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AFL Draft - July's Power Rankings: Daicos, Horne and Darcy duke it out for top billing

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ESPN.com.au's AFL Draft expert Chris Doerre has revealed his AFL Draft Power Rankings for the month of July, with young gun Nick Daicos continuing to reign supreme.

1. Nick Daicos (Collingwood - Father-Son)
Best position: General midfielder/general forward
Height, weight: 183cm, 72kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 1-2
Plays like: Zach Merrett
June ranking: 1
Rationale: On performance to date Daicos has been the clear standout without a close equal. Averaging 36 disposals and two goals per game, Daicos has starred in every one of his games. He also led the way for the AFL Academy in their match against Geelong's VFL side, with team high disposals, contested possessions, clearances inside 50s, shots on goal and score assists.
Strengths:
Composure in traffic
Decision making under pressure
Draws free kicks from high tackles
Agility
Evasion
Production
Go-to-guy around the ground
Scoreboard impact
Inside-outside midfield balance
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Stoppage work
Contested ball winning
Consistency
AFL ready-to-go game
Weaknesses:
Application defensively

2. Jason Horne
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 184cm, 78kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 1-3
Plays like: Jarryd Lyons
June ranking: 2
Rationale: Remains a solid #2 at this point on performance and has displayed both consistency and gradual improvement in the SANFL. His pressure and application defensively has been a staple to his play.
Strengths:
Consistency of application defensively
Pressure applied to the ball carrier
Strong tackler
Aerial marking
Contested marking
Takes on the game with his run
Evasion
Impact per possession
Damaging ball user
One-touch ground ball winner
Contested ball winning
Proven against senior state league opposition
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Scoreboard impact
AFL ready-to-go game
Weaknesses:
Consistency from game to game
Consistency of impact offensively

3. Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs - Father-Son)
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 204cm, 75kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 1-5
Plays like: Max King
June ranking: 5
Rationale: On the back of his dominant Under-19 trial match, Darcy forces his way into the top-3 and enters the pick one discussion. With more games like that, Darcy can push his way higher up this draft board, though will need a larger sample size of dominance to do so. In a draft lacking in the way of premier talls, Darcy is by far and away the standard of excellence.
Strengths:
Rate of improvement
One grab contested marking
Long reach and takes marks fully extended
Attack on the ball aerially
Early reading of the drop of the ball
Protects the drop zone
Versatility to impact games as a key forward, key defender and through the ruck
Agility
One-touch at ground level
Instinctive finisher around goal
Speed to create separation on the lead
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Repeat speed/repeat efforts
Strength
Will require time to develop before he can impact AFL games regularly

4. Matthew Roberts
Best position: General midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 183cm, 81kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Dayne Beams
June ranking: 4
Rationale: Last playing in May, Roberts has missed time with an ankle injury. Despite Sam Darcy's rise, Roberts has been able to hold his spot due to the inconsistent play of Tyler Sonsie. Roberts has been one of this year's most consistent performers and is one of the premier ball winners and most influential both through the midfield and up forward in this draft.
Strengths:
One-touch below the knees
Endurance
Work rate
Spread from the contest
Contested ball winning
Clean hands in traffic
Distribution by hand
Damaging and penetrating left foot kick
Places kicks out in front of forwards to lead onto
Overhead marking
Inside-outside midfield balance
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Scoreboard impact
Strong tackler
AFL ready-to-go game
Weaknesses:
Prone to rushing under pressure and bombing long by foot
Would benefit from lowering his eyes more and looking to hit up shorter targets more often

5. Josh Rachele
Best position: General forward/general midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 78kg
Recruited from: Murray Bushranges
Projected draft range: 5-15
Plays like: Alan Didak
June ranking: 6
Rationale: Despite the rise of Sam Darcy and Ben Hobbs, Rachele who is this draft's premier kick moves up one spot on the back of his performance against Bendigo. What was special about his performance against Bendigo was when injected into centre bounces in the third quarter, stoppage after stoppage he won first possession and was unstoppable. Having those capabilities in addition to the damage he does forward of centre with ball in hand makes him one of this draft's most exciting dual position threats.
Strengths:
Best in class level precision kick
Kicks placed out in front of targets to lead onto
Scoreboard impact
First possession winning at stoppages
Explosive speed
Agility
Forward pressure
Tackling
Aerial marking threat
Overhead marking
Ground level craft
Versatility to impact games both as a forward and through the midfield
AFL ready-to-go game
Weaknesses:
Finds little easy outside ball
Endurance
Consistency

