Hawks Draft Strategy : August Edition

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As it stands after Round 23,  Hawthorn have Pick 5, 21 and 24 as their first three selections and with Sam Mitchell citing change afoot and chasing draft capital.

More picks will absolutely be in the frame later on, but like last month, we hope we can update the fans on the types of kids who will be around at our picks and who we can keep an eye on, as well as our favourite.

2021 Draft Class Player Highlights

At Pick 5, Talking Hawks select: Finn Callaghan

Finn Callaghan – Midfielder
Sandringham Dragons / Vic Metro | 189cm | 82kg

Finn is our man but there is the danger that Adelaide and Gold Coast will swoop on him so we have backup options, however Finn is the man. His foot skills are incredible, the strength in his hips is outstanding and has a 360 degree vision that looks fantastic.

Almost above all, he has leadership potential, can hit his targets inside 50 and his endurance is off the charts. Can definitely play early but if he’s given a year at Box Hill, he’d be one of the best VFL players in 2022. 

Keep an eye on: 

Josh Sinn – Half-Back / Midfielder
Sandringham Dragons / Vic Metro | 186cm | 82kg

There is a real argument to be had that the Hawks could take which of Sinn or Callaghan that Adelaide don’t. Getting outside run and precision ball use should be key to Sam Mitchell’s plans and the silkiness of Sinn is a tantalising prospect. 

Josh Gibcus – Tall Defender
GWV Rebels / Vic Country | 195cm | 84kg

Do the Hawks get more draft capital and get the best young key back to help develop once Kyle Hartigan, Sam Frost and Michael Hartley retire in a few years? The young gun certainly has a case to be made. 

Matthew Roberts – Midfielder / Forward
South Adelaide / South Australia | 183cm | 81 kg

The South Adelaide prospect is a contested bull who is a nice kick and is ready for senior footy. Has had an ankle issue during the year but recovery has gone well and recruiters love how clean he is. Can go forward also and is one to definitely watch. 

Josh Goater – Midfielder
Calder Cannons / Vic Metro | 190cm | 79kg

190cm+ big bodied mid, reminds me so much of Will Day it’s not funny and although  you could say it’s not okay to have the same similar type of player, who wouldn’t want two Will’s? Great size, great shape, good ball skills, hands are elite and his work rate is simply outstanding. 

When it comes to the next two picks, we are going to go with our four favourites for the two spots and then you guys can have more information on prospects who could make their way into the conversation, to add that extra punch of information. 

Chance Bateman Interview from 31 August 2021 –  Subscribe to join future interviews

With Pick 21, Talking Hawks selects: Judson Clarke

Judson Clarke – Small Forward / Midfielder
Dandenong Stingrays / Vic Country | 179cm | 69kg

A pet peeve of ours is how all of these draft experts claim these young players who can play multiple positions whereas it’s rarely the case. Clarke could be the exception as he’s shown multiple times he can put together some mature performances playing forward and in the midfield. Really classy finisher and genuinely could be anything. 

With Pick 24, Talking Hawks select: Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson – Inside Midfielder
Subiaco / Western Australia | 191cm | 80kg

The Subiaco product slipped to 20 in ESPN’s rankings and personally, he’s Rhys’ favourite draft prospect. He’s over 190cm tall, sticks his tackles, impacts the scoreboard and has incredible agility. His comparisons to Scott Pendlebury are fair but could do with a pre-season in the gym.

Johnson is the same height and 1kg lighter than Marcus Bontempelli, and to say the Hawks would love half of Bont would be incredible, but this kid sticks his tackles better than Pendles and the Bont. Once he finds his consistency, something special may be brewing. 

A couple of youngsters to watch for those 21 and 24 picks for us are Hugh Jackson and Neil Erasmus. So, who are these boys?

Hugh Jackson – Midfielder
North Adelaide / South Australia | 181cm | 70kg

Jackson averages 32 disposals at U/18 level in South Adelaide, with five clearances and 78% disposal efficiency. Experts are struggling to agree on where Jackson fits on most draft boards. He didn’t make DraftCentral’s top 25, was 17th on ESPN’s list and Cal Twomey’s Phantom Draft in July had him at 25.

If he’s available at our spot, he would be hard to ignore, but if he’s the third outside midfielder that we take, it might be a touch strange, but if the three picks at this stage are Sinn, Johnson and Jackson, that’s an A+ haul.

Neil Erasmus – Midfielder / Forward
Subiaco / Western Australia | 188cm | 80k

Erasmus is a genuine utility who can play wherever he is required. Western Australia have a plethora of talent coming through and with their ability to play more this year, they’ve got an edge and this young man has plenty of upside.

Written by Rhys Knight

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