PROFILED: 2024 AFL Mid-Season draftees

WHILE two former AFL-listed players earned a second chance at the 2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, 17 fresh faces entered the elite level on Wednesday night. Some were well known prospects coming into the intake, but others have come from the clouds. We profile each of the 19 draftees.

>> EVERY PICK: 2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft

1. North Melbourne – Geordie Payne (Tasmania Devils)
Midfielder/Forward | 184cm | 06/11/2005

Pitted as the leading pick one contender, Payne has transformed his game in 2024 having garnered late interest as a rebound defender. The Tasmanian is now a midfielder-forward with great agility and competitiveness to match his undeniable versatility. His form has been outstanding over the last three weeks, averaging 28 disposals, seven tackles, and two goals per game. He’s ready.

2. Richmond – Jacob Blight (Peel Thunder)
Key Defender | 196cm | 14/12/2001

Blight came through the ranks as a Claremont junior but has progressed strongly since moving into Peel’s senior program. In his second full season at the Thunder, the defender earned a state debut and is ranked in the competition’s top echelon for marks. He’s a kick-first type of distributor who reads the play well and intercepts at will, so should be a readymade option for Richmond’s backline.

3. West Coast – Jack Hutchinson (Collingwood VFL)
Forward | 190cm | 10/11/2001

Hutchinson’s highlight reel has done the rounds this year, with the Wonthaggi product coming from a long way back to be a mid-season draftee. The high-flying 22-year-old is capable of sitting on heads but also has good speed off the mark and covers the ground well for a 190cm player. His power and rate of development made him the ideal target for clubs seeking a potential mature-age gem.

4. St Kilda – Max Hall (Box Hill)
Midfielder | 183cm | 15/04/2002

Hall was highly rated at Box Hill and racked up big numbers as a junior with Eastern Ranges. He’s a running machine who joins in at stoppages as a high half-forward, applying great physicality at the contest to go with his work rate. Hall thrived with a greater weight of opportunity this season, achieving two 30-plus disposal outings and not dropping below 18 touches in his seven VFL games.

5. Hawthorn – Jasper Scaife (West Perth)
Key Forward | 197cm | 30/09/2004

A product of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, Scaife missed out on being drafted out of the Colts and state system but has excelled at League level as a 20-year-old. His early-season form was terrific, booting eight goals in the first three rounds to pop back on the draft radar. Scaife’s speed off the mark and set shot goalkicking make him a viable target inside 50 who only needs a few moments to impact.

6. Brisbane – Will McLachlan (Geelong Falcons)
Forward | 185cm | 13/04/2005

One of the most spoken about mid-season prospects, McLachlan leads the Coates Talent League goalkicking charts. He carried momentum from a strong end to 2023, posting four bags of five or more goals in six games for the Falcons. At 185cm, he is quick off the mark and capable of taking big grabs, while proving clinical in front of the big sticks on his preferred left foot.

7. Adelaide – Toby Murray (Adelaide SANFL)
Ruck/Key Forward | 200cm | 03/11/2003

Having twice been overlooked at the draft as a Murray Bushrangers player, Murray moved on to Adelaide’s SANFL list and hit the ground running with four goals on debut. The mobile ruck-forward also performed well with 16 disposals and seven marks in the Round 5 Showdown, but has not featured since. He has developed a readymade frame and has always been quite astute aerially.

8. Western Bulldogs – Kelsey Rypstra (North Adelaide)
Small Forward | 173cm | 02/05/2004

Playing his first season of senior football, Rypstra started out with two games in North Adelaide’s Reserves but has been a League mainstay ever since. While a relatively low-output type, the diminutive talent has great agility and overall running capacity. Rypstra is creative with ball in hand and can apply defensive pressure, plying his trade in one of the toughest roles in football.

9. Carlton – Cooper Lord (North Melbourne VFL)
Midfielder | 184cm | 20/03/2005

Carlton has targeted strong endurance runners of late and Lord falls into that category as another sturdy midfielder in line at the Blues. The over-ager was part of Sandringham’s premiership side last year and turned out once for them in 2024, but has played the majority of his football with North Melbourne’s VFL side. Clearly he did enough to build on his work as a top-ager last year having been overlooked.

