As part of a club-by-club series, we look at Ross Lyon’s steady-as-she-goes approach to snaring that elusive flag.
As you would expect from a side that got within a kick or two of a flag this year, the Saints are focused squarely on topping up, so there isn’t much fantasy interest in whoever they pick up in the draft, just as there wasn’t with Geelong’s last year when they drafted wall-to-wall project players.
There are obvious questions about how trade-ins Andrew Lovett and Brett Peake will fit into the Saints structure. I don’t think it would be too far away from the truth to predict that Lovett will replace the departed Luke Ball in the Saints’ best 22 while Peake is a depth player at best. While Lovett isn’t the same player as Ball, Ball’s role had almost been completely consumed anyway by a combination of younger players in David Armitage, Robert Eddy and Clinton Jones. Lovett instead may be used as a small forward in rotation with Andrew McQualter and James Gwilt.
However that plays out, I can’t see this batch of draftees getting much of a look in, barring a Hawthorn-of-2009 disaster scene in the Saints’ injury room.