Josh Caddy took a much longer route to Richmond than the norm. The tough inside midfielder with good goal sense, from TAC Cup team Northern Knights, was one of the Gold Coast’s pioneer players, taken by the Suns with their fourth pick (No. 7 overall) in the 2010 AFL national draft.  After a brief stint there, Caddy returned to Victoria, joining Geelong. Then, in the 2016 trade period, the Tigers secured his services, and he’s gone on to be a dual premiership player at the Club. Here is an assessment this time 11 years ago of Caddy’s AFL prospects, followed by some phantom draft predictions of who would secure his services in the 2010 draft.

AFL Draft Info’s Caddy draft profile

“Selling points are inside ball-winning skills (especially first possessions and hard-ball gets), core strength, attack on the ball and contest, intensity, competitiveness, work-ethic, hard running, defensive pressure, ability to play forward effectively.

“More brutally effective than classy, hits the ball at pace and is capable of a decent burst off the mark.

“Plays a predominantly inside style, uses the ball effectively by hand, capable of taking a good grab, decent by foot (depth and accuracy), considering a large proportion of his possessions are under constant pressure, comfortable using both sides of the body, too, hands generally clean, and looks a big-stage player (BOG v WA under-18s in the televised game at Skilled Stadium).

“No major queries.

“Will be a very good inside midfielder that has the capacity to swing forward and be a goalkicking option.

“Needs to add about 5-8kg to be his ideal playing weight for the AFL, which will likely take about 2-3 years.

“I expect him to at least get some (senior) games next year, with the potential to play most of the season.

“He has the versatility to play as a medium forward, which should also help his cause.”

Paul Daffey, AFL Media phantom draft: Caddy to Gold Coast at pick 7

“Given the Suns’ list is choc-a-block with fast, outside midfielders, Caddy offers the perfect antidote with his bulldozing work around stoppages.

“He won the clean-hands contest at the draft combine and finished in the top 10 in the three-kilometre run, mainly through grit, rather than an abundance of slow-twitch muscle fibres.

“It's the grit that wins admirers.” 

Chris Doerre, AFL draft expert’s phantom draft: Caddy to Essendon at pick 8

“Caddy is a courageous tough nut who isn’t afraid to put his body on the line. He thinks he is a bull with the way he plays.

“Tackles hard and when moved forward can kick his share of goals.

“Very good kick of the footy and also has great hands.

“At under-18s level, he relies too much on physically beating his opponents, which may not translate at AFL level because there will be bigger, stronger bodies who he will struggle against.

“Upside is a little questionable with his style of play, but he should be able to play sooner, rather than later.

“At the draft combine, showed that he has better speed than he’d shown previously.

“Needs to develop more variety to his game and a bit more of an outside game to go with his inside game.

“Still projects to be a very good player and should play games from season one.”

Jay Clark, Herald Sun phantom draft: Caddy to Gold Coast at pick 11

“The Suns will load up on inside grunt at some point and Caddy is a powerful clearance machine.

“Crashes and bashes a bit, so the question is whether there is enough athleticism and speed.”