- October 21, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "An unbelievable talent who is as strong in the air as he is at ground level and can break a game open like very few can."
Cameron Rayner is one of the most, if not the most, identifiable players in the 2017 draft crop. The bullocking midfielder/forward rose to the top of nearly everyone’s rankings with a starring role in Vic Metro’s victory over South Australia at Etihad Stadium, booting four goals and turning the game on its head. Rayner has many strengths which are a focal point of his game including a penetrating kick, a knack for contested marks and inside ball, as well as having intrinsic strengths such as X-factor and being a match winner. The clear improvement for Rayner is his endurance which is quite low and the reason behind playing the majority of his football inside 50. His lack of endurance hinders him from impacting across four quarters, but even from the bursts we see from Rayner, his talent is undeniable and when he builds his tank he is likely to be a very imposing prospect.
- Contested marking
- Penetrating kick
- Big game player
Cam Rayner is one of the most talked about prospects and it is easy to see why. He has been described by his teammates as a “freak in the air or at ground level” and just oozes X-factor. He only managed six TAC Cup games due to school football with PEGS, but made an impact in that short time, averaging 14 contested disposals ranking top five, as well as inside 50s (5.3) and finished off with 1.7 goals per game. Most importantly, Rayner has a penetrating kick which can travel more than 50m. It is a damaging weapon which will excite supporters of the AFL club which drafts him in this month’s draft. Along with his penetrating kick, he has the strength to fend off opponents and push forward in a similar way to Dustin Martin. However he is more suited to comparisons with Christian Petracca and Robbie Gray given his forward-leaning nature with a lower endurance base.
Other areas which are likely to excite fans are Rayner’s ability to stand up when required in big games, such as the National Under 18s Championships. His game against South Australia was top notch and no doubt most recruiters left nodding their heads in agreement that Rayner is set for big things. He can pull down a contested mark, kick a goal from outside 50 and outmuscle taller opponents, all traits which are likely to see a big future in store for the forward-cum-inside midfielder.
- Consistency within games
As with many top prospects there are not a heap of improvements to work on. For Rayner, his biggest question mark is his tank. He notoriously ran a poor beep test pre-season – below 13 – and was unable to test at the National Combine. His endurance still needs work which is why he was a predominant forward in 2017. His lower endurance base is the reason why he tended to drift in and out of some games, particularly where he was required more in the midfield. He still averaged 24 disposals at TAC Cup level which was an impressive feat in itself, but he might have more scoreboard impact in one term and then fade out in another. This consistency within games will come with a bigger endurance base, and no doubt with a full pre-season under his belt at an AFL club, he will be eased into the system starting as a forward and moving into the midfield in a few years.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Top 5
Cam Rayner is arguably the most talented prospect in the 2017 draft. Had it not been for his low endurance base, he would be the standout number one pick. He is constantly in the spotlight as the number one selection and certainly will not slip outside the top five. His strength, contested ball winning and marking ability is among the best in the draft crop and his future scope is high. Expect him to win over fans very quickly with his relaxed nature and exciting gamestyle. The more game time he gets to build his endurance, the better Rayner will become.
NAB League Boys
Under 18s Championships