Testing times: Heath Chapman, Brayden Cook, Jack Carroll and Finlay Macrae at various state Combines. Pictures: AFL Photos

IT IS time for another update of the Phantom Form Guide.

The October version of AFL.com.au's ranking of the best 25 draft prospects for this year includes a new face, some risers and some who have pushed back down the order.

It comes with the majority of draftees having completed their seasons around Australia, with a select few still in state league finals series, while others have also been recently testing at NAB AFL Draft Combines staged nation-wide.

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The Phantom Form Guide is our rating of the best 25 players of this year available to clubs and it does not take into consideration where father-son or Academy bids may come, nor where the players will necessarily be selected at the draft.

COMPARE THE PAIR Check out Cal Twomey's September update

It will be updated monthly in the lead-up to December's draft. Keep an eye on AFL.com.au later this week for the Phantom Form Guide Extra edition, which will name the next 15 players outside of this group.

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro
Key forward

The big question is whether Adelaide will bid on Ugle-Hagan with the No.1 pick? He'd be a worthy No.1, given his talents as an athletic key forward with genuine smarts. He kicked 24 goals in nine games last year for the Oakleigh Chargers and is tied to the Western Bulldogs' Next Generation Academy so the Dogs will get first call on him. Ugle-Hagan blitzed at the early-season testing day to show his speed and power and is a confident key forward with a very bright future.


Perth/Western Australia
Tall forward

McDonald's impact in dragging Perth back into the WAFL finals for the first time in 23 years cannot be understated. The key forward, who has the running ability to push up and down the ground and then an excellent conversion rate around goal, kicked 21 goals from nine games in the League side to finish second in the competition's goalkicking table. He is tough, competitive and consistent, and pushed his name right into No.1 consideration. Has won comparisons to St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt and showed his endurance strength by finishing second in the 2km time trial in last week's WA testing.


Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

Like all Victorian prospects, Hollands hasn't had the chance to impress this season. But unlike the rest, who have had their seasons affected by COVID-19, Hollands missed 2020 with a knee reconstruction after a pre-season injury in February. But the powerful and strong-bodied midfielder, who also can play as a forward, remains in the mix as a top-three pick due to his explosive traits, long kicking and ability to influence games.

Elijah Hollands celebrates a goal during last NAB League All-Stars game. Picture: AFL Photos

West Adelaide/South Australia
Key forward

Coming into the year with some groin injury issues, Thilthorpe put them aside to play most of the season with West Adelaide's senior team. Clubs were able to see the big forward's movement around the ground and he also had stints in the ruck, although he is seen as a forward option amongst recruiters. Thilthorpe battled the groin issue again late in the season and didn't test at the recent South Australian Draft Combine.

Riley Thilthorpe at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Swan Districts/Western Australia
Key defender

Grainger-Barras is among the top-five contenders in this year's pool because of his aerial exploits, his ability to kickstart things from defence and shut down opponents. He enjoyed a strong battle against Logan McDonald late in the season whilst playing for Swan Districts in their WAFL clash, with Grainger-Barras' second half capturing the attention of scouts. He also performed well at the recent WA Combine testing, finishing second for agility (8.13 seconds) and fifth in the sprint (2.993 seconds).


Sydney Academy/Allies

With speed, tenacity and a striking left boot, Campbell impacts games when he has the ball. The Swans will get access to Campbell as a part of their Academy and he looks a genuine talent through the midfield and as a half-forward. The 18-year-old has senior experience and had played in the Swans' NEAFL side last year.


Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

The Oakleigh Chargers midfielder is one of the most complete of his group: he's tough, consistent, a ball-winner, he kicks goals and has many runs on the board. Phillips was a standout for the Chargers last season as a bottom-ager and also got a taste of things with Vic Metro, and he would have dominated this season. He can accumulate but is damaging at the stoppages and influential close to goal, too. Has been touted as a future captain with his leadership impressing clubs.


Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

A classy midfielder who uses the ball on both sides of his body well, has poise and can be an option in the forward line as well. A knee injury wiped out most of his 2019 season and some more surgery followed earlier this year but he would have been back playing early in the season had the NAB League campaign not been shut down. One of the better midfielders available.

Richmond young gun Jack Higgins with Tanner Bruhn. Picture: AFL Photos

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

Henry has played all over the ground but he has most impact as a half-forward, where he is good in the air and at ground level, and capable of some exciting moments. The younger brother of Cats defender Jack, Henry isn't a regular high possession winner but catches the eye and would have been an interesting watch this season as one of the Falcons' best prospect. Athletic, smart, good ball user.


Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia

Jones returned to Woodville-West Torrens' side last weekend for the start of its finals series after missing the previous week with a minor ankle injury. Port Adelaide, who has access to the Indigenous teenager through the Next Generation Academy, knows what it will get with the smart half-back. Jones is tough, maturely-built, can kick the ball well and shut down his man. Has played all season with the Eagles' senior side and impressed, including going for his high-flying grabs at stages.

Lachie Jones at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Gippsland Power/Vic Country
Key defender

A skilful tall defender who uses the ball well out of defence and also has the ability to cut off inside-50 forays with his intercept marking. An athletic and modern tall backman who is trusted with the footy in his hands. He played for Leongatha earlier this year in a small window while country leagues were up and going.


Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Macrae was primed to play a midfield role this year for Oakleigh and Vic Metro after spending plenty of time as a half-forward last year in the Chargers' push to the NAB League premiership. Macrae kicks the ball well on both feet, can accumulate disposals like his brother, Western Bulldogs premiership player Jack, and had set his sights on a big 2020.


Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

Perkins is a midfielder with tricks. He is tough at the clinches and plays with power from the stoppages, but also provides some link-up run and can be left alone in the forward line and create some chances, too. Perkins showed flashes last year with the Dragons and under-17s matches, but was focused on playing far more midfield time this season and having a greater impact. As a package he is one of the best talents available.

Archie Perkins gets a handball away for Vic Metro. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast Academy/Allies

The Suns will be able to automatically pre-list Davies prior to this year's draft as a member of their Academy. It's a big win for the club, with Davies likely fitting in somewhere as a first-round pick in an open draft. Davies is a tall, strong, agile midfielder who puts in some of his best work at the clearances. He played some footy for Broadbeach this year in Queensland's league before suffering an elbow injury.

Alex Davies during the Queensland NAB AFL Draft Combine at Emmanuel College in October. Picture: AFL Photos

West Perth/Western Australia
Key defender

It was a very strong season for Chapman, who averaged 22 disposals at colts level for West Perth as he dominated out of defence. Playing as a tall backman, Chapman's intercept marking and ability to read the play are his biggest assets. He takes things on, plays with confidence and wants to bring the ball out of the backline. Chapman also made his senior debut late in West Perth's season and handled the step up comfortably. He won the 2km time trial at the WA Combine with an excellent run of 6:20 minutes.


South Adelaide/South Australia

Cook continues to perform in what has been an excellent season for the South Australian. The tall wingman has shown he can play up the ground and also deep in attack, where he continues to have plenty of shots at goal. Cook is exciting in the air, can carry the ball and also knows his way around the forward line. After growing 7cm in a year Cook has also risen up draft boards, and showed his natural leap by finishing high in the vertical jump test at last week's SA Combine. He was quiet as South Adelaide was knocked out of the under-18 finals last week.

Brayden Cook takes off during the September 30 draft Combine in Adelaide. Picture: Getty Images

NT Thunder/Allies

Some clubs believe Jeffrey would be a top-10 pick in an open draft. Alas that won't happen – the Darwin product is on his way to Gold Coast as an automatic pre-draft selection under the Academy concessions given to the club last year. Jeffrey is very talented, smart and smooth under pressure and able to play all over the ground. He recently spent time with the club in Queensland, having been due to relocate to the state before COVID-19 struck.

Joel Jeffrey in action for Gold Coast in the Northern Academy Series match. Picture: AFL Photos

Sturt/South Australia

There aren't many better performed draftees in the country this year than Powell, who has starred for Sturt at under-18 level. Powell has dominated the season, becoming a prolific midfielder, clearance winner and goalkicker from his on-ball role. He is a star at the stoppages, winning comparisons to Brisbane's Lachie Neale for his work in tight. A calf injury sidelined him recently before he returned and had 18 disposals in Sturt's semi-final loss on the weekend.

Tom Powell in action for Sturt's U18 team. Picture: Courtesy of Mel Faull

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

The Collingwood Next Generation Academy player last year spent time as a half-back, tall midfielder and also in attack, making him a versatile player for clubs to consider. Also battled through 2019 with a back injury but managed to feature in the Chargers' premiership victory in the NAB League.


East Fremantle/Western Australia

A hard, competitive midfielder who can win his own contested disposals and get things going through the middle of the ground. Carroll is the modern midfielder's size and height, and he proved his way as a consistent player for East Fremantle's under-18s side this season. He ran the 20m sprint in 3.0 seconds last week at testing. Also one of the youngest players in this draft so has plenty of upside.

Jack Carroll in action at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Picture: AFL Photos

Northern Knights/Vic Metro
Key forward/defender

The son of former Fitzroy, Melbourne and Brisbane player Darryl Cox is an athletic tall player who has been used in a number of spots. He appears best settled as a key forward, but has also spent time on the wing and in the back half. Played for Vic Metro last year and his highlights package will excite.

Nik Cox at the 2020 NAB League testing day. Picture: AFL Photos

Sydney Academy/Allies

Gulden had another strong campaign in New South Wales, dominating in the Academy series for the Swans and highlighting his determined approach. The smaller midfielder/forward has a knack of hitting the scoreboard, which he did last year for the Allies' side, but is also able to find the footy in the midfield and is a good ball user. Sydney will have access to him as an Academy player.

Errol Gulden in action for the Allies in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

Downie cut his teeth last year for the Eastern Ranges as a running half-back, of which he is one of the best in his group. He was looking set to play more in the midfield this season, which he did in practice games earlier in the year, and he has shown he can penetrate with his run and kicking. Is tied to Hawthorn as a Next Generation Academy prospect.


Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Another player who gave scouts an insight into his capabilities last year in the NAB League, with Laurie piecing together an excellent finals series for the Oakleigh Chargers. He's a smaller midfielder who can also be positioned inside-50 with good foot skills, a turn of speed and dash of skill. Has his fans in the second round.


Swan Districts/Western Australia

Clubs are well aware of what Trew does best: he has elite hands, which makes him adept at finding the ball and then dishing it out to teammates. He can place others into space and is able to work through congestion to get the ball into a better position. Had a consistent season for Swan Districts in the midfield and is one of the better extractors in the draft.