HERE is the Phantom Draft for 2023.
It is our predicted top-30 selections for next week's AFL Draft, which will encompass the first round of picks and also include a stack of father-son and Academy bids.
Our late mail version of the Phantom Draft will be released on Sunday with all the latest news ahead of Monday night's first round.
Ht 187cm, Wt 85kg, DOB 17/4/05
From Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country
Reid has pieced together three terrific seasons since his under-16s breakthrough year to stamp himself as the best player in the draft pool. The powerful midfielder has shown he can change games with his marking, penetrating kicking, aggression and ability to step up when it matters, and when he's stationed close to goal he has been hard to stop. Reid is high impact and dominated when he played for Vic Country against Western Australia in Perth at the mid-season carnival. North Melbourne, Melbourne and Hawthorn all made plays for the No.1 pick but the Eagles have held firm and are set to bring in a young star.
If not him? It's Reid at No.1 – the only 'if' is the possibility of a draft night trade. And the only contender for that could be North Melbourne, but that ship looks to have sailed.
Ht 182cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 12/4/05
The outside-inside mix that McKercher brings to the table as a young midfield star is ultra appealing to clubs. His speed and breakaway run from stoppages has been on show through his draft season in all teams he played for, and the left-footer's kicking skills are a level above. He was a gun for the Allies in their championships win and was a joint winner of the Morrish Medal as the best player in the Coates Talent League. North Melbourne has built from the midfield out but McKercher adds something different to the mix, with the 18-year-old strongly linked to the Roos with one of their top-three picks.
If not him? The Kangaroos could well place a bid on Suns Academy player Jed Walter here. Otherwise, they could swap and take Zane Duursma first.
Jed Walter (matching North Melbourne's bid)
POS: Key forward
Ht 194cm, Wt 97kg, DOB 8/6/05
From Gold Coast Academy/Palm Beach/Allies
The Suns have been excited for several years about Walter, their Academy product who has risen through the junior ranks to be a gun draft talent. Walter is a tough, tenacious, pack-crashing key forward who causes nightmares for opponents with his aggressive approach. Get in his way and you'll find out. And take too long with the ball and you'll soon hear him coming, because he also loves to tackle and chase. He is a back-to-back under-18 All-Australian key forward and he had some dominant games this season. Will form an exciting forward partnership with Ben King at the Suns.
If not him? The Suns have done all their work to match a bid for Walter and their three other Academy prospects by collating plenty of picks and points. North could bid at No.2 but the Hawks, at the latest, seems to be where the bid would come for Walter.
Ht 189cm, Wt 80kg, DOB 28/8/05
From Gippsland Power/Vic Country
The prospect with the highlights reel that will make you go 'wow'. Duursma is all class and polish and he can do it all over the ground. He's an established goalkicker – 31 goals last year for the Gippsland Power and 33 this season – and hits the scoreboard in a heap of ways. He's arguably the best contested mark in the draft and he flies for his grabs and he also played in the midfield for Vic Country at the carnival as well before his four-goal game against Vic Metro. The Kangaroos have been linked to Duursma and as a forward/midfielder again he presents as a different player in their mix.
If not him? The Roos have been set on their top group for some time. This pick was thrown into a package to get up to pick No.1 but that didn't materialise. Dan Curtin has been well in the mix through the year and he seems the other alternative, with coach Alastair Clarkson to meet Curtin in Perth this weekend. Small forward Nick Watson has also been considered.
POS: Small forward
Ht 170cm, Wt 68kg, DOB 24/2/05
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro
It has been great fun watching the 'Watto' show in recent seasons and he's ready for the step up to play at the top level. As good a small forward to come through the draft in many seasons, Watson's credentials stack up against any his type at the same stage of their development. 'The Wizard' is quick, skillful, mercurial and capable of making something from absolutely nothing, he can jump and take hangers, he's got a strong core so is hard to beat one-on-one and he has the necessary pizazz. He trained at the Hawks through the AFL Academy and met the club for the sixth time this week and his firepower would add to their scoring unit.
If not him? The Hawks have done their usual last-week round of interviews with prospects, with Dan Curtin flown into the club for a day to chat, Zane Duursma also in for another discussion and Nate Caddy and Connor O'Sullivan also at the club. Ryley Sanders is also a gun in the Hawks' draft range, but it looks most likely to come down to a 50-50 decision between Watson and key defender Curtin, with a very tight call looming. Could go either way. The Hawks had had offers for their pick, too, from Melbourne to slide back to No.6.
