THE PHANTOM Draft for 2021 is in.

After another draft class hit by COVID-19 cancellations, disruptions and changed plans, players across the country will have dreams made on Wednesday and Thursday night as the NAB AFL Draft is again split over two days.

Here is AFL.com.au's predictions for how the top 30 picks could roll out in our annual Phantom Draft. There are also club-by-club whispers for each team beyond the top 30 selections as well as the likely live draft picks expected for every side.

The order of selections in the Phantom Draft are changed as per bids on father-son and Academy prospects.

Jason Horne-Francis

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 185cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 21/6/03
From South Adelaide/South Australia

The blond bombshell is set to be the Kangaroos' first ever No.1 pick and the first non-Victorian to be the top choice since David Swallow in 2010. Horne-Francis brings with him great excitement that will add plenty of star factor to North Melbourne's list: he's tough, physical, aggressive, mercurial and capable of brilliance around the ball. His preliminary final performance for South Adelaide put a full stop on his ascent to the top of the draft order and with Nat Fyfe-like aerial exploits for a midfielder, Horne-Francis is set to excite Roos fans for a long time to come. 

If not him? There's no ifs, buts or maybes here. The only consideration would be placing a bid on Nick Daicos, but that's not going to happen. The Roos knocked back massive offers for pick No.1 for a reason.

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Class of 2021: Draft standout Horne-Francis on Danger comparisons

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Sam Darcy (matching Greater Western Sydney's bid) 

POS: Tall forward/ruck
Ht 205cm, Wt 93kg, DOB 19/7/03
From Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Darcy has shot up to 205cm and is an imposing draft prospect given his agility and athleticism for a player his size. His improvement surprised many this year as he got going early on in the season at school level and continued to dominate games in attack, including a six-goal haul for Vic Metro mid-year. He competes well in the air and is smart on the lead but is also able to kick a goal out of nothing when inside 50. He has spent stints of this year in the ruck and in defence, with the son of former Bulldogs ruckman Luke to be given time to develop.

If not him? Darcy will be the latest in a long line of father-sons at the kennel. If Greater Western Sydney doesn't bid for him, it will likely be left to Hawthorn's pick, which would be a great result for the Dogs.

Sam Darcy poses for a photo at a training session for Victorian draft hopefuls on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Finn Callaghan

POS: Midfielder
Ht 191cm, Wt 86kg, DOB 26/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

The midfielder burst onto the scene earlier this year in a practice match for the Sandringham Dragons and just kept rising up draft boards across the country. Callaghan is very exciting talent: he started his year as a tall wingman with a raking left-foot kick and moved more into the midfield as the season wore on. He could even start his career off half-back, having grown to be 191cm and with a strong endurance and athletic base. He had some foot inflammation that bugged him in the second half of the year but is the guy for the Giants and will be able to impact on a wing, half-back or just about anywhere straight away.

If not him? The Giants have also put plenty of work into ruckman Mac Andrew, small forward Josh Rachele and tall back Josh Gibcus for this position.

01:36 Mins
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WATCH: Finn Callaghan shows off his silky skills

Finn Callaghan showed why he could potentially be an early pick in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft with some standout performances.

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Nick Daicos (matching Gold Coast's bid)

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 73kg, DOB 3/1/03
From Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

It was a sensational season for Daicos, who averaged 36 disposals and two goals in the NAB League, was dominant with 41 touches and two goals for Vic Metro against Vic Country and close to best afield in nearly every game he played. The midfielder can accumulate touches but he also makes an impact, taking the game on with his kicking and being dangerous around goal. The Collingwood father-son prospect will join his brother Josh at the Pies and following in the steps of dad Peter, a legend of the club. But Daicos is intent on building his own name and his arrival – finally officially – will be a big boost for the Magpies. The Suns showed real interest in Daicos mid-season and he toured the club's facilities. Expect them to make the bid if it's not done by their pick.

If not him? The Pies are locked in on Daicos, having committed to matching any bid for him after he agreed to a four-year contract as a father-son mid-year. Greater Western Sydney is the other bidding option. 

20:24 Mins
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Going Places: New Magpie Nick Daicos' journey to the AFL

A behind-the-scenes look at the rise of draft star Nick Daicos

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Mac Andrew

POS: Ruckman
Ht 201cm, Wt 74kg, DOB 12/4/03
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

It has been an incredible rise this year for Andrew, who now looms as a top-five pick after showing great promise this season. The athletic ruckman gets around the ground, is skillful with the ball in his hands, follows up at ground level and has Luke Jackson-like movement for a player his size. The Egyptian-born South Sudanese prospect is a member of Melbourne's Next Generation Academy but the new AFL rules means the Demons won't get to match a bid on him, with the Suns poised to swoop. He could start his career as a key defender or forward as he builds up his body or even play on a wing like Essendon's Nik Cox.

