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THE UNCERTAINTY around who Essendon will select with its pick No.1 is leaving the top end of the order in flux just a week out from the NAB AFL Draft.

The Bombers have interviewed prospective top picks Andrew McGrath and Will Setterfield in the past week, and are due to meet with fellow candidate Hugh McCluggage next week.

McGrath and McCluggage have been the leading contenders for Essendon's top choice for some time, but the Bombers have also shown a strong interest in Setterfield, who is a member of Greater Western Sydney's academy.

If they bid pick one on the tall midfielder, GWS will have the choice to match with their pick two or let the Bombers select Setterfield and then pounce on McGrath with the next choice.

That would have an genuine ripple effect on the rest of the top-10 order, given the Brisbane Lions would be favoured to pick McCluggage over Victorian small forward Ben Ainsworth, who has been long linked to the Lions and has told the club he is keen to be drafted by them.

A large group of prospects is being considered by Gold Coast with its batch of four picks, although one of those selections is expected to be academy midfielder Jack Bowes.

Fremantle (No.7) and Sydney (No.9) are considered the clubs most likely to place a bid on Bowes and Setterfield should the Bombers not bid at No.1. Fellow GWS academy prospect Harry Perryman may not attract a bid until North Melbourne (No.11) or Adelaide (No.13).

If Ainsworth isn't picked in the top three, the Suns could look at him with one of their picks.

Jack Scrimshaw has also been touted as a possible Sun, but is considered unlikely to head to Carlton as the Blues look to boost their midfield. Goalkicking midfielder Tim Taranto, should he not be taken by the Suns at No.4, will be on the Blues' radar at No.5.

Taranto has also been more recently linked to the Giants at pick two if McGrath is picked by the Bombers at No.1.

Where in most years the No.1 pick is obvious by this stage of the season, the evenness of this year's draft and quality of the top players has made it a more complicated call.   

There is also a view that even if Essendon chooses not to bid on Setterfield (a big Bombers supporter), their high level of interest so close to the draft will help them try to entice him back to Victoria down the track.

Setterfield is originally from Albury but moved to Melbourne to board at Caulfield Grammar in 2014.

Will Brodie has been linked to Sydney at pick nine should he get through Gold Coast's group of selections, while Jy Simpkin and Scrimshaw could be in the mix for North Melbourne if they are available at No.11. 

The AFL has invited nearly 20 prospects to attend the draft next Friday night at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan will announce the names of each first-round pick on draft night, but the League is yet to decide on how the rest of the selections will be revealed.