DRAFT ANALYSIS: “An athletic tall swingman able to dominate a game at both ends with his impressive reading of the play and marking ability.”
Ben King has been talked about for the last two years not just for his ability, but also because he is twins with his equally talented brother Max – who are both 202cm key position players, with Ben usually taking the reigns down back when Max plays forward. Max may have had his season ruined by injury but that has given Ben the chance to show his talents as a forward where he won All-Australian honours being a regular goalkicker for Vic Metro. Ben has kicked a staggering amount of goals for his school team Haileybury in the absence of his brother this year but he was also able to kick bags last year for Haileybury so this isn’t a case of Ben learning to play forward on the fly. As a forward Ben King is near impossible to stop on the lead with his reach and clean hands and impressive speed for his size. King will also tackle and offer support at ground level which makes him a complete package as a key forward. Playing as a key defender, King uses his impressive marking and reading of the play to take plenty of intercept and contested marks. He is also a very good kick, making him more than capable of rebounding effectively.
- Football IQ
- Vertical leap
King’s athleticism is unreal for a player standing at 202cm, he is taller than most ruckman so when you combine his speed, leap and marking ability you get a player that’s near impossible to stop in the air. You will find many tall forwards or defenders lack something that could be identified to exploit whether that’s speed, height, leap or endurance but King doesn’t struggle in any of those areas and the only one I could think of is his strength – but that is something that will improve naturally so this makes him an extremely difficult match-up once he reaches his prime.
King’s marking especially at the highest point is a massive asset which he has used effectively at both ends of the ground. He won best-on-ground honours in the AFL Academy’s win over North Melbourne VFL playing as a key defender where he showed that impressive marking and reading of the play. King is a fantastic kick for a player of his height, you will find many 200cm+ players struggle with their ball drop and can often take a while to get boot to ball, but Ben has a fluid and penetrating kicking action which really comes into play in defence, he could easily be trusted with kick-ins. King also has good footy smarts, he will usually stay composed under pressure and take the right option, as a forward he knows how to block for teammates and work well in any structure.
- Set shot accuracy
The things Ben King needs to improve on are rather easy to work on and I wouldn’t say they are weaknesses for him at this stage either. His set shot kicking can lack consistency at times but he is capable of kicking goals from long range and short although his follow-through is better from long range, he only needs to make a few tweaks here and there in that regard. His strength is fine against smaller bodies now but like many developing talls he will need to spend plenty of time in the gym to be a real force at the next level and really make the most of his assets. An area that is a minor improvement, but not a big issue is his leading up the ground when forward because he could be spoiled at times given opposition defenders have more time to come across and affect the contest. But overall once he finds his position at AFL level, the club will work on any little tweaks because he has huge upside.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 3-8
Ben King could well be the number one pick in most draft in recent years. He has everything you could want in a young key position player, he can do it all and he does not have any glaring weaknesses with many of his improvements to come naturally in an AFL system. He is a scary prospect and one clubs will have a hard time passing on even though they might not need for key position players they may never get a chance at one this talented for years. Whether as a key forward or key defender Ben King has the tools to become an elite player at the next level.
Under 18s Championships