<
>

AFL Draft - August's Power Rankings: Young talls catapult into top 10 calculations

play
The best and worst AFL guernseys of all time (2:12)

With the 'prison bars' debate dominating last week, the ESPN Footy Podcast team think back to some of the AFL's worst (and best) guernseys of all time. (2:12)

ESPN.com.au's AFL Draft expert Chris Doerre has revealed his AFL Draft Power Rankings for the month of August, 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
July ranking: 1
Rationale: On performance to date, Josh Daicos has been the clear standout without a close equal. The positive improvement from Daicos over the past month has been his defensive application, with his anticipation of who the ball will go to something new he's adding to his arsenal.
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
Anticipation of opposition decisions in traffic
Weaknesses:
Inconsistent application defensively

2. Jason Horne
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 78kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 1-3
Plays like: Isaac Heeney (midfield version)
July ranking: 2
Rationale: Remains a solid No. 2 at this point on performance and has displayed both consistency and gradual improvement in the SANFL. His pressure and application defensively have been staples 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:
Inconsistent production
Inconsistency 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
July ranking: 3
Rationale: 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
Work rate
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: 5-20
Plays like: Dayne Beams
July ranking: 4
Rationale: Last playing in May, Roberts has missed time with an ankle injury. 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
Placement of 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 and looking to hit up shorter targets more often

5. Josh Ward
Best position:
Balanced midfielder
Height, weight:181cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: 3-20
Plays like: Marc Murphy
July ranking: 11
Rationale: On the back of two months of strong play where in every game he has played he has been in the best afield conversation, Ward should now be considered among this year's best and most complete midfielders.
Strengths:
Skills
Placement of kicks out in front of targets inside 50m to lead up onto
Lowers his eyes for kicks inside 50m
Vision
Decision making under pressure
Composure
Finishing around goal
Go-to-guy around the ground
Agility
Acceleration
Run and carry with ball in hand
Inside/outside midfield balanced
Works hard both ways
Rises to the big occasion
Weaknesses:
Lack of size and strength

6. Finn Callaghan
Best position:
Balanced midfielder
Height, weight:189cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Jared Polec
July ranking: 7
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 fives 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 five, though questions around his aggression and how hard he is willing to go to either win the football or tackle still need answering to prove beyond doubt he's a top five choice.
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
Versatility to play inside or outside midfield
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Lack of aggression

7. Mac Andrew (Melbourne Next-Generation Academy)
Best position: Ruck
Height, weight: 200cm, 70kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: 3-20
Plays like: Paddy Ryder
July ranking: 20
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. Andrew's rises can be attributed to his performance in the Vic Country vs. Vic Metro challenge match where he starred as a key position player, experiencing success at both ends of the field and showing he can be more than just a high-flying ruckman.
Strengths:
Leap
Soft hands through ruck
Hit outs to advantage
Long arms and reach
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
Struggles one-on-one
Endurance

8. 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
July ranking: 12
Rationale: With the way he has shown he can impact games in his two NAB League matches and with how he has held his own and progressed in the VFL since, Uwland's stocks should only continue to rise as scouts in clubland see more of him. With his damaging and penetrating kick, contested ball winning and how he bursts through stoppages and shrugs tackles so easily, there is sizeable scope to develop.
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

9. Josh Goater
Best position:
Utility
Height, weight:190cm, 79kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Elliot Yeo
June ranking: Outside-20
Rationale: Goater has gotten better as the year has progressed and his performance in the Vic Metro vs. Vic Country trial made clear he's among the upper echelon of prospects this year. His versatility and capability to impact games across multiple different positions sets him apart from his peers.
Strengths:
Versatility to impact games through the midfield, in defence and up forward
Contested ball winning
Distribution by hand
Composure in traffic
Reading of the ball in flight
Overhead marking
Intercept marking
Leap
Burst of speed out of stoppages
Acceleration
Agility
Evasion
Work rate
Weaknesses:
Unclear best position

10. Josh Rachele
Best position:
General forward/general midfield
Height, weight:180cm, 78kg
Recruited from:Murray Bushranges
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Alan Didak
July ranking: 5
Rationale: Having the capability to push through the midfield and win first possession 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. Rachele drops due to the improvement shown by others and a relative lack of consistency.
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
Lack of consistency

11. Josh Sinn
Best position:
General defence
Height, weight:186cm, 72kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Lachie Ash
July ranking: 8
Rationale: On return from an early season hamstring injury Josh Sinn has displayed his eye-popping run and carry. Others have however been more consistently influential, productive and won more of their own ball which sees Sinn drop as others rise.
Strengths:
Agility to stop on a dime, then accelerate in another direction, wrong-footing opponents and burst past them at speed
Breaks the lines with ball in hand at a high frequency and with significant acceleration
Versatility to impact games both through the midfield and in defence
Kick placement out in front of inside-50m targets to lead onto
Hurt-factor by foot
Consistency by foot over short distances
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning
Inconsistency

12. Ben Hobbs
Best position:
Inside midfield
Height, weight:183cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Greater Western Victoria
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Tom Rockliff
July ranking: 6
Rationale: A dominant contested ball winner and tackler, Hobbs is one of the readiest to play midfielders in this draft. Lacking in the way of speed, athleticism and x-factor, Hobbs drops behind others who are playing more exciting brands of football.
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 or on the move which leads to limited time and space in congestion
Speed
Athleticism
Agility

13. Connor MacDonald
Best position:
Balanced midfield/general forward
Height, weight:184cm, 77kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: 10-40
Plays like: Ben Keays
July ranking: 10
Rationale: A goal-kicking 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 improvement of others in addition to the relatively low impact per possession displayed by MacDonald sees him drop two spots.
Strengths:
One touch ball winner at ground level
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Scoreboard impact
Work rate
Distribution by hand
Aerial marking
Reading of the ball in flight
Work rate
Endurance
Inside/outside midfield balance
Able to impact games both through the midfield and up forward
Consistency
Production
Weaknesses:
Kicks long to contests too often and needs to lower his eyes and look for short options more often
Vision
Limited impact per possession

14. Tyler Sonsie
Best position:
General midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 181cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Nick Dal Santo
July ranking: 9
Rationale: With Sonsie's inconsistency and the stark difference between his best and worst games, he has been forced down this draft board in favour of others who have elevated their games over recent months.
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

15. Arlo Draper
Best position:
Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 185cm, 71kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Robbie Gray
July ranking: 14
Rationale: 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 much as someone who has proven himself over a long period of time. Draper drops one spot due to the rise of others.
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

16. Blake Schlensog
Best position:
Key defender/key forward
Height, weight: 199cm, 99kg
Recruited from: South Fremantle
Projected draft range: Delisted free agent/20-60
Plays like: Dougal Howard
June ranking: Outside-20
Rationale: The premier key position player outside the AFL and a standout at both ends of the field, Schlensog has improved greatly since his stint with Geelong. Schlensog dominated as a key defender during the first half of the season and has been just as impressive since switching forward. Over the past three weeks in the WAFL, the exciting prospect has averaged 17.7 disposals, 10.3 marks and 3.3 goals, catapulting him into this month's top-20.
Strengths:
Versatility to impact games at either end of the field
Early reading of the ball in flight
Intercept marking
Work rate
Clean at ground level
Agility to turn on a dime and turn opponents inside-out at will
Vision
Kick placement
Competitiveness through the ruck
Rate of improvement
Weaknesses:
Consistency overhead
Older than his peers being a mature ager

17. Hugh Jackson
Best position:
Outside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 69kg
Recruited from: North Adelaide
Projected draft range: 10-40
Plays like: Andrew Gaff
July ranking: 13
Rationale: Jackson has been a model of consistency and prolific SANFL under-18s play, averaging 32 disposals per game. Jackson's drop of three spots can be attributed to a combination of his below expectation South Australian under-19 internal trial and the improvement shown by others.
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
Limited impact per possession

18. Josh Browne
Best position:
Inside midfielder
Height, weight: 185cm, 77kg
Recruited from: East Fremantle
Projected draft range: 10-40
Plays like: Callan Ward
July ranking: 15
Rationale: Browne has been consistent throughout the season so far in the WAFL Colts averaging 33 disposals in his first nine matches and has impressed as a first possession winner at stoppages, playing a mostly balanced and well-rounded game. Browne drops due to the rise of others despite his continued progress.
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
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Limited impact per possession
Lack of hurt factor by foot
Speed

19. Neil Erasmus
Best position:
Utility
Height, weight: 188cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Subiaco
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Kyle Langford
July ranking: 17
Rationale: Averaging 28 disposals per game, Erasmus has played a consistent brand of football and moves ahead of fellow Western Australian Matthew Johnson on the back of a strong under-19 trial match, though drops two spots as others rise.
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

20. Matthew Johnson
Best position:
Inside midfield
Height, weight: 192cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Subiaco
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Will Setterfield
July ranking: 16
Rationale: Showing improved play in the WAFL Colts, Johnson has found form in recent months as a classy tall midfielder. As a tall mid there remains plenty of interest based around how classy of an operator he is and what his upside could look like if realised. Johnson's drop this month can be attributed to the rise of others.
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:
Limited production
Lack of consistency