On Friday night the 18 AFL Clubs converge upon Sydney to lay claim on the best young footballing talent in the country. With two picks in the first ten, St Kilda would appear to have a strong opportunity to add quality players to their list.
To answer the question of how valuable their picks are, we will take a look at who the Saints have drafted with the selection previously, and the best five players to have been drafted with the pick. We start with the club’s first selection, Pick Number Seven.
SAINTS PICK SEVEN HISTORY
Friday night will be the second time the Saints have had the seventh selection in the National Draft. The last time, back in 1994, St Kilda chose Vic Country Teal Cup Captain Tony Brown.
A member of St Kilda’s 1996 Night Premiership Winning team, and 1997 Grand Final team, Brown played 108 games across six seasons at the Saints.
Despite having been a mainstay in the midfield, Brown’s was a casualty of Malcolm Blight’s arrival at Moorabbin. Still just 23, Brown carved out a successful career with Port Adelaide in the SANFL, where he eventually captained the club and in 2001 won a Magarey Medal as the SANFL’s Best and Fairest.
The Seventh Selection has been quite fruitful for the clubs that have possessed it over the years. The 33 players selected have averaged 105-games, collected 16 x Premiership Medals, 11 x All Australian Jerseys, 6 x Best and Fairests and 1 x Rising Star Awards. Here are the best of the best, the top five players taken with pick number seven.
There were a few surprised onlookers when Geelong read Mackie’s name out with the seventh pick of the 2002 Draft. Having not attended that year’s draft camp he wasn’t on the radar of many clubs, but that would change over the course of his 15 season, 280 game AFL Career.
A reliable, goal kicking, half-back flanker, Mackie would receive a Rising Star nomination in 2004, an All-Australian Jersey in 2013, and be a key member of the Geelong Premiership teams of 2007, 2009, 2011.
Since being selected by Essendon with the seventh selection in the 2005 Draft, Paddy Ryder has been one of the dominant ruckmen n the AFL Competition.
A player with rare athleticism for his size, Ryder has often been compared to the great Polly Farmer. At just 29-years-old and on the back of a career best season, that saw him earn All-Australian honours, we can expect to see Ryder terrorising opposition Ruckmen for some time to come.
After being drafted in 1993, Johnson was shining light for Fitzroy in their final seasons and was one of the eight Lions to move north to play for the merged entity Brisbane Lions from 1997.
A composed and skilled backman, Johnson was a vital cog in the Brisbane Lions machine that won three consecutive premierships from 2001-03. His dash and creativity is reflected in his 108 goals from 264 games played mainly down back and his inclusion in the All-Australian teams of 2002 and 2004.
It takes some kind of player to win a Best and Fairest in a Premiership season and Jordan Lewis is one such player, winning the Hawks B&F in the 2014 season.
Drafted with the seventh selection in the 2004 draft, Lewis would play 264 games in Brown and Gold and along the way pick up four premiership medals and an All Australian jersey in 2014. Having crossed to Melbourne in 2017, the Demons will be hoping his bravery, leadership and experience down back will help propel them towards the finals for the first time in over a decade.
Selected with the seventh selection in the 2006 Draft, Joel Selwood made an immediate impact on the AFL with a Rising Star and a Premiership Medal from his first season in the big league.
While his ability to garner free kicks raises the ire of many opposition fans, his courage is universally admired. A four time winner of the AFLPA’s Most Courageous Player Award, he also has six All Australian selections to go with his three Best and Fairests and three Premierships.
How did we go? Who is your choice for best ever Number Seven selection? Have your say in the poll below.