It was the draft that paved the way for a dynasty at Hawthorn and Richmond wishing they could recruit players with the added benefit of hindsight.
15 years ago, Richmond finished last on the ladder and received the number one pick and three teams (Richmond, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs) who won less than five games that season all received priority picks.
Along with the priority picks awarded, Carlton returned to the first round of the draft after being banned for two seasons due to salary cap breaches in 2002.
The 2004 trade period only saw three direct player swaps with most clubs trading for picks in the draft.
There was also the rookie draft and pre-season draft where Carlton was able to pick up a young gun by the name of Eddie Betts from the Calder Cannons at pick number 3.
PICK 1 (Richmond – Priority): Brett Deledio
FROM: Murray Bushrangers
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 243
Retiring at the end of this season for the GWS Giants, Deledio will be remembered as a star player for Richmond.
Deledio was taken at number one in the 2004 national draft, played all 22 games in his first season in 2005 and ended up winning the Rising Star Award that year.
In a testing period for the Tigers, Deledio would become one of the most reliable players at Punt Road winning two best and fairest awards (The Jack Dyer Medal) in 2008 and 2009 and was versatile no matter where he played around the ground.
Deledio would always be amongst Richmond’s best for a period of time and many regarded the theory of “No Deledio, No Richmond” to be a thing with Richmond playing 9 games without Deleido in the 2014 and 2015 seasons for only two wins.
An injury-riddled 2016 season saw him traded to GWS at the end of the year.
Many thought Lids would be the one to play in a premiership, but Richmond would go on to win two out of the next three during his time at the Giants before he retired at the end of this season.
It wasn’t easy for Deledio watching his old teammates have premiership glory, but he was embraced by the Richmond squad when he walked into the rooms after this year’s Grand Final.
PICK 2 (Hawthorn – Priority): Jarryd Roughead
FROM: Gippsland Power
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 283
With his very first draft pick, newly appointed Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson made the call to pick up this redheaded kid from Leongatha by the name of Jarryd Roughead.
“Roughy” would go on to have a magnificent career with the Hawks and become one of the most loved players in the AFL.
He’d play in 4 premierships, won the Coleman Medal in 2013, was a two-time All Australian selection as well as Hawthorn’s leading goalkicker in 2013, 14 and 17.
It was a cancer scare that saw Roughead miss a fair chunk of footy during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
In December 2016, Roughead was given the all-clear and was cancer-free.
He was named Hawthorn captain in 2017 and 2018.
Roughead’s final season was this year where he played eight games and a fair bit of footy for Box Hil in the VFL.
His final game in Round 22 against the Gold Coast Suns was memorable.
Roughy was the star of the show, kicked six goals and was one of the feel-good highlights of the 2019 season.
An amazing career and the perfect farewell.
PICK 3 (Western Bulldogs – Priority): Ryan Griffen
FROM: South Adelaide
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 202
Ryan Griffen was again proof that a priority pick turns out to be a solid blue-chip investment for clubs who gain them.
Griffen played 202 games for the Bulldogs, was a dual best and fairest winner and made the All-Australian side back in 2013.
He was a known ball-magnet during his time at Whitten Oval when he smashed a club record of 47 disposals in one game – including 22 contested in the Western Bulldogs match against Sydney in Round 22, 2012.
Griffen was made the Western Bulldogs captain in 2014 but asked to be traded to the GWS Giants at the end of the season.
He played a further 55 games in his career for the Giants but had an injury-interrupted finish to his career.
Griffen retired at the end of the 2018 season.
PICK 4 (Richmond): Richard Tambling
FROM: Southern Districts
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 108
Richard Tambling didn’t choose to be drafted at number 4 in the 2004 National Draft, but it haunted him for his entire career.
Richmond had the opportunity to take Lance Frankin but opted for Tambling at pick 4 who was highly regarded as one of the most exciting players that the draft had to offer.
In his first Wizard Cup game against Collingwood in 2005 Tambling came out bursting through packs, kicking goals and loving his footy.
It was as though Richmond was on a winner with this one.
Tambling played only 12 games during the 2005 home and away season and struggled with injury.
Tambling’s career was riddled with criticism and constantly compared to the bloke that would be drafted by Hawthorn with the next pick.
It even got to a stage in 2009 when Richmond fans Bronx cheered Tambling when he got a kick in the game against the Western Bulldogs.
