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    Robbo's Draft Review 2018

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    Jeff 'Robbo' Robson

    Posts : 40
    Join date : 2014-03-26

    Robbo's Draft Review 2018

    Post by Jeff 'Robbo' Robson on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:38 am

    Robbo’s Draft Review 2018

    Hey there Robbo fans, wow what a draft! The beers flowed, the online spreadsheet was efficient, the fines were plentiful, the boys punched on late, and a good time was had by all! Special mentions go to Shannon drafting from the dead of the night in London, Chuck drafting from a dog sled in Canada, Rick drafting from the passenger seat of a car, and Wini drafting from the mysterious depths of his own fantasy world.

    Robbo’s many fans have been clamoring for his thoughts on this year’s picks, hoping for more pearls of wisdom from the great prognosticator, representative halfback, and the original and the best most popular player. Robbo was still a bit drunk from the draft when he wrote last year’s review, here’s hoping this year’s version proves to be a bit more accurate!

    Let’s go!

    PUNTERS
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R4 - 43 Cameron Munster (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R5 – 58 Joseph Leilua (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R10 – 136 Wade Graham
    Risky Business: R3 – 42 Latrell Mitchell
    Middle of the road draft from the Punters, Cameron Smith first overall will have some work to do but he should find support from James, Mitchell, Munster, and some decent late round value from Jackson, Graham, Jennings and Glenn. Cartwright went a bit early but could go well, Dylan Walker is always injured, Jack Bird is 20kg overweight, and Moses Suli is the only player fatter than Bird. As many questions as answers in this team.

    MONSTERS
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R7 – 86 Joel Thompson (Value)
    Worst Pick: R8 – 111 Ryan Matterson (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R27 – Boyd Cordner
    Risky Business: R5 – 69 Brodie Croft
    The Monsters made the first big bold call of the draft by passing up last year’s MVP Nathan Cleary for Shaun Johnson, an electric player who could score 20 points in any given week just as easily as he could go down injured or give away the kicking duties. Boyd Cordner fresh off a stem cell injection in his knee could be set to join the top echelon of forwards this year, but Martin Taupau in R3 was too early. Brodie Croft is a huge risk in R5 as a rookie, with talk he will spend time on the bench this year. Joel Thompson was a great get as an 80 minute backrower in round 7, but Ryan Matterson is a bench forward at best and went too early. Nick Cotric was a good get but Taane Milne could start the year in reserve grade. Another team with a mixed outlook.

    MINERS
    Grade: A
    Best Pick: R5 – 63 Jesse Bromwich (Value and Upside)
    Worst Pick: R16 – 214 Robbie Farah (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R9 – 120 Solomone Kata
    Risky Business: R2 – 26 Sam Burgess
    Quite a good draft from the Miners, who traded up and were rewarded when 2017 MVP Nathan Cleary fell into their lap. They assembled a very good core with decent positional balance, and found value in Klemmer, Bromwich and Wallace. Their SKD radar was dialed in, taking the great sideways runner one pick before a rival had him penciled in. Bought insurance pick James Maloney at the right time, and then continued to find value in Feldt Hiku and Montoya as the draft wore on. Top pick Kata could be set for a big year. Concerns about Burgess playing on an edge and weekly HIAs are the biggest issues facing this very impressive team.

    DINGOS
    Grade: B
    Best Pick: R5 – 62 Dale Finucane (Value and Upside)
    Worst Pick: R11 – 154 Blake Austin (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R10 – 140 Jamie Buhrer
    Risky Business: R3 – 39 Billy Slater
    An experienced team of established players could see the Dingos post a consistent 2018, although it’s hard to see where genuine upside exists to push them into the elite. Thurston will kick a lot of goals, Fifita could bounce back to his best, and some value found in workers Gillett and Finucane to lay the platform. Billy Slater, another year older and another shoulder injury casting some doubts, went a little early in R3 although the backs went earlier than usual this year. Jason Nightingale was value at R9, but perhaps not much value from R11 onward could leave the Dingo’s reliant on their core. Decent positional balance and a solid team.

