Knightmare's AFL Draft Power Rankings: July

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/inside midfielder
Height, weight: 187cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Western Jets
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Dustin Martin
June Ranking: 1
Rationale: Contested ball winning beast who is hitting the scoreboard in bunches. Big Under-18 Championships sees him retain top position and create separation.
Strengths:
Damaging both as a forward and midfielder
Aggression
Scoreboard impact
Strength
Powerful fend off
Can burst through tackles at speed or stand up through tackles and deliver handball to target
Clean at ground level
Contested ball winning
Clearances
Draws free kicks
Explosive pace
Evasiveness in traffic
High leaper
Tackles with force
Plays with desperation and provides second and third efforts
Powerful and damaging kick over distance
Vision
Decision making
One-on-one marking
Marking threat on the lead
Aerial marking
Production
Big game performer
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Set shot goalkicking

2. Paddy Dow (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 78kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Luke Shuey
June Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Possesses a winning mix of attributes and impact per possession through the midfield with contested ball winning, acceleration from the contest and skillset. Under-18 Championships performances have made clear that he is a top end prospect. May be the best midfielder in this draft.
Strengths:
First possession winner at coalface
Stoppage work
Burst out of stoppages at speed
Acceleration
Desperation
Tackling
High impact per possession
Clean skills
Lowers eyes
Composure
Evasive in traffic
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Needs to find more of the ball

3. Luke Davies-Uniacke (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 187cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Ollie Wines
June Ranking: 2
Rationale: Slight drop with below expectation Under-18 Championships performances.
Strengths:
Stoppage work
Contested ball winning
Reading of ruck taps
Gets to best spots at stoppages
Clearances
Explosive 10m burst of speed to break away from contest
Clean at ground level
Vision
Decision making
Quick hands in close
Scoreboard impact
Overhead marking
Strength
Strength through core and hips to keep his feet in the contest and stands up through tackles
Midfield with versatility to play forward or back
Has played his best football against more mature bodies
Weaknesses:
Placement of kicks mildly inconsistent
Can have quiet games or quiet patches in games

4. Will Sutherland (VIC)
Best position: General forward
Height, weight: 195cm, 90kg
Recruited from: Scotch College
Projected draft range: Top ten
Similar to: Jeremy Cameron
June Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Previously left out of these power rankings under assumption that he would choose a career in cricket. The choice by Sutherland to participate in this year's Under-18 Championships means he needs to enter the discussion. Possesses the upside to be the best in the draft.
Strengths:
Aggressiveness and intimidation
Loves the physical side of the game
Clean at ground level
Tackles with force
Acceleration
Agility
Repeat speed
Bodywork in one-on-one contests
Takes marks at highest point
Long and reliable kick
Versatility to play key forward or as a midfielder
Weaknesses:
Overhead marking needs to become consistently one grab
Limited exposure against good opponents with only the three Under-18 Championships matches played and no TAC Cup football under his belt
Endurance
Strength

5. Jarrod Brander (VIC)
Best position: Key forward/key defence
Height, weight: 195cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: Top ten
Similar to: Josh Bruce
June Ranking: 4
Rationale: Has had an inconsistent Under-18 Championships. Played his best game in the final round against Vic Metro as a key forward. Possesses attributes to suggest he could develop at either end of the field.
Strengths:
Clean at ground level
Agility
Pace
Endurance
Work rate
Marking threat on the lead
Strong hands overhead
Contested marking
Intercept marking
Clean field kick
Stands up through tackles
Versatility to play key forward or key defence
Weaknesses:
Conversion in front of goal
Can struggle down back to contain key forwards

6. Adam Cerra (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfielder
Height, weight: 186cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Jobe Watson
June Ranking: 12
Rationale: Missing much of 2017 with a meniscus injury in his knee is performing strongly. He's winning clearances, first possession at stoppages and displaying class and clean ball use. One of this year's best midfielders.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Stoppage work
Clearances
Stands up through tackles
Strong build
Production
Strong mark overhead
One-on-one marking
Clean at ground level
Clean ball user
Decision making
Vision
Composure under pressure
Production
Evasiveness
Endurance
Work rate
Best suited through midfield but can also be utilised down back or up forward
Weaknesses:
Acceleration

7. 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
June Ranking: 5
Rationale: Performing strongly and consistently through the ruck while also proving a threat when he pushes forward.
Strengths:
Taps to advantage
Often takes ball out of ruck contest himself
Football smarts
Vice-like hands overhead, taking marks at the highest point
Contested marking
Body-on-body strength
Marking on the lead
Scoreboard impact
Finds the ball around the ground
Production
Advanced game for age
Mobile
Capable as ruckman or key forward
Weaknesses:
Pressure defensively
Only average leaper

