AFL Draft Rewind: 2016


Leading up to the AFL National Draft, we will look at the top 10 picks from then – going back 25 years, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years, and five years.

In the fifth edition of this series – we look back five years ago to the 2016 National Draft.

2016 was the year of the priority pick.

With the two Queensland sides Brisbane and Gold Coast gaining most of the picks in the first round, Essendon getting the number one selection and many of the players picked back then careers starting to take shape.

Three of the top 10 from the 2016 draft played a major role in the recent trade period.

We take a look at the top 10 from then.

PICK 1 (Essendon) – Andrew McGrath

FROM: Sandringham Dragons
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 93* (*Still playing)

Taken at number one after a tough year for the Bombers, Andrew McGrath has very much proven to be a shining light of the new generation at Essendon.

McGrath won the Rising Star in his first season, made himself very comfortable in the Essendon midfield in recent years.

His contract is up for renewal heading into 2022, the Bombers will be keen to sign him up ASAP to avoid any speculation.

PICK 2 (GWS) – Tim Taranto
FROM: Sandringham Dragons

GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 98* (*Still playing)

Taranto would make his debut in Round 1, 2017, and has become a mainstay of the Giants midfield in recent years.

In only his third season of footy, Taranto won the 2019 Kevin Sheedy Medal (GWS best and fairest award) the same year the Giants made the Grand Final.

All going to plan, he’ll play game 100 in Round 2 of the 2022 season.

PICK 3 (Brisbane) – Hugh McCluggage

FROM: North Ballarat U18

McCluggage has proven to be amongst the Lions best week in, week out since being taken at pick three in 2016.

Twice nominated for All-Australian, third in the Lions best and fairest (twice), played game 100 in Round 19 of this season against the Gold Coast Suns and stepped up to the plate in the Brisbane midfield when Lachie Neale was ruled out for 5 weeks.

McCluggage has signed with the Lions until 2024.

PICK 4 (Gold Coast)  – BEN AINSWORTH
FROM: Gippsland U18
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 74* (*Still playing)

Five seasons in at the Gold Coast Suns, Ben Ainsworth managed to play his first 65 games of footy without once being dropped to the magoos.

That was until after Round 9 in 2021 when a form slump saw him play in the lower levels, which saw a lot more improvement in the Suns half-forward/midfielder when he was recalled in Round 15.

FROM: Sandringham Dragons
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 2 (42 for Carlton still playing)

Struggling to crack it into the seniors at GWS, Will Setterfield managed only the two games at the Giants before requesting a trade to Carlton at the end of the 2018 season.

Since arriving at Princes Park, he’s established himself as a future star for the Blues joining what seems to be a feeder club program between both GWS and Carlton.

FROM: Claremont
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 94 (*Joins West Coast in 2022)

The number six pick for the Blues had been marred with questions about his fitness even before he was drafted, but managed 94 games for Carlton.

He was traded to West Coast for pick 52 during the trade period, which Carlton used to get Lewis Young from the Bulldogs,.


FROM: Sandringham U18

GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 4 (45 games at Hawthorn where he currently plays)

One of four top 10 prospects for the Suns in 2016, he managed just four games in his time at the Suns making his debut in Round 18, 2017 in the clubs 54-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Scrimshaw was traded to the Hawks in 2018 for a third-round pick and is seen to have a bright future in the brown and gold.

PICK 8  (Fremantle) – GRIFFIN LOGUE

FROM: Swan Districts

In just his sixth game of footy, Logue copped a rough 50 meter penalty awarded to his childhood hero, Nick Riewoldt.

 Logue’s 2021 was consistent, managing 16 out of 22 games and with Freo’s talls falling by the wayside later in the season, he was found making a name for himself in the backline.

PICK 9 (Gold Coast) – WILL BRODIE

FROM: Murray Bushrangers

GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 25 (Traded to Fremantle)

Pundits described Broadie as a future star in the midfield when the Suns took him at pick 9 of the 2016 draft.

However, he managed just 25 games over five seasons before being traded to Fremantle in the recent trade period, hoping to get a regular run in the midfield.

PICK 10  (Gold Coast) – JACK BOWES

FROM: Cairns Saints

GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 78* (*Still Playing)

Bowes has managed to cement his position in the Suns midfield recently and has signed with the club until 2024.