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Fremantle secured a steal by taking Hayden Young at pick.no 7 in the first round of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, at least according to a handful of rival AFL recruiters.
Callum Twomey from AFL.com.au asked 12 recruiters from different clubs who they would have taken if they had pick no.3 - considered to be the first ‘live’ pick of the draft with Gold Coast set on Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson.
Four of the 12 recruiters backed Melbourne’s call to select East Fremantle ruckman Luke Jackson, one saying they would take ‘Jackson in a heartbeat. He's a rare player.’
But six said they would have taken Young at three, meaning they would have been envious to see Freo land the skilful half-back at no.7.
See below to see how Young was rated by rival club recruiters, and you can read all the responses here.
"Hayden Young. He's an elite ball user and there's a premium on that these days. If there's any knock it's maybe his real genuine leg speed, but he gets away with it through elite agility. He takes metres with his ball use and kicking rather than with pace. He's a jet."
"It's a great question and a huge call. My initial thought would be that Young fits the bill best. I reckon with Melbourne's list they could really do with Young or Lachie Ash off half-back, particularly with Michael Hibberd getting to late in his career."
"Hayden Young by the length of the Flemington straight. He might end up the second-best player from this draft, and maybe even the best. He's not just a good kick – he doesn't force the ball into bad areas, ever. He opens up the ground with his disposal. His game in the midfield late in the season saw him compared to Scott Pendlebury and although it was only one game, it was spot on."
"It's Hayden Young. I'm a pretty big fan. For where the game's at now he just ticks so many boxes. He's a good runner, he's a good kick with good depth, and he can play in a number of roles. He gives you everything you'd want for where the game's headed."
"I'd pick Hayden Young. That's what I would do for my team, and if I was in Melbourne's position as well. They could do with a beautiful kicker off half-back. But it's not a really obvious call there. I would definitely be tempted to pick Luke Jackson, but it would take a lot of courage to do it. He intrigues me and it's rare what he can do at his size."
"I'd probably go with Hayden Young. He's the best kick we've seen in a long, long time. There's not much he hasn't achieved so far in his junior career."