Throughout 2021, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Chris Doerre has cast his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.
While attending live games has yet again been a challenge in a COVID-affected year, Doerre has pored through match vision from this and last year, analysed the stats and talked to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful draft analysis.
This is his final phantom draft of 2021, looking at every pick, bid and selection.
1. North Melbourne - Jason Horne-Francis
Height, Weight: 185cm, 81kg
Profile: What separates Horne-Francis from the rest of the pool is his application and influence defensively, with his aggression, pressure, tackling, second and third efforts and run back in support elite even by AFL standards. He also plays a high impact per possession game, wins the ball at full speed through the midfield and causes headaches up forward aerially, when the ball hits the deck and when isolated one-on-one.
2. Western Bulldogs - Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs father-son) - bid matched
Height, Weight: 205cm, 93kg
Profile: In a draft lacking in the way of premier talls, Darcy is the standard of excellence with his long arms and reach, one grab contested marking, attack on the ball aerially, one-touch ground level skills and his speed and agility for someone his height. Given his rapid rate of improvement and mix of rare attributes, he is one of this draft's highest upside choices for the long term.
3. Greater Western Sydney - Finn Callaghan
Height, Weight: 191cm, 86kg
Profile: Most dangerous through the midfield, Callaghan is a rare mover with ball in hand possessing elite agility, evasion and speed in traffic. The intrigue with Callaghan is his upside is elevated by his late growth spurt and high rate of improvement.
4. Collingwood - Nick Daicos (Collingwood father-son) - bid matched
Height, Weight: 183cm, 76kg
Profile: The son on Peter and younger brother of Josh, Nick is this draft's most productive and consistent prospect, with averages of 36 disposals and two goals for the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB League. Daicos is more than just an accumulator, possessing rare composure in traffic, evasion, decision making under pressure and anticipation of opposition decisions in traffic.
5. Gold Coast - Mac Andrew (Melbourne - Next Generation Academy)
Height, Weight: 201cm, 77kg
Profile: Andrew is a light-bodied ruckman and long-term project player with good skills, mobility and a long reach who is likely to spend his early years developing as a key position player while he adds muscle to his light frame. What is breathtaking with Andrew is how high he leaps at centre bounces - often getting his waist above the head of rival rucks when he gets a clear jump at the ball and uses his soft hands to direct his taps to advantage.
6. Adelaide - Josh Rachele
Height, Weight: 180cm, 81kg
Profile: Blessed with a best-in-class level precision kick, Rachele is both a prolific goalkicking forward and playmaker who places his kicks out in front of targets to lead onto. While mostly utilised as a forward, Rachele is just as capable pushing up through the midfield where he is a genuine first possession winner.
7. Hawthorn - Josh Ward
Height, Weight: 183cm, 79kg
Profile: A low risk, ready-to-go midfielder, Ward is one of the very best and most complete midfielders in this draft with his combination of contested ball winning, sound skills, agility and endurance. His production and impact during the latter part of the NAB League season was comparable with the play of Daicos.
8. Fremantle - Jye Amiss
Height, Weight: 196cm, 85kg
Profile: A late bloomer with untapped upside, Amiss has this year become the dominant goalkicker in the junior ranks, kicking a WAFL Colts competition high 51 goals from his 15 games and the highest across any of the junior competitions. Amiss has been a dead eye in front of goal with just 15 behinds and is a strong overhead mark who does his best work leading up at the football.
9. Richmond - Ben Hobbs
Height, Weight: 183cm, 80kg
Profile: A dominant contested ball winner and tackler, Hobbs is one of the readiest to play midfielders in this draft. While Hobbs lacks the kick, speed, athleticism and x-factor of a lot of other top prospects, he plays a consistent brand of football and impacts games with his ferocious attack on the ball and defensive effort.
10. Fremantle - Matthew Johnson
Height, Weight: 193cm, 82kg
Profile: A classy tall midfielder, there are few as composed and sound by both hand and foot as Johnson in this pool. For a tall midfielder, Johnson moves well, has a quick first step and is one of those rare footballers who sees the play unfold before it happens and uses that anticipation in traffic to create time and space for himself in congestion.
11. St Kilda - Josh Gibcus
Height, Weight: 196cm, 87kg
Profile: A high flying key defender, Gibcus is at his best when he backs himself to read the ball in flight and launches for intercept marks. Also adept defensively, Gibcus can equally remain disciplined and negate the influence of opposition key forwards.
12. West Coast - Neil Erasmus
Height, Weight: 190cm, 82kg
Profile: A strong marking, elite ball reader, Erasmus is one of this year's more unique midfielders with the way he impacts games. He has developed into a strong contested ball winner who can push forward, hit the scoreboard and with a late-year birthday and rapid rate of improvement is one of this year's high upside midfield choices.
13. Essendon - Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera
Height, Weight: 188cm, 71kg
Profile: A pure outside player, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera is the son of Terry Milera and nephew of Gavin Wanganeen. What's special with Wanganeen-Milera is his precision kicking, agility, evasion and ease with which he creates time and space for himself under pressure.
14. Port Adelaide - Josh Sinn
Height, Weight: 187cm, 78kg
Profile: Sinn's strength is his line breaking speed and his sheer speed with ball in hand on the burst out of defence. A rebounding defender who can also hurt opponents with his long penetrating kicking, Sinn's method of impacting games is to break them open with the drive he generates across half-back.
15. Greater Western Sydney - Blake Howes
Height, Weight: 190cm, 79kg
Profile: An athletic utility with the positional range to play forward, back or on a wing, Howes is a high leaping and strong marking prospect. Possessing good speed and agility, Howes at this stage is most accustomed to playing across half-forward but could just as easily develop across half-back given his marking gifts and athletic profile.
16. Brisbane - Darcy Wilmot
Height, Weight: 183cm, 76kg
Profile: A rebounding defender, Wilmot generates drive from defence with his line-breaking run and aggressive work by foot. Playing a competitive brand of football, Wilmot was born on the December 31 and will be the youngest drafted this year, so clubs will back him in as an upside selection with substantial scope to develop.
17. Richmond - Jacob Van Rooyen
Height, Weight: 194cm, 91kg
Profile: Despite spending much of the year up forward -- providing a commanding marking target with his leap and aerial strength -- Van Rooyen's play when utilised in defence has been even better. Van Rooyen in defence takes intercept marks at will and with his one-on-one capabilities has proven difficult to beat.
18. Sydney - Tom Brown
Height, Weight: 186cm, 77kg
Profile: The son of Paul Brown, Tom does his best work as a line-breaking defender. He possesses great speed and agility, often running around opponents like they're traffic cones, while intercepting well and defensively holding his own.
19. Melbourne - Campbell Chesser
Height, Weight: 186cm, 83kg
Profile: An outside midfielder and half-back flanker, Chesser does his best work taking on the game with his run and finding targets by foot. Chesser has endured a frustrating season, with niggling knee injuries potentially restricting our ability to see the best of him.
20. Brisbane - Josh Goater
Height, Weight: 190cm, 80kg
Profile: A high leaping athletic utility who has played his best football to date in defence, Goater is a capable intercept mark behind the ball who generates drive from defence with his run and carry. There is additional intrigue around Goater as a possible midfielder in the future due to his promising distribution by hand, composure and evasion.
21. Fremantle - Corey Warner
Height, Weight: 182cm, 73kg
Profile: Younger brother of Sydney's Chad, Corey plays a contrasting game as a midfielder who does his best work on the outside. Warner's strength is his endurance - demonstrated by how he covers the ground at speed, takes the game on with ball in hand and generates drive by foot.
22. North Melbourne - Jesse Motlop (Fremantle Next-Generation Academy)
Height, Weight: 176cm, 75kg
Profile: The son of Daniel Motlop, Jesse like his father is a talented, one-touch, quick and composed crumbing forward with tricks around goal. How Motlop impacts games most is through his forward pressure, with his tackling and chasing often relentless.
