|Country Australia||Broadcast Fox Sports|
|Date 24 November 2011
13 December 2011|
Location Sydney, New South Wales
Sponsored by National Australia Bank
First selection Jonathon Patton (Greater Western Sydney)
The 2011 AFL draft consisted of five opportunities for player acquisitions during the 2011/12 Australian Football League off-season.
- Greater Western Sydney concessions
- Mini draft
- 2011 national draft
- 2012 pre season draft
- Selections by league
It was the first national draft to feature the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who joined the league in 2012. It was the final draft period before the introduction of free agency in the 2012/13 offseason.
Greater Western Sydney concessions
The Greater Western Sydney Giants were to join the AFL in 2012, and were provided with several draft concessions, including additional draft selections, early access to recruit 17-year-old players, and access to uncontracted and previously listed players in this offseason. These concessions were similar to those provided to the Gold Coast Football Club, which entered the league in the previous season.
Greater Western Sydney was permitted to recruit the following players directly, without the need for any draft:
Then, in the drafts, Greater Western Sydney had the following selections:
Additionally, at the end of 2011, Greater Western Sydney had the ability to trade the only four selections in a once-off "mini-draft", which could be used to recruit 17-year-old players (born between 1 January – 30 April 1994). Greater Western Sydney could only use these draft picks as trade currency; the club was not permitted to use the picks for its own list development. Players recruited and traded in this manner were not eligible to play senior AFL football in 2012, and would continue to undergo junior development. This specific concession was unique to Greater Western Sydney; Gold Coast did not have the same concession the previous year.
Greater Western Sydney began with an expanded list size of up to fifty senior players and nine rookies, to be gradually reduced to a standard list size of thirty-eight senior players and nine rookies by 2019.
During the 2011 AFL season there was speculation about several players who would be uncontracted at the end of the season, including Tom Scully, Rhys Palmer, Callan Ward and Taylor Walker. In August 2011, Phil Davis from Adelaide was the first player to announce a move to Greater Western Sydney as an uncontracted player signing. After the season had ended, Palmer, Scully and Ward also announced moves to the Giants. As compensation, Scully was rated as a top-level player, resulting in Melbourne receiving both a first-round and a mid-first round draft pick as compensation. Davis and Ward were rated as second-level, earning Adelaide and Western Bulldogs a first round compensation selection, and Palmer was rated a third-level player, giving Fremantle an end of first round selection.
In the lead up to trade week, the requests of players to move back to their home states dominated most trade rumours. Mitch Clark, Leon Davis, Brad Ebert and Jack Gunston all requested to be traded back to teams in their states of origin.
Early in trade week, many trades involved unlisted players being recruited directly by Greater Western Sydney under the club's concessions, then immediately traded. Where this has occurred, the club from which GWS recruited the player is shown in parentheses after his name.
Note: the numbering of the draft picks in this trades table is based on the original order prior to draft day. The final numbering of many of these draft picks was adjusted on draft day due to either the insertion of compensation draft picks in the early rounds, or clubs passing in the later rounds.
As part of their entry concessions, Greater Western Sydney was allocated up to four selections in a mini-draft, which could be used to recruit seventeen-year-old players who otherwise would not be eligible for the 2011 National Draft, but who could not play senior AFL football until the 2013 season. Greater Western Sydney were not permitted to use these draft picks directly, but had to trade them to other clubs. In 2011, Gold Coast and Adelaide secured trades with GWS for selections in this draft, leaving two selections remaining for the 2012 AFL Draft.
2011 national draft
The 2011 AFL National Draft was held on 24 November in Sydney. It was the second time that the draft was held outside of Melbourne, after being held at the Gold Coast in 2010.
Prior to the draft, three players were selected under the Father-Son Rule. Dylan Buckley, son of Jim was selected by Carlton, Andrew Bews' son Jed was selected by Geelong and Tom Mitchell, son of Barry was selected by Sydney. Buckley and Bews were secured with no rival clubs submitting bids, allowing Carlton and Geelong to each use its final draft selection for the father-son pick. Fremantle submitted a first round bid for Mitchell, which Sydney was able to match, so, Mitchell was drafted with the 21st selection in the draft.
2012 pre-season draft
The 2012 AFL pre-season draft was held on 13 December 2011. Zac Dawson, Leon Davis and John McCarthy were considered to be the delisted AFL players most likely to be selected. The changes to the list rules to allow mature age players to be rookie listed has also resulted in less preseason draft selections.
Selections by league
Draft selection totals by leagues: