Brodie Grundy was a draft bolter.
Brodie Grundy was a draft bolter.

The biggest shocks of draft night

FOR all the expert predictions and phantom previews, nothing spices up draft night quite like a bolter.

Whether it is a club launching at a projected third-round pick early in the night or a hot prospect being overlooked and tumbling down the order, almost every draft throws up its fair share of surprises.

Ahead of the picks falling on Thursday, catch up on some of the biggest draft night shocks of the past 10 years.

BRAYDEN SIER - PICK 32, 2015

Brayden who? That was the reaction on draft night when Collingwood plucked a relatively unknown midfielder out of the Northern Knights. Brayden Sier played just two TAC Cup games in 2015, averaging 15 disposals. He spent the rest of his top age draft year playing school football for Marcellin. While some clubs were showing interest in the big bodied midfielder as a draft smokey, no one expected Collingwood to strike this early. After developing for his first few years in black and white, Sier got his shot at the big time last season and showed glimpses of the potential the Magpies saw in him. He was a member of the club's losing grand final side against West Coast.

Brayden Sier was a draft bolter. Picture: Michael Klein
Brayden Sier was a draft bolter. Picture: Michael Klein

BLAINE BOEKHORST - PICK 19, 2014

Carlton's decision to use a first-round selection on mature age WAFL prospect Blaine Boekhorst immediately raised eyebrows. The move was part of a hectic off-season under Mick Malthouse, with the club also trading its pick 7 to GWS in exchange for the 19th pick, Kristian Jaksch and Mark Whiley.

"I don't think it was a gamble at all," Carlton recruiting chief Shane Rogers said of the decision to pick Boekhorst at the time.

The midfielder went on to play 25 games for the Blues before being delisted at the end of the 2017 season.

LIAM STOCKER - PICK 19, 2018

It continues to be the most talked about moment of last year's draft. In what was the first year of live pick trading, Carlton pulled a night one shock when it agreed to a 2019 first-round pick swap with Adelaide. In return, the Blues added the 19th pick to their arsenal which they used on Liam Stocker. However, after Carlton started the season 1-10, the deal with the Crows became the most followed pick swap in history. While it initially looked as if pick 1 was destined for Adelaide, the Blues eventually found form under new coach David Teague. The Crows secured pick 4 and Carlton ended up with pick 9.

Liam Stocker was the surprised of last year’s draft. Picture: AAP
Liam Stocker was the surprised of last year’s draft. Picture: AAP

TOM DOEDEE - PICK 17, 2015

Most draft experts were expecting Tom Doedee to be taken somewhere in the 30-40 range. However, the Crows caused a shock when they dived on the young defender in the first round. Even more surprising, Adelaide's recruiters overlooked a number of promising local talents, including North Adelaide's Ryan Burton and West Adelaide's Riley Bonner, to swoop on the Geelong Falcons product. The move now looks like a stroke of genius from the Crows, with Doedee finishing second in the 2018 rising star award. However, his 2019 was ruined by a knee injury.

BRODIE GRUNDY - PICK 18, 2012

The Magpies couldn't believe their luck. The best ruck prospect in the 2013 draft somehow slid all the way to their first pick at No. 18. Grundy is now the standout ruckman in the competition, having won All-Australian honours the past two years. Of all the clubs to overlook Grundy, his rise to prominence must hurt the Giants the most. Amazingly, they overlooked him five times, taking Lachie Whitfield, Jonathan O'Rourke, Lachie Plowman, Kristian Jaksch and Aidan Corr instead.

Wil Powell celebrates after his first goal for the Suns. Picture: Getty Images
Wil Powell celebrates after his first goal for the Suns. Picture: Getty Images

WIL POWELL - PICK 19, 2017

After missing out on selection in the West Australian under 18s during his draft year, few were expecting Wil Powell's name to pop up early in 2017. However, the Suns had other ideas, jumping on the Claremont product inside the first round. So left field was the Powell selection that even the broadcasters had to scramble to find his bio. The midfield-forward has played 20 games for the Suns across the past two years.

CHRISTIAN HOWARD - PICK 15, 2009

Draft gurus had Christian Howard slotted in the third or fourth round range. However, the Western Bulldogs saw something else, taking the Glenelg junior with the 15th selection. After making his debut in 2011, Howard went on to play 20 games for the Bulldogs before being delisted at the end of 2014. He later explained how he struggled to deal with the pressure of being a first-round draft pick.

NAKIA COCKATOO - PICK 10, 2014

A bolter in every sense, Nakia Cockatoo was only invited to the Gold Coast-hosted draft two days before the event. The late notice made booking a flight almost impossible, so the excitement machine was forced to think outside the square. The Cockatoo family managed to secure a flight from Darwin to Brisbane and then jumped in a cab to the Gold Coast. The taxi fare ended up being $308, a lot more than any other draftee had to pay. Highlighting his credentials as a shock selection, the Cats had only spoken to Cockatoo once during his draft year.

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