He would be dropped to Richmond’s then reserves team – Coburg for one week only to come back and play some of the best football of his career in the following weeks.
He would be traded to Adelaide at the end of the 2010 season where he would play 16 matches over three seasons.
His former coach Terry Wallace spoke about the burden of his order in that draft had on him personally and his career.
PICK 5 (Hawthorn): Lance Franklin
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 182
Hawthorn made the right choice picking up this upstart flashy forward from Perth by the name of Lance “Buddy” Frankin.
At Hawthorn, Buddy would play in two premierships, two Colemans, four All-Australian selections, one Peter Crimmins Medal (Hawthorn best and fairest), Six-Time leading goal kicker, AFL Goal of The Year winner two times in 2010 and 2013, was the most recent man (and possibly last) to kick 100 goals in a season and kicked thirteen…THIRTEEEEEEN goals against North Melbourne in 2012.
After being part of Hawthorn’s 2013 premiership team, Franklin controversially moved to the Sydney Swans as a free agent 48 hours later as part of a massive nine-year deal.
After a few injury issues, Buddy played his 300th career game in the final home and away round against St.Kilda
Many are confident he has plenty of good football left in him.
PICK 6 (Western Bulldogs): Tom Williams
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 85
Taken at pick 6 in the draft, Williams came from a Rugby League background and had only played 15 games of Australian Rules Football before being rushed into the U18 Championships for Queensland that year.
Williams had a career riddled with injury but the Dogs stuck by him as he showed plenty of talent as a key position defender.
He retired from football midway during 2014 after 85 games.
PICK 7 (Hawthorn): Jordan Lewis
FROM: Geelong Falcons
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 264
It’s a pretty easy call to make as to who won the 2004 draft – Hawthorn.
Taken at pick 7 after the Hawks picked up Roughead and Frankin, Lewis was another integral part to the Hawthorn team that would win 4 premierships in just under a decade.
In his first season at the Hawks, Lewis was voted “best first-year player”, would go on to play in four premierships and find himself in the All-Australian team in 2014.
After a coveted career at Hawthorn, he was traded to the Demons at the end of the 2016 season and played a vital role in helping the club reach its first finals series in 12 years.
Lewis retired at the end of the 2019 season playing a total of 319 games and is set to have a media career.
PICK 8 (Adelaide): John Meesen
FROM: Geelong Falcons
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 2
With their eighth pick in the draft, the Crows opted for a ruckman in John Meehan.
Their ruck stocks at the time were quite good with the likes of Rhett Biglands, Matthew Clarke and Ben Hudson all getting game time leaving Meesen to play a chunk of football in the SANFL for Norwood.
Meesen finally got the chance to make his debut in Round 20 of 2007 when the Crows beat the Western Bulldogs at Football Park.
He would play the following week against the Brisbane Lions at Footy Park but it would be his last game for the Crows before being traded to Melbourne at the end of the 2007 season.
With injury getting the better of him, Meesen was delisted by the Dees at the end of the 2010 season.
He has worked as an assistant coach at the Dees and has returned to coach Modewarre in Geelong’s Bellarine Football League.
PICK 9 (Carlton): Jordan Russell
FROM: West Adelaide
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 116
After a two-year ban from the first round of the draft, Carlton was back in the game and picked up a young defender from South Australia in Jordan Russell.
He spent the formative years of his career playing for Carlton’s then VFL team the Northern Bullants and finally made his debut in Round 15, 2005 when the Blues faced St.Kilda
Russell was struggling to get a game under then Blues coach Dennis Pagan but was given a bit more wriggle-room by his replacement Brett Ratten.
Russell became a reliable and consistent backman for the Blues, before being in/out of the side due to form.
He was delisted at the end of the 2012 season and taken by Collingwood in the draft of that season where he would add a further nine games to his career.
Post AFL, Russell joined the Western Bulldogs VFL team – Footscray where he captained them to their 2014 and 2016 premierships.
PICK 10 (Collingwood): Chris Egan
FROM: West Adelaide
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 27
Eagan debuted for the Pies in Round 8 of 2005 and played the rest of the season but the following year was dropped after Round 1 and didn’t find himself back in the seniors until the middle of 2006.
He showed plenty of promise but injuries and a club imposed suspension played only one game in 2007 and a further two in 2008 before being delisted.