23. Hawthorn - Tyler Sonsie
Height, Weight: 181cm, 77kg
Profile: Sonsie is a speedy midfielder with a burst of acceleration, composure with ball in hand, great vision and kick placement for targets to lead onto. While Sonsie has lacked consistency this year, he made a big impression and won a lot of fans in his VFL debut with a 24-disposal, two-goal performance for Box Hill against Werribee.
24. Geelong - Mitch Knevitt
Height, Weight: 194cm, 83kg
Profile: A tall, ball winning midfielder, Knevitt has the strength to stand up through tackles and does his best work distributing by hand. Knevitt starred at the draft combine -- particularly in the speed and endurance testing -- and finished the season in full flight, demonstrating his endurance, agility, high work rate and contested marking strengths.
25. Hawthorn - Sam Butler
Height, Weight: 184cm, 76kg
Profile: The younger brother of St Kilda's Dan Butler, Sam plays both through the midfield and up forward. As with Dan, Sam is also a very quick, creative and one touch player who heaps on the pressure defensively. The difference between the brothers at the same age, aside from Sam playing more through the midfield, is that his ball winning capabilities appear stronger.
26. Carlton - Arlo Draper
Height, Weight: 186cm, 76kg
Profile: With his mix of contested ball winning, classy distribution, agility and strong marking, Draper is one of this draft's more appealing prospects. Playing his best football through the midfield, Draper is versatile enough to slot into a front half or defence just as easily.
27. Greater Western Sydney - Josh Fahey (Greater Western Sydney Academy) - bid matched
Height, Weight: 187cm, 77kg
Profile: Winning the MCC President's Medal for the AFL Academy's best player against Geelong's VFL side earlier in the year, Fahey has shown he is one of this year's most penetrating and damaging kicks in the pool. Playing his best football in defence, Fahey is a kickout specialist and generates significant drive from defence.
28. St Kilda - Mitch Owens (St Kilda Next-Generation Academy) - bid matched
Height, Weight: 191cm, 87kg
Profile: A late developer, Owens is a tall utility whose overall movement, courage, overhead marking and ball winning capabilities have caught the attention of recruiters. Growing 10cm over the past 12 months and demonstrating a rapid rate of on-field improvement, Owens emerged as a likely early draft choice in Vic Metro's trial match against Vic Country - a game where he was a late call up and one of the best afield with 29 disposals and one goal.
29. Richmond - Rhett Bazzo
Height, Weight: 195cm, 81kg
Profile: When he gets his confidence up, Bazzo is one of the best in this draft flying for intercept marks and chopping off opposition kicks at will. When asked to play a more defensively-oriented role he is also capable of restricting the impact of his opponents.
30. Richmond - Zac Taylor
Height, Weight: 180cm, 78kg
Profile: With one of the strongest closes to the NAB League season, Taylor showed he is one of the most productive and complete midfielders in this draft. Ending his campaign with the Calder Cannons with 37 disposals, 22 contested possessions and 11 clearances in a 10-point win against Murray, Taylor is a precise and damaging kick, speedy and evasive with ball in hand and has a great inside/outside balance to his game.
31. Richmond - Judson Clarke
Height, Weight: 180cm, 72kg
Profile: A speedy forward, Clarke is one of this draft's best crumbers with his speed, agility and kicking both to targets inside 50 and finishing around goal his greatest strengths. With his ability to take on the game and how damaging he is by foot, Clarke is also viable for consideration as a rebounding defender.
32. West Coast - Toby Conway
Height, Weight: 205cm, 97kg
Profile: A strong and competitive ruckman, Conway is an imposing presence who not only wins the hitout count more weeks than not but has made a habit out of winning taking the ball out of the ruck himself with authority. With a current game built around his physical strength, Conway will take time to develop his craft around the ground.
33. Geelong - Leek Alleer
Height, Weight: 196cm, 84kg
Profile: Rapidly developing, Alleer has become an intercept marking force in the SANFL at League level, with his leap, ability to read the ball in flight, aerial aggression and competitiveness one-on-one among his greatest strengths. Creating a new record in the running vertical jump at this year's combine -- albeit two years older than most of his peers -- his scope to develop is enormous based on his rapid rate of development.