If not him? The Suns have looked at getting up to pick No.2 to take Finn Callaghan so if the Giants didn't take the midfielder then Gold Coast would. Andrew is likely to edge out key back Josh Gibcus for the Suns' selection. 

Mac Andrew poses for a photo during a training session for Victorian draft hopefuls on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Josh Rachele

POS: Small forward
Ht 180cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 11/4/03
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

An exuberant, exciting small forward who impacts games with his goalkicking, overhead marking and game sense. Rachele has the potential to be an A-grader: he's powerful, quick and brilliant with the ball in his hands and enjoys stepping up at the big moments in games. He will annoy opponents and likely agitate opposition supporters like most of the best small forwards do, and in time he can be a midfield option. The Crows have spent plenty of time on him in recent months and he would add a different dimension to their list.  

If not him? Adelaide has been closely considering Josh Sinn for this pick, as well as midfielder Ben Hobbs and local Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera. The Crows tried to move up the board to get Finn Callaghan and would read out his name in a flash if he fell to their pick, but it isn't happening.

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LOOK AT THE CLEAN HANDS: See why Josh Rachele is an elite draft prospect

Watch as a mic'd up Josh Rachele gives us exclusive access to the Victoria draft training day at Trevor Barker Oval

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Josh Ward

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 15/8/03
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro

A relentless worker through the midfield who has genuine inside and outside traits, Ward is one of the more solid bets in this year's draft. A practice match earlier this season for the Northern Knights that wowed recruiters put him on the map as a possible top-10 pick and he kept up the same momentum through the year. He ran the 2km time trial in 5:57 minutes, showing his elite endurance, and he is a hard-nosed ball-getter who can get out on the spread. Hawthorn has been linked as a possible home for Ward, whose great grandfather Alex Lee played 31 games for the club in the 1930s.

If not him? The Hawks have looked closely at West Australian midfielder Matt Johnson and could grab him, as well as putting their time into Vic Country midfielder Ben Hobbs. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera is another they have put time into, and if Josh Rachele was still there he would be right in considerations.

Josh Ward at the NAB AFL Draft Victoria Training Day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Jye Amiss

POS: Key forward
Ht 196cm, Wt 83kg, DOB 31/7/03
From East Perth/Western Australia

It is hard to get good key forwards through the door if not for early draft choices, big-money trades or as father-sons. It is why Amiss is a target for clubs in the first round given his prolific season in front of goal in the WAFL colts competition, where he booted 51 goals, including 38.12 from set shots. Amiss has great goal sense inside 50 and is an accurate finisher who still has plenty of upside after just entering the talent system this year. The Dockers have been searching for a key forward and there is a very good one in their backyard.

If not him? Could they pick tactically and go with Matt Johnson or Neil Erasmus first? Or do they need to get Amiss off the board before Richmond picks? Josh Ward would have to be looked at if he got through, with Josh Rachele a very good chance if he also was passed over by others.

01:18 Mins
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Class of 2021: Draft star Amiss explains strengths, Eagle role model

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Josh Gibcus

POS: Key defender
Ht 196cm, Wt 87kg, DOB 4/4/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

Richmond lost some of its key-position depth in the off-season and may have a chance to replenish with one of the best talls in the draft. Gibcus is the leading tall defender in the pool, with his aerial exploits and intercept marking drawing comparisons to Melbourne's Jake Lever and Brisbane's Harris Andrews. His leap is off the charts – literally – as seen when he jumped higher than the stand at the Vic Country Draft Combine testing. He flies for the ball and backs himself to be an attacking option in the back half.

If not him? Jye Amiss would be looked at if the Dockers didn't grab him, while the Tigers also have been linked for some time to Ben Hobbs, the Vic Country midfielder, and the same for Josh Ward if there. It seems unlikely the Tigers move up from this point of the draft in any trade. 

01:41 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Josh Gibcus can do

Watch the best highlights from Josh Gibcus ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Matthew Johnson

POS: Midfielder
Ht 192cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 16/3/03
From Subiaco/Western Australia

Johnson's point of difference through the midfield is his height and athleticism. He is quick (he runs a 2.98-second 20-metre sprint), his agility is top end (it was third overall in the Combine testing) and he also placed in the top 10 for the vertical jump. He's also performed on the field as a mobile midfielder who can get away at stoppages and use the ball well. Johnson was best afield on Grand Final day for Western Australia in the AFL curtain-raiser and enjoyed a strong carnival for his state.

If not him? Ben Hobbs would have to be looked at if still available, with Johnson's WA teammate Neil Erasmus also a chance here. If anything surprised in the top group and one of the early picks slipped through then the Dockers could shuffle plans.

