The 2021 Brownlow Medal is set to go right down to the wire with the final round of the season crowning an upset winner in The Inner Sanctum’s predictor.
The AFL’s most prestigious individual award produced a runaway winner last year, but 2021 is set to be different with a high winning total expected and an open field making Sunday’s count must-watch.
This is who The Inner Sanctum predicts as your club’s top vote-getter, and the player tipped to take home ‘Charlie’ with its Brownlow Predictor for 2021.
A superb season in the midfield for two-time All-Australian Rory Laird should see him claim the most Brownlow votes for the Crows. Wins were few and far between, but he was consistency personified in the engine room, and should still poll the maximum against the Hawks in Round 19. Taylor Walker could be leading the count early on after starting the season on fire, while Ben Keays will pick up votes for his brilliant season.
The ultra-consistent Jarryd Lyons is tipped to lead the Lions’ count, having produced best-on-ground performances against former club Gold Coast in rounds 9 and 19. Classy wingman Hugh McCluggage will be close behind after another impressive year, while reigning Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale will end the season well after an injury-riddled campaign.
Young gun Sam Walsh is set to lead Carlton’s count, and it isn’t close in the Brownlow Predictor. Walsh is in with a shot of taking the medal out, with thanks to sparkling performances in both wins and losses after a disappointment year for the Blues. The 21-year-old is predicted to pick up 12 votes in a five game stretch between rounds 16 and 20, while teammates Harry McKay and Ed Curnow will trail him with single-digit votes for the season.
While the votes aren’t high for the Pies this year, it’ll be a hotly contested club count. Brodie Grundy hasn’t had his best year but still produced elite early-season performances against the Blues (Round 2) and Lions (Round 3), while Jordan De Goey finished the campaign on fire and should claim votes against the Tigers (Round 17) and Eagles (Round 20). 2021 is set to be Scott Pendlebury’s lowest vote count since 2007 after injury derailed the superstar’s year.
Possibly the most improved player in the competition, Darcy Parish should lead the Dons’ players on Sunday night. The All-Australian may lead the whole count at the midway point after huge performances through rounds 9 to 12 could see him claim a maximum 12 votes. Zach Merrett will be close behind after a consistent campaign and strong finish to the season, while Jake Stringer lays claim to best-on-ground performances against the Hawks (Round 14) and Suns (Round 22).
The evergreen David Mundy is predicted to top the Dockers’ count after a blistering start to the 2021 year in which he polls maximum votes against the Crows (Round 5) and Kangaroos (Round 6). Close behind is young gun Andrew Brayshaw who had an ultra-consistent campaign, while farm-strong ruckman Sean Darcy and two-time Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe should hit double figures.
Claiming 115 more disposals than the next Cat in 2021, Cam Guthrie will lead the way and could have made a run for the medal if injury didn’t strike halfway through the year. He’s expected to feature highly in the first half of the season, while there’s a long gap to the next group of Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and 2016 Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield.
There was a point in the season where it became a genuine thought that Touk Miller might win the count despite being ineligible due to a one-week suspension served in Round 9. He’s predicted to finish with 25 votes after a year where the Suns struggled but he still impressed in losses. Noah Anderson and Brandon Ellis should pick up some votes, but Miller could out-poll all teammates combined on Sunday night.
In a season where he committed to the Giants for a further eight years, Josh Kelly led from the front and is predicted to poll well. He should pick up three votes in the draw against North (Round 13), and will continue on from there with big performances against the Demons (Round 16) and Tigers (Round 22). Tim Taranto will also pick up votes to trail Kelly in the Giants’ count.
Tom Mitchell started the season with a bang, but his second-half of 2021 is where he will make inroads on Sunday night. The ball-magnet is predicted to collect eight votes in the final three rounds of the season to go with his 107 disposals in that timeframe. Expect Chad Wingard – who finished the season on fire – and Jaeger O’Meara to challenge for second place at the Hawks.
The Demons have two genuine contenders, but Clayton Oliver is predicted to edge out his teammate and finish equal-second overall on 29 votes after a blistering beginning to 2021. His best-on-ground performance in a losing effort against the Crows (Round 10) will add to consistent polling in wins for the league-leading Dees. Christian Petracca is tipped to trail Oliver by just two votes – match-winning games against the Cats (Round 4) and Tigers (Round 6) should get him off to a good start on Sunday night.
More AFL News
North finished on the bottom of the ladder, but their count will go down to the wire with Ben Cunnington tipped to edge out the win. Before his scary testicular cancer diagnosis and surgery, the tough midfielder produced fine games against the Dogs (Round 16) and Eagles (Round 17). Youngster Jy Simpkin also had a sensational season in the engine room and is predicted to trail Cunnington by a solitary vote on Sunday night.
Coming into Sunday night’s count as the slight favourite to win his first Brownlow Medal, Ollie Wines will take out the Power’s count over teammate Travis Boak. The midfield bull has produced an ultra-consistent campaign and is tipped to poll in the most games of any player, while still receiving the maximum votes in games including the Suns (Round 14) and Saints (Round 18). Boak is predicted to finish second, while Karl Amon will poll well after a breakout season in 2021.
Despite missing half the season, Dustin Martin is tipped to lead the Tigers’ count in a season where the club crashed back down to Earth. The 2017 Brownlow Medallist started the season on fire and should claim the three votes against the Blues (Round 1) and Hawks (Round 2). Jack Riewoldt and Jack Graham are favoured to round out Richmond’s top three ahead of Shai Bolton.
Winning the count in The Inner Sanctum’s Brownlow Predictor for 2021 is Jack Steele, who takes top spot with a superb final round game against Fremantle. Steele is tipped to poll maximum votes in the most games of any player, which includes an incredible stretch on either side of the club’s bye where-in he polls 14 votes in five games. Steele finished in the top three of 2020 after a breakout season, and is tipped to be trailed by Luke Dunstan in the Saints’ count.
A tight contest at the top of the Swans’ count sees Luke Parker claim honours again for the Swans in our Brownlow Predictor. The veteran midfielder – having recently extended his contract with the Bloods – is predicted to poll in six consecutive games after the Swans’ bye. Close behind is Callum Mills who has made a seamless transition into full-time midfielder, while want-away Swan Jordan Dawson polls in three best-on-ground performances towards the end of the season.
The only club tie of the Brownlow Predictor sees Dom Sheed and Andrew Gaff share honours on a club-low nine votes. Sheed is tipped to start well against the Suns in Round 1, while Gaff produces great displays in round 3, and 9. The Eagles struggled with injuries throughout 2021, and expected top vote-getters Luke Shuey and Tim Kelly trail having missed periods of the season.
Backed into favouritism for the majority of the year, a quiet finish to 2021 sees Marcus Bontempelli finish with 28 votes. It’s a mark good enough to win the Dogs’ count, with best-on-ground displays against the Blues (Round 8), Power (Round 9) and Saints (Round 10) setting him up. Jack Macrae is predicted to finish in the top 10 of the count with 23 votes, while a raft of Dogs trail the two with Bailey Smith and Tom Liberatore leading the group.
The Inner Sanctum’s Brownlow Predictor for 2021
- Jack Steele – 31 votes
- Clayton Oliver – 29 votes
- Ollie Wines – 29 votes
- Marcus Bontempelli – 28 votes
- Christian Petracca – 27 votes
- Darcy Parish – 27 votes
- Sam Walsh – 26 votes
- Tom Mitchell – 25 votes
- Touk Miller – 25 votes
- Jack Macrae – 23 votes
Subscribe to our newsletter!