34. Sydney - Jake Soligo
Height, Weight: 180cm, 80kg
Profile: A small but speedy midfielder, Soligo wins the ball on the inside, tackles aggressively, provides acceleration out of stoppages and hits the scoreboard. He has good agility and evasion, with his best work coming when in traffic.
35. Geelong - Angus Sheldrick
Height, Weight: 179cm, 88kg
Profile: Winning a head-to-head midfield matchup against Jason Horne-Francis during the first under-19 championships match, Sheldrick finished off season 2021 as hot as anyone with his WAFL Colts and championships display. One of this year's most advanced midfielders, Sheldrick is a strong ball winning midfielder who shrugs tackles, hits the scoreboard and possesses an explosive burst of speed.
36. St Kilda - Marcus Windhager (St Kilda Next-Generation Academy) - bid matched
Height, Weight: 184cm, 85kg
Profile: An explosive midfielder and forward, Windhager is at his best bursting out of stoppages and hitting leading targets inside 50. With his skills and explosive run, there is also future scope for Windhager to develop as a rebounding defender.
37. Adelaide - James Willis
Height, Weight: 181cm, 76kg
Profile: A goalkicking midfielder with explosive speed and power, Willis can break games open. While he is visibly quick, he is also hard at the ball and is a capable contested ball winning mid.
38. Geelong - Alastair Lord
Height, Weight: 181cm, 76kg
Profile: Generating meaningful drive from defence, Lord possesses elite speed and agility and is arguably this draft's most aggressive runner from defence with ball in hand. Lord loves receiving on the outside and while his run and carry are his point of difference, his work by foot is also excellent as a damaging and penetrating yet reliable kick.
39. West Coast - Charlie Dean
Height, Weight: 195cm, 89kg
Profile: Winner of the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the VFL's most promising young talent, Dean has demonstrated resilience after being overlooked as a key forward in 2019 and has transformed this year for Williamstown into one of the best key defenders outside the AFL. Dean is an able interceptor, possesses clean and reliable skills and is ultra competitive defensively.
40. Melbourne - Jack Williams
Height, Weight: 195cm, 95kg
Profile: A strong marking key position player, Williams is difficult to stop one-on-one, on the lead and when leaping at the football. Williams, given his physical strength, is a unique specialist taking ruck contests inside 50, routinely using his strength to grab the ball out of the ruck and take shots on goal.
41. Sydney - Kai Lohmann
Height, Weight: 185cm, 77kg
Profile: A lively and speedy forward, Lohmann possesses good speed and endurance and plays a high impact per possession style of game. A strong contested mark for a smaller type and able to take on the game with his speed, Lohmann could just as easily be developed in defence.
42. Brisbane - Eamon Wilkinson
Height, Weight: 179cm, 75kg
Profile: Considered during the mid-season draft, Wilkinson is a pressure forward specialist who does his best work as a small forward. With speed and capabilities around goal, the mature-ager could be an appealing role-playing pressure forward option for any club.
43. North Melbourne - Sam Banks
Height, Weight: 187cm, 76kg
Profile: Awarded the Division 2 MVP at the 2019 AFL under-16 championships, Banks has been widely regarded as Tasmania's top prospect in this draft for several years now. A rebounding half-back, Banks does his best work by foot and with his run and carry.
44. North Melbourne - Brady Hough
Height, Weight: 189cm, 75kg
Profile: Hough is a hard-working midfielder who has displayed the versatility to play across all lines. Hough has to date looked best suited rotating between wing and half-forward, with his work leading up at the football and ball use his main strengths.
45. Collingwood - Lachlan Rankin
Height, Weight: 184cm, 74kg
Profile: A talented and speedy small forward, Rankin possesses freakish agility and one-touch ground level capabilities. Making something happen whenever he gets his hands on the ball, his best work is done at ground level as a crumber with his finishing around goal and setting up of targets inside 50 both exceptional.
46. Melbourne - Taj Woewodin (Melbourne - Father-Son)
Height, Weight: 183cm, 77kg
Profile: The son of former Brownlow medallist Shane, Taj is a classy midfielder who possesses good skills, speed and work rate. A well-rounded midfielder, Woewodin can win his own ball and has the versatility to play inside or outside.
