POSSIBLE West Coast father-son pick Jake Waterman's draft stocks have received a boost, with the forward joining the level two NAB AFL Academy.
The 17-year-old has been named in the prestigious squad of 30 players eligible for next year's draft who will take part in the eight-month program under head coach Brenton Sanderson.
Waterman's brother Alec joined the Eagles last year under the father-son rule, with their father Chris a two-time premiership player with West Coast.
At 189cm and 84kg, the younger Waterman is taller than his brother, and plays as a high half-forward. He is one of six new faces to the academy group, which has increased from 25 members at level one.
Where this year's NAB AFL Draft pool looks strong for tall options at the top end, a number of smaller types have already shown enough to suggest they will be early picks in the 2016 intake.
Crafty forward Ben Ainsworth would be a high choice if eligible for this year's draft such has his impact been near goal. Sam Petrevski-Seton is a composed midfielder, Jonty Scharenberg (the younger brother of Collingwood's Matt) has played at senior level in South Australia and Will Brodie was a strong contributor for Vic Country at the under-18 carnival.
The AFL talent department will add three more players to the level two squad (for a total of 33) in the next month or so.
Sanderson, who was appointed coach of the academy earlier this year, leads the camps-based program, which will again include a high performance training trip to Florida's IMG Academy facility in January.
The level one academy group, for 2017 draft prospects, has been broadened to 27 players after an impressive recent under-16s championships.
Vic Country is best represented in the group with nine players picked, including Hunter Clark, Lochie O'Brien and Aaron Darling, while possible Richmond father-son pick Patrick Naish made the squad.
His father, Chris, played 153 games for the Tigers between 1990-97.
LEVEL TWO SQUAD
Vic Country: Ben Ainsworth, Jy Simpkin, Will Brodie, Jarrod Berry, Jarrod Korewha, Josh Battle, Myles Poholke, Alex Witherden
Vic Metro: Jordan Gallucci, Jack Scrimshaw
South Australia: Steven Slimming, Jack Graham, Jonty Scharenberg, Peter Ladhams
Western Australia: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Noah Hura, Sam Powell-Pepper, Josh Rotham, Luke Strnadica, Jeremy Goddard, Jake Waterman
Queensland: Brad Scheer, Jack Bowes, Jacob Allison
NSW/ACT: Kobe Mutch, Will Setterfield, Zac Sproule, Harrison Macreadie
Northern Territory: Brandan Parfitt
Tasmania: Ben McGuinness
LEVEL ONE SQUAD
Vic Country: Tyrone Hayes, Aaron Darling, Kane Farrell, Aidan Quigley, Lochie O'Brien, Hunter Clark, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Cody Henness, Oscar Clavarino
Vic Metro: Jack Higgins, Lachlan Fogarty, Patrick Naish, Joel Garner, Jaidyn Stephenson
South Australia: Jordan Houlahan, Darcy Fogarty, Thomas Schmusch, Callum Coleman-Jones
Western Australia: Jake Patmore
Queensland: Jack Clayton, Connor Ballenden
NSW/ACT: Charlie Spargo, Jack Powell, Jarrod Brander, Alex Paech, Nathan Richards
Northern Territory: Dominic Grant