AFL Draft Power Rankings: The Top 50 Prospects in 2021

AFL Draft Power Rankings
AFL Draft Power Rankings - Jason Horne-Francis. Photo: Dani Brown

The final AFL Draft Power Rankings for 2021 are here, with an extended Top 50 prospects for the upcoming nights of November 24 and 25.

The 2021 AFL draft class boasts a deep talent pool with star-factor evident throughout and a heavy lean towards midfielders of the future. In part due to underage competition cancellations throughout the country, there isn’t much to split prospects from 20 to 40.

Adding to the 2003-born cohort are the mature-agers, who have come on in leaps and bounds after another interrupted season in 2020 with five mature-age prospects making the AFL Draft power rankings.

READ: AFL Phantom Draft 2021: Round 1 begins to take shape

This is The Inner Sanctum’s final AFL Draft Power Rankings for 2021.

1. Jason Horne-Francis

South Adelaide/South Australia | Midfielder

21/06/2003 | 184cm | 78kg

SANFL League: 20 games | 16.5 disp | 0.8 goals

Possessing an ability to burst through packs with ball in hand, then soar through the air and take marks over ruckmen, Horne-Francis is truly an all-round midfielder. With all that said, his most impressive trait is his consistent application without the ball. He launches himself for tackles, smothers and spoils, and runs hard both ways. Horne-Francis was the best player in his side in a SANFL preliminary final, kicking three goals and exciting every North Melbourne fan around the country.

Best traits similar to: Patrick Dangerfield

Draft range: 1

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Jason Horne-Francis. Photo: Dani Brown

2. Nick Daicos

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Midfielder

3/01/2003 | 183cm | 72kg

NAB League: 5 games | 35.8 disp | 2.0 goals

Daicos has completely dominated the NAB League this season, collecting the ball at will while showcasing elite decision-making and vision. His football IQ is through the roof and his work-rate is elite, meaning he gets to a lot of contests and often finds the ball in space. He possesses superb evasiveness similar to his brother and loves getting forward to impact the scoreboard. His 41-disposal, two-goal performance against Vic Country was one of the most impressive games seen at the level. He’ll be ready to play senior football for the Pies right away.

Best traits similar to: Zach Merrett

Draft range: Top 3

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Nick Daicos. Photo: Oakleigh Chargers

3. Sam Darcy

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Key Forward/Ruck

19/08/2003 | 204cm | 75kg

NAB League: 3 games | 16.0 disp | 6.0 HOs

Incredible development over his draft year lands Darcy at three, with the son of Bulldog great Luke ripping games apart like no one else. His height, coupled with sticky hands that snare the ball brilliantly below his knees and pluck the ball out of the sky easily gives him an advantage over the chasing pack of key position players in the pool. His agility is also a standout, with the son-of-a-gun being able to balance himself out as he spins away from trouble which has seen him kick position-defying goals this year from open play. There’s scope for him to play at either end of the ground, but his six goals in the Metro vs Country trial offered the best glimpse of what he could be.

Best traits similar to: Max King

Draft range: Top 5

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4. Finn Callaghan

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Midfielder

​​26/04/2003 | 189cm | 82kg

NAB League: 6 games | 24.3 disp | 4.5 marks

Making the most of his draft year, Callaghan has put it all together to become a genuine top-five prospect. He’s flourished outside of congestion as a wingman and half-back, but his on-ball move was where he showcased attributes that few possess. He has a certain grace about the way he shifts through congestion, picking out targets under pressure and utilising his penetrating left foot going inside 50. Callaghan offers a tantalising inside/outside game at an appealing size for a modern-day midfielder.

Best traits similar to: Josh Kelly

Draft range: Top 6

5. Mac Andrew

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | Ruck/Utility

12/04/2003 | 200cm | 70kg

NAB League: 6 games | 12.6 disp | 12.6 HOs

Andrew has gotten better as the competition increases around him. He possesses the deft touch that ruckmen like Paddy Ryder utilise to great effect when getting the ball down to their midfielders. Around the ground, he offers boundless athleticism to surge past opponents, and a pogo-stick vertical jump to take pack marks despite his lighter frame. There is a lot of work to be done in the gym for Andrew, but there remains best-in-class upside about what he can become at the next level if he can put it all together. Despite being a Melbourne NGA product, the Demons won’t be able to match a bid within the top 20 picks which is all but assured.