10. Collingwood – Iliro Smit (Eastern Ranges)
Ruck | 200cm | 09/08/2005

Having endured his fair share of injury setbacks, Smit has earned higher honours having finally enjoyed an extended run of form. The raw and athletic talent hardly stuffs the stats sheet but has begun to dominate the ruck battles and is quite competitive on the follow-up. He has a knack for producing freakish goals but is very much a work in progress with considerable upside.

11. Melbourne – Luker Kentfield (Subiaco)
Key Forward/Ruck | 194cm | 10/09/2005

Perhaps somewhat of a surprise WAFL League debutant last year, Kentfield had a modest National Championships with Western Australia but remained on the radar as a strongly built and competitive key position player. His contested work and strength will hold up to a higher level of senior footy, and he has shown signs of boosting his output in four outings this year.

12. Port Adelaide – Logan Evans (Port Adelaide SANFL)
Defender | 189cm | 07/10/2005

Evans was considered a potential top 25 prospect at one point of his top-age season, but somewhat fell off the radar as the year progressed. He remained in Port Adelaide’s sights, as the Power listed him via their SANFL program from Norwood and got him up to speed with the system. Now, the rangy left-footed defender gets his chance to showcase the traits which once saw him rated so highly.

13. Essendon – Saad El-Hawli (Northern Bullants)
Defender | 184cm | 15/05/2001

A real bolter in multiple senses of the word, El-Hawli shot into contention this season with promising form for one of the VFL’s standalone clubs. His speed and flair off half-back are assets which Essendon would have been keen on, along with his ability to roll up to a wing or even through midfield. His selection comes on the back of a 33-disposal and two-goal game against Sydney’s reserves.

14. Sydney – Tom Hanily (Gippsland Power)
Midfielder/Forward | 178cm | 31/05/2005

Those at Gippsland Power were always high on Hanily and Sydney has now shown the same faith in picking him up. The Swans only recently surprised a few clubs by opening up a list spot, so would have had their eyes firmly on the target. Hanily is a crafty small with great agility and running power. He can rack up big numbers in midfield, but perhaps is more expected to play a high forward role.

15. North Melbourne – Brynn Teakle (East Fremantle)
Ruck/Key Forward | 203cm | 16/10/1999

Teakle is a relatively known quantity in AFL circles having spent two seasons on Port Adelaide’s senior list. A mid-season selection in 2022, he was delisted after playing six games and returned to East Fremantle where he again emerged as a top-up option. His size, experience, production levels, and ability to go forward appealed to North Melbourne, who were keen to get him in.

16. Richmond – Campbell Gray (Essendon VFL)
Key Forward/Defender | 195cm | 01/08/2003

Somewhat of an unknown coming into the season and draft, Gray suits Richmond’s style of utilising versatile key position players. He came into the VFL system as a defender but more recently caught the eye with his exploits in a move forward, where his mobility and high marking stood out. He booted 2.2 from four marks against the Tigers last week and has kicked multiple goals in his last four games.

17. Brisbane – Luke Beecken (Woodville-West Torrens)
Defender | 184cm | 18/04/2001

Beecken has long been on the draft radar having attended multiple state combines in South Australia, but is yet to get his chance. The hard-running rebound defender represented his state this year and has been a consistent performer for Woodville-West Torrens – accumulating between 20 and 30 disposals in each game aside from a Round 1 outlier.

19. Collingwood – Ned Long (Collingwood VFL)
Midfielder | 194cm | 05/02/2003

Long in Collingwood’s midst for a while having often trained with the senior side while turning out for the Pies’ VFL unit. The tall midfielder-forward played four games with Hawthorn and very nearly earned another chance via the SSP lifelines, but went on to prove himself with averages of 23.7 disposals and 9.3 tackles across six games instead. He was lauded for his endurance and versatility as a junior.

21. Brisbane – Darcy Craven (East Perth)
Small Forward | 174cm | 22/07/2004

Another surprise selection, saved until last, Craven is somewhat of a punt for Brisbane. The Lions liked what they saw from the speedy and skilled small forward, who started out the season in East Perth’s Reserves. He has since gone on to log three League games, including a 17-disposal and four-goal performance against West Coast.

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