AFL 2 years ago

The 2015 draft war: Weitering vs. Schache

  • The 2015 draft war: Weitering vs. Schache

A few days ago, young key defender Jacob Weitering and young key forward Josh Schache battled it out in a TAC Cup clash between the Stringrays and the Bushrangers.

This battle was part of their longer war - to be the number one pick in the 2015 AFL Draft.

AFL Media reported that Weitering won this individual battle, in front of several club recruiters including Brisbane's Peter Schwab.

But will he be number one?

Case for: Jacob Weitering

Weitering has been the standout draft prospect all year and elevated himself above Schache by keeping his rival to one goal on the weekend.

The 195cm defender has the size, the skill, and the perfect mix of defensive nous and rebounding flair.

He'd appeal hugely to the Carlton Blues, who are well in the mix to finish last and hold the number one pick.

Carlton's weak defence will only degenerate further as big men Sam Rowe (27) and Michael Jamison (29) get older.

Cameron Giles and Kristian Jaksch have long-term potential but Weitering could step in almost immediately. He would also free up Lachie Henderson to play as a permanent forward.

The Gold Coast Suns are a lesser chance of holding the number one pick, but would love to select Weitering if they did.

In 2014, the Suns selected Peter Wright ("Two-Metre Peter") with pick number eight, proving that they're comfortable selecting the best player, regardless of position.

Even if they don't finish 18th, many in the AFL think that full-forward Charlie Dixon will try to engineer a trade from the Gold Coast to the likely wooden spooners at Brisbane.

This could bring the number one pick into play as trade bait, allowing the Suns to move up the draft order to nab Weitering.

Case for: Josh Schache

Weitering outperformed Schache on the weekend but he'll face an even tougher enemy on draft night: History.

Since the modern draft began in 1987, only one key defender has been selected at number one, compared to about a dozen key forwards or ruck/forwards.

Only once in the last five years has a 190cm-plus defender been selected within the first ten picks (Caleb Marchbank). In contrast, three of the last four number one picks have been key forwards (Jon Patton, Tom Boyd, and Paddy McCartin).

Away from Weitering, Schache has posted record numbers in the TAC Cup. Key forwards around the 200cm mark are generally special, as the Bulldogs demonstrated when they offered Tom Boyd a seven-year, $7 million deal.

Furthermore, Schache's father played a few dozen games for Brisbane - the club that looks most likely to hold the number one draft pick.

The Lions have a clutch of young tall forwards in the development mix, but Schache could muscle ahead of most of them.

Full-back Justin Clarke and surprise packet Harris Andrews look like the long-term future for Brisbane's defence, but the forward-line needs a fresh injection of top-line potential.

This could all change if Brisbane secures Charlie Dixon from the Gold Coast. At present, however, it looks like Schache, rather than Weitering, could be the preferred option for the Lions

Who do you think will be pick number one?

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