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Blues snare special talent in AFL draft
By Sam Lienert
22:01 AEST Thu Nov 22 2012

Carlton are confident they have snared one of the best two youngsters in Australia, while Collingwood have picked up the best young ruckman at the AFL's national draft.

As expected, Greater Western Sydney used the No.1 pick on Victorian 18-year-old midfielder Lachie Whitfield, an exceptional endurance runner with a great kick on both feet.

The Giants, who had the first three picks and six in the top 27, took another midfielder Jonathan O'Rourke at No.2 and key defender Lachie Plowman at No.3, before taking taller players with their three other picks.

Melbourne snapped up exciting South Australian midfielder Jimmy Toumpas at No.4.

The Western Bulldogs were delighted to get tough key position player Jake Stringer at No.5, despite Stringer missing the entire 2011 season with a broken leg.

Recruiting manager Jason McCartney was confident his medical issues were behind him.

Port Adelaide were happy hard-at-it midfielder Oliver Wines slipped to No.7, having been linked to the Demons at No.4.

The Blues were thrilled to pounce on freakishly talented South Australian forward Troy Menzel at No.11.

Menzel, the brother of Geelong's Daniel, would almost certainly have gone earlier if not for the fact he had a LARS knee reconstruction at age 16.

Carlton recruiting manager Shane Rogers said the Blues were aware Menzel might need a traditional reconstruction and miss a year of football at some stage of his career.

But they didn't mind.

"He's a super player. Everyone says that when you draft them, but he's got potential to be a special player, not just a pick 11," Rogers told AAP.

"You could have made a case for him at pick one ... he's a pretty special player."

The Magpies were happy to have 202cm aggressive South Australian Brodie Grundy, regarded as the draft's outstanding ruckman, fall to them at pick No.18.

Collingwood recruiter Derek Hine warned patience would be needed for a player who only converted from basketball a few years ago.

"But to come so far in a very short period of time, he gives you some real hope for where he's potentially going to get to ... we weren't going to knock him back," Hine said.

Three players with AFL experience were re-drafted.

North Melbourne picked up ex-Port Adelaide player Ben Jacobs and former Gold Coast small defender Taylor Hine, as well as ruckman Daniel Currie, who spent five years on Sydney's list without making his AFL debut.

Hawthorn redrafted 2008 premiership forward Michael Osborne.

West Australian quick, agile midfielder-forward Joshua Simpson, who threw recruiters a surprise when it was revealed in recent days he fathered a child early this year, was taken by Fremantle at No.17.

But talented fellow WA forward Dayle Garlett, who was thrown out of the AFL-AIS academy for disciplinary reasons earlier this year, was not drafted.