PROFILED: Top Mid-Season Draft Prospects

A LIST of 24 players were nominated by AFL clubs to undergo medicals ahead of the 2024 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, featuring a range of talent from mature-age state leaguers, to those overlooked last year, and a couple of former AFL-listed players. We profiled each of them ahead of tonight’s intake.

>> Need to Know: 2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft


Ben Hopkins (Dandenong Stingrays)
Defender | 190cm | 28/07/2005

2024 averages: 5 games | 26.6 disposals, 4.6 marks, 6.2 rebound 50s

Hopkins has come on strongly as an over-ager, continuing his rapid development having entered the Dandenong program as a relative unknown last year. The rebound defender has always been a strong runner, but is beginning to add weapons like intercept marking and dynamic kicking to his game. In his latest outing, he impressed with a late move into midfield en route to 28 disposals and five marks.

Remy MacLean (Eastern Ranges)
Key Forward | 196cm | 14/10/2005

2024 averages: 7 games | 8.9 disposals, 4.7 marks, 1.7 goals (12 total)

MacLean remains on the radar in 2024 on the back of a switch from defence to the forward line, where he has booted 12 goals in seven Coates Talent League appearances this season. His best performance was his most recent, booting 4.2 from 15 touches and seven marks in one final audition. MacLean’s athleticism and ability to hit the scoreboard – in six of seven games – will appeal.

Will McLachlan (Geelong Falcons)
Forward | 185cm | 13/04/2005

2024 averages: 6 games | 12.0 disposals, 5.0 marks, 4.3 goals (26 total)

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.

Geordie Payne (Tasmania Devils)
Midfielder/Forward | 184cm | 06/11/2005

2024 averages: 5 games | 22.0 disposals, 5.8 tackles, 2.4 goals (12 total)

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.

Joe Pike (Geelong Falcons)
Ruck | 203cm | 17/05/2005

2024 averages: 5 games | 15.2 disposals, 3.4 marks, 24.4 hitouts

In his third season with the Geelong Falcons, Pike has taken his game to another level. The imposing 203cm ruckman cuts a mean figure and has come back covering the ground much better in 2024, while continuing to develop his forward craft. His Coates Talent League exploits earned him a VFL debut with Geelong, posting 11 disposals, 30 hitouts and two goals in an impressive maiden outing.

Iliro Smit (Eastern Ranges)
Ruck | 200cm | 09/08/2005

2024 averages: 7 games | 6.3 disposals, 2.1 marks, 17.6 hitouts

Having endured his fair share of injury setbacks, Smit remains in the hunt for 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.

Dayten Uerata (Bendigo Pioneers)
Midfielder/Forward | 184cm | 28/10/2005

2024 averages: 5 games | 16.8 disposals, 4.6 tackles, 5.6 inside 50s

Another player who has taken his game to a new level in 2024, Uerata earned captaincy honours for Bendigo and made a promising start to his over-age campaign. The powerful midfielder-forward has a blend of grunt and flair, able to use his strength on the inside or burn away with speed on the outer. He most recently turned out at VFL level with Essendon, managing nine disposals and four tackles.

Lachlan Voss (Sandringham Dragons)
Key Defender | 199cm | 19/04/2005

2024 averages: 3 games | 13.0 disposals, 4.3 marks, 1.7 rebound 50s

A competitive key defender who was part of Sandringham’s 2023 premiership, Voss is beginning to hit his stride in 2024. He took on some big roles as a top-ager against the likes of Nate Caddy and is capable of shutting down dangerous forwards, while also peeling off to intercept. Injuries have plagued him to an extent, only playing three games this year and 14 in the last three seasons.


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

2024 averages: 7 games | 22.7 disposals, 5.4 marks, 4.3 rebound 50s

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.

Noah Howes (South Adelaide)
Key Forward | 196cm | 28/10/2005

2024 averages: 6 games | 7.3 disposals, 4.0 marks, 1.5 goals (9 total)

Having worked through several injury setbacks, Howes ended his top-age season on a high note with three goals in South Adelaide’s SANFL Under 18 Grand Final victory. As an over-ager, he has featured exclusively at League level with nine goals in six games – including two hauls of three. Howes also booted two majors in his state Under 18 debut on Sunday, displaying great athleticism and aerial ability.

Matthew Ling (Norwood)
Defender | 184cm | 21/04/1999

2024 averages: 6 games | 19.7 disposals, 5.2 marks, 3.3 rebound 50s

One of two former AFL-listed players nominated to undergo a medical, Ling is back in contention for higher honours. The 2017 first round draftee managed just four games at the elite level before heading back to Geelong VFL en route to current club, Norwood. Ling possesses a sweet left foot and terrific rebound ability, showcasing both in his senior state debut for South Australia this year.