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Class of 2021: Matthew Johnson a classic 'smooth-mover'

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Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

POS: Midfielder
Ht 187cm, Wt 71kg, DOB 22/2/03
From Glenelg/South Australia

Is this the silk the Saints are searching for? There's been a group of clubs clamouring for Wanganeen-Milera at the midpoint of the first round who are all keen on the classy wingman, who is the best kick in the draft. It is easy to see why when watching the Glenelg talent: he has poise, precise skills and can step around opponents and make them look silly. The nephew of Essendon and Port Adelaide great Gavin plays on the wing but might start his career providing run off half-back too. St Kilda would look closely at Wanganeen-Milera if he's still available. 

If not him? If Josh Gibcus was still on the board the Saints would have to consider strongly, while Ben Hobbs would also be hard to pass up. Josh Goater is another contender for the Saints' spot. 

01:31 Mins
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WATCH: The buzz prospect with famous bloodlines

Watch the best highlights from Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Neil Erasmus

POS: Midfielder
Ht 190cm, Wt 82kg, DOB 2/12/03
From Subiaco/Western Australia

A tall midfielder whose strength is his ability to get around the ground, with tireless running, overhead marking and capacity to make an impact around goal. Although a bigger-bodied midfield option, Erasmus isn't a purely contested player, with his aerobic capacity giving him other strengths. He kicked four goals in the colts Grand Final last year to mark his name as one to watch in 2021 and he dominated earlier this season by averaging 28 disposals for Subiaco. The Eagles missed access to Erasmus, who comes from a South African background, through their Next Generation Academy but could scoop him up anyway. 

If not him? Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera will be a shot if still there, as of course is Hobbs. That would be a tough call if the Eagles had those midfielders to weigh up. Jye Amiss and more recently Campbell Chesser are others who have been linked.  

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Class of 2021: Patience paying dividends for draft star Erasmus

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Ben Hobbs

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 79kg, DOB 16/9/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

Could the leading inside midfielder in the group land in the Bombers' lap? Hobbs averaged 30 disposals in his five completed NAB League games after an ankle injury sidelined him earlier in the year and he has a doggedness that helps him dig in and find the ball. Hobbs started to show more attacking flair just before the season got cut short as well and he has a single-minded, determined approach that will set him up to be a contested player at the next level. 

If not him? The Bombers are in a good spot to sit and wait to see who slips out of the top names. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Matt Johnson are right in the frame, the same for Josh Goater, while Neil Erasmus has also been in the mix.   

01:24 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Ben Hobbs can do

Watch the best highlights from Ben Hobbs ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Josh Sinn

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 186cm, Wt 78kg, DOB 7/1/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

Clubs have been going back to Sinn's performances as an under-16s player and recognising his talent after what was a frustrating, injury-hit campaign in 2021. The quick left-footer has been played off half-back and might also settle into a wing role in the future, where his run and long kick can break the lines in a flash. The Sandringham Dragons captain battled hamstring and ankle injuries this season but would bring more speed to a Port list brimming with exciting youngsters. 

If not him? WA midfielders Matt Johnson and Neil Erasmus are a chance, as is attacking half-back Darcy Wilmot. If Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera was available he would be a very good shot.

Sandringham's Josh Sinn celebrates a goal during a NAB League match against Oakleigh on April 05, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Sam Butler

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 184cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 10/2/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

The Giants could trade this pick but if they stay could also look at it with more of a needs focus given it will be their last live selection before grabbing Academy talent Josh Fahey. As a small forward with great pressure skills, Butler is a quality option who would have an obvious job description at the Giants. The younger brother of St Kilda forward Dan, Butler starred at the Vic Country Draft Combine where he showed his speed (2.97 seconds over 20 metres) and he uses it on the field by tackling, smothering and making an impact when he's got it. 

If not him? WA small forward Jesse Motlop is a contender, as may be Vic Metro midfielder Jake Soligo who could be redeployed as a forward option. Jacob van Rooyen could be a shot if they went tall. Is there a tiny chance Josh Gibcus got through?

Draft prospect Sam Butler tests at the Vic Country NAB AFL Draft Combine on October 2, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Darcy Wilmot

POS: Defender
Ht 183cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 30/12/03
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro

Wilmot has become a player in demand with a number of clubs interested in him in the second half of the first round of picks. The tenacious half-back plays with vigour and resolve in defence and enjoys taking the game on as well as stopping his direct opponents. Can mark the ball as well as tuck it under his arm and burst out of defence. The Lions have been looking for more rebounding defenders in recent years. 

If not him? If Josh Sinn got through he would be a big consideration, while Blake Howes, Sam Butler, Campbell Chesser and Tom Brown are others who clubs believe will be in the mix at this stage. 