    LAMBS
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R5 – 61 Felise Kaufusi (Value)
    Worst Pick: R7 – 94 Aidan Guerra (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R6 – 80 Matt Dufty
    Risky Business: R1 – 5 Jarrod Croker
    A tough team to predict, not sure if two Raiders backs in Croker and Rapana is the best R1-R2 combination but could pay off big. Peatsy has some questions this year but Hunt should go well. Felise was cheap in R5 and Dufty could be a great pick in R6. Middling choices in the second half of the draft, with value buys Uate, Granville, Mann and RFM balanced by potential busts Junior Paulo, Gavin Cooper, and Aidan Guerra.  Could go either way, but watch out for the Lambs when the Raiders go big.

    WOLVES
    Grade: B
    Best Pick: R4 – 48 Josh Mansour (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R11 – 153 Isaah Yeo (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R5 – 57 Anthony Milford
    Risky Business: R3 – 37 Michael Lichaa
    A first class draft until the wheels fell off in the second half, the Wolves have a reliable goalkicker, the unstoppable Galbot leading the pack, and mostly a great combination of value and upside through to Jorge at R9. Lichaa could be great or a bust, and Robbo sees Milford adding a reliable points output through play kicking to his already mercurial running game this year. Josh Mansour should be fit and firing, although questions of whether Tyrone Peachey knows how to pass to him remain. The Wolves spent the back end of the draft picking almost the entire Penrith back row and bench, but at least one of them should land a hit. It’s a fast and skillful team that should perform well, but may not have the firepower in depth to go all the way.
    SLED DOGS
    Grade: B
    Best Pick: R13 – 174 Sione Katoa (Value and Upside)
    Worst Pick: R5 – 64 Bevan French (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R6 – 77 Cameron King
    Risky Business: R3 – 36 Dylan Edwards
    Robbo has always had a bit of a soft spot for a good Sled Dog, and likes the look of these mushers. Fortunate to grab Widdop at 7, and even luckier to grab Tedesco in R2, the Sled Dogs followed up with a big risk in Dylan Edwards, who doesn’t have a long track record of excellence. Value found in R4 with Harris and R7 with Frizell, and will be hoping the upside in King, Johnston, Ese’ese, Fitzy and electric youngster Katoa can pay off. Undeterred by their 2017 trainwreck, the Sled Dogs laid some big bets, but should have enough quality, positional balance and depth to see them through to an improved result.

    XIII
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R7 – 89 Mitchell Barnett (Value and Upside)
    Worst Pick: R2 – David Nofoaluma (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R6 – 75 Michael Gordon
    Risky Business: R1 – 8 Cameron McInnes
    The first team to pass up a kicker in the first round, the XIII jumped on a player coming off a historic season. Will McInnes post consecutive all-time great seasons? The XIII continued to roll the dice with Nofo, an excellent player taken early, but steadied the ship with solid picks Taylor, Vuni and Lafai. Gordon should have plenty of running the ball back this year, and Mitchell Barnett is a smoky to join the top forwards if he gets minutes. Second half of the draft did not find a lot of value or upside, so this team will ride its core to its destiny.

    BOXES
    Grade: A
    Best Pick: R6 – 76 Apisai Koroisau (Value and Upside)
    Worst Pick: R7 – 90 Mitchell Aubusson (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R5 – 65 Trent Merrin
    Risky Business: R3 – 34 Chad Townsend
    A classic Boxes draft, finding reliability and value throughout the draft, but possibly lacking true elite upside. Jake Friend could develop a running game this year to reach another level of elite, but Chad Townsend in R3 is a massive risk with the possibility he may not kick goals. The pack is strong all the way through, and there is some great value in backs Ross and Lee later in the draft. This team will be a consistent, strong contender, but where’s the strike?