Ht 186cm, Wt 85kg, DOB 21/1/05
From Tasmania/Sandringham Dragons/Allies
The Western Bulldogs have gone tall with early picks for three straight years and now can get first access to a gun midfielder. Sanders couldn't have had a better year or done any more. The midfielder was the most productive and consistent player in his draft pool – the inside midfielder with some outside explosiveness just didn't play a bad game. He led the Allies to their carnival win by claiming the Larke Medal and then steered Sandringham to its Coates Talent League premiership as well. He can find the ball – of that there is no doubt – but he also penetrates with possessions and makes teams hurt. The Dogs would boost their young midfield stocks but he'll be making an impact next year.
If not him? If Zane Duursma or Colby McKercher got through, then the Dogs would likely grab either of them. Nick Watson has also garnered strong interest from the Bulldogs and if the Hawks or Roos went with Dan Curtin that could be the decision facing the Dogs as well.
Ht 185cm, Wt 74kg, DOB 9/6/05
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro
The winger with all the right stuff. If things go a certain way, Windsor comes into contention for the Demons' first pick. The elite runner and midfielder has real pop to his game – and it's the upside that is exciting for recruiters as well. He has speed – he ran 2.92 seconds in the 20-metre sprint – and can shift forward and hit the scoreboard from the wing. Has weapons with his run and carry and an elite pace and endurance mix that brings him into contention early.
If not him? The Demons have been in the thick of the action. If Nick Watson gets this far, he is favourite to be picked. Zane Duursma would also be snapped up. Under this scenario the question would be on the Dees grabbing Dan Curtin or letting him pass and also what the Dees would do if West Coast offered their future first-round pick? It seems more likely they will hold their own pick, but they have continued attempts to get up the board, including to Hawthorn's No.4 pick using a future first-round selection.
Ht 187cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 10/2/05
The Mr Fix-It of the draft who can play just about anywhere and has done it just about all year. Leake has risen and risen as the year has gone on and has been considered by a number of clubs in the top-10 mix. Leake was named an All-Australian across half-back but also spent time as a forward, kicking 17 goals from 11 games for Tasmania, including a five-goal haul late in the season. He has been in the Giants' considerations and could be a chance to be their everywhere man.
If not him? The Giants are fans of Caleb Windsor and will also have a decision to make on Dan Curtin if he gets this far. Do they take him or even consider the trade offers they'll get for this pick to shift back or accept the Eagles' future first-round pick should Curtin be on the table at this stage? Connor O'Sullivan is another possibility if they choose to pick. There are multiple options – trade out for a future first-rounder, hold and pick a player or slide back a small amount of spots in a deal with Adelaide, Essendon or Melbourne and grab a player as well. It's a key selection in the draft order.
Ethan Read (matching Geelong's bid)
Ht 202cm, Wt 92kg, DOB 7/7/05
From Gold Coast Academy/Palm Beach/Allies
Gold Coast will add to its ruck stocks with a hugely exciting talent in Read. The 202cm prospect was named the All-Australian ruckman after a great carnival with the Allies, with his athleticism, movement, run and skills shining for a player his size. He can take a mark and kick a goal and his mobility and endurance is top end (he came third overall in the 2km time trial at the Combine).
If not him? Read will be the second Suns Academy product to have his name called and it could come as early as the Cats but then in the following handful of selections afterwards. The Suns are ready to match it.
POS: Key defender/forward
Ht 197cm, Wt 95kg, DOB 8/3/05
From Claremont/Western Australia
Where Curtin ends up going is the major talking point of the top 10 heading into Monday night. The key defender is a fascinating case as the leading tall backman in the pool – and he has had huge interest through the year. But where does he end up landing? Could it get this far? The Cats would jump at taking Curtin if he is available at their pick given they don't have many other key-position players of his age on their list.
If not him? The Cats have looked closely at Nate Caddy, Connor O'Sullivan and Darcy Wilson, with their selection likely to come from that trio if a potential slider doesn't get through to their pick. They could also make a bid on Gold Coast's third Academy player Jake Rogers.
POS: Key forward
Ht 193cm, Wt 88kg, DOB 14/7/05
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro
The powerful strong-bodied tall forward who can (and did) dominate games. Caddy overcame some interruptions this year with a leg fracture at the start of the season and then illness in the middle to piece together an exciting campaign. He marks high and strong, he can kick the ball a long way and he has also played spurts in the midfield, where his body size and strength made him a clearance winner. He will start as a third tall forward and has some exciting elements to his game. Essendon would like to add to its tall forwards department and Caddy is the obvious one here.
If not him? The Bombers are another club to do late work on Dan Curtin in the hope he gets through. If not, the other contenders for this selection are expected to be the versatile James Leake, defender Connor O'Sullivan and forward Koltyn Tholstrup.
