, 83
GRADE – C
I think I am confused about the Hawks, but I am not quite sure.
See what I did, there?
Ginnivan gets a run immediately, but there is a part of me that worries the Hawks have inherited a problem child. Chol is one whose best is good and whose worst is horrid. He needs to close that gap in a big way. And D’Ambrosio will give a nudge to anyone slotting in on the wing, I reckon.
As for bringing Gunston back… I thought the Hawks were shipping the old blokes out?
IN – JACK BILLINGS, SHANE MCADAM, TOM FULLARTON
OUT – BRODIE GRUNDY, JAMES HARMES, JAMES JORDON
DRAFT PICKS – 6, 11, 42, 93
GRADE – B+
They’ve ended up with two early picks, and traded out three players that were in that best 23-28 range, so the Dees have done very well, here.
Billings is a question mark – he has been soft at times before his injury, and whilst he played a bit of wing at St Kilda, it’ll be hard to displace the duo of Hunter and Langdon from their roles. McAdam will add another Fritsch-esque talent to the forward line, whilst Fullarton looks to be ready to play a forward/ruck role.
Yep, Joel Smith news aside, they’ve done very well, indeed.
IN – DYLAN STEPHENS, ZAC FISHER, BIGOA NYUON
OUT – TODD GOLDSTEIN, BEN MCKAY
DRAFT PICKS – 2, 3, 15, 17, 18, 57, 82
GRADE – B
That lack of height worries the hell out of me. Is Nyuon a replacement for McKay? Of course he isn’t! It leaves the defence looking even more vulnerable than they did 12 months ago. Good luck Griffin Logue and Aidan Corr…
Fisher is handy and could play on either of the flanks or at half-forward, whilst Stephens has shown signs without really taking over a game. North may plonk him on the wing and see how he goes.
Of course, picks two and three ease the pain of losing McKay, and I wonder if North has another run at pick one in them, yet?
IN – ESAVA RATUGOLEA, IVAN SOLDO, JORDON SWEET, BRANDON ZERK-THATCHER
OUT – XAVIER DUURSMA
DRAFT PICKS – 73
GRADE – B+
They’ve loaded up. They have bugger all left in the draft, but this team is ready to win now – futures depend on it.
I like the addition of Zerk-Thatcher more than that of Esava. The Sav seems to be a watered-down version of Aliir, to me, whereas BZT will become a better key defender with big blokes around him. Adding the ruck duo is smart, but I was a little saddened that Scott Lycett didn’t get another guernsey somewhere else. Hope he plays on. If fit, he has more to offer than Sweet.
As for Duursma… he hasn’t provided much for a few seasons, now. It was fair enough to let him explore.
IN – JACOB KOSCHITZKE
OUT – BIGOA NYUON, IVAN SOLDO
DRAFT PICKS – 29, 41, 65, 68, 86
GRADE – E
Not really much the Tigers could do, was there?
They had no first-rounder, due to the acquisition of Jacob Hopper last season, and lost their backup ruck. If Nank goes down hurt, it leaves them pretty exposed.
I’m a Hawks man – I hope Koschitzke puts it all together for the Tigers. He did so much of the tough stuff for Hawthorn, only to screw up the easy stuff. Maybe he does this at Richmnd with an extended run in the seniors.
IN – PADDY DOW, LIAM HENRY
OUT – JADE GRESHAM, JACK BILLINGS, NICK COFFIELD
DRAFT PICKS – 13, 21, 40, 92
GRADE – C
Lost some quality in Gresham, but Dow could be a win for them in the middle, and with Brad Hill on one wing and Liam Henry on the other, opposition wingmen had better be ready to get back to cover the burst from defensive fifty.
A shame to lose Coffield, but he has not been able to get his body right and when he does, it seems something else occurs. I don’t think there is much ill will in his departure.
IN – JAMES JORDON, BRODIE GRUNDY, JOEL HAMLING, TAYLOR ADAMS
OUT – DYLAN STEPHENS
DRAFT PICKS – 12, 45, 55, 91
GRADE – A
Given themselves every chance at contending with three highly-rated pickups. I left Joel Hamling out of that equation because he hasn’t been able to stay on the park. If he comes good, as well… look out!
Owned free agency with Jordon and Grundy jumping aboard, and have retained their first-round pick. You love to see it!
Sad to see a former pick five walking so cheaply, but Stephens was surplus to needs.
IN – TYLER BROCKMAN, MATT FLYNN
OUT – NOBODY
DRAFT PICKS – 1, 23, 37, 58, 81
GRADE – C+
Well, they held onto the number one pick… for now. Don’t forget there is trading of picks still available, and if teams want Harley Reid, there is no doubt the Eagles are going to make them pay dearly. Smart from West Coast. They either get a huge payday by trading it, or pick the best kid in the country. No lose situation for them.
Brockman is a solid small forward. He is no Liam Ryan, but he is quick and has good hands, and Matt Flynn is as underrated as they come in terms of rucks. He will either take the first ruck duties, or we’re gonna see Bailey Williams kick it up a notch – either way, a win for the Eagles.
I like what the Dogs have done here. Harmes brings some much-needed toughness, whilst Coffield was becoming something very good at St Kilda before his ACL injury and the subsequent setbacks.
They’ve still got a high pick they’ll use before a bid comes on Matthew Croft’s boy, Jordan, and that bid will be covered by the plethora of picks they have in reserve.
Nice work by the Dogs, but I do worry about their ruck options if Big Tim falls over after allowing Street to leave.
And that, as they say in the classics, is that. For the lazy, here are the grades in order.
B+ PORT ADELAIDE, MELBOURNE, ESSENDON
B NORTH MELBOURNE, GOLD COAST
B- WESTERN BULLDOGS
C+ WEST COAST, COLLINGWOOD
C ST KILDA, HAWTHORN, BRISBANE, CARLTON
Imagine getting an F-? That’d be a pretty bad trade period.
Like this content? You could buy me a coffee – I do like coffee, but there is no guarantee I won’t use it to buy a doughnut… I like them more. And I am not brought to you by Sportsbet or Ladbrokes… or Bet365, or any of them.