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Tomorrow's Heroes: Fastest man in the draft pool

Callum Twomey  November 10, 2017 10:57 AM

Tomorrow's Heroes: Jack Petruccelle The Vic Metro speedster is one of the most dynamic prospects in the draft pool

Jack Petruccelle broke free from the stoppage and swooped on the bouncing ball. Within three or four quick steps, he had cleared himself from the pack of players, before straightening to kick a goal from the pocket.

It was one of five majors Petruccelle booted for the Northern Knights that afternoon against the Gippsland Power earlier this year, in a performance that announced him as one of the most eye-catching efforts of the season.

It was Petruccelle's best game of the season, but he also finished his campaign with an encouraging showing in the NAB AFL All Stars clash on Grand Final morning, when he kicked a goal and gave recruiters another glimpse of his talents.

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He's the quickest player in the draft, for a start. Petruccelle rank 2.82 seconds for the 20-metre sprint at the start of the season at the TAC Cup testing day, and backed it up by winning the speed test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine with a time of 2.87 seconds (he hoped to go a little faster). Petruccelle is a player who uses that pace on the field, as well, regularly dashing down the wing and breaking the lines.

The former basketballer is athletically very gifted, and that includes a brilliant leap, which saw him finish seventh overall in the standing vertical jump at the combine. He flies for marks and takes a risk when he's out there. Sometimes it doesn't come off, but he's not a player who will go down wondering.

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There's a couple of things here, which makes Petruccelle such an interesting prospect to assess. He can find it hard to get involved in games at times, and averaged just nine disposals a game during Vic Metro's carnival. At TAC Cup level he was a little more consistent in terms of his ball winning, averaging 15 disposals, but he can still have his very quiet games.

Petruccelle's kicking will also need to be sharpened up a touch. He can undo some of his good work by foot, and had a kicking efficiency rate of 55 per cent for the Knights.

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Emerging Melbourne youngster Jayden Hunt has made lightning quick half-back flankers very fashionable at AFL level, and some will hope Petruccelle can have the same impact.

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Petruccelle seems most likely to fit in as a second or third-round pick.

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An exhilarating, exciting player who will give you a few heart-in-mouth moments but can also provide a game-changing play. Petruccelle has weapons that nobody else in this year's draft carries.