NINE of the 21 players taken in the first round of last year's NAB AFL Draft remain uncontracted heading into next season.
Three of the top six are among that group, with most clubs having shifted their immediate focus to those without a deal for 2021 in the wake of the AFL's contract freeze ending in July.
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Gold Coast, Fremantle, Melbourne and Port Adelaide, who all held multiple first-round picks last year, have been the most active in re-signing their new talents but a handful remain without deals heading into the final year of their first contracts.
Greater Western Sydney has started talks with dashing defender and No.4 pick Lachie Ash over a contract extension, though the 12-game teenager appears prepared to wait for a new deal as he heads into next season.
There are no concerns surrounding a new deal for Sydney midfielder and No.5 selection Dylan Stephens, despite the Swans not yet reaching out to the youngster regarding an extension.
Adelaide sees key defender Fischer McAsey as a major part of its future, having drafted him with pick No.6 last season, however talks are not yet underway for a new deal after 10 games in his debut campaign.
Gold Coast traded up to pick No.11 to secure powerful midfielder Sam Flanders, though the former Gippsland product is happy to wait before entering talks regarding a new contract.
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The Western Bulldogs are yet to re-sign lively small forward Cody Weightman, who played three senior games for the club this season after being recruited to the Whitten Oval with the 15th pick.
Geelong midfielder Cooper Stephens is also unsigned after being taken with pick No.16. He didn't make his AFL debut this year, but was close to earning his opportunity in the senior side after an impressive return from a broken leg in his draft year.
Fellow Cats youngster Sam De Koning, claimed with the 19th pick, is another expected to make the AFL jump next season after being used in a range of roles in defence, attack and the ruck throughout scratch matches this year.
He is unsigned as of yet, but talks are expected to pick up in the coming months after a recent switch in management.
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Carlton utility Brodie Kemp, taken with the 17th pick, wants to wait until he returns to football before entering contract talks following more than a year on the sidelines recovering from an ACL injury.
Richmond midfielder Thomson Dow, the final player taken in the first-round of last year's national draft at pick No.21, is working on an extension at Punt Road that should be finalised by the start of next season.
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With Port Adelaide expected to announce two-year extensions for talented duo Miles Bergman and Mitch Georgiades imminently, 12 first-rounders from last season's draft have now secured their futures at the clubs that recruited them.
Gold Coast has already locked away star duo and picks No.1 and No.2 Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson to contract extensions, with both penning two-year deals in August taking them through to 2023.
Melbourne announced on Wednesday that ruckman and No.3 selection Luke Jackson had signed a one-year extension until 2022, while it revealed in August that No.12 pick Kysaiah Pickett had extended until the end of 2023.
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Fremantle's trio of talented top-10 picks in defender Hayden Young, NAB AFL Rising Star winner Caleb Serong and Next Generation Academy prospect Liam Henry have all re-signed at the club for a further two years.
The Giants have also tied down their own Academy prospect, announcing back in March that big-bodied midfielder Tom Green had signed a two-year extension to his initial rookie deal.
Hawthorn locked away No.13 pick Will Day for another two seasons in August, while Carlton also re-signed top-20 selection Sam Philp to a two-year contract extension in September.