8. Callum Coleman-Jones (SA)
Best position: Ruck/key forward
Height, weight: 199cm, 98kg
Recruited from: Sturt
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Toby Nankervis
June Ranking: 8
Rationale: Big body who can take a mark, find a lot of the ball around the ground and has the performances on the board both through the ruck and up forward.
Strengths:
Contested marking
Strong hands overhead Intercept marking
Reading of the flight
Size
Strength
Physicality
Clean at ground level
Disposal numbers per game through the ruck
Scoreboard impact
Taps to advantage
Mobility
Production
Prolific both as a key forward and ruckman suggesting ideal relieving ruckman
Very advanced game for age
Weaknesses:
Poor leaper
Lacks explosiveness
Awkward kicking style

9. Connor Ballenden (QLD - Brisbane Academy)
Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 199cm, 95kg
Recruited from: University of Queensland
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Jeremy McGovern
June Ranking: 6
Rationale: Has had an up and down Under-18 Championships with some good moments on occasion as a key forward and through the ruck without being consistent enough. Seems to have found his best position as a key defender, with both of his games down back outstanding.
Strengths:
Intercept marking
Reading of the flight
Size and strength
Contested marking
Kicking
Vision
Decision making
Physical style of play
Scoreboard impact
Forceful tackler
Versatility to play key defence, ruck or key forward
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Work rate
Athleticism
Lateral movement
Acceleration
Inconsistent performances

10. Noah Balta (VIC)
Best position: Key forward/key defence
Height, weight: 194cm, 92kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jonathon Marsh
June Ranking: 7
Rationale: Has shown glimpses of talent
Strengths:
Freakishly clean and one touch at ground level
Pace
Breaks the lines
Agility
Leap
Strength
Contested marking
Difficult to contain one the lead or leaping up at the football
Takes marks at full stretch
Stands up through tackles
Unselfish
Tackling
Scoreboard impact
Versatility to play either end well
Possible scope to develop into a tall midfielder
Weaknesses:
Unclear best position
Inconsistent performances
Needs to find more of the football
Football smarts

11. Darcy Fogarty (SA)
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 192cm, 88kg
Recruited from: Glenelg
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Jack Darling
June Ranking: 3
Rationale: Below expectation Under-18 Championships with his exceptionally quiet against Vic Metro with only the four disposals forcing the drop. Still looks very developable in a number of positions but needs to find form.
Strengths:
Strength
Contested ball winning
Clearances
Contested marking
Body-on-body strength
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
High leaper
Evasion
Agility
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Unclear best position
Production
Inconsistent performances
Poor Under-18 Championships

12. Jack Higgins (VIC)
Best position: General forward/outside midfield
Height, weight: 178cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Lewis Taylor
June Ranking: 15
Rationale: Has been the most productive midfielder during the Under-18 Championships and rises slightly on the back of consistently strong performances.
Strengths:
One touch at ground level
Natural crumbing forward
Kicking skills on both sides of the body
Goal sense
Lowers his eyes and hits forward 50m targets
Plays taller than his height with his overhead marking
Capable one-on-one mark
Tackling pressure
Plays well as forward or midfielder
Production
Leap
Agility
Endurance
Work rate
Work ethic
Consistent performer
Weaknesses:
Impact per possession low as midfielder

13. Jaidyn Stephenson (VIC)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 189cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Kamdyn McIntosh
June Ranking: 16
Rationale: Stephenson has been inconsistent this season. On the back of his performance for Vic Metro against South Australia he rises on the back of a 28 disposal, five goal effort where he providing meaningful run and carry on a wing in a truly match-winning performance.
Strengths: High leaper
Aerial marking threat
Clean at ground level
Takes on the game with his run and is a genuine line breaker
Acceleration
Agility
Tackling pressure
Reading of ruck taps
Composed with ball in hand
Vision Versatility
to play wing, forward or on the ball for patches as needed
Weaknesses:
Hands overhead inconsistent
Strength
Consistency from game to game
Kicking mildly lacking consistency

14. Nicholas Coffield (VIC)
Best position: General defence/inside midfield
Height, weight: 190cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jackson Nelson
June Ranking: 13
Rationale: One of the few players this year with genuine class and composure with ball in hand. At his height and mix of attributes has the scope to develop into a midfielder.
Strengths:
Sidestepping and composure in traffic
Sound decision maker in traffic
Classy ball user and clean kick over a variety of distances
Agility
Clean at ground level
Intercept marking
Production
Weaknesses:
Having played mostly back, he remains somewhat unproven as a midfielder other than for short periods
Contested ball winning
Stoppage work

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
June Ranking: 17
Rationale: Powerful stoppage work and impact around the ball sees Worpel rise slightly. Looks ready to go.
Strengths:
Stoppage specialist
Powerful tackler
Contested ball winning
Clearances
Strong build
Strength through the hips allows Worpel to stand up when tackled and deliver a clean handball to a target without going to ground
Powerful fend offs
Courageous
Can hit the ball at speed and win it at full pace
Consistent performer
Acceleration
Agility
Leadership
Weaknesses:
Unreliable kick

16. Brayden Crossley (QLD - Gold Coast Academy)
Best position: Ruck
Height, weight: 198cm, 105kg
Recruited from: Labrador Tigers
Projected draft range: Second round onwards
Similar to: Braydon Preuss
June Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Strength in the ruck combined with his rare followup work by position. