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Jack Scrimshaw, the no-fuss defender with midfield goals

Callum Twomey  November 23, 2016 7:04 PM

Draft Prospects: Jack Scrimshaw The versatile defender is a beautiful kick and looms as a top-10 pick at the NAB AFL Draft

POLISHED defender Jack Scrimshaw is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year's NAB AFL Draft pool because of the variety he offers.

Scrimshaw is generally regarded as a mobile 194cm defender who reads the play and understands game scenario better than most.

But the interesting element for AFL clubs is whether the Sandringham Dragons product can turn himself into a full-time midfielder at the highest level, which he has stated is his aim.

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Regardless of the position he plays, Scrimshaw will be a valuable addition to any AFL club.

After overcoming a series of injury issues in 2015, Scrimshaw displayed throughout 2016 that he is one of the classiest players in this year's draft pool.

His performance in the 2016 TAC Cup Grand Final, in which he gathered 24 disposals and kicked an important goal in the final term to kick his team clear from the Murray Bushrangers, further emphasised his ability to perform in big games.

Scrimshaw averaged 16 disposals from three games in the 2016 NAB AFL Championships and ranked third in the competition for effective tackles (four per game); while he jumped up the draft order on the back of a strong end to the season.

Scrimshaw's versatility, effective ball use and strong temperament make him an attractive prospect for AFL clubs.

Scrimshaw can hurt opposition teams when given time and space, but he will need to work hard on improving the contested side of his game – especially if clubs view him as a midfielder.

Hip surgery that ruled him out in 2015, followed by a foot injury he suffered while on tour with the NAB AFL Academy in the United States in January, may also be a cause for concern.

Scrimshaw reads the play like few others in this draft class and reminds some observers of four-time premiership Hawk Grant Birchall in the way he patrols the defensive 50.

However, Scrimshaw believes he can even push into the midfield in the near future where his size – 194cm – and game style may resemble superstar Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli.

Scrimshaw is likely to be picked inside the top 10 of this year's draft, but could easily slip into the first five picks on November 25. Gold Coast has been long linked to him.

Scrimshaw understands the flow of the game and makes excellent decisions under pressure. He has great awareness and brings a no-fuss attitude to his footy. If he continues to match consistency with his high level of performance, the defender could be a genuine star.

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