ESSENDON skipper Jobe Watson and Sydney Swan Josh Kennedy are two of the bigger midfielders in the AFL, but none quite match Hawthorn's new ruck rover for size.

The Hawks injected Jarryd Roughead into the centre square alongside ruckman Max Bailey at stages during Saturday night's win over the Swans, with instant effect.

The 193cm and 100kg big man won an equal team-high four centre clearances, his combination of size, quickness and clean hands proving a handful for the Swans' onball brigade.

The 26-year-old also spent time forward, booting four goals and finishing with 27 disposals, impressing skipper Luke Hodge.

"To have a person who is six-foot-four, with the agility of 'Roughy', going in there, it creates a little bit of a difference, because there's not too many midfielders like that," Hodge said on Monday.

The move to ruck rover adds another weapon to Roughead's already loaded arsenal.

Also able to play forward, back or in the ruck, he may just be the most versatile player at the Hawks.

But he's certainly not the only one.

Coach Alastair Clarkson has rotated a stream of players through the centre square this season, relying less on long-time clearance kings Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell.

Hodge, who himself has moved between half-back and the midfield with great success, said the tactic offered a range of benefits.

"If someone is having a quiet game, you can throw them into the middle and have confidence that they can have an impact in there," he said.

"And the other one is, if you're going to tag someone and they're just starting in the same position time and again, it's pretty easy to understand what their role is going to be.

"If we've got the flexibility to chuck eight to 10 blokes through there, it's difficult for an opposition coach to focus on tagging just one player."

The Hawks have reached the end of their difficult seven-game opening stretch with six wins, placing them perfectly for a run at the top four.

They face expansion teams Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast in the next fortnight, followed by struggling Melbourne.

Hodge said the Hawks would try to play the same way, regardless of the opposition.

"You come up against the two new franchise teams, and you've got to expect that they're going to develop," the 28-year-old said.

"They're going to play good footy at times, but as younger guys, they're probably going to be a little bit inconsistent.

"We've just got to focus on what we can control: win contested football, make sure we're disciplined, make sure we still play the team-oriented football that we've done so far."