Tag: 2019 power rankings

Draft Central Power Rankings: November 2019 – 20-1

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.

You can read our other November Power Rankings here: 60-41 | 40-21

#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.

Draft Central Power Rankings: November 2019 – 60-41

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 those players we have ranked 60-41.

#60 Lachlan Stapleton
Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
14/04/2001 | 179cm | 73kg

The only State Draft Combine player in our Power Rankings, the Eastern Ranges ball magnet has been one of the more consistent players this year. One of the few unlucky not to get a National Draft Combine invite, Stapleton has plenty of tricks despite his size, and can win the ball inside or out. In season 2019, Stapleton averaged 22.3 disposals, 2.5 marks, 5.2 clearances, 4.5 inside 50s and 7.1 tackles from 13 games, predominantly playing an inside role. His hands in close were very good, with athletic traits that are handy but could still improve such as his in-game acceleration – clocking a sub-three second 20m sprint at the State Combine, and his kicking consistency. A rough chance still, but should have done enough to find a place on an AFL list.

#59 Ryan Byrnes
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
03/05/2001 | 182cm | 84kg

Mr Consistent, Sandringham’s fearless captain has been as reliable as just about anyone in the NAB League this season. Byrnes can play inside or out, wins the ball out of a stoppage and has a trademark five-step burst to create separation from his opponent and send the ball inside 50 to leading teammates. His kicking could certainly sharpen up, but he can use either foot which makes him more of an asset, and while he is shorter compared to some inside midfielders, he has the readymade frame to compete at senior level. Almost missed out on a bottom-age year at Sandringham and has been a workhorse to put himself in a position where he could be drafted. Just a no-fuss footballer who leads by actions and will be a popular player at a club should he be selected.

#58 Emerson Jeka
Western Jets/Vic Metro | Key Forward/Defender
18/09/2001 | 198cm | 90kg

On upside, Jeka is a lot higher, but it is just piecing all of his traits together for some consistency. He is an elite contested mark, is virtually an eight-second flat agility test and near three seconds 20m sprint candidate. This athleticism is something rare in players of his size, but the inconsistencies of the past few years, as well as finding his best position – between forward and back – means he is still a raw prospect who has to develop. Given his traits, if he can be put to work and learn off a more aggressive mentor at an AFL club, then he will add more to his game. He has the physicality to really worry opposition defenders when leading out, it is just showing it on a more consistent basis. His best is winning a game off his own boot, but it just happens in seldom, so the best is yet to come from the Western Jets tall.

#57 Louis Butler
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Defender
25/04/2001 | 185cm | 74kg

An interesting prospect, Butler at his best can be a damaging half-back who floats through the middle and wins plenty of the ball. When it comes to off-field testing, Butler’s numbers do not jump off a page. But when it comes to in-game work, he moves well and has the smarts to evade opponents with ball-in-hand and open up space for his teammates. He seems a confidence player, because when he starts hitting targets, he can hardly miss, but when he sprays the odd kick early, he can be a bit more error prone throughout the game. Showed plenty throughout his school footballing, and finished the NAB League season averaging 23 disposals and three rebounds a game.

#56 Josh Shute
Sturt/South Australia | Outside Midfielder
28/03/2001 | 187cm | 74kg

A lightly built, but talented outside midfielder with some good size, Shute is the stereotypical winger who likes to run and create from the back half going forward. Shute has nice foot skills with a touch of class, as well as a high work rate that sees him push up and down the ground. His endurance could still improve, as could his impact per possession, and while standing at 73kg, Shute could add size to his frame. Overall though, Shute has a nice outside game from which clubs can work with, and is one of the more prominent wingers available in the AFL Draft crop. He could go higher than this based on his ball use and outside run, but is still a developing talent.

#55 Flynn Perez
Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country | Outside Midfielder
25/08/2001 | 188cm | 81kg

One of the players hardest to rate this year, Perez has missed his entire top-age season after injuring his knee late last year at a Vic Country camp. From what he showed as a bottom-ager, Perez has some neat outside traits, and class when in close. He moves well and is a creator for his team, it is just about getting some consistency in both his disposal and game. At 188cm, Perez is a nice height for a midfielder, and when adding in his athleticism, the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder is unlikely to be forgotten by an AFL club come November.

#54 Nick Bryan
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Ruck
22/10/2001 | 202cm | 87kg

Considered a potential first rounder at the start of the year, Bryan has slipped down the order after an inconsistent year. He had a good finals series, particularly in the last couple of games which gave recruiters another glimpse at the highly athletic ruck. While he is far from the finished product, it is hard to imagine he will be overlooked based on his sub three-second 20m sprint and his size at 202cm makes him a valuable commodity. While he might not have the consistency of some of the other talls higher on the list, he has plenty of upside and a club could certainly find a need for Bryan should they be on the lookout for another ruck.

