This week we’re getting around the 2020 AFL National Draft by looking back at the top 10 picks from then – going back 25 years, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years and five years.
Click here for 25 years – 1995
Click here for 20 years – 2000
Click here for 15 years – 2005
Click here for 10 years – 2010
We finish off our look back at the “Top 10 from then” going back five years to 2015.
The 2015 National Draft saw a change in format in where live bidding occurred during the draft for father-son and NSW/QLD academies, where each draft selection was given a points value.
Clubs that would nominate a player would be forced to use existing draft selections to match the value of the pick used by the club of the bidding player.
Some notable players not to make the top 10 was Carlton’s Charlie Curnow (no. 12), Brisbane’s Eric Hipwood (no. 14), three time Richmond premiership player Daniel Rioli (15), St Kilda’s Jade Gresham (no. 18), Geelong took Tim Kelly at number 24 and Sydney’s father-son pick in Josh Dunkley (25)
We take a look at the top 10 picks from the 2015 National Draft and how those selections fared for their respective clubs.
PICK 1 (Carlton) – Jacob Weitering
FROM: Dandenong Stingrays
Games Played for Club: 93 (*Still Playing)
The Blues number one choice in 2015 has stepped up to be one of Carlton’s best in recent years.
Weitering made a solid debut with 17 disposals in his first game in Round 1, 2016 and earned a Rising Star nomination in his third game.
In recent years, he’s played a role in Carlton’s rebuild and is set to reach the 100 game milestone in 2021.
PICK 2 (Brisbane) – Josh Schache
FROM: Murray Bushrangers
Games Played for Club: 27
Schache would play 27 games and kick 25 goals for the Brisbane Lions in his two seasons at the Gabba.
There was much speculation in his second season that he would request a trade back home to Victoria, which is manager denied, however, in the final minutes of the trade period he was sent to the Western Bulldogs for picks 25 and 40 despite having a four year contract at Brisbane.
PICK 3 (Sydney) – Callum Mills
FROM:North Shore (Swans Academy)
Games Played for Club: 78* (*Still Playing)
Mills was taken by the Swans with their third selection in the Draft.
He was initially bid by on from the Dees, however, under the new live bidding rules Sydney matched the bid as he was a Swans Academy player.
Callum Mills would also win the 2016 AFL Rising Star Award and was selected in the AFLPA’s 22 Under 22 team in three out of his four eligible years.
Considered one of the best young players in the AFL, Mills in now part of the Swans leadership team and due to play 100 games in 2021.
PICK 4 (Melbourne) – Clayton Oliver
FROM: Murray Bushrangers/Mooroopna
Games Played for Club: 99 (*Still Playing)
Five seasons in and Clayton Oliver is one of the stars of Melbourne and the AFL in general.
Oliver has already won two Melbourne best and fairest and was selected as an All-Australian in 2018 – the year the Dees reached the Preliminary Final.
All going to plan, Oliver will play his 100th game for Melbourne in Round 1 next season.
PICK 5 (Essendon) – Darcy Parish
FROM: Geelong Falcons
Games Played for Club: 80 (*Still Playing)
Darcy Parish got to play plenty of Football for Essendon in 2016 with a number of players missing out on the season due to the supplements scandal.
80 games in and Parish has stepped up as an onballer with more responsibilities in the midfield.
Bomber fans still expect plenty from the now 23 year old.
PICK 6 (Essendon) – Aaron Francis
FROM: West Adelaide
Games Played for Club: 35* (*Still playing)
Aaron Francis has taken some time to get into the groove of professional AFL Football and had a career best 17 games in 2019.
2020 was a tough year for him, playing just eight games as he struggled with form and fitness.
He is contracted with Essendon until the end of 2022 and has plenty of improvement to come.
PICK 7 (GWS Giants) – Jacob Hopper
FROM: North Ballarat
Games Played for Club: 84* (*Still playing)
The Giants took their academy player at pick 7 in 2015 and Jacob Hopper has developed a reputation as one of the toughest midfielders in the AFL.
In his debut season, he earned the Rising Star nomination in his first game collecting 32 disposals in the Giants 91 point demolition of the Gold Coast Suns.
Hopper has also finished in the top five in the Giants best and fairest award in the past two seasons and can reach the 100 game milestone in season 2021.
PICK 8 (Gold Coast Suns) – Callum Ah Chee
FROM: South Fremantle
Games Played for Club: 45
In his first two seasons at the Gold Coast Suns, Ah Chee started as a forward kicking 21 goals before moving into the backline.
Ah Chee was traded to Brisbane at the end of the 2019, playing eight games in season 2020 and is known for being smart with the footy in hand and highly competitive around the contest.
PICK 9 (Melbourne) – Sam Weideman
FROM: Eastern Rangers
Games Played for Club: 44* (*Still playing)
It took some time for Weideman to make his debut for the Dees but he did shine in Melbourne’s victory over Geelong in the 2018 Elimination Final kicking three goals and 23 disposals.
2020 was a tough year for Melbourne and Weideman but having recently signed a two-year contract extension, there’s plenty of good footy to come for this 23 year-old.
PICK 10 (Carlton) – Harry McKay
FROM: Gippsland Power
Games Played for Club: 48* (*Still playing)
Big Harry McKay has very much become a favourite amongst the Carlton faithful.
In 2019, McKay finished the year as the Blues leading goalkicker and known for having the the best set of hands in the AFL.
2020 saw McKay play 13 games for 21 goals and if he can fix up his accuracy and get a few more games under his belt there’s plenty of up side for this young high-flying forward.