Best traits similar to: Paddy Ryder

Draft range: Early First Round

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Mac Andrew. Photo: Dandenong Stingrays

6. Josh Rachele

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | Forward/Midfielder

11/04/2003 | 180cm | 78kg

NAB League: 4 games | 18.5 disp | 2.7 goals

Rachele is unique in his highlight-reel play combined with best-in-class leadership. The powerful small forward plays above his height with gravity-defying aerial exploits, and weaves his way through trouble with ball in hand to snap freakish goals. He also pushes through the midfield and bursts through packs with serious power. All of that makes him a bonafide top pick, but what solidifies it is his huge character and clubman attitude. He is as likely as anyone in this pool to captain an AFL team.

Best traits similar to: Toby Greene

Draft range: Top 10

7. Neil Erasmus

Subiaco/Western Australia | Midfielder/Forward

2/12/2003 | 188cm | 80kg

WAFL Colts: 4 games | 28 disp | 7.7 marks

Erasmus had a sensational finals campaign with Subiaco that culminated in the 2020 Colts flag. He kicked four goals in the Grand Final, but in 2021 he’s taken his game to the next level, transitioning into a weapon in the midfield. His progression as a contested player is eye-catching, and he still plays with freedom that showcases his leap and athletic traits. Erasmus has struggled with constant niggles to rule him out of action in the back-end of the year, but he’s shown enough to place at the top-end of the pool.

Best traits similar to: Zac Bailey

Draft range: Top 10

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Neil Erasmus. Photo: Hale School Sports

8. Josh Ward

Northern Knights/Vic Metro | Midfielder

15/08/2003 | 181cm | 79kg

5 games | 30.2 disp | 4.8 tackles

A gut-runner with skill and tenacity, Ward is a premier pure midfielder in the draft crop. Playing on-ball for the Knights, he consistently finds possession in the clinches despite his smaller frame, putting his head over the ball 20-plus times a game and winning it time again. From there, he is often the first midfielder to the next contest which has seen him hit the scoreboard in the NAB League. There’s huge upside as a midfielder at the next level with his skill and desire.

Best traits similar to: Sam Walsh

Draft range: Top 10

9. Josh Gibcus

GWV Rebels/Vic Country | Key Defender 

4/04/2003 | 195cm | 84kg

NAB League: 10 games | 12.5 disp | 4.4 marks

Gibcus is the most proven key defender in the draft. He’s at his best when he flies for his marks and hits the ground running, generating the drive as well as defensive soundness in the back-half for the Rebels. He very rarely gets beaten in one-on-one situations, positioning himself well and reading the flight of the ball better than most. Gibcus had a great last-quarter battle with Sam Darcy in a Country vs Metro hit-out earlier in the year.

Best traits similar to: Jake Lever

Draft range: Top 5

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10. Ben Hobbs

GWV Rebels/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder

16/09/2003 | 183cm | 80kg

NAB League: 6 games | 25.0 disp | 5.0 tackles

Hobbs offers the best contested ball-winning rate in the pool. He’s a true in-and-under type who seems to either win possession or lay a crunching tackle at every contest. What he lacks in athleticism, he is able to make up for in great reading of the play and a high-octane style that smaller bodies in the NAB League can’t match up with. His leadership at the Rebels has also been ultra-impressive, and it’s an important aspect of his game that has come to the fore this season.

Best traits similar to: Taylor Adams

Draft range: Top 10

11. Josh Goater

Calder Cannons/Vic Metro | Midfielder

2/06/2003 | 190cm | 79kg

NAB League: 7 games | 24.0 disp | 5.0 marks

Goater had been a bit of an unknown before this season. Thrown around the ground and unable to take over a game beforehand, he has excelled when given an opportunity. Playing as an inside midfielder for Metro, Goater utilised all of his athletic gifts and height to dominate in the trial match with 26 disposals. He’s powerful off the mark, has an impressive leap and stop-on-a-dime evasiveness. All of these talents could make him outstanding off half-back as well, but his play throughout in the engine room has been superb in 2021 and there’s sky-high upside as an athlete that will tempt clubs picking in the top 10. 

