Harrison Jones in action during the NAB League. Picture: Andy Brownbill
Harrison Jones in action during the NAB League. Picture: Andy Brownbill

Cats circle Tomahawk replacement

GEELONG will attempt to find another key forward with one of their suite of early picks in this year's national draft.

Chris Scott's men will be armed with their strongest hand in almost two decades at the November 27-28 draft after finishing the trade period with picks 14, 17, 24 and 36.

And rangy Calder product Harrison Jones is one who is looming large on the Cats' radar after showcasing his impressive running ability in the NAB League this year.

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Geelong has made clear it is on the lookout for possible long-term replacement options for premiership spearhead Tom Hawkins, who turns 32 next season.

Geelong's big man stocks also took a hit after delisting back-up key forward Wylie Buzza, ruckman Zac Smith and veteran swingman Lachie Henderson last month.

The 194cm Jones is one of several key forward options who should be available for the Cats' second and third picks including strong-bodied goal kicker Emerson Jeka (197cm), West Australian Mitchell Georgiades (191cm) and Gippsland star Charlie Comben (199cm).

Harrison Jones in action at the AFL Draft Combine last month. Pic: Michael Klein.
Harrison Jones in action at the AFL Draft Combine last month. Pic: Michael Klein.

Draft bolter Cooper Sharman (194cm) could also be in the mix after starring playing local footy for Balwyn under former AFL coach Rodney Eade in the mid-part of the year.

Geelong premiership great Tom Lonergan, who is the Calder Cannons' talent manager, has watched Jones blossom as a hard-leading forward this year.

Lonergan said Jones showed a lot promise with his mobility and marking power, but would need to work hard in the gym to strengthen his frame.

"He is certainly a very promising player who has some fantastic AFL attributes because, as he showed at the Draft Combine, he is super-quick and has a huge tank," Lonergan said.

"So they're two great weapons to have as a big man.

Tom Hawkins has been a mainstay of the Cats’ attack for a decade. Pic: Michael Klein
Tom Hawkins has been a mainstay of the Cats’ attack for a decade. Pic: Michael Klein

"He will have to spend some time in the gym and make that his second home in his first three or four years, but he is a great kid, so you know he will be prepared to put in the hard work."

West Australian Luke Jackson is considered the standout ruck-key forward in this year's draft but he is likely to be taken inside the top-10, while Sam De Koning is considered more of a defender-ruck.

The Cats missed out in their chase for North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein, but are encouraged by the development of exciting talls Esava Ratugolea and Jack Henry.

Charlie Comben impressed for Gippsland Power this year.
Charlie Comben impressed for Gippsland Power this year.

Geelong is one of a large number of clubs looking to make a move on draft night, including bundling some picks together to help climb up the order.

Fremantle is sweating on a rival bid for Liam Henry before its pick No. 10, while Greater Western Sydney has held talks with Melbourne about its No. 3 pick.

Gold Coast is another who could pair together picks No. 15 and No. 20 to get inside the top-10.

News Corp Australia


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