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Four days to the draft: Meet Brayden Maynard

Draft trumps: Brayden Maynard The tough midfielder is a likely first round pick and has similar traits to Hawthorn's Jordan Lewis

IF NOT for a few more games from his dad, Brayden Maynard might have been Adelaide's first father-son draftee. 

Peter Maynard played eight games for Melbourne in the 1980s before shifting to Glenelg in South Australia, where he played 196 games and was inducted as a Hall of Famer. Had he played four more, his son would have been eligible to join the Crows.

Adelaide might still draft Maynard after an impressive 2014 season, but won't get priority access to him ahead of their rivals. 

After 13 games for the Sandringham Dragons last season, Maynard stepped up his tilt at the draft this year with 17 games for the club and three as part of Vic Metro's NAB AFL Under-18 squad. 

Maynard's football bloodlines extend further than his dad, with his grandfather, Graham Campbell, a former coach and player at Fitzroy.

A left-footer who has a powerful and precise kick, Maynard spent most of his season as a rebounding half-back. It was there that he proved himself a big-bodied brute who can stop his opponent while giving important drive. 

He likes to tackle (he averaged six a game through the season) and is ultra-competitive: he attacks the ball and contest with ferocity, and isn't afraid of body contact. He puts everything on the line, and it's easy to see how supporters will warm to him. 

Late in the season that toughness was on display as a midfielder, having shifted up the ground for the Dragons in the absence of injured skipper Angus Brayshaw. 

Maynard (186cm, 88kg) played the role perfectly, using his speed (he's tested 2.98 seconds over 20 metres), poise and foot skills to make a difference with the ball, and his contested ball-winning ability to rip it out of packs. 

In the last two finals for the Dragons he averaged 25 disposals and 11 handball receives, showing a step up in his ability to cover the ground. Across the season for the Dragons he averaged 22 disposals.

Maynard's running capacity is probably the main concern for him, and a reason he wasn't pushed into the midfield until later in the season. 

At the national combine he ran a 13.3 beep test, and 11:13 for the three-kilometre time trial. If he can lift those numbers up a few notches he'll be able to compete for longer and longer.

Positioned off half-back and with a courageous and combative attitude, Maynard has a similar style to first-year North Melbourne defender Luke McDonald. 

He's probably more outward in his approach than McDonald but both can move into the midfield and float forward to use their penetrating left side.

Maynard is likely to feature in the 14-30 part of the draft as a first or second-round selection. 

Maynard has a clear point of difference in the way he impacts a game. He's a tough, physical player who loves to throw his body around and anyone in the way. Competitive and with an aggressive streak, it means he's permanently involved.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs