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Part 2: Jason Taylor - Visionary or Over-rated - 2014



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Taylor - Visionary or Over-rated - Part 2 (the 2014 draft)

2014

Draft: 9/10 Trading: 5/10

By this stage Taylor, Roosy and Todd Viney were all settled in and despite losing our AA full-back James Frawley as a free agent, the AFL felt some sympathy for us and dealt us pick 3 as compensation. The Hawks were fuming given they only got pick No.19 for losing Lance Franklin the previous year. 

The Frawley deal gave Taylor the trump hand of picks 2, 3 and meant that Roosy and Viney looked for more experience from our second and third rounders and swapped them for Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett and Heritier Lumumba (Harry O’Brien).

Everyone knew Christian Petracca would go No.1 and Roosy was all over Angus Brayshaw having seen him at the Irish junior trip. Taylor apparently wasn’t so sure about McCartin and my understanding is that we were considering Brayshaw and Lever with picks 2 and 3. Getting Lever back then, rather than for two high first rounders in 2017 would have helped in hindsight. 

But just before the draft the Saints apparently decided Trac was full of himself (very few top kids aren’t I reckon) and went for McCartin. It probably goes down as the luckiest and best moment for us in drafting history – for once it wasn’t us making an error and the rest is history – two champion kids on top of two quality individuals (Billy Stretch and Alex Neal-Bullen) makes this Taylor’s key moment in resurrecting our list along with setting up the right culture.

Overall the 2014 draft didn’t prove to be a ripper. The Giants had picks 4, 6 and 7 and only Caleb Marchbank (6) is still playing of that lot and that’s often for Carlton’s VFL side. 

Gold Coast got a bargain star with Touk Miller at pick 29, but didn’t fare so well with picks 8 and 15, while both Sydney (Isaac Heeney) and Brisbane (Harris Andrews) look inspired choices, but both were academy bargains anyway. The Dogs fared best with late-order picks claiming Bailey Dale (45) and Caleb Daniel (46).

The rookie draft of 2014, by comparison, was one of the better ones – so clearly a lot of the experts got things wrong that year.

2 Christian Petracca – not a lot needs to be said given he has a Normie and very nearly a Charlie to go with it. He did take a while to become a star, but then again, it did take us a while to let him play in the middle and with freedom. He has a great profile, but more importantly seems to be setting a great example on and off the field for our youngsters. 

3 Angus Brayshaw – a player with all the right principles, hence a huge loss this season. We all loved him in his first year when he helped us beat the Cats at Kardinia Park and after a few head knocks, he came back to lead our charge to greatness in 2018 and then ‘21. Would we have won the flag if he hadn’t been knocked out by Maynard? After 167 games will go down as a club great. As to the draft, Roosy was also keen on Isaac Heeney. It would have been interesting if Taylor had to choose between the three of them – Trac, Angus and Heeney – but back then Swans could Academy him. 

Time shows that only Jordan de Goey (5) can match the Angus choice. And ironically the Pies also got Darcy Moore (9), who was eligible for us as well, and Maynard (30) who we were across (via his dad being at Casey) but we didn’t have a pick around then having traded out of the second round.

40 Alex Neal-Bullen – SA’s under 18 side had won the junior champs and there was plenty of talent (if ever you want to see junior highlights have a look at how good Caleb Daniel was). The Crows were into Harrison Wigg, but I think Taylor had been over to watch Billy Stretch play for Glenelg seniors a few times and liked what Nibbler did for them as well. Ultimately he rated him higher than Daniel who went at 46 because of fears about his size. I think Dee fans are now aware what ANB brings to our club, although Daniel is a Doggie great as well (just don’t ask Bevo lately!).

42 Billy Stretch – was very impressive on a wing for Glenelg, so an easy choice as father/son for us. Ultimately probably needed a bit more of his dad’s height and athleticism to become a regular and I often wonder what might have happened with his career had he held on to the mark or been given a free kick for what would have been a matchwinner against North down in Tassie. Great workrate, just a tad small-bodied for AFL level. Great kid as well.

