Knightmare's AFL Draft Power Rankings: May

Each month, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Christopher Doerre - aka Knightmare - unveils his power rankings to give readers an early insight into the top 20 prospects ahead of the 2017 draft.

As well as attending live games, Doerre pores through match vision, analyses the stats and talks to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful analysis.

However, these rankings are his personal opinions, and are not reflective of the thoughts of AFL clubs.

Aside from his monthly power rankings Doerre also produces a weekly draft wrap and he will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft in November.

1. Cameron Rayner (VIC)
Best position: General forward
Height, weight: 187cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Western Jets
Projected draft range: Top 10
Similar to: Dustin Martin
April Ranking: 8
Rationale: Rayner's 23 disposals and three goals in the AFL Academy MCG curtain-raiser sees Rayner rise in draft calculations. Winning 68 percent of the ball in contested situations through his first two TAC Cup games and being as prolific as he is forward of centre is a winning combination.
Strengths:
- Contested ball
- Scoreboard impact
- Contested marking
- Strong hands overhead
- Marking threat on the lead
- Powerful and damaging kick
- Vision
- Decision making
- Damaging both as a forward and midfielder
- Clearances
- Evasiveness
- Strength
- Powerful fend-off
- Stands up through tackles
- Clean at ground level
- Production
- Big-game performances
Weaknesses:
- Endurance

2. Luke Davies-Uniacke (VIC)
Best position: Outside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 187cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: Top 10
Similar to: Michael Barlow
April Ranking: 7
Rationale: After gathering a team-high 22 disposals and six clearances for AFL Academy against VFL club Northern Blues, in addition to a best on ground performance in his single TAC Cup match so far, Davies-Uniacke's draft stocks are on the rise.
Strengths:
- Stoppage work
- Contested ball
- Reading of ruck taps
- Gets to best spots at stoppages
- Clearances
- Scoreboard impact
- Clean at ground level
- Quick hands in close
- Rate of improvement
- Overhead marking
- Versatility
- Strength
- Stands up through tackles
- Work rate
Weaknesses:
- Lacking hurt factor
- Athleticism

3. Jarrod Brander (VIC)
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 195cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Joe Daniher
April Ranking: 1
Rationale: Only OK during the Under-18 Academy series so far which sees him drop slightly. He remains first on many draft boards and is still regarded this year's best key forward with his mix of attributes and solid 2016 performances.
Strengths:
- Clean at ground level
- Agility
- Pace
- Marking threat on the lead
- Strong hands overhead
- Contested marking
- Stands up through tackles
- Strong 2016 performances
Weaknesses:
- Conversion in front of goal

4. Darcy Fogarty (SA)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 192cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Glenelg
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Jake Stringer
April Ranking: 2
Rationale: Moves down as others rise.
Strengths:
- Strength
- Contested ball winning
- Clearances
- Contested marking
- Body-on-body strength
- Overhead marking
- Fend offs
- Stands up through tackles
- Courage
- Competitiveness
- Versatility to play anywhere other than ruck
- Scoreboard impact
- Clean ball user by hand and foot
- Vision
- Decision-making
- Evasion
Weaknesses:
- Endurance

5. Sam Hayes (VIC)
Best position: Ruck/key forward
Height, weight: 203cm, 93kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Matthew Kreuzer
April Ranking: 3
Rationale: Performing strongly through the ruck and also showing strong signs up forward. Only drops due to others rising.
Strengths:
- Vice-like hands overhead
- Contested marking
- Body-on-body strength
- Marking on the lead
- Taps to advantage
- Smarts
- Scoreboard impact
- Equally capable as ruckman or forward
- Production
- Finds the ball around the ground
- Performances on the board
- Advanced game
- Mobile
Weaknesses:
- Pressure defensively

6. Connor Ballenden (QLD - Brisbane Academy)
Best position: Key forward/ruck
Height, weight: 199cm, 95kg
Recruited from: University of Queensland
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Kurt Tippett
April Ranking: 4
Rationale: Drops as others have risen.
Strengths:
- Size and strength
- Contested marking
- Reading of the flight
- Scoreboard impact
- Mobile
- Capable as either a ruckman or key forward
Weaknesses:
- Pressure defensively

7. Noah Balta (VIC)
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 194cm, 92kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Darcy Moore
April Ranking: 5
Rationale: Has started the season slower than many would like with no goals from his first three TAC Cup games. Needing to play heavy minutes through the ruck and up the field, he been unable to settle into the one position to find continuity.
Strengths:
- Freakishly clean and one touch at ground level
- Pace breaks the lines
- Agility
- Leap
- Strength
- Contested marking
- Stands up through tackles
- Unselfish
- Tackling
- Versatility to play any positions
- Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses: Unclear best position Inconsistent performances

8. Callum Coleman-Jones (SA)
Best position: Key forward/ruck
Height, weight: 199cm, 98kg
Recruited from: Sturt
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Thomas Boyd
April Ranking: 6
Rationale: Drops as others have risen.
Strengths:
- Contested marking
- Strong hands overhead
- Intercept marking
- Reading of the flight
- Size
- Strength
- Physicality
- Scoreboard impact
- Tap work;
- Prolific both as a key forward and ruckman suggesting ideal relieving ruckman
Weaknesses:
- Pace
- Agility
- Endurance
- Not always clean at ground level

