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AFL Draft Power Rankings: Forwards rising up draft boards

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Each week, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Chris Doerre casts his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.

As well as attending live games, Doerre pores through match vision, analyses the stats and talks to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful draft analysis.

Aside from the weekly wraps, Doerre will also unveil his power rankings at the end of each month and as we get closer to November's national draft, Doerre will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft.

1. Jack Lukosius (SA)
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 194cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Woodville West Torrens
Projected draft range: 1-3
Similar to: Nick Riewoldt
July Ranking: 1
Rationale: The best draft prospect we have seen in the past 10 years. The next prototype key forward who covers the ground like Nick Riewoldt and finds impossible targets like no key forward we have seen. Hurts the opposition with each touch, and is one of the rare few who can break open games with his kicking from behind the centre square.
Strengths:
Endurance
Work rate
Creates separation on the lead
Leading patters
Precise long kick
Field kicking out in front of targets to lead onto
Vision
Lowers eyes
Scoreboard impact
Dominant key forward and key defender
Production at SANFL league level
Success in the biggest games including four goals on SANFL league debut in a final
Football smarts
Impact per possession
Weaknesses:
Overhead marking not consistently one grab
One-on-one marking

2. Bailey Smith (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 185cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Sandringham
Projected draft range: 2-10
Similar to: Trent Cotchin
Rationale: Arguably best and most complete midfielder in the draft. Sits ahead of the more highly touted Sam Walsh with his contested ball-winning, kicking and acceleration of a higher standard.
July Ranking: 2
Strengths:
Production
Work ethic
Contested ball winning
Stoppage work
Outside accumulation
Kicking precision and placement
Vision
Endurance
Work rate
Acceleration away from the contest
Versatility to play midfield or defence
Reading of the ball in flight
Intercept marking
Weaknesses:
Impact forward of centre
Contested marking

3. Sam Walsh (VIC)
Best position: Inside/outside midfield
Height, weight: 183cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Projected draft range: 1-5
Similar to: Adam Treloar
Rationale:The most highly touted midfielder in the draft class. His play is as advanced as any in an inside or outside role.
July Ranking: 3
Strengths:
Production
Endurance
Work rate
Run and carry
Agility
Leap
Contested ball winning
Ground ball winner
Outside accumulation
Weaknesses:
Consistency of kick placement
Size
Lack of acceleration to create separation on the move

4. Izak Rankine (SA)
Best position: General forward/inside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 77kg
Recruited from: West Adelaide
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Andrew McLeod
Rationale: Rankine's impact per possession is as high as any in this draft.
July Ranking: 4
Strengths:
One touch ground ball pickups at full pace
Evasiveness
Agility
Acceleration
Change of direction
Anticipation
Skills under pressure
Impact per possession
Scoreboard impact
Instincts for where the goals are
Performances on the board at SANFL level
Contested ball-winning
Damaging as a forward and midfielder
Weaknesses:
Height
Can get caught with the ball when he tries to do too much
Good but sometimes inconsistent production
Endurance

5. Max King (VIC)
Best position: Key forward/ruckman
Height, weight: 202cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 2-10
Plays like: Jonathon Patton
Rationale: Out for the season with a torn ACL. As difficult to defend inside 50m as any junior key forward in recent years.
July Ranking: 5
Strengths:
Height
Long arms
Takes front position in marking contests
Body positioning in the contest
Draws free kicks inside 50m
Jumps towards the ball when taking marks
Contested marking
One-on-one marking
Marks at the highest point
Clean at ground level
Leap
Mobility
Leading patterns
Weaknesses: Endurance
Work rate
Rarely pushes up outside the forward 50m arc
Conversion in front of goal

6. Ben King (VIC)
Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 202cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Harris Andrews
Rationale: This year's premier key defender. Terrific both as a stopper and rebounder. More versatile and effective up the ground than brother Max, but less dominant close to goal.
July Ranking: 6
Strengths:
Height
Contested marking
One-on-one work in the contest
Intercept marking
Reading the ball in flight
Capability to play either end
Protects the drop zone on marks
Lockdown defence
Skills
Mobility
Versatility to play key defence or key forward
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Work rate