01:29 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Darcy Wilmot can do

Watch the best highlights from Darcy Wilmot ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Tyler Sonsie

POS: Midfielder
Ht 181cm, Wt 73kg, DOB 27/1/03
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

Sonsie began the year as a potential top-five pick and although that's not where he will have his name called this week, the Eastern Ranges midfielder still has clubs keen on his talent. With some dancing feet and smarts in close, Sonsie is able to get the ball out in the midfield with some burst and also be a dangerous player inside 50, where his goal sense comes to the fore. 

If not him? The Tigers are in a position to see if a player ranked in the top dozen falls through. It's always a chance. Jacob van Rooyen and Campbell Chesser could come into the mix. 

Eastern Ranges' Tyler Sonsie in action during a NAB League match against Tasmania on April 17, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Brown

POS: Defender
Ht 186cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 30/7/03
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

Brown combines power, speed, footy smarts and composure to be a promising prospect across half-back. He reads the ball well in the air and is comfortable using his leap to go for marks, and he distributes the ball without too much fuss as well. The son of former Geelong player Paul and brother of Cats AFLW player Millie, Brown isn't eligible to join the Cats as a father-son pick. The Swans have had a look at Brown and could pull the trigger. 

If not him? Wingman/forward Blake Howes could be a shot, as may Sam Butler. If still on the board Darcy Wilmot will be a contender for the Swans' pick. 

01:49 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Tom Brown can do

Watch the best highlights from Tom Brown ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Blake Howes

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 191cm, Wt 79kg, DOB 7/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

Another player who has multiple plans late in the first round and early in the second. Howes' running capacity (he finished the 2km time trial in an elite 6:08 minutes) as well as his height makes for an exciting combination for clubs weighing him up. Having started the season as a third tall forward, the versatile youngster moved onto the wing later in the campaign and found his groove. 

If not him? The Dees have been the masters of trading up the board so you wouldn't put it past them to do it again so they could nudge up the order. Howes looms as an option here, as do Tom Brown, Campbell Chesser and Darcy Wilmot. 

01:23 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Blake Howes can do

Watch the best highlights from Blake Howes ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Jacob van Rooyen

POS: Defender/forward
Ht 193cm, Wt 91kg, DOB 16/4/03
From Claremont/Western Australia

van Rooyen booted 24 goals in the final six games of the colts season as a key forward but it is in defence where many clubs see the swingman's future. The Claremont product is a tireless worker and competitor, giving him an advantage as a key-position player at either end. The Lions could look to beef up their key-position stocks in van Rooyen. 

If not him? Campbell Chesser could be a shot here, but it might depend on if they get a half-back with their first pick. Blake Howes is another possibility if the cards fall a certain way, with Sam Butler also a chance.

00:47 Mins
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WATCH: Jacob van Rooyen in action during the NAB AFL Combine

The WA product kicked the winning goal against SA in a recent U19s clash

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Josh Goater

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 190cm, Wt 80kg, DOB 2/6/03
From Calder Cannons/Vic Metro

Goater presents as a half-back option who could also be a runner through the midfield and on the wing. His size and athleticism gives him a point of difference to other prospects, and he has genuine speed, spring and excitement with the ball. He enjoyed a strong outing for Vic Metro mid-year when he had 23 disposals and eight clearances against Vic Country. Goater has family links in Western Australia and would offer the Dockers another running option.

If not him? Jacob van Rooyen and Jesse Motlop could be considerations if the Dockers hold in this spot, while they could also shift back when offers come in for the pick on the second day. 

02:03 Mins
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Class of 2021: Check out what draft prospect Josh Goater can do

Watch the best highlights from Josh Goater ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft

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Jesse Motlop

POS: Small forward
Ht 177cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 23/11/03
From South Fremantle/Western Australia

Motlop is a clever small forward who can create a chance out of nothing. He played eight League games for South Fremantle this year, including the WAFL Grand Final, and booted eight goals. Motlop was nominated by Fremantle as a Next Generation Academy player but the Dockers only get priority access to him after pick 40, where he's unlikely to slip. The son of former Kangaroo and Power forward Daniel Motlop. The Roos have been on the search for a small forward and Motlop could be a contender. 

If not him? Kai Lohmann is another goalkicking option who could be worth a look, while versatile swingman Jacon van Rooyen is also a chance. Would they take a run at Tyler Sonsie if he was there?  

02:06 Mins
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Class of 2021: Past player Jesse Motlop watches on loop

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Mitch Knevitt

POS: Midfielder
Ht 193cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 8/1/03
From Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

A tall midfield option who has a 'could be anything' factor to him. At 193cm Knevitt's appeal lies in what clubs may see him develop into as a ball-getting onballer who added more power to his game this season in the NAB League with the Falcons. He averaged 24 disposals for the year and has had interest from the Hawks as well as other clubs in this range. 

If not him? Could they jump in early and grab ruckman Toby Conway? Tyler Sonsie, should he get to the Hawks, would be a big consideration, particularly after his impressive VFL game with Box Hill this year, while they have put time into Sam Butler.  

