EASTERN Ranges defender Daniel McStay has emerged as a probable top-30 selection, with the second round of next week's NAB AFL Draft set to feature a number of tall prospects.
McStay, a 194cm defender who played for Vic Metro this year, has garnered the interest of several clubs including Adelaide, Essendon, St Kilda and the Brisbane Lions.
Clubs believe the athletic and skilful left-footer is unlikely to last until pick 30, as a group of key prospects appear set to be taken in the 15 to 30 range.
Others in the range include Jake Kolodjashnij, Michael Apeness, Darcy Gardiner, Tom Cutler and Cameron Giles.
Although McStay has had a year under the radar, he played 16 games for the Ranges, including their Grand Final win over the Dandenong Stingrays.
He averaged 15 disposals and six marks a game and also showed the ability to move forward, booting 14 goals.
McStay, a close friend of likely No.1 pick Tom Boyd, came into form as the under-18 championships drew closer, but then injured his elbow in a Vic Metro trial game.
He returned to play three games for Vic Metro, with his strong marking and capacity to counter-attack capturing attention.
"When the ball's in the air he's very clean," said Eastern Ranges region manager Anthony Parkin.
"He's a good decision-maker with the ball in his hand. He's not a penetrating kick but he has that good lateral decision-making kick which opens up the other side of the ground for offence.
"I think that's been his strength."
Parkin said McStay had the ability to play more permanently as a marking target in attack.
"He'll start as a defender, but in the medium to long-term, I reckon he'll be able to play forward a majority of the time."