Jakob Ryan

height: 188cm

weight: 79kg

D.O.B: 20-09-2004

Leagues: SANFL Under 18s, AFL U18 Championships

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “An athletic and versatile medium-tall with clean foot skills and sound marking ability, Jakob Ryan is among the highest rated Croweaters in the draft pool.”

Jakob Ryan is one of South Australia’s most well-performed draft prospects, having played consistent football at college, club and state level for a number of years. Ryan captured the attention of onlookers as a bottom-ager in 2021 with his play for Glenelg in the SANFL Under 18 competition, where he played well in a variety of roles. With his long blonde locks, Ryan proved hard to miss in the yellow and black, as a key member of the Bays’ side which made it to the Grand Final that year.

Throughout his 2021 campaign, Ryan’s 189cm frame and adaptable skillset saw him spend time on the wing, as a leading third-tall forward, and down back as an intercept marker. He booted five goals in seven Under 18 games, and was arguably Glenelg’s best player in the Grand Final defeat to Woodville-West Torrens. On that day at Adelaide Oval, Ryan announced himself by managing 20 disposals, five contested marks and seven inside 50s to go with a classy outside 50 goal from the boundary.

Ryan entered his top-age year with high expectations, and nestled into things by producing consecutive 28-disposal games for the Tigers playing as a half-back. It was in defence where Ryan spent most of the year, able to use his overhead marking strength and natural footballing smarts to intercept when the opposition went forward.

As the season wore on, Ryan split his time between Under 18 football with Glenelg and school football with Sacred Heart College. Playing a similar role in both sides would no-doubt have helped with the transition between the two setups. Ryan was ultra-consistent across all levels, taking his game to the next level by winning more of the ball and distributing it well by hand and foot.

Ryan also played a pivotal role in defence for South Australia at the National Championships where he was named his state’s best player in their match against Victoria Metro at GMHBA Stadium. The utility then deservedly made his Reserves debut for Glenelg in Round 13, taking 16 marks in two games and looking comfortable at the level.

Remarkably, Ryan’s Reserves debut would turn out to be his only loss for the season at school and club level. His strong individual season also culminated in team success, with Ryan winning a back-to-back premiership with Sacred Heart and also claiming redemption in the Bays’ Under 18 side.


+ Kicking
+ Versatility
+ Intercept marking
+ Reading the play
+ Run and carry
+ Character


- Contested work
- Strength

Jakob Ryan possesses a range of strengths which have enabled him to impact games at all levels he's played. Ryan's foot skills are a major component of his game, with his penetration and accuracy evident whether he is rebounding from defence, linking up on the wing or heading inside 50. He was often given the kick-in duties for Glenelg, Sacred Heart and South Australia, with his long-range passes clearing the 50-metre arc with relative ease.

Ryan plays with an attacking mindset which sees him take the game on wherever possible. He'll look to back in his speed and break opposition lines, particularly down back. However, in the air is where Ryan excels. His intercept marking stems from his intelligent positioning and ability to judge the flight of the ball in the air. He is strong in marking contests and able to nullify opponents one-on-one. Clubs will have been impressed with his ability to restrict the impact of promising Woodville-West Torrens tall Patrick Weckert in the college decider against Prince Alfred, showing he can handle the more defensive tasks.

Ryan's versatility could make him a lucrative option for clubs in the middle stages of the National Draft, as someone who has performed well in a number of roles. When sharp-shooter and promising 2023 prospect Ashton Moir missed Sacred Heart's intercol clash with Rostrevor, Ryan filled the void in attack and was an immediate focal point with his 189cm frame making him a tricky matchup for defenders.

Ryan has proven a class above in the SANFL Under 18 competition, averaging 28.4 disposals (lowest tally of 25), 6.8 marks and four rebounds in eight matches this season. His production has steadily increased from last year, which will be noted by recruiting staff.

Although his strengths are well pronounced, Ryan does play a heavily-outside game and will need to add some size to his frame in the AFL system in order to compete with the seasoned bodies. His taller frame could see him trialled as a marking midfielder, however his strengths are better suited to outside-leaning roles at this stage.



Jakob Ryan shapes as a strong option for a club seeking a skilful medium-sized prospect capable of playing a range of roles. He’ll likely start as an intercepter and rebounder in defence, where he spent the majority of his top-age year, but could easily move further up the field if required. Touted as a likely draft selection since impressing as a bottom-ager in the SANFL Under 18 Grand Final, Ryan is a player with high-character who has been among the most consistent producers in South Australia.

Intercept marking
Reading the play
Contested work

AFL U18 Championships

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SANFL Under 18s

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