    ROCKETS
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R5 – 70 SST (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R4 – 52 Clinton Gutherson (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R6 – 71 Cameron Murray
    Risky Business: R3 – 33 Paul Vaughan
    Nothing gets the Rox rock hard like a huge pack of burly men, and they took their draft to the extreme by almost completing ignoring positions 1-7+9. They don’t appear to have received the memo about the Worm coming off an ACL and giving away the GK duties, but they certainly did assemble the league’s best forward pack. Questions over whether JDB and PV can repeat their heroics of last year with more competition for minutes, but the big fellas should post decent seasons regardless. All the Rox backs are tall, slow, poor defenders, and will rely on tries as none of them are noted stat men. Cody Walker is a poor top PM, but the Rox are too busy buying up muscle oil to care. A big slow team without a proven GK or any attacking upside, the Rox will be consistent but won’t go all the way.

    DRUGGIES
    Grade: A
    Best Pick: R7 – 87 Michael Morgan (Value)
    Worst Pick: R4 – 53 Josh Dugan (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R5 – 68 Josh Papalii
    Risky Business: R1 – 11 Mitchell Pearce
    The defending Premiers have produced an excellent draft, assembling one of the strongest cores with few mistakes through 9 rounds let down only by some mixed value prospects in the second half. Great value in Kahu R6, but Morgan R7 could be the steal of the draft. Pearce in the first was a very bold call but maybe not a bad one, and Papalii is a candidate to finally join the elite forwards with a big year. Fusitua and MWZ are the standouts of the later rounds but too many picks wasted on players like Leutele, Proctor, Sami and Brett Morris could hold this team back from a repeat Premiership.

    GUNNERS
    Grade: D
    Best Pick: R3 – 31 Kalyn Ponga (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R4 – 54 Matt Eisenhuth (Too Early)
    Could Surprise: R7 – 96 Daniel Alvaro
    Risky Business: R2 – 17 Daly Cherry-Evans
    A wild flurry of huge unnecessary risks from the normally more conservative Gunners, this draft could be anything. Macca coming off an ACL is a risk and Cherry-Evans went far too early on the back of goal kicking hype. On this shaky foundation, the Gunners, went too early on Matt Eisenhuth, Daniel Alvaro, and Russell Packer over available established stars. All of these players could have been secured after a reliable core. One unproven rookie back and GK forms the entire backline, these Gunners went full hype-mode and could regret this draft.

    TRUCKERS
    Grade: C
    Best Pick: R3 – 30 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R6 – 81 Aiden Tolman (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R5 – 60 Damien Cook
    Risky Business: R4 – 55 James Graham
    The Truckers may have paid a bit too much attention to 2017 averages and maybe needed some more time at the crystal ball, after they disregarded concerns over Mannering’s age and new edge role to take him R1 and then followed up with Taumalolo who is no longer the only middle forward in his side. James Graham and Aiden Tolman complete a quartet of yesterday’s heroes in the pack. Damien Cook looks set for a breakout year and Moses Mbye risky but could prove decent value in R7, but the backline is thin after RTS with some poor value in the second half of the draft. Might not be vintage Truckers this year.

    COUGARS
    Grade: A
    Best Pick: R2 – 15 Mitchell Moses (Upside)
    Worst Pick: R6 – 74 Issac Luke (No Good)
    Could Surprise: R3 – 29 Aaron Woods
    Risky Business: R5 – 67 Valentine Holmes
    A wise draft from the seniors society of XRL, they found the best possible outcome from the joker picks at the end of the first round with Mitchell Moses, who some experts rate as the 8th or 9th best kicker with potential for more. Robbo sees Aaron Woods rejoining the elite forward class this year, Crichton continuing to steamroll, and Matt Moylan and Jarryd Hayne providing the finesse. Issac Luke is pretty far down the hill of his age-related decline already, and Valentine Holmes has some questions given that in 2017 he provided a quarter of the attacking output of the Sharks 2016 custodian Ben Barba. Great value found later in the draft with Ma’u, Lillyman, Oates, Sione and AFB, this is a deep team with great potential.

    That’s all from me Robbo fans, go back to nursing those sore heads and get ready for an exciting year of XRL! Teams rated Grade A, please direct your positive feedback to Rep Halfback Robbo, care of Rooty Hill RSL and Retirement Home. Teams rated Grade C or below, please direct your constructive feedback to G. Fucked, Souths Leagues Club Function Room.

      Current date/time is Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:40 pm