53 Oscar McDonald – I never have a problem taking successful brothers with picks this late because in most cases they are cut from the same cloth and may just take time – Dylan Grimes was a case in point. Oscar took too much time though. His kicking skills were elite, but he was just a tad slow and I wonder if an early head-high collision with Darcy Moore at VFL level in a match at Olympic Park, impacted his aggression. Amazingly, given his kicking skills, we rarely tried him as a forward, and he eventually got delisted and knee injuries have prevented him making headway elsewhere. Ed Langdon went to Freo with the next pick (54), so choosing him back then would have been inspiring, but with four young mids already taken by us that year, I imagine a fifth didn’t feel quite right back then. 

As for the trades, Lumumba looked good in his first year before falling to concussion syndrome, Jeffy was super first year and not bad in his third year, while Frosty made sure we got out of our seat to make sure he hit his intended target. He’s still going at the Hawks, so he wasn’t as bad as some of you make out I reckon. But thank christ, the top order lived up to the billing and our impressive culture was established.

The other new addition down at training was rookie Aaron Vandenberg, who was so left field, most of us had to check he wasn’t a doorman. He had a 50-possession game with Ainslie which apparently excited Tubby, so he was taken with pick 2 of the rookie draft. He was a late starter with injury, but once he was fit, he played a practice match and looked way better than half our list – quicker, stronger and more confident. We also took a stab on Mitch White, who was a nice left-footer but a tad slow across the turf. He is probably playing his best footy now as our Casey skipper.

It was a great rookie draft for a handful of clubs. The Saints got Jack Sinclair, Jayden Short and Jason Castagna were premiership players at Richmond on top of a Kane Lambert upgrade, Reilly O’Brien, Brayden Preuss (we got him via trade four years later) or Ivan Soldo would have been way better back-up rucks than any we have tried in the Gawny era and Gold Coast took Adam Saad at pick 23 (now at the Blues) and his pace and kicking has always amazed me. Throw in Sydney’s Nic Newman (also now at Blues) and it may have been the best rookie draft ever. 

COMING UP: 2015 - Taylor's most inspired choice but also possibly his worst draft in his 11 years.

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Why are you providing a rating of trades in a thread ostensibly about Jason Taylor, who is our recruiter? It's like complaining to the bootstudder about corporate hospitality.

Taylor has been on record before saying that the top 3 were McCartin, Petracca and Brayshaw, and we would have selected whichever players were left at 2 and 3. Lever was going to be the target, AFAIK, for pick 10 which we were trading Trengove to Richmond for (but subsequently failed his physical).

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2 minutes ago, Axis of Bob said:

Why are you providing a rating of trades in a thread ostensibly about Jason Taylor, who is our recruiter?

Taylor has been on record before saying that the top 3 were McCartin, Petracca and Brayshaw, and we would have selected whichever players were left at 2 and 3. Lever was going to be the target, AFAIK, for pick 10 which we were trading Trangove to Richmond for (but subsequently failed his physical).

 

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3 minutes ago, Axis of Bob said:

Why are you providing a rating of trades in a thread ostensibly about Jason Taylor, who is our recruiter? It's like complaining to the bootstudder about corporate hospitality.

Taylor has been on record before saying that the top 3 were McCartin, Petracca and Brayshaw, and we would have selected whichever players were left at 2 and 3. Lever was going to be the target, AFAIK, for pick 10 which we were trading Trengove to Richmond for (but subsequently failed his physical).

I had always understood that the recruiting team, led by our list manager and draft guru, sits down together and goes through options on a regular basis throughout the year and on occasions they bring in the footy manager and coach - maybe I am wrong about this as you seem to know better.

Did you want to finish the series for me, or are you happy for me to continue?

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Love your work mate, nice reminder re Garlett - he was a revelation. Vanders brought some attributes we were seriously lacking, such a pity he struggled so much with injury.

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Love the series!

I was always disappointed that Vanders' career with us was hit heavily by injury. Definitely one of my favourites from the last decade or so. Happy he got to be part of the '21 flag though, albeit off the field.

Loved watching Jeffy Garlett back around the '15-'17 period as well. Played some very handy games for us in exchange for essentially a packet of chips.

