Four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis says he’s excited by what he sees in WA-born rookie Kysaiah Pickett, likening the youngster to Cyril Rioli.
Lewis said both Pickett, the nephew of ex-Kangaroos hard nut Byron Pickett, and East Fremantle junior Luke Jackson were impressing on the track at the Demons ahead of the 2021 season.
“There’s some players that are standing out, most notably their young drafted kids in Luke Jackson and Kozzie Pickett,” Lewis said on SEN.
“I’m always wary to compare young players, I don’t necessarily jump the gun… but what I’ve seen with Kozzie Pickett reminds me of a player that I’ve played a lot of footy with.”
When pressed to give a name, Lewis revealed it was his former Hawks teammate.
“One C. Rioli,” he said.
“He’s tearing the training track apart to be honest.
“He’s doing stuff up the field that I haven’t seen since Rioli.”
Rioli, himself a four-time premiership Hawk and three-time All Australian, retired at the end of 2018 after 189 games for Hawthorn and 275 goals.
Pickett, who grew up in the town of Quairading before moving to South Australia, played 14 games in his debut season, after being snapped up by the Dees with pick 12 in the 2019 AFL Draft.
He is the cousin of West Coast premiership players Liam Ryan and Lewis Jetta, and Melbourne’s Neville Jetta, and his uncle is Richmond’s premiership hero Marlion Pickett.
Jackson meantime, played just six matches in his debut year, picking up a Rising Star nomination before a hamstring injury cut short his 2020.
He was taken by the Demons with pick three in the 2019 AFL Draft — the highest pick for a ruckman since Nic Naitanui back in 2008.