Best traits similar to: Elliot Yeo

Draft range: First Round

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12. Mitch Knevitt

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Midfielder

08/01/2003 | 193cm | 83kg

NAB League: 9 games | 24.3 disp | 4.3 tackles

Always competitive and desperate in contested situations, Knevitt carried the Falcons in the final games of the season. He had 36 disposals and a goal against the Bendigo Pioneers to rocket onto recruiter’s radars, with his height as a contested ball-winner a tantalising prospect. Knevitt blitzed the Vic Country draft combine, and offers incredible upside with his athletic traits, size and contested ability.

Best traits similar to: Touk Miller

Draft range: Late First/Early Second Round

13. Josh Sinn

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | General Defender

7/01/2003 | 186cm | 82kg

NAB League: 5 games | 17.6 disp | 3.4 marks

Sinn is a pure line-breaker with great speed and an attitude to take the game on. He boasts a penetrating left foot that is a weapon entering the 50, and can run 15 metres either side of a bounce and deliver a pin-point pass from 50 metres away. He hasn’t been troubled defensively either for the Dragons in a sign he could play senior football early on. Sinn needs to become a more reliable kick over 20-30 metres and does fade out of games at points, but he projects to be an excellent half-back at the next level who could make a move into the midfield as he learns to use his physicality.

Best traits similar to: Jack Crisp

Draft range: First Round

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14. Tyler Sonsie 

Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro | Midfielder/Forward

27/01/2003 | 181cm | 77kg

NAB League: 5 games | 23.0 disp | 1.0 goals

Sonsie offers top-five potential, but injury and hit-and-miss performances didn’t help him perform at the top of his game for the entire year. At his best, he is a Rolls-Royce outside midfielder who can slice a team apart with elite decision-making and disposal. That was all on show in his debut for Box Hill VFL, enjoying 26 touches and two goals. There are few better in the draft, but injury leaves question marks on his contested work and consistency.

Best traits similar to: Adam Cerra

Draft range: Late First Round

15. Jye Amiss

East Perth/Western Australia | Key Forward

31/07/2003 | 195cm | 85kg 

WAFL Colts: 15 games | 10.9 disp | 2.9 goals

Amiss doesn’t miss in front of the big sticks this season, booting 51 goals for the Royals. He presents at the ball like a traditional key forward and his work-rate around the ground is huge – including defensively. He was a standout in the first U19s Championships match against South Australia and played an unselfish game to get teammates involved, but struggled to impact in East Perth’s finals series. Despite this, Amiss has the most runs on the board of any key forward around the country and his relaxed set shot routine will translate well to the AFL.

Best traits similar to: Jack Riewoldt

Draft range: First Round

16. Matthew Johnson

Subiaco/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder

16/03/2003 | 193cm | 80kg

WAFL Reserves: 6 games | 21.3 disp | 0.5 goals

A modern day on-ball prototype, Johnson uses his height and sticky hands to extract the ball and feed outside runners. He has shown some nice agility in close, and has had a taste of senior level before coming back and bringing a new level of aggression to his midfield craft at both colts and reserves level. Johnson made it all count with his play in the State Championships and WAFL Reserves finals series.

Best traits similar to: Jack Macrae

Draft range: First Round

17. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

Glenelg/South Australia | Midfielder/Utility

22/02/2003 | 187cm | 70kg

SANFL Reserves: 11 games | 15.5 disp | 0.4 goals

Nephew of Brownlow Medallist Gavin Wanganeen and step-son of former Saint Terry Milera, Wanganeen-Milera has been ultra-impressive for Glenelg in 2021. Playing in the reserves, he earned a call-up to senior level after consistent performances as a wingman. He has a bag of tricks, and is dangerous with ball in hand entering the 50 because he often makes the right decision and can pull off precise passes. His exploits against Western Australia were a culmination of the performances he has built upon in 2021 and has seen him rocket up draft boards.

