Cats coach sees Judd, Dangerfield attributes in Holmes

Geelong coach Chris Scott has identified Max Holmes as a player who can help lift the AFL premiers to a new level this season after the young midfielder's grand-final heartbreak.

Holmes enjoyed a breakout campaign last year and held down a spot in the Cats' best team, playing 18 games throughout his second season at the top level.

But the 20-year-old was overlooked for the premiership decider against Sydney because of the risk associated with a hamstring injury sustained during the preliminary final.

Scott believes Holmes has the capability to tweak his role in 2023 and beyond to help Geelong cover the loss of retired premiership captain Joel Selwood.

"(Holmes) has played mainly as an outside player," Scott told Fox Footy.

"He's got elite speed, he was a track and field athlete, but we think he's going to be more of an inside player.

"I'm not saying he's Chris Judd or Paddy Dangerfield yet, who knows, but he's got those attributes.

"They're the ones I admire - great out in space and quick but they can actually win the ball in traffic and burst away. I think Max has got that capacity."

Scott said Geelong took a "real risk" in trading up the draft order to secure Holmes with pick No.20 in 2020.

The live trade deal with Richmond - just a few weeks after the Tigers' historic Gabba grand final win over the Cats - could have backfired spectacularly.

Geelong gave up a future first-round draft pick in the swap to secure Holmes.

"If you fall down the ladder hard, you could be giving up pick two or three in the draft, and we knew that," Scott said.

"We thought there was a chance, we're an older list, if things go pear-shaped, we could (slide).

"But the (recruiting) guys were really confident in him. One, because of the player he was and, two, what he would mean in terms of complimenting our group."

Holmes is set to return to action when Geelong open the new season against Collingwood in a blockbuster clash at the MCG on Friday night.