#53 Josh Honey
Western Jets/Vic Metro | Mid/Forward
17/10/2001 | 185cm | 82kg

Another player with great upside, Honey has the versatility to rotate between midfield and forward, and is an athlete to-boot. Honey was one of the more impressive performers at the National Draft Combine, clocking up times of 2.97 seconds (20m sprint) and 8.10 seconds (agility test). His consistency can be a worry at times, particularly when it comes to influence throughout long periods in games, with his accumulation lower than most other comparable players – 16.1 disposals per game. But when on his game, Honey has that hurt factor about him, with his clean hands and defensive pressure – 4.6 tackles per game – a feature, as well as his ability to hit the scoreboard regularly, contributing 12 goals in 14 games at NAB League level, and two from two at the Under-18 National Championships.

#52 Jake Pasini
Swan Districts/Western Australia | Key Defender
06/02/2001 | 193cm | 82kg

A really consistent and reliable defender, Pasini is a player who could step up and play from early on in his career. At 193cm, Pasini is a little undersized to match up against the bigger-bodied key forwards, so will likely fill out as a running defender who takes a third tall, or could play on smaller players if need be. He has the skill level to be that offensive running back, and he reads the ball in flight really well. Averaging 18.3 disposals and 4.1 marks at WAFL Colts level from seven games, Pasini also got a call-up to both the Reserves and League sides for Swan Districts where he did not look out of place in two and one games respectively. After playing for Western Australia at the Under-18 Championships as a bottom-ager, Pasini returned as a top-ager and again was able to provide a steadying influence, picking up his rebound numbers to average two per game.

#51 Mitch Georgiades
Subiaco/Western Australia | Tall Forward
28/09/2001 | 192cm | 87kg

Similar to Perez, Georgiades is one who is hard to read where he goes. On talent, he could be a top 30 pick, but the fact a quad injury has kept him out of action throughout his entire top-age year would be a concern. He is too talented and has too much upside to not be looked at, and with his vertical leap (85cm running) and acceleration (2.925 seconds 20m sprint), Georgiades is a headache for any defender. Once the air space is clear and there is a body in front of him, expect the high-flying forward to sit on their head and bring the ball down. While he has not been able to show any improvements this year due to injury, he could also improve his defensive attributes, with few tackles despite his obvious athletic talent. In terms of what he offers offensively however, Georgiades can be a dominant goal kicker both in the air and at ground level and be that X-factor that sets him aside from other tall forwards in this draft.

#50 Charlie Comben
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Forward/Ruck
20/07/2001 | 199cm | 84kg

A versatile player who could well end up as a key forward and second ruck, Comben is capable of playing either role to a high standard. His ruck craft itself is good, and his second efforts at ground level such as laying a follow-up tackle or providing a block or shepherd is impressive. He can float forward and lead out of the goalsquare with sticky hands and an ability to crash a pack if needed. He has had his fair share of injuries over the journey so is arguably a tad behind on his development. But the fact he has come such a long way in his top-age year means Comben has plenty of upside for the future and is one who clubs can look to for the long term if they are after a bigger body up forward who can play that second ruck role to a t. Could be the second ruck picked in the AFL Draft, depending on how clubs view his progress against Bryan’s and what they are looking for, but we have him here due to his versatility and greater consistency over the season, as well as impact at the Under-18 National Championships for Vic Country.

#49 Liam Delahunty
GWS GIANTS/Allies | Forward/Defender
13/02/2001 | 192cm | 91kg

A member of the GWS GIANTS Academy, where Delahunty ends up on draft night will be interesting considering the GIANTS’ picks in this year’s draft. With Pick 6 likely to be Tom Green, Delahunty could be matched with one of the later picks, potentially 59 or 60. If the GIANTS choose to trade up to grab a second elite talent to avoid using Pick 6 on Green, then matching Green with their few picks, they might struggle to match a bid. Either way, Delahunty has shown enough to suggest a club could use a player of his services, with his kicking ability and reliability up forward – or in defence at times. He is a strong mark and covers the ground well, and while he is undersized, he could develop into a midfielder with time if required, and given his smarts could be very handy there. He could improve his accumulation numbers from ground level with the majority of his touches coming from marks. Once he develops that area of his game, he can have an equal impact at ground level as he can in the air.

#48 Karl Finlay
North Adelaide/South Australia | Tall Defender
14/07/2001 | 193m | 90kg

The Under 16s Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner from the championships two years ago, Finlay has remained consistent across all areas. While his ground balls and decision making at times could improve, his work without the ball is top notch, able to intercept at will across half-back. He will likely play as that third tall defender, and has superb agility for a player of his size, and captained his school, Prince Alfred College (PAC) during the season. He reads the play well and is a dominant one-on-one player who could play from early on in his career if given the chance, but still has those areas to work on and will undoubtedly do so. A potent defensive weapon, Finlay might be the awkward size at 192cm, but he is a two-way player, nullifying an opponent and creating drive from half-back.