Best traits similar to: Lachie Whitfield

Draft range: First Round

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera. Photo: SANFL

18. Jacob van Rooyen

Claremont/Western Australia | Key Forward/Defender

16/04/2003 | 195cm | 88kg

WAFL Colts: 8 games | 14.4 disp | 3.8 goals

van Rooyen has enjoyed an excellent finals campaign with seven goals in two games in the colts after exposure to league football earlier in the year. He has shown some glimpses as a key defender including a dominant intercepting display against South Australia where he hit the ground charging forward with ball in hand. Thrown forward in the second match, he kicked the winning goal with seconds left. Van Rooyen’s improved consistency in games and impact at both ends pushes him up the draft board, with his ability to play at both ends appealing to clubs.

Best traits similar to: Robbie Tarrant

Draft range: First Round

19. Leek Alleer

Central Districts | Key Defender

21/08/2001 | 196cm | 84kg

SANFL League: 11 games | 8.9 disp | 4.4 marks

Leek Alleer broke the Draft Combine’s running vertical jump record previously set by Kyron Hayden, and has shown off that incredible 107-centimetre leap for Centrals all season in defence after stints up forward last season. He’s an interceptor with impressive reading of the play and soft hands, able to kickstart forward thrusts with a delicate kicking style. Alleer is two years above this draft class in age but his rate of development has been superb in 2021 and he projects to become an elite interceptor.

Best traits similar to: Jordan Ridley

Draft range: Second Round

20. Arlo Draper

South Adelaide/South Australia | Midfielder/Forward

20/01/2003 | 185cm | 71kg

SANFL U18s: 9 games | 24.1 disp | 1.1 goals

After making his senior debut for the Panthers, Draper came back to U18s level for an elimination final and was in his side’s best. He takes the game on with aggression and impressive athleticism, and remains skilful and composed with ball in hand. The high-flyer has impressed with his time in the midfield, but figures to start his career as an X-factor forward-half player that can apply pressure defensively and hit the scoreboard. 

Best traits similar to: Chad Wingard

Draft range: Late First/Early Second Round

21. Darcy Wilmot

Northern Knights/Vic Metro | General Defender

31/12/2003 | 183cm | 75kg

NAB League: 7 games | 15.1 disp | 2.7 marks

Charging off the line with vigour, Wilmot is a pocket rocket when his side forces the turnover. He plays undaunted footy with ball in hand, finding chests by foot and taking on would-be tacklers out of the backline. Wilmot has played good shutdown roles this season as well which adds to his value as a first-round prospect, and clubs will like his upside as a hard-nosed flanker that won’t shirk a contest.

Best traits similar to: Lachie Ash

Draft range: Early Second Round

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22. Connor MacDonald

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | Midfielder

13/01/2003 | 184cm | 77kg

NAB League: 4 games | 29.8 disp | 4.8 tackles | 0.8 goals

Splitting his time in the NAB League with school commitments, MacDonald has impressed every time he’s stepped on the field but there isn’t a huge sample size to go from. He’s quick through the contest and tough, finding the football on the inside before pushing forward hard. He’s received plaudits from teammates and coaches for his leadership qualities and has a handy knack of imposing himself in the big moments.

Best traits similar to: Luke Shuey

Draft range: Second Round

23. Josh Fahey

GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies | General Defender

11/11/2003 | 186cm | 76kg

AFL Academy: 1 game | 23.0 disp | 2.0 marks

A best on ground performance for the AFL Academy in its clash with Geelong VFL has Fahey holding his ranking. He delivers the ball beautifully from defensive 50 with his raking left boot and has a huge engine to run all day with high half-forwards. His defensive instincts and ball use gives him a high floor as a prospect, and his propensity to deliver in big games moves him to the precipice of the first round despite struggling to play games in the ACT through lockdown.

Best traits similar to: Isaac Cumming

Draft range: Second Round (GWS NGA)

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Josh Fahey. Photo: NAB League

24. Sam Butler

GWV Rebels/Vic Country | Midfielder/Forward

10/02/2003 | 184cm | 73kg

NAB League: 7 games | 16.7 disp | 0.9 goals

The younger brother of the Saints’ Dan, Butler is a live-wire midfielder who makes a big impact when the ball hits the deck. His forward pressure is first-class and he usually takes advantage of his opportunities when he gets the ball. He’s pushed into the midfield and shown an ability to win his own ball, and projects to become a classy midfielder that has tricks in the forward 50.