7. Nick Blakey (NSW - Sydney Academy)
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 195cm, 80kg
Recruited from: UNSW/ES Bulldogs
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Jarryd Roughead
Rationale: Physically developing tall with mix of attributes that suggest he'll emerge.
July Ranking: 7
Strengths:
Mobility
Leap
Marking at the highest point
Leading patterns
First possession winner at stoppages on the move
Toughness
Versatility to play all 18 positions
Clean at ground level
Production
Reliable kick
Quick hands
Weaknesses:
Size
Strength in the contest
Consistency
Unclear best position

8. Jackson Hately (SA)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 190cm, 81kg
Recruited from: Central Districts
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Sebastian Ross
Rationale: Consistent ball winner in the SANFL. Ready-to-go.
July Ranking: 8
Strengths:
Production
Clean at ground level
Distribution by hand
Contested ball-winning
Stoppage work
Overhead marking
Versatility to play forward, midfield or back
Weaknesses:
Decision making under pressure
Prone to rushing disposals and not lowering his eyes
Lacks hurt factor

9. Connor McFadyen (QLD - Brisbane Academy)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 190cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Brisbane Lions
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Nat Fyfe
Rationale: Powerful ball winner and marking threat forward of centre. Continues his rise following a strong Under-18 Championships with promising NEAFL form.
July Ranking: 12
Strengths:
Contested ball-winning
Distribution by hand
Stoppage work
Marking threat forward of centre
Contested marking
Reading of the ball in flight
Protects the drop of the ball
One-on-one strength
Scoreboard impact
Clean at ground level
Equally effective forward as he is through the midfield
Weaknesses:
Pace
Agility

10. Rhylee West (VIC - Western Bulldogs father-son)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Nathan Jones
Rationale: Ball-winning midfielder with production on the board. Drops as McFadyen rises.
July Ranking: 9
Strengths:
Strong body
Contested ball-winning
Tackling
Composure with ball in hand
Vision
Reliable ball user
Midfielder who can push forward
Strength through hips to stand up through tackles
Acceleration
Agility
Weaknesses:
Height
X-factor

11. Connor Rozee (SA)
Best position: General forward/outside midfield
Height, weight: 185cm, 72kg
Recruited from: North Adelaide
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Dale Thomas
Rationale: Damaging forward who also applies impressive forward pressure. Rises due to solid SANFL League performances.
July Ranking: 14
Strengths:
Skills
Vision
Kicking inside 50m
Finishing around goal
Sticky hands overhead
Freakish at ground level
Acceleration
Breaks the lines
Agility
Leap
Change of direction
Pressures the ball carrier
Forward pressure
Tackling
Overhead marking
Impacts games as a forward and midfielder
Clean at ground level
Weaknesses:
Stoppage work
Strength

12. Riley Collier-Dawkins (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 193cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Marcus Bontempelli
Rationale: First possession winner at stoppages with a burst of speed and clean skills. An appealing tall midfielder who may still be growing. Drops as others rise.
July Ranking: 10
Strengths:
Impact per possession
Wins first possession at stoppages on the move
Contested ball-winning
Clean at ground level
Distribution by hand
Kicking
Vision
Decision making in traffic
Acceleration
Agility
Evasiveness in traffic
Overhead marking
Contested marking
Capable through midfield or up forward
Weaknesses:
Production
Consistency

13. Curtis Taylor (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 186cm, 79kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Robbie Gray
Rationale: Goalkicking midfielder who provides a marking target up forward and wins the ball through the midfield. Drops as others rise.
July Ranking: 11
Strengths:
Impact per possession
Contested ball-winning
Skills
Lowers eyes
Brings teammates into the game
Hurt factor with ball in hand
Agility
Movement through traffic
Overhead marking
Tackling
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Production