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1 hour ago, Deespicable said:

Taylor - Visionary or Over-rated - Part 2 (the 2014 draft)

2014

Draft: 9/10 Trading: 5/10

By this stage Taylor, Roosy and Todd Viney were all settled in and despite losing our AA full-back James Frawley as a free agent, the AFL felt some sympathy for us and dealt us pick 3 as compensation. The Hawks were fuming given they only got pick No.19 for losing Lance Franklin the previous year. 

The Frawley deal gave Taylor the trump hand of picks 2, 3 and meant that Roosy and Viney looked for more experience from our second and third rounders and swapped them for Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett and Heritier Lumumba (Harry O’Brien).

Everyone knew Christian Petracca would go No.1 and Roosy was all over Angus Brayshaw having seen him at the Irish junior trip. Taylor apparently wasn’t so sure about McCartin and my understanding is that we were considering Brayshaw and Lever with picks 2 and 3. Getting Lever back then, rather than for two high first rounders in 2017 would have helped in hindsight. 

But just before the draft the Saints apparently decided Trac was full of himself (very few top kids aren’t I reckon) and went for McCartin. It probably goes down as the luckiest and best moment for us in drafting history – for once it wasn’t us making an error and the rest is history – two champion kids on top of two quality individuals (Billy Stretch and Alex Neal-Bullen) makes this Taylor’s key moment in resurrecting our list along with setting up the right culture.

Overall the 2014 draft didn’t prove to be a ripper. The Giants had picks 4, 6 and 7 and only Caleb Marchbank (6) is still playing of that lot and that’s often for Carlton’s VFL side. 

Gold Coast got a bargain star with Touk Miller at pick 29, but didn’t fare so well with picks 8 and 15, while both Sydney (Isaac Heeney) and Brisbane (Harris Andrews) look inspired choices, but both were academy bargains anyway. The Dogs fared best with late-order picks claiming Bailey Dale (45) and Caleb Daniel (46).

The rookie draft of 2014, by comparison, was one of the better ones – so clearly a lot of the experts got things wrong that year.

2 Christian Petracca – not a lot needs to be said given he has a Normie and very nearly a Charlie to go with it. He did take a while to become a star, but then again, it did take us a while to let him play in the middle and with freedom. He has a great profile, but more importantly seems to be setting a great example on and off the field for our youngsters. 

3 Angus Brayshaw – a player with all the right principles, hence a huge loss this season. We all loved him in his first year when he helped us beat the Cats at Kardinia Park and after a few head knocks, he came back to lead our charge to greatness in 2018 and then ‘21. Would we have won the flag if he hadn’t been knocked out by Maynard? After 167 games will go down as a club great. As to the draft, Roosy was also keen on Isaac Heeney. It would have been interesting if Taylor had to choose between the three of them – Trac, Angus and Heeney – but back then Swans could Academy him. 

Time shows that only Jordan de Goey (5) can match the Angus choice. And ironically the Pies also got Darcy Moore (9), who was eligible for us as well, and Maynard (30) who we were across (via his dad being at Casey) but we didn’t have a pick around then having traded out of the second round.

40 Alex Neal-Bullen – SA’s under 18 side had won the junior champs and there was plenty of talent (if ever you want to see junior highlights have a look at how good Caleb Daniel was). The Crows were into Harrison Wigg, but I think Taylor had been over to watch Billy Stretch play for Glenelg seniors a few times and liked what Nibbler did for them as well. Ultimately he rated him higher than Daniel who went at 46 because of fears about his size. I think Dee fans are now aware what ANB brings to our club, although Daniel is a Doggie great as well (just don’t ask Bevo lately!).

42 Billy Stretch – was very impressive on a wing for Glenelg, so an easy choice as father/son for us. Ultimately probably needed a bit more of his dad’s height and athleticism to become a regular and I often wonder what might have happened with his career had he held on to the mark or been given a free kick for what would have been a matchwinner against North down in Tassie. Great workrate, just a tad small-bodied for AFL level. Great kid as well.