47. Essendon - Connor MacDonald
Height, Weight: 185cm, 83kg
Profile: A high production midfielder, MacDonald's best work is done at stoppages. He's one-touch at ground level, a strong contested ball winner, busy around the ground, works hard defensively and hits the scoreboard.
48. Essendon - Cooper Murley
Height, Weight: 180cm, 71kg
Profile: A goalkicking midfielder, Murley is one of this year's most damaging players offensively. Murley is a high-volume accumulator who is quick, takes the ball on the move at speed, displays a high work rate and has clean skills.
49. Collingwood - Felix Flockhart
Height, Weight: 202cm, 80kg
Profile: An athletic project ruckman, Flockhart is a mature-ager who can also push forward. In need of time to add muscle to his slender frame, Flockhart is a high leaper and capable marking threat on the lead who covers the ground well.
50. Hawthorn - Paul Curtis
Height, Weight: 185cm, 75kg
Profile: A strong marking lead up forward, Curtis is one of this year's most potent goal-kickers. Strong overhead, Curtis is also adept at ground level and hits the scoreboard both from general play and set shots.
51. Fremantle - Greg Clark
Height, Weight: 193cm, 94kg
Profile: A mature age midfielder who works hard both ways and covers a lot of ground, Clark managed a ridiculous 27 tackles across his two WAFL finals. Ready-to-go, expect Clark to contend for a regular midfield opportunity from season one.
52. Western Bulldogs - Ronald Fejo Jr
Height, Weight: 178cm, 70kg
Profile: The nephew of Gold Coast's Joel Jeffrey, Fejo is a human highlight reel who breaks games open with his speed, agility and run. Doing his best work on the outside, Fejo dances around opponents like they're traffic cones, sells the dummy, then leaves them in his wake before hitting a meaningful target.
53. West Coast - Matthew Roberts
Height, Weight: 184cm, 84kg
Profile: A one touch player, Roberts is a hard-working midfielder and one of this year's most advanced and prolific ball winners. While Roberts does his best work as an inside midfielder, he can also push forward and hit the scoreboard.
54. North Melbourne - Jackson Archer (North Melbourne Father-Son)
Height, Weight: 183cm, 70kg
Profile: The son of Glenn, Jackson while lightly built is like his father - a competitive defender who competes strongly in one-on-one contests and tackles aggressively. While Archer doesn't find a lot of the football, his ball use is generally sound.
55. Port Adelaide - Jase Burgoyne (Port Adelaide Father-Son)
Height, Weight: 186cm, 70kg
Profile: The son of Peter and younger brother of Trent, Jase is a classy utility who has enjoyed success both in the SANFL under-18s and at League level in a brief taste for Port Adelaide. Burgoyne's best play comes in defence with the way he reads the play and intercepts, along with the way he evades opponents and creates time and space for himself.
56. Adelaide - Hugh Jackson
Height, Weight: 182cm, 72kg
Profile: A prolific accumulator, Jackson started 2021 on fire averaging 35 disposals over his first nine SANFL under-18 games. A skilful midfielder, Jackson possesses the versatility to play inside or outside.
57. Gold Coast - Charlie Constable
Height, Weight: 192cm, 86kg
Profile: Starring for Geelong over the years in the VFL through the midfield, Constable has struggled to receive AFL opportunities due to the Cats' senior depth in that area. Constable will be picked up as a strong ball winner with good skills.
58. Gold Coast - Rory Thompson (re-draft)
59. Western Bulldogs - Blake Schlensog
Height, Weight: 199cm, 99kg
Profile: Former Geelong Category B rookie Schlensog has developed rapidly this season and impressed over the first half of the year as a key defender. Mobile, a good kick and one of the premier ball readers behind the play outside the AFL, Schlensog looms as a ready-made option for a club.
60. St Kilda - Corey Preston
Height, Weight: 182cm, 77kg
Profile: An mature-ager with the versatility to play forward or back, Preston late in the NAB League campaign found his best spot across half-back. His kicking and vision is his greatest strength, while his intercepting and one-on-one defensive work was also sound throughout the season.