POS: Key defender
Ht 198cm, Wt 92kg, DOB 19/5/05
From Murray Bushrangers/Allies
O'Sullivan's marking prowess, intercepting ability and nous in the air make him a standout for the key back options in the early stages of the draft. The Allies' centre half-back was an All-Australian at under-18 level and has shown he can control games in defence. At his height and versatility he also played as a forward at stages through the year. The Crows have been low on key defensive talls in his age bracket so do they find another one in O'Sullivan?
If not him? The Crows have looked to try to trade up the board, putting offers to the Giants for pick No.7 with Dan Curtin potentially in sight and looking to edge up the board. James Leake has also been on their radar, Koltyn Tholstrup too, while midfield runner Darcy Wilson has also been linked to the Crows.
Ht 186cm, Wt 86kg, DOB 28/6/05
From Subiaco/Western Australia
The Demons have shown recent interest in Tholstrup among a number of clubs to do late interviews with the powerful forward. His explosive streak in the front half adds some presence and in the future he will likely go through the midfield more as well. Tholstrup played most of the season with Subiaco's senior side so is ready for the step up at that level and he is prepared for a move away from Western Australia. Tholstrup was invited to attend draft night, showing the early interest in him, but he has chosen to watch from Perth with more family and friends.
If not him? The Demons have been active in trying to push up the order so may still move position. Caleb Windsor is a chance to get through to this pick in an alternate draft order, while Connor O'Sullivan and Nate Caddy would also be looked at very closely if they managed to sneak through.
Jake Rogers (matching Sydney's bid)
Ht 171cm, Wt 69kg, DOB 2/3/05
From Gold Coast/Academy/Broadbeach/Allies
Another graduate of the Suns Academy is headed to Gold Coast's list, with Rogers adding more midfield running power to the club's mix. Rogers has impressed all at the Suns with his work ethic and his skills by hand and foot make him a midfielder with great poise and pressure. He trained with the Suns' AFL team last summer and may start his AFL career as a small forward option who can chase and tackle as well as be effective with the ball. Sydney has been one of the clubs to show most interest in Rogers.
If not him? Again, the Suns have planned for this scenario and will have enough points to cover for the bid at this point. Rogers will be a Sun.
Jordan Croft (matching Sydney's bid)
POS: Tall forward
Ht 201cm, Wt 80kg, DOB 12/5/05
From Calder Cannons/Vic Metro
The Western Bulldogs did all their work in the trade period to be ready for a bid on Croft, getting in before the bid by trading for Gold Coast's pick No.5. It allows them to be able to match a bid with their later selections for the father-son tall forward who showed exciting signs this year. The tall, marking goalkicker hit the scoreboard for the Calder Cannons and Vic Metro and has spent time with the club through its father-son program, where his dad Matthew was a defender. He looks set to be the fourth tall to have joined the Dogs in recent years as first-round picks – alongside Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Sam Darcy and Jedd Busslinger – with the Swans among the most interested rivals.
If not him? If the Swans don't place a bid on Croft, there is a chance he gets through a few other selections, potentially to North Melbourne, Collingwood or Adelaide later in the first round.
Ht 204cm, Wt 93kg, DOB 8/9/05
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro
It would be against usual practice for the Swans to pick a ruckman with their first national draft selection given it hasn't happened this century for the club. But Green has gathered interest from Sydney and is in the mix if the cards fall a certain way. The 204cm big man developed well throughout his draft campaign and shapes as a long-term ruck for its stocks, which have recently been bolstered by the addition of Brodie Grundy from Melbourne.
If not him? The Swans have tried to trade up the board, with the likes of Connor O'Sullivan, James Leake and Nate Caddy in their sights, but that appears unlikely. Darcy Wilson is another in this group who could be a chance as the Swans wait to see if a shift in order squeezes through a highly rated prospect.
Ht 186cm, Wt 74kg, DOB 17/4/05
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country
Wilson brings some genuine dash and class to the table and can play on a wing or through the forward line as well, where his exploits saw him produce some big games for the Murray Bushrangers through this season. He came second overall in the 2km time trial at the Combine with a run of 5:52 minutes, while also producing the best running vertical jump. He plays with that speed and spring too and is a regular goalkicker. The Saints are among the clubs who have watched Wilson in this range.
If not him? The Saints have looked hard at speedster Harry DeMattia and he is in the frame here. Koltyn Tholstrup would be a likely addition if he managed to get this far, which seems unlikely.
Will McCabe (matching Adelaide's bid)
POS: Key defender
Ht 197cm, Wt 86kg, DOB 29/9/05
From Central District/South Australia
The Crows could be the club to place a bid on local prospect McCabe, with Hawthorn set to snap him up under the father-son rule. McCabe is a key back who has also played forward at times this season but will join with defence in mind. He had an injury-hit season but can play on a range of different forwards and enjoys flying for his marks and reading the ball in the air.
If not him? Hawthorn is expected to match the bid for McCabe, whose father Luke played 138 games for the club between 1995-2004 and is now Hawthorn's football director.
Ht 191cm, Wt 85kg, DOB 18/5/05
From Sandringham Dragons
This is another stage of the draft where things start to get even murkier. Adelaide is among the clubs who have shown strong interest in Edwards, a late-season bolter up the board after missing out on selection for Vic Metro at the under-18 championships. But his form as a bigger-bodied midfielder took the eye late in Sandringham's season, where he played in the Dragons' premiership. Ran the 2km time trial in 6:24 minutes and has captured plenty of attention as a potential pick in the teens.
If not him? Darcy Wilson will be in the mix here if he is available, while the Crows have also been linked to the likes of Harry DeMattia, Riley Hardeman and Arie Schoenmaker.
Ht 184cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 11/9/05
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country
DeMattia's ability to play in a range of different spots is appealing to clubs, with North Melbourne among the suitors. The midfielder/forward spent most of his time in those parts of the ground this season, including when he was co-captain of Vic Country at the under-18 championships. But clubs also think he could use his genuine speed (he clocked a 2.92-second 20-metre sprint earlier in the year) to be a small backman too. The Kangaroos could look at a range of different types with these picks given the likely additions of Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma at the top.
If not him? Charlie Edwards would be in the mix if he's available here as may Darcy Wilson. Or could they take a shot at Lance Collard's excitement with one of their three picks in the back end of the first round?
Ht 178cm, Wt 72kg, DOB 7/9/05
From Murray Bushrangers/Allies
Gothard has some real creativity and spark in the forward half and could also appeal to the Giants as somewhat of a local, having played for the Murray Bushrangers from Albury and also represented the Allies at the mid-year carnival. He averaged 16 disposals and booted nine goals in the Coates Talent League from 10 games and he can pop up and make something out of nothing with his turn of pace.
If not him? The other names likely to be in consideration in this range for the Giants include midfielder Charlie Edwards and half-back pair Tew Jiath and Luamon Lual. Intercepting half-back Riley Hardeman is another who could be in the mix at this stage with Harry DeMattia.
Ht 185cm, Wt 75kg, DOB 27/2/05
From Swan Districts/Western Australia
North could look at bringing in some half-back dash with Hardeman, a left-footed medium defender who breaks the lines with his kicking and can jump in and chop off forward forays. Athletically he is strong and performed well at the recent Draft Combine and he also skippered Western Australia at this year's under-18 carnival. The Roos have looked at Hardeman in this part of the draft and he is likely to be considered to bolster their half-back line.
If not him? Phoenix Gothard has been linked and could be around this part of the draft if he's still available, while long-kicking backman Arie Schoenmaker has also been raised as an option.
Ht 206cm, Wt 88kg, DOB 2/6/05
From Peel Thunder/Western Australia
Will the Roos go tall with one of their three picks at the latter stages of the first round? Edwards has been among the group of impressive rucks to be tracked through this year, with the 206cm big man having two years with Western Australia's under-18s program. He is tied to Fremantle's Next Generation Academy program but the Dockers can't match a bid on him until after pick No.40 under NGA rules.
If not him? Other rucks in the range include Will Green and Taylor Goad, while the Roos have also been linked to tall defender Wil Dawson.
Will Graham (matching Collingwood's bid)
Ht 186cm, Wt 81g, DOB 27/7/05
From Gold Coast Academy/Palm Beach/Allies
Has been a bit everywhere through this year, playing in the midfield for the Suns Academy but then shifting into the backline for the Allies in their title-winning campaign. Graham hasn't got quite the same wider attention as other Academy prospects this year from the Suns but clubs haven't missed him and he is still expected to attract a top-30 bid on the night, with his impressive Combine testing topping off a strong campaign.
If not him? Again, the Suns are stocked and ready to go to match a bid for Graham, who will be attending the opening night of the draft in Melbourne.