Vic Country's Mitchell Knevitt handballs during the U19 trial match against Vic Metro on June 27, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Campbell Chesser

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 186cm, Wt 83kg, DOB 27/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country

An attacking half-back with great athletic traits and the versatility to move through the midfield. Chesser is back at full fitness and impressed at last week's training session with his movement after a season hindered by a nagging knee problem. The Cats lost a half-back/wingman in Jordan Clark during the trade period and Chesser would be able to fill that hole with his movement and run. 

If not him? Local midfielder Mitch Knevitt could come into contention here, with the tall ball-getter having a strong NAB League season. If Tom Brown was still up for grabs the Cats would likely look strongly at the attacking half-back, while WA midfielder Angus Sheldrick has also been linked.

Campbell Chesser during the Victorian draft training day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Toby Conway (after doing live picks trade with Western Bulldogs)

POS: Ruckman
Ht 205cm, Wt 97kg, DOB 24/4/03
From Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

The Cats have rarely drafted a young ruckman in the draft but Conway might be too good an option to pass up, particularly if Geelong can execute a trade with the Bulldogs and secure pick 23 as we're tipping. Conway shapes as a very good long-term ruck talent: he's big and growing in strength, he gets around the ground and can be a marking option. A cousin of Swans defender Tom McCartin and former Saint Paddy.  

If not him? South Adelaide midfielder/forward Arlo Draper could be a chance, with Sam Butler also likely to be considered in the smaller chance he is still there to be picked. 

Toby Conway during the Victorian draft training day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Arlo Draper

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 186cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 30/1/03
From South Adelaide/South Australia

Draper finished his season as a half-back after spending most of his season as a midfielder or half-forward. He's classy with his decision-making and isn't a player to be rushed, and can also be a marking option around the ground. Has a unique skillset and is capable of exciting moments. 

If not him? The Hawks have shown interest in St Kilda NGA prospect Marcus Windhager so could be the ones to pull out the bid for him. Forward Kai Lohmann is another potential option for them. 

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Class of 2021: Arlo Draper on injury recovery, Fyfe insight

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Josh Fahey (matching Carlton's bid)

POS: Defender
Ht 186cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 11/11/03
From GWS Academy

The Giants brought in extra draft points during the pick swaps trade period to ensure they are well placed to match a bid for Fahey. Fahey played for the Giants' VFL side this season and impressed with his approach across the backline, where he can break the lines with his kicking. He also has a good attack on the ball. Carlton looks a possible bidder and Fahey appears likely to be picked around this mark. 

If not him? The Giants have been planning to use their two early picks and then match a bid for Fahey as their three live selections so it would be a surprise for it to go another way. Richmond is the main bid threat inside the first 20. 

Josh Fahey in action for GWS' VFL side against Sydney in round one, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Connor MacDonald

POS: Midfielder
Ht 184cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 13/1/03
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

The Blues have been linked to MacDonald and his competitiveness through the midfield would add to their group. He averaged 30 disposals in the NAB League this season with the Stingrays and is able to play as an inside/outside option. He offers grunt around the stoppages and is a character who many clubs talk highly about. 

If not him? Sam Butler, Zac Taylor and Jesse Motlop are also possibilities for the Blues with this selection. 

Connor MacDonald during the Victorian draft training day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Mitchito Owens (matching Richmond's bid)

POS: Midfielder
Ht 191cm, Wt 87kg, DOB 24/9/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

The Saints have added more points to their draft hand to ensure they can match a bid for Owens, with the likelihood remaining that it comes after the top-20 protected zone of the draft for Next Generation Academy players. Owens is a tall midfielder whose standout game for Vic Metro mid-season highlighted his running traits and versatility. Clubs have had interest in Owens inside the top 20, but outside of that the Saints would be ready to match any bid. 

If not him? St Kilda will move up the board to match the bid for Owens if they are able. The Giants and Tigers have interest but are not expected to bid in the first 20.  

Mitchito Owens at Victorian training day on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Jake Soligo

POS: Midfielder
Ht 180cm, Wt 78kg, DOB 25/1/03
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

A hard-working midfield option who can accumulate the ball, as seen in the NAB League this season when he averaged 23 disposals, including lifting that to 27 across the last three games of his campaign. Some clubs also see the Ranges talent starting his career as a forward option. 

If not him? It might depend on how the Tigers' pair of first-round picks go and what they bring in there. If they don't secure a tall early then perhaps Rhett Bazzo would come under consideration, or if they're looking for a similar player to Soligo then Calder Cannons midfielder Zac Taylor could be a chance.

Jake Soligo celebrates a goal during the NAB League match between Eastern Ranges and the GWV Rebels at Highgate Reserve on May 23, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

CLUB WHISPERS BELOW, OTHER OPTIONS

After the first 30 selections, a number of players have been linked to clubs with their later choices. AFL.com.au has found some of the possible options available for each club's picks deeper in the draft.

