AS the 2019 AFL National Draft is just around the corner, we work up to the November 27-28 event with a three-part Power Rankings series, counting down our top 60 players heading into the AFL Draft. We have not taken into account any draft selections or club needs, it is purely our opinion. Furthermore, given the evenness of the draft, there were plenty of unlucky players on the cusp of making it into the top 60. This edition looks at the players we have ranked 20-1.
#20 Finn Maginness
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
23/02/2001 | 189cm | 82kg
The Hawthorn father-son prospect has had put together a strong season for Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro, playing school football throughout the season. An inside midfielder with some great athletic traits, Maginness is expected to attract a bid some where in the late first round. At 189cm and 82kg, Maginness is a good size for an inside midfielder going forward and possesses elite speed and endurance. His disposal is his main area for improvement, as well as his accumulation, averaging just 20.8 disposals per game which is lower than most of the top-end midfielders, though he ran at almost 50 per cent contested and just under five clearances per game.
#19 Cody Weightman
Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | Forward
15/01/2001 | 178cm | 75kg
Unfortunately Weightman’s year ended early after suffering a concussion in Dandenong’s Wildcard Round win over Murray Bushrangers, but he showed throughout the year that he has some special traits. While he could be inconsistent at times and was most effective when deployed as a small forward with work to continue on his midfield craft, he showed high levels of X-factor and footy IQ, a unique goal sense and vertical leap, as well as fierce aggression at the ball carrier. Given his school football commitments, Weightman only played six games for the Stingrays, booting eight goals in that time, but stood tall during the Under-18 Championships for Vic Country, booting nine majors across four games to take out the carnival’s leading goalkicker award and All-Australian honours.
#18 Trent Bianco
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Midfielder/Defender
20/01/2001 | 178cm | 73kg
Co-captaining Oakleigh Chargers this year, Bianco is an elite kick with high footy IQ coming off half-back or through the middle. His decision making is also another feature of his game, with his athletic testing all above average, as his consistency throughout the season. While his contested work could improve – about one third of his possessions are won in a contest – all the other areas of his game make him a damaging dual threat in the defensive half. Bianco is still quite light at 73kg, and while he is undersized for a midfielder, Bianco is more than capable of playing an outside role given his skill level and decision making.
#17 Will Day
West Adelaide/South Australia | Defender
06/05/2001 | 189cm | 76kg
A smoky at the start of the season in terms of uncertainty about where he fell, Day is similar to Bianco in the sense that athletically he is very impressive while his disposal is elite. He has high footy IQ and has the extra 11cm on him compared to Bianco, but is more locked into that half-back role, though a wing could beckon for him in the future. He is that outside ball user but given his abilities with ball-in-hand and his smarts, Day should have no problems adapting to that role and with his size, is that prototype midfielder coming through who just needs to add more strength to his frame and improve his inside game.
#16 Deven Robertson
Perth/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder
30/06/2001 | 184cm | 81kg
The West Australian captain enjoyed an absolutely stellar Under-18 Championships this year to go from a second round prospect to a potential top 10 bolter. While he might end up somewhere in the early teens by the time it is said and done, there is little doubting Robertson will find a home and have an immediate impact. His kicking could improve which is the one area to build on, but athletically he is elite, particularly through his speed and agility even though he does not always look it. Robertson’s inside ball winning abilities and clearance work is among the best in the draft crop, and do not be surprised if he is in a team from Round 1 next year, having a similar influence to James Worpel at Hawthorn given his readymade status.
#15 Liam Henry
Claremont/Western Australia | Midfielder/Forward
28/08/2001 | 180cm | 68kg
The first Next Generation Academy prospect in line to be selected in the 2019 AFL Draft, Henry is a player with great upside, terrific athleticism, slick skills and strong finishing ability. He is someone who while he could add more strength to his frame and continue to build his endurance, ticks plenty of boxes whether he develops as a midfielder or forward. In all likelihood, Henry will be a mid-forward who hits the scoreboard and works up the ground to hit targets inside 50, similar to the role Daniel Wells played for years with his superb foot skills and vision going inside 50.
#14 Josh Worrell
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Defender
11/04/2001 | 195cm | 83kg
A potential top 10 player this year, Worrell is of key position size, but can play forward, back or even through the midfield. While injury ended his season early, Worrell was able to be Vic Metro’s top goalkicker at the carnival, booting seven goals in four games, having headed into the Under-18 Championships playing defence for Sandringham Dragons prior to school football. He has good footy IQ, is strong overhead and uses the ball well by foot making the correct decisions.