Caiden Cleary (matching Collingwood's bid)
Ht 182cm, Wt 79g, DOB 5/3/05
From Sydney Academy/Allies
Cleary looks set to continue the run of players coming to the Swans via their Academy. The midfielder is an extractor – able to dig in, fight for the footy and come out the other side with it in his hands. He played well for the Swans Academy all season and was then picked in the All-Australian team after a carnival where he averaged nearly 30 disposals. Hard-nosed and ready to match it with some senior opposition. The Pies have continued to be linked as potential bidders for him, as well as Richmond.
If not him? The Swans are expected to match a bid for Cleary in what will become their second live selection at the draft.
Ht 192cm, Wt 90kg, DOB 5/10/05
From Western Jets/Vic Metro
The Pies have liked to find mobile talls and Morris has that capacity. He is a strong marking forward who works hard up the ground and is able to take contested grabs, booting 30 goals from 10 games in the Coates Talent League with the Jets. He also took the eye playing for Vic Metro mid-year, including a four-goal game against Western Australia.
If not him? Do the Pies look at another tall like Archer Reid, Ollie Murphy or Arie Schoenmaker here? Riley Hardeman could also be a potential selection, while they have done their work on Lance Collard too and he will be in the mix.
Ht 206cm, Wt 97kg, DOB 24/5/05
From South Adelaide/South Australia
The Crows could bolster their ruck division with a talented local option, with Goad likely to be in the mix at this stage of the draft. Goad is a tall ruck who also possesses great physical and athletic attributes, including running the 20-metre sprint in 2.96 seconds at the Draft Combine. He comes from a basketball background so recruiters still think he is raw but he has some exciting elements.
If not him? The likes of Riley Hardeman, Archer Reid and Arie Schoenmaker could all be in the mix here depending on availability.
POS: Tall defender
Ht 200cm, Wt 86kg, DOB 20/12/05
From Gippsland Power/Vic Country
Dawson is a competitive tall defender who is one of the youngest players in this year's draft pool, only being eligible by less than a fortnight and still to turn 18. He still has development to go but has also been thrown into the ruck and forward line at different times and he played in the national carnival for Vic Country. If the Saints want to grab a tall back he could be an option.
If not him? There's a stack of different names who could come into the Saints' mix here. Ruckman Mitch Edwards could be a shot as may fellow West Australian Lance Collard, who has attracted plenty of interest. Phoenix Gothard may be a chance if he got through to this point, as may attacking half-back Tew Jiath and penetrating left-footer Arie Schoenmaker.
Ht 187cm, Wt 85g, DOB 15/4/05
From Glenelg/South Australia
Moir has attracted interest from the Blues, who have two picks in this section of the draft. Moir's season didn't hit the heights he had hoped after blitzing things as a bottom-ager last year, when he booted 30 goals from 10 games for Glenelg's under-18s side. He has beautiful kicking skills on both sides of his body and can jump to take a grab, with some clubs seeing his spot as a half-forward and others as a marking medium defender.
If not him? If Mitch Edwards is available he could be grabbed by the Blues, while Lance Collard is another potential option for them in this range.
Ht 180cm, Wt 65kg, DOB 26/3/05
From Subiaco/Western Australia
The landing spot for Collard has been an interesting story in the lead-up to the draft and will be again on Monday night, with the exciting West Australian having a number of clubs visit him at his home in Perth in recent weeks. He has class, speed, can jump, kick goals and turn games on their head and finished the year with two five-goal hauls in Subiaco's colts side's finals series. Collard is tied to the Eagles as a NGA player but to get him they might have to grab him here first as they can't match a bid until pick 40.
If not him? Ashton Moir has been viewed as a possibility, as has half-back Archie Roberts and ruck Mitch Edwards.
CLUB-BY-CLUB WHISPERS AFTER PICK 30
The high number of father-son and Academy bids, plus compensation picks and North Melbourne's AFL assistance package, means the first round of this year's draft is likely to reach at least 28 selections.
That could see as many selections on night two across the remaining rounds of the draft as there are in the first night, with just under 60 live picks expected to be used in the national draft.
Here are the whispers for who each club could be looking for after the top 30 selections, the expected number of picks each club will use and potential trade plans across the two nights.
Note: The Phantom Draft top 30 changes the draft order pertaining to where the bids may fall, however the draft picks assigned to clubs below are from the AFL's starting draft order.
Picks: 10, 14, 20 (likely to use three selections)
Adelaide has been active in trying to move up the draft board and has looked to package two of its top-20 picks to shift earlier from No.10 or dip into its hand of future picks, particularly eyeing the Giants' pick No.7. So far, though, there have been no takers, although they will again approach clubs on the night. Should they retain their hand of picks, the Crows' draft will end there, with the club expected to use three selections. Nick Murray will be upgraded from the rookie to senior list, while if the Crows do a trade that sees them land a pick late into the draft, medium defender Oscar Ryan from the Murray Bushrangers could be a consideration.