Best traits similar to: Zac Fisher

Draft range: Late First/Second Round

25. Angus Sheldrick

Claremont/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder

07/11/2003 | 179cm | 84kg

WAFL Colts: 9 games | 25.8 disp | 4.1 tackles | 1.0 goals

Possibly the best player across the State Championships, Sheldrick is a contested bull that rips the ball out of stoppages and lays tackles with intent. Questions surrounded his work outside of the stoppage, but he put them to rest with aggressive running patterns and sound ball use during his games against South Australia, which included starting attacking chains and buttering up 50 metres down the field with an outstanding work rate. Sheldrick starred in his WAFL finals campaign and has cemented himself as a bolter of the draft class.

Best traits similar to: Dion Prestia

Draft range: Second Round

26. Matthew Roberts

South Adelaide/South Australia | Midfielder

31/07/2003 | 183cm | 81kg

SANFL League: 7 games | 11.1 disp | 0.9 goals

Getting an extended run in the seniors, Roberts showed some real class on the wing for the Panthers. Over the years he has demonstrated his ability as an inside midfielder with a capacity to rip the ball out of stoppages and feed runners, and he made great strides in his ball use and composure since coming back from a syndesmosis earlier in the year. Roberts has a booming left boot at his disposal that has come to the fore with regularity, and continued to add outside aspects to his game including some goal threat for the Panthers that was evident early in the preliminary final.

Best traits similar to: Rory Sloane

Draft range: Late First/Second Round

27. Campbell Chesser

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country | Outside Midfielder

27/04/2003 | 186cm | 83kg

NAB League: 3 games | 18.3 disp | 3.0 marks

Chesser is lightning-quick and a classy ball user, but a torn meniscus robbed the outside midfielder of six weeks in the middle of the season. However, what we have seen is impressive; he’s taken up leadership roles in multiple teams, including being named co-captain of Vic Metro in the U16s where he was an All-Australian. Chesser is a really smart kick and can impact at either end, or on a wing where his incredible speed comes to the fore on the edge of contests. 

Best traits similar to: Nick Hind

Draft range: Second/Third Round

28. Zac Taylor

Calder Cannons/Vic Metro | Midfielder

31/01/2003 | 180cm | 74kg

NAB League: 7 games | 26.0 disp | 4.1 tackles

Offering a bag of tricks and a high-octane style, Taylor goes about his business in a different way to most midfielders. He manages to find slivers of daylight and uses the ball intelligently with chip kicks going forward, and has a keen defensive side to his play as well. He’s a point of difference midfielder for clubs to consider with his high footballing IQ.

Best traits similar to: Errol Gulden

Draft range: Second Round

29. Ned Long

Northern Knights/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder/Forward

05/02/2003 | 192cm | 88kg

Long could have boosted his stock much higher but for an untimely injury that cut his season short. His contested work has been a standout for the Knights, and he offers a point of difference as a tall midfielder with his ability to move forward and kick goals as well. With great endurance and prototype measurements for a modern day midfielder, Long could end up a steal for a club on draft night if he falls out of the first two rounds.

Best traits similar to: Nat Fyfe

Draft range: Third Round

30. Judson Clarke

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Forward

17/10/2003 | 179cm | 69kg

NAB League: 5 games | 17.6 disp | 0.8 goals

Showing good forward craft for the Stingrays, Clarke is nimble on his feet and tough to tackle for opponents with ball in hand. A smart small forward, he takes advantage of defensive mistakes and hits the scoreboard when the ball comes off packs by reading it well and showcasing a clean pair of heels. His trial game against Metro was brilliant with five goals. Clarke hasn’t shown much up the ground, but knows his job and puts together really good small forward games.

