The strength of Richmond’s hand in the upcoming AFL national draft is further underlined with a check of how the Tigers fared at the draft table 20 years ago.
Richmond enters this year’s draft with five picks inside 30 (No. 7, 15, 26, 27 and 28), but it was a distinctly different story back in 2001.
The Tigers didn’t have a selection then until pick 33, and they had three more after that – at 63, 68 and 77.
Calder Cannons pocket rocket David Rodan was Richmond’s first pick, followed by former Geelong forward Adam Houlihan, redrafted Tiger Chris Hyde, and South Fremantle youngster Marty McGrath.
Rodan went on to play 65 games for Richmond before transferring to Port Adelaide, where he had a successful 111-game career. He subsequently had a brief stint (nine games) with Melbourne.
Houlihan had 33 senior appearances with the Tigers, Hyde played 93 games and McGrath just four, despite a fabulous five-goal debut performance against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium in 2003.
There have been five other instances throughout Richmond’s drafting history where its initial pick was beyond the first five at the Club’s disposal this year.
In 1991, the Tigers chose Swan Districts player Todd Hawes with its first pick at No. 49 overall, Claremont’s Bradley Smith was taken with pick 35 in 1995, James White from Oakleigh Chargers at pick 40 in 1998, South Fremantle’s Shai Bolton, pick 29 in 2016, and Queensland’s Samson Ryan, pick 40 in 2020.