Picks: 30, 39, 51, 54, 65 (likely to use three selections)
The Lions will start their draft earlier than they were going to, with the club set to secure Gold Coast's pick 24 in a swap for selections 30 and 39 that can be put through as soon as the draft starts on Monday night. It will be interesting if one of the talls around that stage, like Archer Reid, gets through to then, before the Lions likely use two more later picks. They have shown interest in Sam van Rooyen, the younger brother of Melbourne's Jacob and also a tall forward, and he could be an option late, while small forward Aiden O'Driscoll and midfielder Clay Hall are others who could be in contention. The Lions won't have any priority access to Patrick Snell from their Academy, not even as a state-based category B rookie if he gets through the draft, under Academy rules.
Picks: 22, 28, 68 (likely to use two selections)
One of the Blues' two picks will stay just inside the top 30 and the other fall just outside. The Blues are among the clubs to have closely tracked ruckman Mitch Edwards, who excelled last year and they could get in before Fremantle has access to him under NGA rules. Another who impressed as a bottom-ager was Cooper Simpson, whose carnival was cut short by a bad corkie but shapes as another potential option for the Blues. Carlton has also looked at half-back runner Matthew Carroll from the Sandringham Dragons, quick Subiaco midfielder Riley Wills as well as Dandenong half-back Billy Wilson. The Blues are expected to use a rookie selection next Wednesday.
Picks: 19, 33, 72, 80, 84 (likely to use two or three picks)
The premiers don't lack for much so can wait and see what comes through at their first selection and then pick the eyes out of their other one or two picks they activate. Could Ollie Murphy or Archer Reid get through to their second selection? It's not something that can absolutely be ruled out. Intercepting backman Tew Jiath, kicker Arie Schoenmaker and midfielder Clay Hall could all be a chance with the Pies' second selection if available. The Pies drafted Jakob Ryan last year and have also shown interest in his cousin Bodie – another half-back – while Tasmanian Geordie Payne is another defender who could come into contention late. Former Bomber Josh Eyre, who played with Collingwood's VFL side this year, could be given a train-on chance if he doesn't get selected at the upcoming drafts.
Picks: 9, 31, 35 (likely to use three selections)
There's a trade watch on the Bombers, with clubs having enquired about moving up to Essendon's pick nine and them being open to a shift back or up if the right players are on the board. After the Bombers' first pick, they have two selections in the 30s that will be used. Wingman Joel Freijah has captured some interest as has small back Luamon Lual, while the Bombers have also looked at half-back Bodie Ryan, who attacks the ball and can shut down quality opponents. Tall Eastern Ranges pair Riley Weatherill, a forward, and defender Cooper Trembath could be options later depending if they grab a key-position player with their first selection, while they are one of the clubs to assess WA ruckman Odin Jones. VFL star Shaun Mannagh has also been on the radar of the Bombers.
Picks: 34, 46, 60, 63, 74 (likely to use three selections)
Fremantle has a bit of a wait to get into the draft but will be active on the trade front, with the Dockers to do a deal with Gold Coast for pick 38. That will see them trade off multiple third-round selections to move up those spots given their last pick will come in on draft night. Do they draft ruckman Mitch Edwards or run the gauntlet that he gets through to pick 40 and they are able to then match a bid on him as a Next Generation Academy player? They are one of the clubs who have interest in Werribee's mature-age forward Shaun Mannagh, while tall forward Logan Morris could be another option if available. The Dockers have done their work on GWS Academy player Harvey Thomas and could be bidders, while Cooper Simpson may be an option late, as may WA defender Zane Zakostelsky. Fremantle will sign ex-Gold Coast midfielder Jeremy Sharp as a pre-season supplemental selection period signing after he skipped nominating for the draft, while the Dockers are likely to trial others in the SSP window as well, with delisted Bomber Patrick Voss among a number of possibilities there.
Picks: 8, 25, 70, 75, 79, 81, 85 (likely to use four or five selections)
The picks the Cats acquired for losing Esava Ratugolea to Port Adelaide will come in earlier as other clubs pass on selections and Geelong spent much of this year scouting the back of the pool knowing it would likely have some spots there. The club has been open to shifting down the order from No.8 and has fielded offers, but is most likely to now hold the pick. What they go with there could shape their next pick, with Vic Metro tall defender Ollie Murphy a chance to be available in the second round. Half-back Archie Roberts is a possibility, wingman Joel Freijah the same, midfielder George Stevens performed well in the Cats' VFL side to stake his claim and local speedy half-back Angus Hastie could be another option. The Geelong Falcons trio of ruckman Joe Pike, tall forward Michael Rudd and small forward Tom Anastasopoulos could all be considered late, while the Cats have been linked to Barwon Heads half-back Ollie Wiltshire. Could the Cats also have a crack at VFL star Shaun Mannagh?
