Player Radar 2018 – Christian Petracca

As a former No.2 pick and rising star nominee, Christian Petracca has shown what he is capable of. He will be looking to spend more time in the midfield in 2018 and establish himself as an elite of the competition.

Player: Christian Petracca
Team: Melbourne
Age: 22
Price: $433,300
Position: Midfield/Forward
Games played in 2017: 22
2017 Average: 78.8
100+ Scores: 3
90+ Scores: 3

PROS

Petracca is versatile – he has the ability to play as both a forward and a midfielder, and on both the inside and outside. Petracca shaved 10 seconds off his personal best time in Melbourne’s time trial and is hopeful to become a full-time on-baller in 2018. With more midfield time Petracca will only increase his scoring output and with the ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard (26 goals in 2017) he could produce some big scores in 2018.

He averaged 18.8 disposals and more than a goal a game in 2017. His ability to keep his feet, burst out of stoppages and clean skills was shown in the midfield, with the Demons calling upon him on several occasions in big moments. The talented youngster most certainly found his feet at AFL level in 2017 and will only improve in 2018 with more midfield time.

CONS

Petracca is reasonably unproven, only producing 5 career scores over 100 and hasn’t yet shown that he can consistently score points to justify his price tag.

9 scores of 70 or lower in 2017 is a concern for me. There is a big difference between his best and worse. For an almost premium priced player you just can’t afford those scores.

He averaged 78 points in 2017 which is reasonably low, while it will certainly go up this season it’s a question of how much by. You need to be confident that he can average near 90 to justify selection.

Summary: Petracca will look to continue his improvement and will be hoping to push Melbourne towards the finals in 2018. He is a tempting option, we’ll need to watch JLT to see how much more midfield time he gets because he doesn’t produce enough points just as a forward.

Verdict: Will certainly develop more as a player this year but won’t be in my side to start. Confident though that he can be one of the top players in the competition in the next few years.