#47 Noah Cumberland
Brisbane Lions Academy/Allies | Forward
15/03/2001 | 183cm | 79kg

A player we at Draft Central are a fan of, Cumberland has some seriously great athletic traits. In particular his break-neck speed coming off a flank or charging down the ground, recording a 2.931-second 20m sprint and 8.208-second agility test at the National Draft Combine. Tied to the Lions’ Academy, Cumberland could well be the first Lion bid on in the AFL Draft, and his versatility and high upside would be something attractive to the club and other clubs. He is a great pressure player as well, with his aggression at both the ball and opponent, and with ball-in-hand or without. He averaged almost five tackles a game at the championships, and while he will want to lift his accumulation and kicking consistency – he averaged just the 11 touches per game – he has some great traits from which a club can develop.

#46 Brock Smith
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Defender
13/03/2001 | 189cm | 82kg

As reliable and competitive as they come, Smith is a defender who can play both offensive and defensive roles, and almost always achieve the team requirement of him by the end of the game. Rarely having a game where he does not in some part contribute, Smith will attack contests without fear for his own safety, and also provide rebound out of the back half. He ticks a lot of boxes across the board, and while he could improve his speed, and add more dimensions to his game up the ground, his flexibility to play against taller or smaller opponents is a bonus. His one-on-one strength helps him take on the stronger players, while his competitive nature helps him challenge those with greater athletic traits. His rebounding and intercept marking, as well as his penetrating kick are other features of his game, and he is a player who will be loved by teammates, but bemoaned by opposition players.

#45 Dyson Hilder
North Adelaide/South Australia | Key Defender
31/03/2001 | 196cm | 91kg

There are not too many readymade key defenders in this AFL Draft, which makes Hilder a unique prospect for clubs. If an AFL club is contending and needs a key position player who is more prepared to tackle senior footy earlier in his career, then Hilder looms as a value mid-draft option. While he is not as agile as some others, and could work on his ground ball craft, Hilder is strong in the air, and composed with ball-in-hand in defence. Much like his North Adelaide teammate Finlay, Hilder has experienced all three levels of SANFL football this year, with eight games at Reserves level his predominant grade. He was as reliable as they came for South Australia at the national carnival, and is a nullifying defender who can take an opposition forward out of the game, averaging almost five marks from 12.5 disposals per game at the championships.

#44 Cooper Sharman
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Tall Forward
25/07/2000 | 192cm | 79kg

Another player who is difficult to rate and could go anywhere from 30 to 60 is Sharman, who had plenty of highlights this year since joining the Oakleigh Chargers program. Having made the move from New South Wales to Victoria and playing out at Balwyn, Sharman burst onto the scene with a few hauls of goals, including four against Eastern Ranges in a tight game. His goal kicking accuracy and marking is quite impressive, and while he has to build his endurance and other areas of his game to be more of a complete package, Sharman has that upside which clubs will hope to harness. For a player of his size with his smarts and X-factor, Sharman could play that third tall role inside 50 and with his athleticism, he is able to play as a leading forward out of the square.

#43 Jack Mahony
Sandringham Dragons | Small Midfielder/Forward
12/11/2001 | 178cm | 72kg

A smart player who knows how to find the ball and use it delicately to hit targets over short distances like very few can, Mahony is a bit of a unique option as a small utility. Predominantly used in the forward half, Mahony is still light, but can compete with players in contested situations, and with his footy IQ and creativity, Mahony rarely makes too many mistakes by hand or foot. In saying that, his size will always come into question as a sub-180cm player, with Mahony lacking that explosiveness that others have playing a similar role. He will likely become that half-forward who can rotate through the middle, mainly because of his ability to pinpoint players inside 50 with sharp 45-degree kicks in between a host of opponents. Importantly, Mahony does not try and go for too much outside his limitations and therefore is highly influential with the game he employs.

#42 Trey Ruscoe
East Fremantle/Western Australia | Tall Defender
03/11/2001 | 192cm | 87kg

A bit undersized to be a key defender at the elite level, Trey Ruscoe has proven to be a player who can easily play that role in the WAFL Colts, and while that is against lighter bodies, he will be challenged to do so against bigger-bodied forwards. In saying that, Ruscoe has great strength and the skills to also play as a running half-back. He has spent time in the midfield which is an area he can further develop and potentially become a readymade inside midfielder who can have an influence around the stoppages. Ruscoe is ultra-competitive and positions himself well in the defensive 50, but could play a midfield-defence hybrid role with his running capacity and versatility to play either position.

#41 Darcy Chirgwin
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
25/07/2001 | 191cm | 80kg

A good sized inside midfielder who might be somewhat underrated compared to his peers due to injury issues that ruled him out of early season games then was injured in the opening quarter of his Under-18 Championships match. What he offers to a club is a big body with an appetite for winning the ball in the contest. His disposal (24.7), clearance (5.2) and tackling (7.9) numbers are right up there with the best, and his defensive approach to the game will certainly win him over at AFL level. His outside game and athleticism could do with some work, as could his ability to hit the scoreboard, but lock him in to be a inside midfielder who can provide a presence around the stoppages, especially once he has added more size to his frame in the coming years.