Your questions answered: May Power Rankings

ROOKIE Me Central’s first Power Rankings instalment for 2023 dropped on Monday, with 20 of the year’s top AFL Draft prospects put under the spotlight. With bolters and sliders alike making up the list, there were inevitably a bunch of queries to arise. We answer all your questions in the May Power Rankings Q&A.

>> Top 20: May 2023 AFL Draft Power Rankings

May’s top 10 players


Q: Which top 20 players are club-tied?

A: There are seven within the full list of 20. Gold Coast has access to three academy players – Jed Walter (5), Ethan Read (7), and Jake Rogers (14) – while Mitchell Edwards (Fremantle) and Luamon Lual (Western Bulldogs) are Next Generation Academy products. They are both very unlikely to fall out of the all important top 40 at this stage. There are two father-son candidates too, in Jordan Croft (Western Bulldogs) and Will McCabe (Hawthorn).

Q: Why is Ashton Moir so low?

A: Good question. He was arguably one of the top five ranked players coming into the year and has a bunch of traits which back that notion up. He can kick off both feet, is athletic, marks well overhead, and seems a driven character. Though, he has been a touch inconsistent to start 2023, albeit with a couple of injury niggles, and will need to offer more at ground level and defensively to crack our top 10 again.

Q: How is a 170cm player ranked #2?

A: This one has been addressed ad nauseam, even by the man himself – Nick Watson. On pure talent alone, it is hard to deny that the small utility is a top five prospect, though whether a club picks him up that early remains to be seen. That’s the key difference between rankings and mock drafts, too.

Q: Will Colby McKercher slide with a new Tasmanian side looming?

A: Probably not. Clubs should back their ability to maintain talent and while Colby McKercher will likely be one of the best available Tasmanian natives once the state’s side enters the AFL, he said in preseason he had “come to terms” with moving interstate to play AFL with no particular preference of where. He doesn’t even support an AFL team! The new Tassie club could change that all, but McKercher’s value shouldn’t drop due to fear of losing him in future.

Q: Jake Rogers was best on for the AFL Academy, how is he not top 5?

A: Fair query. Jake Rogers is a gun, there is no denying that, and he was truly outstanding in the second AFL Academy showcase. There is a lot more that goes into ranking him among the talent pool as a whole though, and his overall body of work puts him arguably in the 10-15 range. With a big National Championships, he could push even higher to give the Suns a mounting headache come draft time.

Q: Who is the next highest South Australian?

A: This is a relatively straightforward one given he was just about next on the board after #20 – Logan Evans. The Norwood defender has cracked senior SANFL footy and is seriously classy across half-back. He can compete overhead and uses the ball nicely on his favoured left foot, putting him among a bunch of exciting prospects with a similar style.

Q: How do you compare/contrast Luamon Lual with similar types?

A: This is a question which probably deserves an extended piece to answer, so watch out for a potential Marquee Matchup or Positional Analysis on players like Luamon Lual and Evans. Vic Country has a few prospects who play similar roles in Billy Wilson, Angus Hastie, and Oscar Ryan, and all will be considered as the rankings expand throughout the year. Let’s see how they go on the representative stage.

Q: How have so many talls bolted up the order?

A: Perhaps a theme at the top of this year’s draft is the lack of genuine midfielders, and how a bunch of talls are quickly climbing the ranks. Within our top 10, there are two pairs of key position players who are ranked very closely. We’ve gone with Jed Walter and Daniel Curtin ahead of Ethan Read and Mitchell Edwards, with the former group arguably surer bets in comparison to the latter who have higher upside.

Looking a little further down the order, there’s Archer Reid and Jordan Croft who could well crack into the top 10, while Will McCabe and Connor O’Sullivan are also on the precipice. Talls are notoriously difficult to rank, and athletic raw prospects like Croft and McCabe are now coming into their own, which should see them continue to climb towards the back-end of the year.

Q: What about…?

A: There were a bunch of ‘what about’ or ‘where is’ types of questions, mainly pertaining to AFL Academy members who didn’t feature. For example, Will Lorenz and Kane McAuliffe are a couple of midfielders who have slid out of the frame for varying reasons – usually revolving limitations.

Similar can be said about Cooper Simpson, George Stevens, and Caiden Cleary. The modern day midfielder needs to be incredibly well rounded and versatile, with the right mix of athletic traits and an ability to impact outside of the contest. A mix of those queries pertain to the players listed.

Q: Who else is close?

A: Evans is one, along with a few of the aforementioned running defenders. Freakish West Australian forward Lance Collard is another closing in on the top 30 along with Dandenong co-captain Harry De Mattia, and talls like Ollie Murphy and Sam van Rooyen – perhaps with a greater sample size and representative footy under their belts. There’s still a long way to go yet.

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