Toby Murray (Adelaide)
Ruck/Key Forward | 200cm | 03/11/2003

2024 averages: 5 games | 10.4 disposals, 4.8 marks, 1.2 goals (6 total)

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.

Will Patton (West Adelaide)
Defender | 192cm | 04/01/2005

2024 averages: 7 games | 16.1 disposals, 5.6 marks, 4.6 rebound 50s

Patton was a highly touted junior all the way through South Australia’s pathway, earning National Academy selection, All Australian honours and state captaincy as a top-ager last year. He’s a tall, left-footed defender with sound distributive skills and the ability to intercept at 192cm. Having had his season cut short by shoulder surgery last year, he has hit the ground running at League level in 2024.

Kelsey Rypstra (North Adelaide)
Small Forward | 173cm | 02/05/2004

2024 averages: 5 games | 10.6 disposals, 3.4 tackles, 3.6 inside 50s

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 a keen eye for goal. Rypstra is creative with ball in hand and can apply defensive pressure, plying his trade in one of the toughest roles in football.


Corey Ellison (Williamstown)
Key Forward | 194cm | 24/08/2000

2024 averages: 8 games | 11.8 disposals, 5.3 marks, 1.5 goals (12 total)

Ellison made his way through the Dandenong Stingrays pathway and has become a nailed on state leaguer since. Formerly a defender, the 23-year-old has put himself on the draft radar as a key forward over the last couple of seasons and has 12 goals to his name in eight games this year. Ellison’s aerial ability and ball use are strong, but he’s looking to boost his overall output.

Caleb Ernst (Coburg)
Key Forward | 195cm | 12/10/2002

2024 averages: 6 games | 8.7 disposals, 2.7 marks, 3.3 tackles

Ernst is a strong-bodied forward who plied his trade in every key position post as a junior, and is continuing to find his way in the VFL. The Bendigo Pioneers product has promising athletic traits and attacks the aerial ball with vigour, showcasing great strength in contested situations. He had a good performance against the AFL Academy this year and remains thereabouts in what is usually a talls’ draft.

Max Hall (Box Hill)
Midfielder | 183cm | 15/04/2002

2024 averages: 7 games | 23.6 disposals, 6.1 marks, 4.3 tackles

Hall is 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 has 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.

Jack Hutchinson (Collingwood VFL)
Forward | 190cm | 10/11/2001

2024 averages: 7 games | 9.4 disposals, 3.4 marks, 1.3 goals (9 total)

Hutchinson’s highlight reel has done the rounds this year, with the Wonthaggi product coming from a long way back to be in mid-season draft contention. 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 make him the ideal target for clubs seeking a potential mature-age gem.

Ajang Kuol mun (Geelong VFL)
Ruck | 205cm | 15/08/2002

2024 averages: 5 games | 6.4 disposals, 3.2 tackles, 22.2 hitouts

Kuol mun has a terrific story and is relatively new to football. Having come from a soccer background, he dominated his local competition and had VFL clubs clamouring for his services before taking his talent to Geelong. The 205cm ruckman is quite raw in a footballing sense but looks physically ready and competes hard in the contest. He looms as a developable type with high upside.

Tobyn Murray (Geelong VFL)
Forward/Midfielder | 180cm | 05/05/2005

2024 averages: 3 games | 6.3 disposals, 3.0 marks, 2.0 goals (6 total)

Murray cut his teeth as a midfielder for the Geelong Falcons and has gone on to be effective forward of centre in his VFL games with the Cats. He booted six goals (two and four) in his first two outings and went on to have a terrific Young Guns game through the middle, maintaining his ability to hit the scoreboard. Speed and energy are among his greatest strengths, going both ways.

Oskar Smartt (Essendon VFL)
Midfielder/Forward | 180cm | 26/10/2005

2024 averages: 6 games | 8.7 disposals, 2.0 tackles, 1.0 goals (6 total)

There is plenty of power in Smartt’s game. The midfielder-forward had a breakout VFL game in Round 3 against Footscray, booting four goals from 12 disposals to showcase his potential. At 180cm, he competes well aerially and has the ability to burst away from congestion by pure force. Smartt also hits the scoreboard and while erratic at times, is capable of pulling off eye-catching plays.


Jacob Blight (Peel Thunder)
Key Defender | 196cm | 14/12/2001

2024 averages: 18.4 disposals, 11.7 kicks, 8.7 marks

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, firming as a readymade option who fits the modern day key back mould.

Jasper Scaife (West Perth)
Key Forward | 197cm | 30/09/2004

2024 averages: 10.0 disposals, 4.9 marks, 1.6 goals

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.

Brynn Teakle (East Fremantle)
Ruck | 203cm | 16/10/1999

2024 averages: 15.7 disposals, 3.4 marks, 35.3 hitouts

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 has again emerged as a top-up option. His size, experience, production levels, and ability to go forward will appeal to sides like Collingwood, where he spent some of the preseason.

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