Best traits similar to: Lincoln McCarthy

Draft range: Second Round

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Judson Clarke

31. Rhett Bazzo

Swan Districts/Western Australia | Key Defender

17/10/2003 | 195cm | 81kg

WAFL Colts: 7 games | 10.9 disp | 4.1 marks

With one of the great names of the draft class, Bazzo has steadily climbed draft boards as he’s pieced together consistent form down back. His Championship games have been eye-catching with intercept ability and composure with ball in hand. He uses the ball tidily and has been able to blanket key forwards in the second half of the year to boost his stock in a pool that doesn’t boast too many elite key backs.

Best traits similar to: Tom Barrass

Draft range: Second Round

32. Mitchito Owens

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Midfielder

24/09/2003 | 190cm | 85kg

NAB League: 5 games | 18.6 disp | 5.0 marks

Saints fans will be praying Owens isn’t selected within the first 20 selections, where the club won’t be able to match a bid for the NGA prospect. The midfielder has been up and down this year, but at his best he’s terrific with ball in hand and damaging with every disposal. A hard runner and competitive type, he has steadily risen up draft boards as a modern-day wingman and could well find himself drafted on the first night given his desirable traits.

Best traits similar to: Jordan Dawson

Draft range: Late First/Second Round

33. Tom Brown

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | General Defender

30/07/2003 | 186cm | 71kg

NAB League: 5 games | 16.8 disp | 5.0 marks

Brown hasn’t put a foot wrong in his draft year, with the composed half-back a standout for the Bushrangers in the NAB League. He executes well by foot and has a good sidestep and speed to get out of trouble, as well as showing impressive ability to shut down his direct opponent and find his way to the drop zone of marking contests. His contested work remains a question mark and it will take a few pre-seasons to build up his body to the rigours of the AFL, but the son of Geelong’s Paul Brown will be a sought after player in the draft.

Best traits similar to: Caleb Daniel

Draft range: Second Round

34. Jack Avery

Perth Demons/Western Australia | Defender/Utility

14/06/2002 | 190cm | 83kg

WAFL League: 10 games | 16.5 disp | 4.9 marks

Avery was overlooked in his draft year last season but moved to the Demons and was superb in 2021. He averaged 34 touches in the Colts before playing the second half of the season at League level as a defender. He plays above his size and is aggressive in his intercepting game, showcased by his play for Western Australia as a key defender. Still 19 years old, Avery offers a high ceiling with his rebounding game as a late bloomer that has shown a propensity to rack the ball up at will out of the backline.

Best traits similar to: Luke Ryan

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

35. Marcus Windhager

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Midfielder/Forward

16/05/2003 | 183cm | 82kg

NAB League: 4 games | 15.8 disp | 2.8 tackles

A powerful midfielder, Windhager had a short season in the NAB League and has recently had a setback with a back injury which could rule him out for the early stages of his AFL career. He runs straight lines and links up through the middle of the ground with good decision making and ball use, and can impact with high pressure as a forward as well. Windhager should land at the Saints as an NGA prospect as long as a bid doesn’t arrive in the top 20 selections.

Best traits similar to: Sam Powell-Pepper

Draft range: Second/Third Round

36. Brady Hough

Peel Thunder/Western Australia | Midfielder/Utility

05/03/2003 | 189cm | 74kg

WAFL Colts: 22.1 disp | 3.5 marks

Hough came out of nowhere to dominate 2021 at every grade. He was one of Peel’s best in the Colts and made the most of his League opportunity in the last game of the season with 22 touches and nine marks, while also stamping his credentials with a strong State Championships. He’s plied his trade at either end of the ground but has done some of his best work as a wingman with good endurance, composure with ball in hand and a great set of hands. His rate of improvement has been enormous this season which will excite recruiters.

Best traits similar to: Will Hayward

Draft range: Second/Third Round

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37. Jesse Motlop

South Fremantle/Western Australia | Small Forward

23/11/2003 | 176cm | 74kg

WAFL: 8 games | 8.6 disp | 1.1 goals

A dazzling small forward with brilliant goal nous and a sense for the occasion, Motlop is tied to Fremantle through its NGA but would need to get through the top 40 selections without being bid on to land with the Dockers. The son of former Roo and Power player Daniel, Motlop kicked the Bulldogs’ first goal of the 2021 WAFL Grand Final and projects to become a damaging goal-kicker with his elite agility and knack for bobbing up in the right place.

