Draft day has arrived.
By the end of Wednesday night, at least four young players will call Arden St home.
North Media previews North Melbourne’s most significant draft in recent years.
North enters the draft with picks 2, 11, 30, 39, 71, 81, 98, 110 and 118, but is likely to use only four or five selections.
With reduced list sizes and salary cap cuts due as a result of the pandemic, it is thought there will be less picks taken overall than in recent years, with the total number likely to be somewhere in the range of 50-60.
Pick two is the highest North has entered a draft since 2002, when it selected Daniel Wells.
That selection is likely to be pushed out to pick three however, with the Western Bulldogs almost certain to match any big on key-forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.
What they say
The general consensus in the media is that the Roos will target Murray Bushrangers mid/forward Elijah Hollands with their first pick.
Callum Twomey - AFL.com.au - Elijah Hollands
A game-changing midfielder and forward who excites with his penetrating kicking, clearance work at stoppages and ability to take a grab and kick a goal inside 50. The question from clubs is around Hollands' ACL injury, which he suffered while training at local level in February and ruled him out of this season. He probably won't be ready to play again until about mid-year in 2021 but Hollands is big, has some strut and confidence, and backs himself when the ball is in his hands. North have long been fans.
If not him? North would bid on Ugle-Hagan if the Crows don't at pick No.1. But putting him aside, the Roos have been bracing for how they shape their order of Hollands, Logan McDonald and Riley Thilthorpe. Whichever the Crows select, the Roos are tipped to take one of the remaining two. The Roos are also looking at their options in splitting their first pick, with a trade not ruled out.
Daniel Cherny, The Age - Elijah Hollands
The prevailing view within recruiting circles in recent days is that North would prefer to take a midfielder with their first selection. Hollands looms as the man, having excited during his bottom-age season in 2019 before tearing an ACL in February. Long-term he wants to be a midfielder. In terms of a return date from injury, Hollands - the son of former Richmond player Ben - says he will be guided by whichever club picks him. The curveball here is that rival clubs believe the Hawks are zeroing in on McDonald but worried the Swans could swoop at the following selection. It would not be a shock to see the Hawks trade up to pick No. 3 with North still able to take Hollands while getting something in return. McDonald and Thilthorpe are compelling candidates for the Roos and would also have to give them something to think about.
Chris Doerre - ESPN - Elijah Hollands
A talented forward and midfielder, Hollands is arguably the highest impact per possession player in the pool. His penetrating kick, aggressive run and carry, evasion and how influential he can be when used forward of centre as either a marking target or with his ground level craft make him a weapon.
The Roos’ second pick is much harder to call, with the draft pool opening up after the first five selections.
Callum Twomey - AFL.com.au - Tom Powell
Powell is the highest production player in this year's draft. The Sturt ball-getter averaged 35 disposals, nine clearances and six inside-50s at under-18 level in South Australia to be the competition's premier player. The midfielder does what he does so well: get the ball in his hands at stoppages and then feed it out to runners. Powell is great in tight spaces and is also able to push forward and kick a goal, having kicked three in a game this year.
If not him? It would be a very tight call if it came down to Powell and Archie Perkins, with both players in considerations at this choice. Tanner Bruhn is another who is on the radar here.
Daniel Cherny, The Age - Archie Perkinks
Perkins is an intriguing player and some have him sliding even further than this selection. Sources suggest North are keen though, with the decision appearing to come down to Perkins and South Australian midfielder Tom Powell. It wouldn't surprise if the explosive and long-kicking Perkins was off the board already though given the interest of the Hawks and Bombers. If so, Powell could well be the man at this spot.
Chris Doerre - ESPN - Tom Powell
A prolific ball-winning midfielder, Powell won the McCallum Tomkins Medal as the best player in the SANFL Under-18s. Powell is one of this draft's most productive and elite stoppage players with his contested ball winning and distribution by hand his standout features.
How the draft will work
This year's NAB AFL Draft will be a one-night, virtual event in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will follow a similar format to October's NAB AFLW Draft that was held entirely online.
As was the case throughout the recent Trade Period, the AFL Review Centre (ARC) will be central to live trading and selections being submitted, with draftees likely to be involved in the broadcast of the event via video links.
The Pre-Season and Rookie drafts will be held the following day, on Thursday, December 10.