6. Ben Hobbs
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 183cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Greater Western Victoria
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Jacob Hopper
June ranking: Outside top-20
Rationale: With only one full game early in the season before missing an extended stretch of time with injury, Hobbs has stepped up several gears. Appearing like a strong bodied, aggressive ball winning midfielder, Hobbs against Murray and again in the first trial match against Vic Metro has demonstrated in recent weeks a level of diversity to his game that wasn't apparent in his round two match against Geelong Falcons, leading to his sharp move up this draft board. Scoreboard impact and outside accumulation capabilities weren't apparent earlier in the year but have been unexpected strengths since his return, helping his standing in this year's pool.
Strengths:
First possession winner at stoppages
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Distribution by hand
Scoreboard impact
Outside accumulation and involvement around the ground
Versatility to push forward as part of a large midfield rotation as required
Reading of the ball in flight
Overhead marking
Production
AFL ready-to-go game
Weaknesses:
Rarely wins the ball at speed which leads to limited time and space in congestion
Speed
Athleticism

7. Finn Callaghan
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 189cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Jared Polec
June ranking: 11
Rationale: Callaghan's appeal has risen consistently since his move to play inside midfield. What makes Callaghan special and why he will be appearing in a lot of top-5s at this stage is his work in traffic. He possesses the time and space in traffic of a Scott Pendlebury, yet a burst of speed and dynamic movement on the move more like a Marcus Bontempelli. Callaghan is an upside pick a club may speculate on inside the top-5, though with questions around his aggression and how hard he is willing to go to either win the football or tackle showing up in his recent game against Eastern, there are a few others who look like safer selections at this stage.
Strengths:
Rare time, space and composure in traffic
Evasion
Agility
Sidestep
Speed
Takes on the game at speed with ball in hand
Hits contests at speed and times his moves well to receive on the burst
Work rate
Endurance
Overlap run
Class and composure under pressure to hit his targets by hand or foot
Skill execution by hand and foot targets
Versatility to play inside or outside midfield
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Lack of aggression

8. Josh Sinn
Best position: General defence
Height, weight: 186cm, 72kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 3-15
Plays like: Lachie Ash
June ranking: 7
Rationale: Returning from an early season hamstring injury to face off against Oakleigh, Sinn reminded recruiters how eye-popping his run with ball in hand is. If Sinn can improve his consistency by foot over medium and long distances and win more of his own ball, he has the scope to push higher up this draft board. Sinn drops one spot due to the rise of Sam Darcy and Ben Hobbs.
Strengths:
Agility to stop on a dime, then accelerate in another direction, wrong-footing opponents and burst past them at speed
Speed
Breaks the lines with ball in hand at a high frequency
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and in defence
Reliable short kick to target
Kick placement out in front of inside-50m targets to lead onto
Weaknesses:
Production
Contested ball winning
Inconsistency by foot over medium and long distance
Consistency

9. Tyler Sonsie
Best position: General midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 181cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: 3-15
Plays like: Nick Dal Santo
June ranking: 3
Rationale: Sonsie has been among the most erratic performers to open the season with some big games headlined by his 24 disposals and two goals in his VFL match for Box Hill, and then he has had his poor games where he has found little of the ball and had no meaningful influence. His poor performance against Sandringham is his latest below expectation performance with positive moments few and far between before he left the game late with bone bruising to his knee. With Sonsie's inconsistency and the stark difference between his best and worst games, he has been forced down draft boards in favour of others.
Strengths:
Placement of kicks out in front of targets inside 50m to lead up onto
Composure with ball in hand
Decision making under pressure
Burst of acceleration
Line-breaking run
Contested ball winning
Offensively damaging enough to break games open in a matter of minutes
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Inside-outside midfield balance
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Difference between his best and worst games
Invisible in his worst games
Not a four quarter performer

