On Monday, our 2018 Phantom Draft was released detailing where the top-25 picks are set to fall which you can read here.
However, in the last two days information has not stopped flowing in. Thus, with the draft only one sleep away, here is all the latest news that is set to shape the order.
Some big live trades are currently being workshopped behind the scenes with the Herald Sun reporting that the Bulldogs are considering trading Pick 7. This is on the basis that the Bulldogs are confident that their primary target, which The Mongrel Punt confirmed on Monday, was Bailey Smith will be available at any time before Geelong’s first round selection (originally Pick 12 but will be pushed back to Pick 14 due to bids for Nick Blakey and Tarryn Thomas).
The Bulldogs believe that all non-Victorian clubs will pass on Smith due to his preference to remain in Victoria where he told clubs he is settled with his girlfriend and pet dog. Therefore, the Bulldogs are contemplating trading down to as low as Pick 11 for an extra top-20 pick. The pick will need to be before a bid is made on father-son prospect Rhylee West otherwise it will be lost as compensation. Over the past 48 hours, expectations have arisen that West will be bid on by a rival club, most likely Richmond, in the top-20 as opposed to the second-round.
Greater Western Sydney is seeking to break into the top-7, due to be a belief that there is a significant gap between the “super seven” prospects and the rest. They believe this to the extent that the Giants did approach the Bulldogs about securing their Pick 7 in recent weeks but the Bulldogs were unsatisfied with their offer. However, the Dogs would consider a deal that sees them secure GWS’ Pick 9 and 11 for Pick 7. In this case, the Bulldogs would surely havesome work to do to sweeten the deal and to give something back in return. Nevertheless, if the Bulldogs were to trade their future first-round selection, GWS would have to throw in their future fourth round selection in as part of the deal under the AFL’s complicated live trading rules.
South Australian clubs Port Adelaide and Adelaide also fit the bill for a potential live trade with the Bulldogs. The Power could gain a second top-7 pick if it trades it’s Pick 10 (to be used by the Bulldogs to select Bailey Smith) and Pick 15 (so the Bulldogs can draft a second player before the bid for Rhylee West). Again, this deal is heavily weighted in favour of the Bulldogs and is difficult to see Port Adelaide agreeing to this trade.
Adelaide could potentially be involved in a similar trade for the Bulldogs’ Pick 7 for both picks 9 and 13, or 9 16. This could aid the Crows in its quest to secure Pick 2 from Gold Coast in order to draft South Australian prodigy Jack Lukosius.
Speaking of the Power, Port Adelaide have received calls from rival clubs pertaining to a trade involving their third first-round selection - Pick 15 in the last 48 hours. Port Adelaide are open to a potential trade provided it increases its draft hand by giving the club for four picks inside the top-25 for instance, as opposed to three inside 15. West Coast could potentially look to trade its Pick 20 and 22 for Port Adelaide’s Pick 15 in a last-ditch attempt to draft local WA prospect Ian Hill, who the Eagles are interested in, but looks set to be gone before West Coast currently enter the draft on Friday.
Hawthorn has not featured in many draft discussions due to entering the draft last at Pick 53. This was due to trading both its first and second round selections, along with youngster Ryan Burton for 2013 Port Adelaide best and fairest winner, Chad Wingard. However, in what would be a stunning play Hawthorn could trade up into the top-20 in a bid to draft midfielder Liam Stocker. Stocker is Richmond’s preferred target at Pick 17 (which is set to drift out to Pick 21) but recent talk suggests one of the two South Australian teams may spoil the Tigers’ plan swooping in before Richmond’s pick. This would be subject to the way earlier selections play out, namely Fremantle’s selection.
Hawthorn also surprisingly attended the testing of a highly touted South Australian prospect late last week who is set to go around Pick 20.
PHANTOM DRAFT UPDATED
1. Sam Walsh (Carlton)
2. Jack Lukosius (Gold Coast)
3. Izak Rankine (Gold Coast)
4. Max King (St Kilda)
5. Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide)
6. Jye Caldwell (Gold Coast)
7. Bailey Smith (Bulldogs)
8. Nick Blakey (Sydney)
9. Ben King (Adelaide)
10. Chayce Jones (GWS)
11. Jackson Hatley (Port Adelaide)
12. Riley Collier-Dawkins (GWS)
13. Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne)
14. Jordan Clark (Geelong)
15. Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood)
16. Zak Butters (Adelaide)
17. Ned McHenry (Fremantle)
18. Ian Hill (Port Adelaide)
19. Liam Stocker (Adelaide)
20. Rhylee West (Bulldogs)
21. Sam Sturt (Richmond)
22. Xavier Duursma (Brisbane)
23. Luke Valente (GWS)
24. Curtis Taylor (West Coast)
25. Bailey Scott (North Melbourne)
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