Best traits similar to: Kysaiah Pickett

Draft range: Second Round

38. Blake Schlensog

South Fremantle | Key Defender/Forward

25/09/2000 | 199cm | 99kg

WAFL: 20 games | 15.3 disp | 6.7 marks

Schlensog was a behemoth for the Bulldogs on their way to a Grand Final appearance. After being delisted by Geelong, he dominated WAFL forwards with his strength and speed combination. He is a lockdown defender first and foremost, but has shown capacity to intercept and has come on in leaps and bounds since his experiences at VFL level. He also impacted hugely up forward in games with his contested marking a real weapon. Cruelly, he missed the Bulldogs’ Grand Final appearance through injury. Still just 21 years of age, the Cats will be ruing letting Schlensog go too early.

Best traits similar to: Tom Jonas

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

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39. Blake Howes

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Wing/Forward

07/04/2003 | 190cm | 79kg

NAB League: 7 games | 15.7 disp | 1.0 goals

Howes is an ultra-athletic wingman who uses the ball superbly and can run all day. He’s shown an ability to play as a forward and use his height to advantage, while still impacting when the ball is at ground level. He hasn’t rounded himself into a good contested player yet, but Howes is one of the best link-up players from defence to the forward 50 in the draft.

Best traits similar to: Kyle Langford

Draft range: Second Round

40. Toby Conway

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Ruck

24/04/2003 | 204cm | 90kg

NAB League:  6 games | 13.8 disp | 27.1 HOs

More of a traditional ruckman, Conway has dominated his four NAB League ruck duels and stamped his arrival as a dominant big man. His tap-work is good and he gets around the ground really well, attending a lot of contests and winning the ball at ground level to go with his aerial ability. He will take some time to add to his frame and learn to use his physicality, but Conway has high upside.

Best traits similar to: Reilly O’Brien

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

AFL Draft 2021 Power Rankings – Toby Conway. Photo: Geelong Falcons

41. Jack Williams

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Key Forward

01/12/2003 | 195cm | 91kg

WAFL Colts: 11 games | 15.6 disp | 2.9 goals

Strong and aggressive, Williams has impressed for the Sharks as a consistent target up the line and inside the forward 50. He’s quick to read the ball off the boot and is an accurate kick for goal, as well as spending good time in the ruck and showing flashes behind the ball as well. Williams’ versatility has been a good point of difference to go with his consistency of form this year in the colts, plus has a coveted basketball background.

Best traits similar to: Tom McDonald

Draft range: Second/Third Round

42. Josh Cripps

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Ruck/Key Forward

13/08/2002 | 199cm | 94kg

WAFL Colts: 12 games | 15.6 disp | 1.3 goals

Cripps missed his draft year in 2020 through injury, but has returned and looked dominant in the second half of the year at Colts level to ignite his chances of being selected. The younger brother of Carlton skipper Patrick, Cripps is able to rip the ball out of ruck contests and get the ball moving forward, and has also shown flashes of ability up forward as a contested mark. He stood out in the final Championships game against South Australia as a ruckman with his strength and aggression at the stoppage.

Best traits similar to: Sam Draper

Draft range: Third/Fourth Round

43. Kade Dittmar

East Perth/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder

14/01/2003 | 186cm | 90kg

WAFL Colts: 11 games | 18.5 disp | 5.7 tackles | 1.0 goals

Dittmar’s Championships were exceptional, starring as an inside midfielder with his unrelenting nature. He’s as hard as anyone at the coalface and is an unselfish teammate, diving to smother balls and taking every opportunity lay shepherds. He also boasts one of the best fend-offs in the draft pool. Dittmar needs to improve his foot disposal and hasn’t entirely proven himself in a position outside of the centre square, but he has the tools to become a brilliant contested on-baller at the next level.