#13 Trent Rivers
East Fremantle/Western Australia | Midfielder/Defender
30/07/2001 | 188cm | 83kg
A classy player with very few weaknesses, Rivers is your quintessential utility who can play inside midfield, outside midfield, back or forward. He ticks a lot of boxes across the board with high level class, superb agility, great spread and naturally, versatility. His agility is elite, and while his endurance can further improve, he has all the tools to become a consistent player at the top level, standing at 188cm and 83kg. Rivers will likely start off as a half-back or wing and eventually work his way into the middle.
#12 Will Gould
Glenelg/South Australia | Tall Defender
14/01/2001 | 192cm | 106kg
While he might drift a bit lower on draft day, Gould is the definition of a “natural footballer”. His athleticism is an area of improvement with speed, agility and endurance all well below average, but nearly anything he does outside of his athleticism is as good as anyone in the draft pool. His kicking – elite. His vision – elite. His consistency – elite. He is a powerful player and leader who steps up on the field and has shown throughout the SANFL season he is not afraid of a challenge, playing against some AFL-listed players and holding his own. Gould is a bit small for a key position role in the back 50, but his intercept marking and reading of the play allows him to play that “quarterback” role often played by smaller players. One who will have an impact sooner rather than later if given a chance.
#11 Fischer McAsey
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
08/03/2001 | 197cm | 91kg
Similar to Gould, McAsey is a key position player who ticks a lot of boxes on-field, but just lacks athleticism. His speed and endurance in particular are areas he could develop, but his footy IQ, marking, reading of he play and size make him the top key position utility in the draft crop. In a draft where key position utilities are not readily available at the top-end, McAsey provides a point of difference and could squeeze into the top 10 if a team takes a chance. If he lasts into the teens, he will not last for long and at 197cm is capable of playing a number of roles at AFL level.
#10 Brodie Kemp
Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country | Utility
01/05/2001 | 192cm | 89kg
Having put on seven kilograms this year, Kemp has added size to his frame to become a more readymade prospect for AFL football. That was until he unfortunately injured his anterior cruciate ligament in a school football game. It means his entry into the elite system might be delayed by 12 months, but he will be worth the wait for the club that selects him. An elite athlete in terms of his speed and agility, Kemp has plenty of room to grow given his disposal at speed could improve and his endurance/match fitness once he gets back. He showed he could be a clutch player at the Under-18 Championships, winning the game with the last kick for Vic Country against South Australia, then almost doing the same against Western Australia before the Black Ducks hit back. Strong overhead with high hurt factor and clean hands.
#9 Luke Jackson
East Fremantle/Western Australia | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 199cm | 94kg
The number one ruckman in the draft, Jackson has had a stellar season since fully focusing on Australian rules football over his Australian basketball career. His mobility, endurance and upside is impressive and he plays a similar style to a raw Brodie Grundy in the way he works hard at ground level and around the stoppages. At WAFL Colts level, Jackson averaged 18.6 disposals, 31.6 hitouts and 1.0 goals per game, and while his marking could develop further, his ground work is terrific. One of the few rucks you do not mind getting the ball in the hands of going forward and could go top five in the AFL Draft, breaking the trend for rucks.
#8 Dylan Stephens
Norwood/South Australia | Outside Midfielder
08/01/2001 | 183cm | 74kg
The number one pure outside midfielder, Stephens put on five kilograms this year to be able to play an inside role at times through the midfield. His strength can still improve as could his contested work, but his disposals, kick penetration and defensive work rate make him a damaging prospect. Additionally, Stephens has elite speed and agility, while his endurance is also top notch and across the board, Stephens has few areas to improve outside of his inside strength and craft. Being so balanced with ball-in-hand, he is a damaging midfielder who can create opportunities for teammates going forward, and be the playmaker that hurts teams in transitions.
#7 Sam Flanders
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Mid/Forward
24/06/2001 | 183cm | 82kg
A match winner at his best, Flanders has a few areas to work on, mainly his four quarter consistency and kicking, but his hands in close are elite with his ability to find teammates in congestion as good as anyone in the draft crop. Flanders possesses explosive power and when not bursting out of a stoppage, thrives on the one-on-one contest forward, outmuscling or outsmarting a defender who looks nervous close to goal. He showed in the qualifying final against Oakleigh Chargers he can take a game away from an opposition, booting four goals in 10 minutes and showing everyone what he is capable of. His ceiling is arguably the highest of anyone, and while he does need to piece together areas to become a more complete player, his best is sublime.