10. Connor MacDonald
Best position: Balanced midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 184cm, 77kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: 10-40
Plays like: Luke Parker
June ranking: 8
Rationale: A goalkicking midfielder, MacDonald has been prolific and consistent in the games he has appeared for Dandenong early in the season before school football commitments began. The only reason for MacDonald dropping two spots is the rise of Sam Darcy and Ben Hobbs.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Scoreboard impact
Work rate
Reliable skills
Aerial marking
Acceleration
Work rate
Endurance
Inside/outside midfield balance
Able to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Consistency
Production
Weaknesses:
Impact per possession

11. Josh Ward
Best position: Balanced midfielder
Height, weight: 181cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Marc Murphy
June ranking: Outside top-20
Rationale: On the back of firstly a 34-disposal performance where he broke even with Nick Daicos and a team best performance for Vic Metro in the first trial match against Vic Country, Ward has announced himself as one of this draft's most desirable. He has shot his way into first round calculations and is working his way into the conversation with this year's best Victorians.
Strengths:
Skills
Placement of kicks out in front of targets inside 50m to leadup onto
Lowers his eyes for kicks inside 50m
Vision
Decision making under pressure
Composure
Finishing around goal
Agility
Run and carry
Speed
Inside/outside midfield balanced
Works hard both ways
Rises to the big occasion
Weaknesses:
Able but only moderate volume contested ball winner
Strength

12. Bodhi Uwland (Gold Coast - Academy)
Best position: Inside midfield/general defence
Height, weight: 185cm, 84kg
Recruited from: Gold Coast
Projected draft range: 20-60
Plays like: Luke Hodge
June ranking: 9
Rationale: Uwland earned his way onto this draft board through his striking play in his NAB League match against both Dandenong and Brisbane. With the way he impacts games, with his damaging and penetrating kick, contested ball winning and how he bursts through stoppages and shrugs tackles so easily, there is sizable scope to develop. In more recent weeks after starting the season with Gold Coast's VFL side, he has earned more VFL opportunities and has shown improvement. Uwland only drops three spots due to the rising stocks of Sam Darcy, Ben Hobbs and Josh Ward. At this stage Uwland is not as highly regarded in clubland as he features on this draft board, but with further performances like his two NAB League games and that could change in a hurry as he gets in front of more sets of eyes.
Strengths:
Penetrating and damaging but reliable kick
Kicks placed out to the advantage side for teammates to lead onto
Decision making with ball in hand
Vision
Contested ball winning
Powerful shrugging of tackles
Aggression
Physical edge
Evasion
Agility
Acceleration
Leap
Versatility to impact games either through the midfield, defence or across half-forward
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Work rate

13. Hugh Jackson
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 69kg
Recruited from: North Adelaide
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Andrew Gaff
June ranking: 10
Rationale: With Jackson's consistent and prolific SANFL Under-18s play, he remains firmly inside the top-15 on this draft board and only drops three spots due to the rise of others. Jackson has been a high production and classy accumulator throughout the year, averaging 33 disposals per game. In more recent weeks Jackson has started hitting the scoreboard more with three goals against West Adelaide in round 11 his first week with multiple goals.
Strengths:
Production
Classy and reliable ball user
Placement of kicks inside-50m out in front of targets to lead onto
Run with ball in hand
Work rate
Endurance
Consistency
One-touch at ground level
Reading of the ball off hands
Weaknesses:
Strength

14. Arlo Draper
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 185cm, 71kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: James Harmes
June ranking: Outside top-20
Rationale: On the back of a strong month of midfield play splitting his time between the SANFL Under-18s and Reserves, Draper has earned his way into the top-20. What's immediately striking with Draper is while his frame is light, he's one of South Australia's premier contested ball winners and stoppage players. The bonus is that he's a dual position threat with his capabilities forward of centre. Draper's 10 goals from his eight Under-18 matches greatly add to the appeal. Draper will miss some time with an ankle injury, but his stocks are unlikely to be impacted as someone who has proven himself over a long period of time.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Stoppage craft
Composure in traffic
Clean hands
Lowers his eyes for kicks inside 50m
Overhead marking
Contested marking
Agility
Evasion
Acceleration
Takes on the game with his run
Influential both through the midfield and up forward
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Strength
Lack of outside accumulation
Inconsistent kick placement