Best traits similar to: Jack Steele

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

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44. Corey Warner

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder

07/10/2003 | 182cm | 74kg

WAFL Colts: 9 games | 24.0 disp | 3.5 marks

A gut-running midfielder, Warner has consistently caught the eye across the ground for the Sharks this year, and has held his own at state level. He hasn’t completely shown off the contested side that older brother Chad Warner has at the Swans, but his competitiveness boasts similarities while his play in big moments is also a positive across the Colts finals series. Warner’s exposure to League level in the WAFL would have excited recruiters in addition to his combine results where he recorded state-highs in the 2km time-trial (6:20), running vertical jump (100cm) and standing vertical jump (76cm).

Best traits similar to: Xavier Duursma

Draft range: Second/Third Round

45. Sam Banks

Tasmania Devils/Allies | General Defender/Midfielder

02/04/2003 | 187cm | 73kg

NAB League: 4 games | 21.8 disp | 4.0 marks

Banks didn’t have the biggest impact in 2021, but he has runs on the board over a number of years and is the type of player clubs are looking for in the mid to late rounds of the draft. His upside is high with his ball use and running capacity, and he has impacted the game further up the ground as a wingman this season. Banks is the likeliest of all Apple Isle prospects to find an AFL home for 2022.

Best traits similar to: Jayden Short

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

46. Lewis Rayson

Glenelg/South Australia | General Defender

14/01/2003 | 183cm | 69kg

SANFL U18s: 14 games | 26.7 disp | 6.6 marks

Rayson is an elite user of the ball by hand and foot, and has a burst of acceleration that gets him out of trouble as he rebounds off the half-back line. He had a brilliant finals campaign with Glenelg and a solid Championships as well for SA as the captain of the side. Rayson is skilful and intelligent, and is one of the most reliable ball users in the pool.

Best traits similar to: Jake Lloyd

Draft range: Third Round

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47. Kai Lohmann

GWV Rebels/Vic Country | General Forward

06/05/2003 | 185cm | 76kg

NAB League: 9 games | 14.3 disp | 4.7 marks

Lohmann has shown off some special athletic traits this year and rose up draft boards with some electrifying performances for the Rebels. He’s quick off the mark and leaps at the football to be a really promising forward on the lead, and can also butter up at ground level well. Questions remain about his contested side and consistency in application, but there’s a lot to like about the bouncy forward’s game.

Best traits similar to: Bayley Fritsch

Draft range: Second/Third Round

48. Alastair Lord

Norwood/South Australia | General Defender/Midfielder

26/11/2003 | 180cm | 76kg

SANFL U18s: 5 games | 22.4 disp | 5.4 marks

Lord had an interrupted season, but recruiters loved his work late in the year and his rate of progression has been promising given his late-year birthday. He’s a rebounder, taking every opportunity to burst out of the backline to receive the ball and gain metres for his side. He takes on the opposition and backs in his leg speed, and has shown flashes in centre bounces with clean hands and a burst of pace.

Best traits similar to: Zac Williams

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

49. Charlie Dean

Williamstown | Key Defender

19/06/2001 | 195cm | 86kg

VFL: 9 games | 15.1 disp | 7.3 marks

Another mature-ager, Dean won the VFL’s Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal for the best young player in the competition. His work as an intercept marker was outstanding, coupled with his aerobic capacity and springy leap that gives him a knack of closing down space to his opponent quickly. The previous 14 winners of the medal have found themselves on an AFL list, and Dean should be no exception.

Best traits similar to: Charlie Ballard

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

50. Joshua Browne

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Midfielder

3/01/2003 | 185cm | 77kg

WAFL Colts: 13 games | 32.8 disp | 0.8 goals

A highly prolific on-baller, Browne propelled the Sharks this year off the back of an insatiable work-rate complemented by an ability to find the ball both on the inside and outside. He has also become damaging in the forward half, while still working hard defensively and applying pressure. The gut-runner took home the Jack Clarke Medal for Best & Fairest in the WAFL Colts in 2021, but didn’t finish the season how he would have liked with a quiet State Championships.

Best traits similar to: Cam Guthrie

Draft range: Late Round/Rookie

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About Jasper Chellappah 231 Articles
Jasper writes on Aussie Rules, basketball, tennis and netball for The Inner Sanctum. His main area is player analysis, with a keen focus on the AFL Draft. He also lends his voice to The Checkside and the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast each week.

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