#6 Tom Green
GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies | Inside Midfielder
23/01/2001 | 190cm | 89kg
A man mountain in midfield, the GWS GIANTS Academy member Green is ready for Round 1 action if called upon to do so. He will likely cost the GIANTS their top 10 pick, with a number of clubs considering bidding on him inside the top five, which he is worth the pick. He is deceptively athletic and while he could use his athleticism more in games and improve his kicking under pressure, his strength, inside game and clearance ability is second to none. He averaged a ridiculous 33 disposals and 10 clearances during the Academy Series, before continuing that at the Under-18 Championships with an average of 23.8 disposals and 8.0 clearances against the best teenagers in the Country. He will not back down against bigger-bodied players and is one of those safe picks who has such an elite contested game you can expect he is someone the GIANTS can bank on doing his job at the coalface.
#5 Lachlan Ash
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | Defender
21/06/2001 | 187cm | 83kg
Possessing a missile launcher of a right leg, Lachlan Ash is one of only a few absolute elite kicks in the AFL Draft crop. His vision and decision making is superb, but his ability to hit targets that very few can is almost unrivalled. His endurance is elite and he has terrific speed as well. Ash showed off his versatility late in the NAB League season with the Bushrangers, playing through the midfield and up forward, and while his contested work could continue to develop alongside his midfield craft, Ash’s outside presence is top notch. Best known for his run and carry off half-back, he is a player who could play from Year 1 onwards and will cause headaches for opposition team defensive zones. Co-captained both Murray Bushrangers and Vic Country in 2019.
#4 Hayden Young
Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | Defender
11/04/2001 | 188cm | 83kg
One of the few who can rival Ash in terms of elite kicking is Young, who time and time again defies regular ball users with his slicing 45-degree kicks. Captaining Dandenong Stingrays this year to show off his leadership skills, Young played in multiple positions but half-back was his preferred role. He reads the play well, has elite agility, superb decision making and intercepts with ease, breaking down opposition defensive zones with his sharp kicking skills. His endurance could build further, but at his size of 188cm and 83kg, Young is destined to play inside eventually, or pinch-hit through there while maintaining his role at half-back. Melbourne would be keen to snap him up with Pick 3, and given what he not only offers now but in the future, Young is a player who will have no problem adapting to the rigours of AFL football.
#3 Caleb Serong
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Midfielder/Forward
09/02/2001 | 178cm | 83kg
A passionate and competitive player, Serong might only stand at 178cm, but he packs a punch. Rarely beaten by anyone in an aerial contest let alone opposition players his own size, Serong stands his ground through midfield and inside 50, moving well through a stoppage and clearing the ball forward. While his kicking under pressure could improve as could his aggression which sometimes boils over, teammates love that he bleeds for the jumper which is something that fans will love as well. He is clean by hand and has high footy IQ, as well as his stoppage craft which helps him evade opponents despite not having the blistering speed of others. Serong improved his ball-winning abilities this year and won Vic Country’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while co-captaining the side. Given his forward craft, he offers a point-of-difference from many other inside midfielders.
#2 Noah Anderson
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Midfielder/Forward
17/02/2001 | 191cm | 87kg
There is no surprise at this selection, a player who has maintained second spot all year behind his friend and teammate at pick one. He has elite contested ball-winning abilities, a massive ceiling and improved his consistency to another level since impressing in patches as a bottom-ager. Athletically he ticks a lot of boxes building up his speed in 12 months to go from a 3.1-second player to virtually a three-second flat 20m sprinter. That, grouped with his agility and endurance makes him a damaging player. With kicking penetration that can travel beyond 50m, his kicking consistency and ability to lower the eyes are areas to develop for the future. Anderson’s strength, size and power combination makes him a bonafide inside midfielder who can rest forward and also hit the scoreboard at the same time.
#1 Matt Rowell
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
01/07/2001 | 180cm | 78kg
There has not been much more to say about Rowell other than Mr Consistency. He has won virtually every award he could, from Oakleigh Chargers’ Best and Fairest, Vic Metro Best and Fairest, and back-to-back best on grounds in NAB League Grand Finals as well as for the AFL Academy and Under-17 All-Stars last year. As safe as houses that Rowell will become a 200-plus game player with consistency like very few others, it is easy to see why he has been touted as the number one pick all year. Rowell has maintained his spot at number one in our Power Rankings for all of 2019, and will head to Gold Coast with Anderson to no doubt rebuild the club there with all the other elite talents. His work rate, tackling ability, disposal and smarts, as well as a no-fuss attitude to his football make him a well balanced and natural leader. Plus the fact he kicked a 55m goal on his non-preferred in the NAB League Grand Final – he is just that good.