Picks: 24, 26, 27, 32, 36, 38 (likely to use four selections)
The Suns' draft work was largely done in the trade period as they amassed enough points to be able to cover bids for their four Academy players. With those likely to all have come inside the first 30 selections, the Suns will strike pick swap trades with clubs as soon as the draft begins. Pick 24 is set to head to Brisbane for picks 30 and 39, while Fremantle will pick up one of the Suns' second-round selections (38) in exchange for other third-rounders. St Kilda, too, is looking to swoop on pick 27 using multiple picks in the 40s. The Suns will use four picks at the national draft but go into the night with more available picks so they can use the points associated with them. They have committed to re-drafting Sam Day, likely as a pre-season selection, while delisted pair Aiden Bonar (North Melbourne) and Jack Peris (St Kilda) will be train-ons at the Suns if overlooked at the drafts.
Picks: 7, 16, 43, 59, 71 (likely to use three selections)
With two first-round picks the Giants will get most of their draft done early. But clubs are coming for pick No.7, with Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne all showing interest in it and West Coast to offer its future first-round pick in the scenario Dan Curtin is still available. Should they hold their position, the Giants will likely have one live pick after the first round. The most likely scenario there is that it is used on matching a later bid for GWS Academy prospect Harvey Thomas, who is a quality versatile player. If not, West Australian pair Joe Fonti, an attacking half-back, and Koen Sanchez, a midfielder, are possibilities, as is half-back Luamon Lual if he is still available. Tall forward Charlie McCormack could be a category B rookie option if he gets through the national draft while the Giants could be a threat to bid on Hawthorn father-son Calsher Dear and half-back Billy Wilson could be an option late. But securing Thomas seems the most likely result.
Picks: 4, 44, 47, 49, 61, 62 (likely to use three selections)
As has become custom for the Hawks, it has been a busy final week of interviews with the top guns and a number of other players visiting their headquarters for a last round of chats. The Hawks have been approached by clubs for trading back from No.4 through the trade and draft period and have held their position so far, with Melbourne looking to use a future first-round pick to jump into the selection from No.6. The Hawks are likely to use three selections at the national draft, including matching a bid for defender Will McCabe, and their final pick is expected to be father-son prospect Calsher Dear, who they have nominated as a national draft father-son selection. It means the forward/ruck, who is the son of the late 1991 Norm Smith medallist Paul, will join the Hawks with their last live pick if there are no bids for him.
Picks: 6, 11, 42, 78 (likely to use two or three selections)
With three first-round picks on the table – picks No.6, 11 and a future first-rounder – as well as 42 this year, the Dees gave their best shot at trading for West Coast's pick No.1. But it won't be enough to sway the Eagles. The Demons have continued to look at ways to move up the board either from No.6 or No.11 and will again on the night armed with a future first-rounder. If they don't, they could just use those picks or perhaps a third selection later, however pick 42 is set to be sent to St Kilda in a likely deal for a future third-round selection. They have nominated Kynan Brown as a father-son rookie, meaning they won't be able to match a bid for him if he gets taken by a club in the national draft but they can pre-list him as a rookie if the midfielder slips through. The Dees are also expected to re-draft former tall defender Marty Hore, who played 14 games for the club in 2019, as a pre-season rookie signing.
Picks: 2, 3, 15, 17, 18, 57 (likely to use five or six selections)
With five picks in the first round, the Kangaroos are poised to be massive winners from the opening night of the draft. North has had three attempts at trading for the No.1 pick with West Coast and secure Harley Reid to no avail, having been keen to protect its future hand as well as keep selections at the top this year. They have also tried to bundle some of their later first-round picks to shift up the order and will remain in the mix for that on draft night as well, with the Roos having discussed Sydney's pick 12. The club could take a sixth selection later on or hold over the list spot. Depending what comes through the door early on, a ruck option like Gippsland's Lachie Smith could be worth considering, while medium defender Oscar Ryan is another who could be worth a look.