We have listed every draft pick assigned to clubs by the AFL, but also predicted how many each club is expected to use on the night as live selections.

Unlike the Phantom Draft top 30 (where the draft order has been changed to reflect where bids and trades may come), for the below selections we have kept the order as it will start according to the AFL's official list. There is expected to be between 56-67 total draft picks.

Picks: 4, 33, 74, 76, 87 (likely to use three selections)

Unless they split pick No.4 and bring in another selection, the Crows will only have the one pick inside the top-30 with likely two selections to come after that. What they do at No.33 will be interesting. Prolific wingman Hugh Jackson, who had a stellar first half of the season for North Adelaide, has been linked to the Crows and could be a shot there, while fellow local talent Arlo Draper is a chance to still be on the board at that point. Hard-running West Australian Corey Warner could also come into contention with forward Kai Lohmann another possibility. If the Crows use their third pick (which will come in as the night unfolds) midfielder Matt Roberts and half-forward Cooper Murley could be a chance.

Hugh Jackson kicks at goal during the U19 Championship match between Western Australia and South Australia at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 14, 18, 41 (likely to use three selections)

Brisbane's business will mainly be done early, with the Lions set to have only one more pick after their pair of first-round selections. If sharp goalkicker Kai Lohmann happened to be on the board at their third pick he would be a consideration, while Eamon Wilkinson, a small forward who they considered at the mid-season rookie draft, has also garnered some interest. Bryce Watson is a medium defender who could be within a shot late, as may Jamieson Ballantyne, a taller wingman from the Greater Western Victoria Rebels.

GWV Rebels' Kai Lohmann kicks for goal against Dandenong Stingrays on April 11, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 25, 63, 78 (likely to use one selection)

The Blues will be one live pick and out after the AFL knocked back their applications to use an extra list spot to cover for the shock retirement of Liam Jones. Their pick No.25 has been up for grabs, with Carlton making it known to clubs they could look to slide back down the order at the right price, with the Blues' pick expected to be targeted on the second day of the draft as clubs clamour to move up the board for the players still available after Wednesday night. Midfielder/defender Cooper Hamilton has been linked to the Blues and could be an option if they shifted back.

Cooper Hamilton of Vic Country runs with the ball during the U19 trial match against Vic Metro on June 27, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 36, 38, 40, 46, 48, 58 (likely to use three or four selections)

Where the bid comes for Nick Daicos will shape where the rest of the Magpies' picks end up. Collingwood will enter with six selections so it can use the points attached to them to match it for Daicos, but the Pies intend on adding only three or four players at the draft. One could be Brady Hough, a midfielder from Western Australia who surged his way into contention after a consistent season with Peel Thunder. The Pies, who didn't nominate Next Generation Academy prospect Youseph Dib and don't have first call on him, have looked at tall trio Jed Rule, Charlie Dean and Felix Flockhart, with Rule a key defender, Flockhart a forward/ruck and Dean a defender. They could also be rookie contenders if overlooked at the national draft.

Charlie Dean poses at a training day for Victorian draft hopefuls on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 11, 51, 56, 83, 88, 91 (likely to use three or four selections)

Essendon has been trying to get an extra pick in this year's draft since the trade period, with its future second-round pick on offer to clubs with a view of snagging a spot in the top 30 this year. The Bombers are on the lookout for a small forward, as they were during the trade period, and have shown some interest in Corey Preston, an overager from the Eastern Ranges who has been a goalkicker and also used off half-back. With a later pick they could look at tall forward Jack Williams, who booted 40 goals in the WAFL colts competition this season, while electric finisher Paul Curtis could also be considered as a sharp goalkicker. Dashing defender Alastair Lord, who impressed at the South Australian Draft Combine, could also be a potential pick-up with a late Bombers pick, while speedy forward Ronald Fejo jnr could be a rookie shot. Tex Wanganeen was not nominated as a father-son but the son of club great Gavin is likely to train at the club over summer if overlooked.

Alastair Lord in action for South Australia at the 2021 NAB AFL Draft U19 Challenge match against Western Australia on October 10, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 6, 8, 19, 60, 68, 80 (likely to use four selections)

All eyes will be on Fremantle's early choices with three top-20 selections. Expect clubs to come to the Dockers with good offers for No.19 as the opening pick of the second night of the draft, so they could shift that back. After those three picks, though, the Dockers are likely to use a fourth selection later in proceedings. They have nominated small forward Jesse Motlop as a Next Generation Academy player but can only match a bid for him from pick No.40 onwards, while athletic Indigenous ruckman Eric Benning has also been nominated as a NGA talent and could get through as a rookie. Mature-aged local midfielder Greg Clark could be considered after a standout season in the WAFL with Subiaco, while Jai Serong, the younger brother of Freo's Rising Star Caleb, might also be available around the Dockers' last pick. Serong is a rangy 193cm forward.