14. Xavier O'Halloran (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 187cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Western Jets
Projected draft range: 10-30
Plays like: Trent Cotchin
Rationale: High impact per possession player with the tools to become one of this year's best midfielders. Drops as Rozee rises.
July Ranking: 13
Strengths:
Acceleration away from the contest
Impact per possession
Kicking
Decision making
Vision
Leadership
Tackling
Contested ball-winning
Stoppage work
Attack on the ball
Weaknesses:
Production

15. Sydney Stack (WA)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 177cm, 72kg
Recruited from: Perth
Projected draft range: 15-50
Plays like: Sam Petrevski-Seton
Rationale: One of the most exciting and impactful players through the Under-18 Championships. A prolific ball winner who hits the ball at speed and accelerates away. Production strong and tackling energy around the ball as impressive as any through the carnival.
July Ranking: 15
Strengths:
Wins first possession at stoppages on the move
Tackling
Pressure around the ball
Acceleration
Speed
Agility
Composure and evasion in traffic
One-touch ground ball winner
Clean ball user
Weaknesses:
Size

16. Tarryn Thomas (TAS - North Melbourne Next Generation Academy)
Best position: Midfield/defence
Height, weight: 189cm, 73kg
Recruited from: North Launceston
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Jack Martin
Rationale: Exceptional defensively with his tackling and smothering his greatest strength. While Thomas has all the attributes, his impact offensively is limited, offering little run or drive by foot. That's all that places him behind this year's top tier.
July Ranking: 16
Strengths:
Work defensively without the ball
Pressure on the ball carrier
Tackling
Smothers opposition kicks
Line breaking pace
Composure with ball in hand
Lowers his eyes
Time and space in traffic
Contested ball-winning
Distribution by hand
Weaknesses:
Light bodied
Normally stationary rather than on the move when he wins the ball
Provides little drive offensively

17. Luke Valente (SA)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 186cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Norwood
Projected draft range: 15-35
Plays like: Jordan Lewis
Rationale: Prolific ball winner with reliable skills.
July Ranking: 17
Strengths:
Contested ball-winning
Stoppage work
Attack on the ball
Tackling
Kicking
Decision making
Vision
Scoreboard impact
Evasion
Production
Weaknesses:
Pace
X-factor

18. Jarrod Cameron (WA - West Coast Next Generation Academy)
Best position: General forward
Height, weight: 180cm, 69kg
Recruited from: Swan Districts
Projected draft range: 30-60
Plays like: Charlie Cameron
Rationale: Sharing the same gifts as his brother Charlie, Jarrod announced himself against Vic Country kicking a game-high five goals.
July Ranking: 18
Strengths:
Speed
Agility
One-touch at ground level
Tackling
Forward pressure
Finishing around goal
Aerial marking
Protects the drop zone
Weaknesses:
Tackles don't always stick and can be easily broken
Endurance
Unclear scope to play up the ground

19. Ned McHenry (VIC)
Best position: General forward/outside midfield
Height, weight: 176cm, 71kg
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Projected draft range: 15-30
Plays like: Devon Smith
Rationale: Led the Under-18 Championships in tackles and pressure acts as a small forward. A role player capable of playing in season one.
July Ranking: 19
Strengths:
Tackling
Forward pressure
Endurance
Work rate
Speed
Weaknesses:
Contested ball-winning
Size
Decision making

20. Bailey Williams (VIC)
Best position: Ruck/key forward
Height, weight: 198cm, 91kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: 10-40
Plays like: Paddy Ryder
Rationale: High impact ruckman and key forward.
July Ranking: Not Ranked
Strengths:
Impact per possession
Leap
Agility
Acceleration
Attacks the ball in flight for marks
Body control aerially
Leaps over opposing ruckmen at ruck contests
Gets first hands on it in the ruck almost every time
Production
Capability to play both as a ruckman and key forward
Leading patterns
Timing of leads
Weaknesses:
Often drops simple uncontested marks
Accumulation
Consistency