53 Oscar McDonald – I never have a problem taking successful brothers with picks this late because in most cases they are cut from the same cloth and may just take time – Dylan Grimes was a case in point. Oscar took too much time though. His kicking skills were elite, but he was just a tad slow and I wonder if an early head-high collision with Darcy Moore at VFL level in a match at Olympic Park, impacted his aggression. Amazingly, given his kicking skills, we rarely tried him as a forward, and he eventually got delisted and knee injuries have prevented him making headway elsewhere. Ed Langdon went to Freo with the next pick (54), so choosing him back then would have been inspiring, but with four young mids already taken by us that year, I imagine a fifth didn’t feel quite right back then. 

As for the trades, Lumumba looked good in his first year before falling to concussion syndrome, Jeffy was super first year and not bad in his third year, while Frosty made sure we got out of our seat to make sure he hit his intended target. He’s still going at the Hawks, so he wasn’t as bad as some of you make out I reckon. But thank christ, the top order lived up to the billing and our impressive culture was established.

The other new addition down at training was rookie Aaron Vandenberg, who was so left field, most of us had to check he wasn’t a doorman. He had a 50-possession game with Ainslie which apparently excited Tubby, so he was taken with pick 2 of the rookie draft. He was a late starter with injury, but once he was fit, he played a practice match and looked way better than half our list – quicker, stronger and more confident. We also took a stab on Mitch White, who was a nice left-footer but a tad slow across the turf. He is probably playing his best footy now as our Casey skipper.

It was a great rookie draft for a handful of clubs. The Saints got Jack Sinclair, Jayden Short and Jason Castagna were premiership players at Richmond on top of a Kane Lambert upgrade, Reilly O’Brien, Brayden Preuss (we got him via trade four years later) or Ivan Soldo would have been way better back-up rucks than any we have tried in the Gawny era and Gold Coast took Adam Saad at pick 23 (now at the Blues) and his pace and kicking has always amazed me. Throw in Sydney’s Nic Newman (also now at Blues) and it may have been the best rookie draft ever. 

COMING UP: 2015 - Taylor's most inspired choice but also possibly his worst draft in his 11 years.

I am also enjoying this series Deespicable refreshing some great memories, looking forward to your next edition.

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1 hour ago, Deespicable said:

I had always understood that the recruiting team, led by our list manager and draft guru, sits down together and goes through options on a regular basis throughout the year and on occasions they bring in the footy manager and coach - maybe I am wrong about this as you seem to know better.

Did you want to finish the series for me, or are you happy for me to continue?

My understanding from what Taylor has said in interviews is that the recruiter will give those doing the trading (footy boss, list manager, etc) the players that they project to be available at each point in the draft so that they can understand the value that they are dealing with when trading picks. The recruiting team is not the trading team and Taylor has little to do with it aside from providing information about potential draftees. I have no problem with discussions about list managing/drafting/trading etc, but when you provide a provocative title specifically tying the performance to a single person then I think it's important to understand the role that this person actually plays.

As for the last line, if you want to post your thoughts without comment then set up a blog. I appreciate the effort that you've put into it to stimulate conversation .... but you can't get upset that what you've put out for discussion is being discussed. I was hoping I was providing positive contributions to the discussions, even if part of that questioned some of the things that you said. 

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1 hour ago, At the break of Gawn said:

Really enjoying these. Looking forward to the next one!

Only the first bit!

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3 hours ago, Axis of Bob said:

As for the last line, if you want to post your thoughts without comment then set up a blog. 

Axis!

I’m blushing…

Tracee Ellis Ross Omg GIF by Golden Globes

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5 hours ago, Deespicable said:

 

Did you want to finish the series for me, or are you happy for me to continue?

We can call it. I’ll close up.

Nbc Goodbye GIF by Will & Grace

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44 minutes ago, Ollie fan said:

The series is great.

 

Vandenberg was a real favourite of mine and his injury was a dreadful shame. One of the many many MFC foot injuries - why is that?

Me to Ollie loved Vandenberg and agree foot injuries have robbed us of a lot of top end talent including Trengove and Mitch Clarke, JV, Fritta and Petty all foot related.

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It was a shame that Billy Stretch never made it in the AFL, his dad Steven was a great player for the club and one of the best to come from SA.

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3 hours ago, DeeZone said:

Me to Ollie loved Vandenberg and agree foot injuries have robbed us of a lot of top end talent including Trengove and Mitch Clarke, JV, Fritta and Petty all foot related.

And TMac

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