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How deep is the Cats' list?

Peter Ryan - AFL Media  November 14, 2016 9:47 AM

The return of Jackson Thurlow will bolster the Cats' backline

The return of Jackson Thurlow will bolster the Cats' backline

Draft selections: 24, 38, 42, 64, 72, 74, 91

Backs: Jackson Thurlow's return from a knee reconstruction helps, although the team will need to blood replacements for Corey Enright, who has retired, and Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan, who are in their twilight years. Ryan Gardner might play senior football while recruit Zach Tuohy's run helps. Tom Ruggles and Jed Bews will battle out the small defender's spot.

Midfield: Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood crowded out the talent inside that group to some extent, although the emergence of Sam Menegola and Scott Selwood helped soften Josh Caddy's departure to Richmond. The Cats need to make more of Cam Guthrie, Mitch Duncan and Steve Motlop in the midfield.

Forwards: Tom Hawkins is a huge presence, but he needs support from a tall such as North Melbourne recruit Aaron Black. Daniel Menzel will be better with a full year behind him and Lincoln McCarthy is a good pressure forward. A creative, crumbing goalsneak is desperately needed, hence the Cats toying with the idea of getting Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne.

Rucks: Zac Smith looks locked in, although he needs to redeem himself for a poor end to the season. Mark Blicavs should either play as second ruck or develop as a defender, while Rhys Stanley needs to make the grade as a ruck/forward to justify the hopes pinned upon him.

The priority: A goalsneak and a tall defender who can use the ball well would be handy for a team that looks to have a solid midfield in place.

Dream draft according to Cal Twomey: Shai Bolton's zip and speed could see him in the mix at the Cats' first pick, and he would be a nice fit if they're after more pace (he ran 2.95 seconds over 20 metres at the combine). Brennan Cox is a key defender from South Australia who was named an All Australian this year and could fit in the second round.