It brings our total for the 2021 draft to eight, with more players selected from Sandringham in this draft than from any other club in the country.
Creative wing/forward Blake Howes is off to the Demons, joining the reigning premiers at pick 39, becoming the eighth former Dragon at the red and blue.
The Herald Sun’s phantom draft on Wednesday predicted Howes going to the Demons at their first choice at 19, but he fell to their second pick late in the second round.
Melbourne recruiting manager Jason Taylor was glad that he was still available.
“We’re really thrilled that he was there.
“He started to play some good footy on the wing, we know he’s played some good footy forward and some good footy down back.
“You don’t want to speak it up too much but we really were pleased with that result, to be honest.”
Midfielders Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager both had bids placed on them matched by St Kilda at picks 33 (Sydney) and 47 (Geelong) respectively.
Owens became the first player to be drafted from St Kilda’s Next Generation Academy program.
His draft stocks skyrocketed after a late call-up to represent Vic Metro in a trial game against Vic Country in July where he made a real impression with 29 disposals and a goal.
Head of List Management James Gallagher was “incredibly pleased” to welcome Owens officially to the Saints, having watched his development for so long in the Academy.
"Mitch is a brave 191cm midfielder with a competitive edge and great ability in the air,” Gallagher told St Kilda’s website.
"He has made significant improvements this year, exemplifying his attitude and commitment, but we believe he is only just scratching the surface of what he is capable of.”
Former Australian basketball representative Windhager slid to the third round before the Cats placed a bid, but the Saints were happy to match the bid once again.
“Marcus is a dynamic and powerful mid-forward, who is also very strong in the air,” Gallagher said. “He has overcome some injury setbacks in recent years, but his resilience, determination and talent have shone when he has had the opportunity to play.”
At pick 56 Port Adelaide chose ruck/forward Dante Visentini, who’ll be joining his former Xavier College classmate Josh Sinn, taken in the first round last night.
He becomes the third ruckman recruited from out of the Dragons this year behind Max Heath and Jacob Edwards, both taken in the midseason draft.
AFL Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan described him as competitive and dynamic.
“Presents well as a target and provides that vital contest which brings the ball to ground if he doesn’t mark, providing his team with opportunities,” he said.
“Very useful option also in the ruck, a role he played this year for both Victoria Metro at under-19s level as well as for the Sandringham Dragons.”
Pick 61 saw the Western Bulldogs select defender Luke Cleary.
One of our vice-captains this year, Cleary finished second in the best-and-fairest behind Finn Callaghan, returning to Sandringham this season after being overlooked in last year’s draft.
Sheehan said that he was impressed with Cleary’s football smarts.
“(Luke’s) A fine intercept mark and reader of the play across half-back.”