9. Lochie O'Brien (VIC)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Pearce Hanley
April Ranking: 9
Profile: Finding a lot of the ball and doing his best work on the outside, Lochie O'Brien is an outside runner, who evades tackles, uses the ball cleanly on his left foot, is strong overhead and in the one-on-one contests. O'Brien averaged 24 disposals per game through his five TAC Cup games and has also showed proficiency winning the contested ball.
Strengths:
- Acceleration
- Line breaking
- Evasiveness
- Agility
- Precise and damaging kick
- Vision
- Decision-making
- Overhead marking
- Production
- Versatility to play midfield or on flanks at either end
Weaknesses:
- Stoppage work

10. Jaidyn Stephenson (VIC)
Best position: General forward
Height, weight: 189cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jamie Cripps
April Ranking: 12
Rationale: Rises slightly after showing capability to win the ball at centre bounces against Geelong Falcons.
Strengths:
- High leap
- Aerial marking threat
- Clean at ground level
- Tackling pressure
- Acceleration
- Agility
- Reading of ruck taps
- Composed with ball in hand
- Takes on the game with his run
- Clean ball user
- Decision-making
- Vision
- Possible midfield capability
Weaknesses: Hands overhead inconsistent; strength

11. Toby Wooller (VIC)
Best position: General forward/inside midfield
Height, weight: 193cm, 90kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Charlie Curnow
April Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Through April dominated for three weeks as a key forward then starred through the midfield on Saturday. Uncommon talent.
Strengths:
- Clean at ground level
- Agility
- Acceleration
- Reading of ruck taps
- Wins contested ball in close
- Scoreboard impact
- Equally comfortable forward or through the midfield
- Reading of ball in flight
Weaknesses:
- Presence up forward

12. Aaron Naughton (WA)
Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 194cm, 84kg
Recruited from: Peel Thunder
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jack Hombsch
April Ranking: 13
Rationale: 40 marks from first five games sees stocks increase.
Strengths:
- Intercept marking
- Strong hands overhead
- Reading the flight
- Contested marking
- Wins one-on-one contests
- Keeps his feet in the contest
- Agility
- Acceleration
Weaknesses:
- High, loopy kick

13. Hunter Clark (VIC)
Best position: Outside midfield/general defence
Height, weight: 186cm, 79kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Brodie Smith
April Ranking: 11
Rationale: Drops slightly as others rise, but a 14-contested possession, seven tackle and eight clearance game against Sandringham in his first TAC Cup match for the season was a great sign from someone who has mostly played on the outside.
Strengths:
- Precise
- Dual-sided kick
- Acceleration
- Run and carry
- Agility
- Evasiveness
- Versatility to play midfield or back
Weaknesses:
- Intercept marking

14. Adam Cerra (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfielder
Height, weight: 186cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: Second round onwards
Similar to: Jobe Watson
April Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: In his first three games for Eastern, has featured in the bests. One of this year's most advanced midfielders.
Strengths:
- Contested ball winning
- Stoppage work
- Clearances
- Stands up through tackles
- Strong build
- Production
- Strong mark overhead
- Clean ball user
- Decision making
- Vision
- Production
Weaknesses: No clear second position; athleticism

15. James Worpel (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 185cm, 84kg
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Brad Sewell
April Ranking: 10
Rationale: Unreliable kicking sees him drop.
Strengths:
- Stoppage specialist
- Powerful tackler
- Contested ball winning
- Clearances
- Strong build
- Stands up in tackles
- Powerful fend-offs
- Courageous
Weaknesses:
- Unreliable kick

16. Cassidy Parish (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 190cm, 84kg
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Projected draft range: First to third round
April Ranking: 14
Rationale: Drops marginally as others improve. Production in TAC Cup consistently strong but needs to add further strings to his bow to rise further.
Strengths:
- Contested ball winning
- Stoppage work
- Clearances
- Gets to the right spots at stoppages
- Production
Weaknesses:
- Overhead marking
- Reading of the flight
- Kicking
- Lacks a second position

17. Lachlan Pascoe (SA)
Best position: General defence/general forward
Height, weight: 190cm, 89kg
Recruited from: Norwood
Projected draft range: Second round onwards
Similar to: Dane Rampe
April Ranking: 16
Rationale: Performing consistently in SANFL Reserves but drops marginally as others rise.
Strengths:
- Long, damaging kick
- Vision
- Decision-making
- Intercept marking
- Strong mark overhead
- Reading of the ball in flight
- Effective back and forward
- Production
Weaknesses:
- Endurance

18. Isaac Hewson (SA)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Norwood
Projected draft range: First to third round
Similar to: James Kelly
April Ranking: 17
Rationale: Performing consistently in SANFL Reserves but drops marginally as others rise.
Strengths:
- Contested ball winning
- Clearances
- Stoppage work
- Reliable kick
- Decision-making
- Vision Production
Weaknesses:
- Pace

19. Patrick Naish (VIC - Richmond - father-son)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 69kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: First to third round
Similar to: Connor Menadue
April Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: A talent who is producing and hitting the scoreboard.
Strengths: Agility; evasiveness; awareness and composure in traffic; class; acceleration; run and carry; impact per disposal; scoreboard impact
Weaknesses: Contested ball winning; size

20. Jackson Edwards (SA - Adelaide - father-son)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 73kg
Recruited from: Glenelg
Projected draft range: Second round onwards
Similar to: Leigh Montagna
April Ranking: 15
Rationale: Drops as others rise.
Strengths:
- Classy ball user on both sides
- Evasive
- Endurance
- Work rate
- Wins contested ball
- Production
- Capable as inside or outside midfielder
Weaknesses:
- Lacks an x-factor