The Bulldogs took athletic defender Roarke Smith from the Calder Cannons with their first pick in the 2014 NAB AFL Rookie Draft. At 182cm tall, Smith is an athletic, medium-sized defender with a capacity to go into the midfield, that has a proven ability to play above his height. An impressive vertical leap is a standout feature amongst Smith’s attributes, and has shown he’s more than adept at winning his own ball. He made his debut in Round 21, 2015, before suffering a knee injury at VFL level. Smith was a solid contributor to the Footscray Buldogs’ finals run and eventual premiership in 2016, but unluckily ruptured his ACL the following year. He played 21 senior games in total across the 2018-2020 seasons, including six last year. The 24-year-old was re-drafted via the 2020 AFL Rookie Draft.
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Draft History: Pick 5 2014 AFL Rookie Draft (Western Bulldogs)