15. Joshua Browne
Best position: Inside midfielder
Height, weight: 185cm, 77kg
Recruited from: East Fremantle
Projected draft range: 15-45
Plays like: Tom Mitchell
June ranking: Outside top-20
Rationale: Browne has been consistent throughout the season so far in the WAFL Colts averaging 33 disposals in his first eight matches and has impressed as a first possession winner at stoppages who plays a mostly balanced and well-rounded game. What has moved the needle with Browne to work his way into the top-20 is the scoreboard impact component he is adding to his game, with three goals from six scoring shots against Perth hopefully a sign of things to come from the ball magnet.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Awareness and composure in traffic
Endurance
Work rate
Inside/outside balance
Tackling
Aggression
Consistency
Reading of the drop of the ball
Plays hard both ways
Weaknesses:
Impact per possession
Lack of hurt factor by foot
Speed

16. Matthew Johnson
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 192cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Subiaco
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Will Setterfield
June ranking: 12
Rationale: After a three-game stint playing in the WAFL at League level, Johnson has returned to the WAFL Colts. His best performance so far has been a 30-disposal effort against Perth, though with others improving and Johnson not taking the next step with his football this year, others have improved past him which has led to his drop. As a tall midfielder though there remains plenty of interest based around how classy of an operator he is and what his upside could look like if realised.
Strengths:
Composure
Class and sound decision making with ball in hand
Evasion in traffic
Agility
Reliable ball user who displays vision on his kicks
Places kicks out in front of leading targets inside-50m to lead onto
Weaknesses:
Production
Consistency

17. Neil Erasmus
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 188cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Subiaco
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Kyle Langford
June ranking: 13
Rationale: An improver this year, Erasmus in each of his games this year has been a reliable performer through the midfield and up on a wing, yet to drop below 27 disposals in the WAFL Colts. Erasmus drops due to no fault of his own other than the improvement and strong play of others.
Strengths:
Early ball reader in flight who consistently gets to the drop of the ball
Intercepting marking
Strong overhead mark
Aerial marking
Leap
Big game performer
Versatility to play inside/outside midfield or as a forward
Scoreboard impact
Consistency
Rate of improvement
Weaknesses:
Consistency by foot
Stoppage work

18. Ned Long
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 192cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: 30-late
Plays like: Taylor Garner
June ranking: 14
Rationale: Impressing early in the season through the midfield and up forward, Long is not only able as a tall ball winning midfielder, but he's also a threat up forward kicking seven goals in from his three NAB League matches so far. Having played school football since, Long's drop can be attributed to the improvement shown by others.
Strengths:
Scoreboard impact
Versatility to impact games both as a forward and ball winning midfielder
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Marking threat forward of centre
Reliable skills
Places kicks out in front of leading targets inside-50m to lead onto
Weaknesses:
Speed
Agility
Endurance
Low impact per possession

19. Josh Fahey
Best position: General defence
Height, weight: 186cm, 77kg
Recruited from: GWS Giants
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Trent McKenzie
June ranking: 15
Rationale: A kickout specialist who generates meaningful drive with his precision, long kick is among this year's premier rebounding defenders at this point. The standout game so far from Fahey was his MCC President's Medal winning performance for AFL Academy in their 130-point loss to Geelong's VFL side which remains in the minds of recruiters. On Saturday night Fahey played his third VFL game for Greater Western Sydney's VFL side. Fahey's drop can be attributed to the improvement shown by others.
Strengths:
Precise 65m penetration on kick
Drive generation out of defence by foot
Kickout candidate
Handball receive candidate in defence
Run in support and overlap run
One-on-one defence
Reading of the ball in flight
While best suited up the field has the versatility to push up onto a wing as required
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning

20. Mac Andrew (Melbourne Next-Generation Academy)
Best position: Ruck
Height, weight: 200cm, 70kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Paddy Ryder
June ranking: 16
Rationale: Andrew is a light bodied ruckman and long-term project player who is likely to spend his early years developing as a key position player while he adds muscle to his light frame. With an incredible leap and soft hands, the hope is over time he becomes a threat through the ruck. Signs from the AFL Academy game when thrown into the ruck in the final quarter caught the eye and earned him a spot on this board. The only reason for Andrew's drop is the rise of others.
Strengths:
Leap
Soft hands through ruck
Hitouts to advantage
Clean below the knees
Tackling
Mobile
Clean by hand and foot
Reading of the ball in flight
Contested marking
Weaknesses:
Strength
Too light at this stage to play through the ruck and will need to start out his development as a key position player
Endurance