Eric Benning in the 2km time trial during the NAB AFL Draft Combine at Wesley College in Western Australia on October 17, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 22, 30, 32, 34, 50 (likely to use four or five selections)

The Cats' draft plans after pick 30 could shift dramatically depending on if they do a deal with the Western Bulldogs to secure pick 23 by offering a couple of their picks in the 30s. Blake Schlensog was delisted by the Cats last year but after an impressive season in the WAFL he has come into considerations again for Geelong and has spoken to the club. Tough midfielder Angus Sheldrick could be a chance in the second round as may reliable midfielder Connor MacDonald if still available, while Tasmanian half-back Sam Banks might also be a chance in the 30s. There has been some interest in Jai Serong, a developing tall, while delisted Swans wingman Matt Ling could be worth a look.

Angus Sheldrick gets his handball away during the 2021 NAB AFL Draft U19 Challenge match between South Australia and Western Australia at Thebarton Oval on October 10, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 3, 86, 90 (likely to use one or two selections)
The Suns will use pick No.3 and then have a long wait before they decide how they use their next pick. Having planned to reselect Hugh Greenwood and Rory Thompson as national picks to fulfil the mandatory three selections, Greenwood's move to North Melbourne means the Suns have other options with a pick free. They could use it on a younger player who gets through to deep in the draft or also just pick up Jez McLennan, who they had committed to taking as a rookie after temporarily delisting him. The Suns pre-selected two Academy talents through their list concessions, with Sandy Brock and Bodhi Uwland joining the club's rookie list. Brock is a 198cm key defender who played at Peel Thunder this year after originally being from Darwin, while Uwland is a Queensland local who impressed this year in the midfield. At the rookie draft the Suns are set to acquire former Carlton forward Levi Casboult.

Jez McLennan at a Gold Coast training session on July 22, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Picks: 2, 13, 53, 54, 70 (likely to use three selections)

The Giants' draft is expected to consist of their two first-round picks and then matching a bid on Josh Fahey, their Academy product. Whether that happens inside or outside of the top 30 shouldn't shift their plans, with the likelihood the Giants then hold over a pick for the rookie draft on Friday. The Giants have been scouting some potential mature-agers to slot into their mix as rookies. Delisted players Michael Gibbons (Carlton), Ben Cavarra (Western Bulldogs), Jye Lockhart (Melbourne) and Trent Dumont (North Melbourne) have all been on the radar, while Corey Preston, a small forward from the Eastern Ranges, has also been looked at.

Josh Fahey is awarded best player for the NAB AFL Academy against the Geelong Cats VFL side at GMHBA Stadium on April 24, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 5, 21, 24, 59, 64, 77 (likely to use four or five selections)

Hawthorn has been as busy as any club in the lead-up to the draft, interviewing a significant number of players two, three and sometimes four times. It is clearly a big draft for the Hawks as Sam Mitchell takes the coaching reins. They are likely to have at least one pick outside of the top 30, but it will be a bit further back. They've shown interest in Paul Curtis, a dynamic goalkicker from the Western Jets who can make something from nothing, while tall defender/midfielder Tyreece Leiu could also be an option later. The Hawks have nominated Paul Haasbroek through their Next Generation Academy and could grab him as a category B rookie. The Eastern Ranges small forward comes from an athletics background and has genuine zip.

Tyreece Lieu of the Eastern Ranges during a NAB League match on April 2, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 17, 37, 49, 57 (likely to use three selections)

A father-son is set to land at Melbourne for the first time since 2014 with Taj Woewodin nominated as a national pick, meaning if a bid doesn't come for the son of 2000 Brownlow medallist Shane then the Dees can automatically grab Woewodin with their last live selection. That appears the most likely outcome, with a bid not expected before Melbourne's third pick. Dandenong Stingrays forward/midfielder Judson Clarke could still be on the board at No.37 while the Dees have nominated Andy Moniz-Wakefield, an outside runner, through their Next Generation Academy and he could be a rookie shot. As could Anthony Caminiti, a 198cm forward who kicked five goals in his NAB League debut for the Northern Knights.

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Picks: 1, 20, 42, 47, 71, 75 (likely to use five selections)

The Roos will have one of the biggest hauls at this year's draft with five picks, with their final selection pegged for father-son prospect Jackson Archer, the son of club legend Glenn. Archer has been nominated as a national draft pick, meaning if there is no bid for the wiry defender then the Roos will list him with their last live selection. That is the expected outcome. In between that one and their two top-20 picks they also have two selections in the 40s, which will likely come in a few spots once other father-son bids are matched by rival clubs. Lewis Rayson, an attacking half-back, could come into contention, as may West Australian goalkicker Jack Williams. The Roos have shown interest in defender Bryce Watson and small forward Eamon Wilkinson.

