No.1 AFL pick title no issue for Rayner

The crown of being the No.1 AFL draft pick can weigh heavily, but Brisbane are confident it won’t be an issue for Cameron Rayner.

The Lions made the explosive Western Jets midfielder-forward, who has been likened to Richmond superstar Dustin Martin, the league’s newest top pick at Friday night’s selection meeting in Sydney.

“I think he’ll embrace it, I think that’s the best way to take on the pressure of that No.1 mantle,” Lions football boss David Noble said.

“It can be tough but we’ll work through that with him.”

It was one of the most open AFL drafts in years, but in the end Rayner was a standout for Brisbane.

In a top 10 dominated by Victorian midfielders from the TAC Cup competition, Rayner’s body of work this year set him apart.

After an at-times dramatic night, there will be three Brayshaw brothers playing in the AFL next year.

Fremantle snapped up Sandringham Dragons midfielder Andrew with the second overall selection while another of Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw’s siblings, Hamish, was taken by West Coast at No.68.

Carlton claimed Bendigo Pioneers onballer Paddy Dow with the third selection, while Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke went to North Melbourne fourth overall.

The Dockers rounded out the top five with Eastern Ranges onballer Adam Cerra.

Some clubs were unsure how a minor heart condition would affect Eastern Ranges forward-midfielder Jaidyn Stephenson at AFL level but Collingwood were confident enough to use pick six on him.

“Our medical guys have been working on it pretty much non-stop for a good two weeks,” Magpies recruiting chief Derek Hine said.

“It’s not a decision we take lightly. We’re really confident he’ll be a 10-year player.”

It was a tough night for taller players, with most clubs stocking up on midfielders before turning their attention to key-position prospects.

Richmond picked the first ruckman, 201cm Sturt tall Callum Coleman-Jones at No.20, and Carlton claimed an understudy to Matthew Kreuzer in Dandenong’s Tom De Koning (No.30).

In father-son developments, Chris Naish’s boy Patrick found his way to Punt Road (No.34) and Tyler Brown, son of Gavin, joined brother Callum at Collingwood at pick 50.

Jackson Edwards, whose dad is dual-premiership Adelaide champion Tyson, is still a chance to join the Crows via the rookie draft as no rival clubs selected him.

Essendon were the last club to join the draft, claiming Sturt forward Jordan Houlahan at No.49.

Former Melbourne midfielder Dom Barry (Port Adelaide at No.61), ex-Hawk Billy Hartung (North Melbourne, 77) and ex-Gold Coast player Jarrod Garlett (Carlton, 78) were former AFL players offered lifelines.

TOP 10 PICKS OF 2017 DRAFT

1. Brisbane – Cameron Rayner (midfielder, Western Jets).

2. Fremantle – Andrew Brayshaw (midfielder, Sandringham Dragons).

3. Carlton – Paddy Dow (midfidler, Bendigo Pioneers).

4. North Melbourne – Luke Davies-Uniacke (midfielder, Dandenong Stingrays).

5. Fremantle – Adam Cerra (midfielder, Eastern Ranges).

6. Collingwood – Jaidyn Stephenson (midfielder, Eastern Ranges).

7. St Kilda – Hunter Clark (midfielder, Dandeong Stingrays).

8. St Kilda – Nicholas Coffield (defender, Northern Knights).

9. Western Bulldogs – Aaron Naughton (defender, Peel Thunder).

10. Carlton – Lochie O’Brien (midfielder, Bendigo Pioneers).

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!