Picks: 69, 83, 87 (likely to use two selections)
It's a wait-and-see-who-is-there type of night for the Power recruiting team, which has the latest start to the draft of any club after its huge haul of four players in the trade period. But Port has been prepared for that situation through the year and will have been looking at its order a little differently to other clubs. Their first pick will likely end up being around No.50-52 once bids come in and other clubs start to pass. The likes of Sandringham forward/midfielder Harvey Johnston, Oakleigh midfielder Will Lorenz and Greater Western Victoria small forward Lachie Charleson are likely to be around that stage of the draft, while the Power have also looked at midfielder Liam Walters, who attracted some interest late in the year. Port Adelaide is another club who could look at George Stevens if he is still on the board. Local Loch Rawlinson is a small forward who may have appeal late.
Picks: 29, 41, 64, 66 (likely to use two selections)
Richmond will start its draft on night two unless it can somehow squeeze its way up the board, which seems unlikely. A tall forward option is expected to come into the picture at some stage – could Archer Reid be available? It's a chance. Western Jets goalkicker Logan Morris is another who has been on the radar, while Central District's Liam Fawcett could also be considered late. Fawcett had a dominant start to the SANFL under-18s season and is a powerful tall goalkicker. Greater Western Victoria Rebels trio Joel Freijah, a taller wingman who had some big games early in the year, Western Bulldogs NGA half-back Luamon Lual and ball-getter George Stevens could come into considerations, the same for attacking half-back Tew Jiath, while ruckman Lachie Smith is another who may be a chance with the Tigers to likely activate two selections.
Picks: 13, 21, 40, 77, 82, 86 (likely to use four or five selections)
It will be a wait and see who gets through to St Kilda's third pick after their two early selections but they have been looking to move up the board and are expected to trade a future third-round pick for Melbourne's pick 42. They will then likely turn that pick, plus 40, into Gold Coast's pick 27, handing the Saints three top-30 selections. Speedy half-back Angus Hastie could still be on the board at their third selection as may wingman Joel Freijah and both have garnered interest from the Saints, as has half-back pair Billy Wilson and Matt Carroll, while Kane McAuliffe is expected to get attention from clubs after pick 30 or so. The running capacity of Tarkyn O'Leary, who won the 2km time trial at the Combine, could also appeal. The Saints have been in the market for another ruckman as well, so it will be interesting if they bring in a younger option or see if there are any players as train-ons. Rookies Mason Wood and Liam Stocker will be upgraded to the senior list.
Picks: 12, 45, 55, 76 (likely to use two selections)
Sydney has made a play to move up the draft board. The Swans have put forward pick 12 as well as a future end-of-first-round pick to see how high they can shift up the order, however clubs are holding firm until draft night. They could also shift back, with North Melbourne among the clubs to register interest in pick 12. After a busy trade period, if the Swans don't move their selections they are expected to use only two picks – No.12 and to match a bid for Academy prospect Caiden Cleary. Robbie Fox will be upgraded to the senior list, while the Swans could use a category B rookie position on Indhi Kirk, the son of Sydney champion and former skipper Brett, who can be listed as an Academy player if he gets through the national draft.
Picks: 1, 23, 37, 58, 73 (likely to use four to five selections)
All eyes have been on West Coast in the lead-up to the draft with pick No.1, but they will also dangle their future first-round pick to clubs if Daniel Curtin is available a few spots into the top 10. Whether any other club takes up their trade offer will be fascinating but it's a big watch on the night. With their later picks outside the top 30, midfielder Clay Hall could be a shot after a consistent season, while hard-working wingman Tarkyn O'Leary and midfielder/forward Kade De La Rue could also be options late, the same for small forward Lachie Charleson. The Eagles have nominated developing ruck/forward Coen Livingstone under Next Generation Academy rules and he could be listed as a category B rookie if he gets through the national draft. The Eagles have sounded out 2018 premiership ruckman Scott Lycett to reconsider his retirement decision and return to the club. That remains a long shot but does mean the Eagles could also look at the ruck space, while they have also done more late work on Claremont defender Zane Zakostelsky who could be an option if the chase for Curtin doesn't prove successful.
Picks: 5, 48, 50, 52, 53, 56, 67 (likely to use four live selections)
The Dogs' top pick and then father-son acquisition of Jordan Croft will shape their draft haul, but they will likely use another two live selections at the national draft. They have looked at the mature-agers available and having strongly considered Werribee gun Shaun Mannagh at this year's mid-season draft, could again look at him after his blistering end to the season as best afield in the VFL Grand Final. Wingman Joel Freijah would be in the mix when their third pick comes in, while midfielder Will Lorenz and half-back Joe Fonti could be in contention late. They will wait to see if Next Generation Academy prospect Luamon Lual is available past pick 40 but could also nab him, while the Dogs may need to bolster their ruck stocks, with Gippsland's Lachie Smith a potential later option.