Coach Chris Fagan welcomes No. 1 draft pick Cam Rayner to Brisbane in 2017.
Coach Chris Fagan welcomes No. 1 draft pick Cam Rayner to Brisbane in 2017.

Lions plan to hit jackpot in second round

When they spent the best part of a decade in the AFL cellar, Brisbane were always front and centre with early top-10 selections on draft night.

But the Lions are not set to spring to life until the second night of this year's meat market after they roared up the ladder in 2019.

 

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Brisbane's first pick is in the second round at No. 21. They also have selections 29, 34 and 71 in this year's AFL Draft in Melbourne on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

 

 

 

And the Lions believe they can strike some gold in what is considered a relatively even talent pool.

"There's a sentiment this year that a player that might have been picked at no. 15 or 16 could still be there at 21 or 22,'' Lions general manager of football David Noble said.

"The top grouping is strong. The top two are standouts then there's another eight or so players that have been earmarked to round out the top 10.

"And after that, there is a large group at the end of the first round and through the second round that is pretty even so it is going to come down to the preferences of each club.

Coach Chris Fagan welcomes No. 1 draft pick Cam Rayner to Brisbane in 2017.
Coach Chris Fagan welcomes No. 1 draft pick Cam Rayner to Brisbane in 2017.

"You always hear clubs say that they didn't expect a certain player to still be available when it came to their turn to pick and that is what this draft will be like to a certain extent.

"Clubs have players ranked in a slightly different order and sometimes you get a pleasant surprise when a player you had marked as a late first rounder is still up for grabs in the second round.

"We think there is some real talent that will be up for grabs in that second round so we feel like we are positioned quite well.''

 

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With the fast track at the Gabba in mind, Brisbane will look for players that can skate across halfback or on a wing and hit targets further afield.

"We are looking for some run, some speed and good ball use. You want to bring in guys that play hard and are good at contested ball too so we are looking at players who can play a role in the midfield, across halfback or on a wing.

"Where we are at in the draft, there won't be any key defenders or key forwards left but we also have to consider that the game is quite quick at the Gabba.''

Brisbane Lions’ 2018 draft crop Thomas Joyce, Connor McFayden, Ely Smith, Thomas Berry and Noah Answerth.
Brisbane Lions’ 2018 draft crop Thomas Joyce, Connor McFayden, Ely Smith, Thomas Berry and Noah Answerth.

Brisbane traded picks with Port Adelaide last week with the Lions significantly receiving a first-round selection in next year's draft as part of the deal.

Noble said Brisbane may not be total spectators on the first night as live trading means they may get drawn into the action.

In addition to their incoming draft haul, Brisbane bolstered their list during trade period with Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast), Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) and Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (Adelaide).

News Corp Australia

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