6. Jarryd Roughead
Last year's ranking: 14 (+8)
Official AFL Player Rating: 15
NAB AFL Fantasy value: $502,000
Despite being beaten to back-to-back Coleman Medals by his friend and former teammate, Lance Franklin, Roughead had the last laugh in the 2014 Grand Final.
The 28-year-old shrugged off criticism of his performances in big games by bagging five goals in a dominant performance against the Swans. It capped another brilliant year by the athletic left-footer, who followed up his 72 majors in 2013 with a club-best 75 and third place in the club’s best and fairest award.
Roughead featured in 23 games, led the club for contested marks (29), polled 11 votes in the Brownlow Medal (despite being ineligible after a one-game suspension for tripping) and was named All Australian for the second consecutive year.
His ability to play forward, in the ruck, as a ruck-rover or in defence when needed provides the Hawks with great flexibility.
“To be an All Australian two years straight is an outstanding achievement – it’s hard to do that,” the club’s general manager of football operations Chris Fagan told the club's website.
“He’s been at a high level for a long time now and people view him as one of the most valuable players in the game because he can play in so many positions.
“As a football club we should recognise the fact we have a pretty special talent in Jarryd and I hope everyone appreciates how good he is,” Fagan said.
“He’s such an unselfish forward because he creates so many opportunities.”
Now a triple-premiership player, Roughead grew up in Gippsland in Victoria’s east. He played for Leongatha and the Gippsland Power in the TAC Cup competition before joining Hawthorn as the No.2 pick in the 2004 NAB AFL Draft.
He was one of the key drivers of the Hawks' back-to-back premiership wins after the disappointment of losing the 2012 Grand Final to the Swans. He appears to be in a two-horse race with Jordan Lewis to be the club’s next captain.