Player Radar 2018 – Ryan Burton

Ryan Burton was taken at pick No.19 in the 2015 draft and only played three games in his debut 2016 season due to a broken leg playing in the SANFL the season previous. Following 2016, he burst onto the scene in 2017 playing 20 games and finishing runner up in the Rising Star award and announcing himself as a relevant SuperCoach option for 2018.

Player: Ryan Burton
Team: Hawthorn
Age: 21
Price: $460,200
Position: Defender
Games played in 2017: 20
2017 average: 83.7
100+ scores: 4
90+ scores: 5

PROS

Burton averaged 21 disposals and 83.7 SC points in 2017, an impressive stat for a second year player. He will only continue to improve his scoring output in 2018, especially with Luke Hodge moving on. This year could potentially be the season Burton promotes himself into the elite category.

In round 14 of the 2017 match against the Adelaide Crows, Burton ended up on the end of handball from teammate Liam Shiels. Under pressure, Burton stepped past Taylor Walker, ran inside 50 and kicked an important goal to help Hawthorn secure the win. Although playing many other good games (including round two, when he was nominated for the Rising Star) this was the game Burton announced himself. After this match he went on to produce 5 scores above 90 including a score of 105 in round 22, finishing off a strong second half of the year. As the season progressed his scoring began to improve and I expect him to take this improvement into 2018.

Hawthorn have the round 12 bye which is shared by only Carlton, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs. Selecting Burton would be useful during the bye period as he would play in weeks other common premium defenders have the bye.

CONS

Burton’s increase in score output in the second half of the season has boosted his price to $460k, making him not as cheap as we would like. With the more reliable Jake Lloyd for only a little more and the likes of Laird, Yeo, Hibberd and Hurley for $100k more, can we afford to roll the dice on Burton?

Only 23 career games leaves him relatively inexperienced at the AFL level. I would usually avoid a player with this level of experience and at that price. But his talent talks.

Burton was a midfield/forward in SuperCoach in 2017. Loss of dual position eligibility and being awkwardly priced doesn’t help his cause to be picked in our sides.

Summary: Burton is part of an up-and-coming group at the Hawks and will certainly improve in 2018. Another year’s experience will help his scoring output but for his price tag I still have my doubts. Will certainly be a top scorer in years to come.

Verdict: I like him as an option, but would rather spend my money on Sydney’s Jake Lloyd for a little more. JLT form will be important to monitor as we need to be sure that the relatively inexperienced Burton can live up to his price tag. Certainly wouldn’t cross Burton of the list. Consider.


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