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The history behind our 2017 AFL Draft picks

Michael Gosman  November 22, 2017 11:00 AM

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Memorise these numbers: 1, 15, 18, 40, 44 and 52.

They are the six picks the Brisbane Lions will take into Friday’s 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

Each of the six picks has had its fair share of successful players, and we’ve outlined, in our opinion, the best player in history from each pick below.

1 

Since the first Draft in 1986 there’s been a stack of legendary number one picks.

We may cop flak for this but we’re going with current Lions player Luke Hodge as the best number one pick of all time.

Hodgey was taken first in the 2001 ‘Superdraft’ and deserves his mantle as one of the game’s greats. The tough defender has collected four premierships, two Norm Smith Medals and two All-Australia selections in 305 career games to date.

15

Midfielder Scott Camporeale was taken with Pick No.15 in the 1994 AFL Draft and went on to play 233 games for Carlton and another 19 for Essendon.

Camporeale won a premiership in 1995 and gained All-Australian selection in 2000 to validate his standing as the best number 15 selection in Draft history.

18

292-game and two time North Melbourne premiership player Anthony Stevens was a bargain at Pick No. 18 in the 1988 AFL Draft

Stevens won two best and fairest awards at the Kangaroos and was named in the Australian Football Hall of Fame this year. 

Four-time All-Australian player Alex Rance may soon overtake Stevens as the best Pick No. 18 of all time.

40

The Lions possess two current Pick No. 40 players: Mitch Robinson and Allen Christensen.

As good as both are, they haven’t reached the heights of Pick No. 40 in the 2001 AFL Draft, Gary Ablett Jr.

With two premierships, two Brownlows and eight All-Australia selections, Ablett will finish his career as one of the greatest AFL players in history.

In a good omen for Friday night, Pick No. 40 has also yielded players like Jobe Watson, Luke Parker, Josh P Kennedy and Michael O’Loughlin. 

44

Adelaide gun Rory Sloane just edges former Collingwood and Carlton stalwart Heath Scotland as the best Pick No. 44 in Draft history.

Sloane is a two-time best and fairest winner at the Crows and also made his first All-Australian team in 2016.

Picking up a quality midfielder like Sloane at Pick No. 44 would be an incredible result for the Lions on Friday night. 

52 

Pick No. 52 doesn’t quite have the long list of stars other numbers have, with former Swans premiership player Amon Buchanan the pick of the bunch.

Buchanan played 116 games for the Swans before joining the Lions where he played another 18 games before retiring.

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