Melbourne are determined to shield exciting key forward prospect Jesse Hogan from the sort of unrealistic expectations that have burdened Jack Watts.
Four years after taking Watts with the No.l AFL draft pick, hoping he would become a dominant marking forward, the Demons are still seeking that type of player.
The 17-year-old Hogan, already 195cm and 97kg, gives every indication he can eventually fill the gap.
But coach Mark Neeld said no one within the club expected Hogan, who must spend next year in the VFL, to have an instant impact when he makes his AFL debut in 2014.
"We do have high hopes for Jesse, however our expectations will be realistic," Neeld told reporters on Thursday.
"As the seasons go, there's not too many teenagers that are stepping straight into the AFL and having immediate impact.
"We may have been down that road before with Jack Watts and some of the unrealistic expectations that were placed on Jack in the early part of his career.
"We're certainly not doing that with Jesse."
Watts now plays mostly in defence, with the Demons' trade hunt for rival key forwards indicating they doubt he will ever fill that role.
Neeld cited Geelong premiership star Tom Hawkins, who impressed on AFL debut as a strongly-built teenager in 2007 but did not firmly stamp himself on the competition until last year, as an example of Hogan's possible career progression.
"Our expectations won't be that in round one, 2014, Jesse comes in and takes X amount of marks and kicks X amount of goals," Neeld said.
"We're setting Jesse up to be a long-term performer."
Hogan described himself as a competitive type who hated losing and said he based his game on Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich and Brisbane's Jonathan Brown.
Recently asked by Demons officials if he considered himself worth waiting a year for as a pre-listed mini-draft selection, he told them he was.
"I just said yeah, I can develop my game really well in that 12 months," Hogan said.
Neeld said that confidence was part of the teenager's appeal.
Demons tall forward Mitch Clark, a fellow West Australian, has been assigned as Hogan's mentor.