(Last year finished 6th)
Predicted Average: 1659
Scorps welcome back Heppell and received another set of positional blessing with I. Smith, M. Kennedy and Hopper earning forward status and while Greene and Sheed both maintaining forward status… wait… what the hell happened here? Grand Final appearance to 9th in two years? A big trade at the end of last season saw the Scorpions move on top players Riewoldt and Birchall in return for Heeney. They then took 7 selections to the draft after delisting the likes of Rosa and Bell while also trading away Leuey. I think the Scorpions have hit the rebuild button but I’m not quite sure because Scott Thompson remains on their list.
Breakout Player – Sam Mayes
I’m actually serious this time. Fagan looks to have implemented a game plan of maintaining possession at Brisbane and with Mayes being one of the better users at the Lions they should want to get it into his hands. He’ll be perfectly suited to that cheap +6 mark/kick across the half back line and wing. If this isn’t the season that Mayes breaks out then he never will.
Time to Slide – Scott Thompson
Thompson earned this nomination last year and I don’t want to pick on him but he didn’t slide as much as expected and, to be honest, I’m struggling to see another worthy candidate. I wouldn’t bank on Heppell stepping straight back up to his previous output.
Special Mentions: Blicavs – third man up rule will not help him.
Make or Break – Zak Jones
Some speculative and risky recruiting has seen Scharenberg, Scrimshaw, Z.Jones and Witherden added to the Scorpion’s backline with no rookie defenders providing additional depth. Jones looks set for a good year but none of them have any job security. Throw in Mayes and the ever concussed Brodie Smith and Zac Jones will need to play every game if the Scorpions are to avoid copping donuts in their backline. Not only that but the ‘Pions payed a premium price for Jones by selecting him at pick 9 (though to be fair they just missed out on Josh Smith and Salem).
That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…
The Scorpions invested heavily in this draft and shed some middling and promising players on the way to 3 first round draft picks and 7 overall selections. I’m not a fan of having too many picks close together as you usually end up reaching for players in order to fill team positions. It seemed to work out for the Scorporation in the first round where they snapped up Bowes at 5 and then crossed their fingers that Boyd would still be around at 9/10. I’m not sure what their excuse was after that with two out of left field selections in Scrimshaw at 18 and Witherden and culminating with Polec. This draft may define the Scorpions teams for years to come.
Scorps will struggle this year, no doubt, and I don’t think they’ll be surprised considering the moves they’ve made recently. The competition between 9th – 2nd is also shaping up to be very even this year so expect injuries and draw to play a big part in the order of the middle of the pack. The Scorpions have a competitive forward line but their backline has been stripped right back to make way for youth.