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Picks: 12, 62, 72, 73, 85 (likely to use two or three selections)

The Power will be a fascinating watch on draft night. They'll be on the lookout for another top-30 selection in any pick swaps deal to see if they can add one before a bid comes on father-son Jase Burgoyne. A bid for the silky-skilled Burgoyne, the son of 2004 premiership star Peter, seems most likely after the second round after he decided to nominate the club as his preferred destination. The run of Hugh Jackson could add to their midfield group, Miller Bergman's versatility and foot skills could also appeal, while VFL key defender Charlie Dean has attracted some interest but the Power might have plugged that hole with the free agency signing of former Lion Sam Skinner.

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Picks: 7, 15, 26, 27, 28, 79 (likely to use five selections)

Depending on how many bids come, Richmond's draft might be over within the top 30 and if the Tigers hold their draft hand they should be well-placed to be big winners with five picks inside that group. During the trade period the Tigers approached the Crows about bundling picks No.7 and 15 to get up to No.4 but were knocked back, but they could also be open to doing something with their picks in the 20s. Should they hold, Judson Clarke, a clever goalkicking half-forward, might be in the mix after 30 while another who could be worth a look is James Willis, a hard-bodied inside midfielder from South Australia.  

Vic Country's Judson Clarke celebrates a goal during the U19 trial match against Vic Metro on June 27, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 9, 55, 61, 65, 66, 81 (likely to use four or five selections)

The Saints added the Magpies' pick 55 to their draft hand before the pick swap window ended to ensure they have enough draft points to match bids on Next Generation Academy pair Mitchito Owens and Marcus Windhager. Owens is expected to attract a bid before Windhager, a powerful midfield option who can also go forward. The Saints have also nominated Jack Peris, the speedy small who is the son of former Olympian Nova, under Next Generation Academy rules and could pick him late and the same with Josiah Kyle, who is an exciting forward capable of some eye-catching moments. Outside of their Academy, running half-back Lewis Rayson and half-back/midfielder Cooper Hamilton may be worth consideration, while the winner of the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal in the VFL, Charlie Dean, could also be looked at by the Saints as a mature-age tall defender.

Jack Peris of Sandringham Dragons contests the ball with Tom Silvagni of Oakleigh Chargers during a NAB League match on April 5, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 16, 31, 39, 69, 84, 89 (likely to use three or four selections)

Zac Taylor has been linked to the Swans with their second pick if he is still on the board at that point. The Calder Cannons prospect is a natural footballer with sharp skills who would likely start as a forward/midfielder, while leaping Leek Aleer could still be on the board at their second pick. The Swans could look at Kade Dittmar late, with the contested midfielder having some interest in the backend of the draft, while they have nominated Angus Anderson out of their Academy and could grab him late or as a rookie. Anderson is a 188cm ball-winner. The Swans are expected to sign former St Kilda No.1 pick Paddy McCartin through the pre-season supplemental selection period player after he did not nominate for the draft.

Zac Taylor during the NAB League clash between the Calder Cannons and the Eastern Ranges at Highgate Recreation Reserve on April 2, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Picks: 10, 29, 35, 67, 82 (likely to use four selections)

All focus will be on the Eagles' earliest draft selection since Andrew Gaff was pick No.4 in 2010, but they will also have at least two and maybe three more picks after that. They have also looked at ways to come up the board from pick No.29, so that could be a watch. Brady Hough is a midfield option that could come into contention in the second round, while James Tunstill showed his running capacity in the WAFL colts competition this season with East Fremantle and might be a consideration late. Leek Aleer's aerial ability could see him come into the mix in the second round as a defensive option, as may Judson Clarke's turn of foot and goalkicking nouse and Mitch Knevitt's size, while Greg Clark is also a chance having been on the radar of clubs mid-season before he decided not to nominate for the rookie draft. Clark is a 24-year-old midfielder who enjoyed an impressive season at WAFL level for premiers Subiaco.

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Picks: 23, 43, 44, 45, 52 (likely to use three or four selections)

The Dogs' night will be impacted by where the bid comes for father-son Sam Darcy, with the club's later picks to shuffle to the back of the draft if it comes at No.2 but maintain a solid position if the bid is a couple of spots after that. It will also be interesting where they land with pick No.23, with a trade expected to come early on Wednesday night once the draft opens, with Geelong leading the race ahead of other clubs, including Sydney, who have asked. They have nominated tall defender Cody Raak as a Next Generation Academy option after overlooking him last year, with that position a potential focus after the sudden retirement of veteran defender Easton Wood, while medium forward Paul Curtis could be considered.

Cody Raak of Vic Metro kicks during the Colgate Young Guns match between Vic Country and Vic Metro. Picture: AFL Photos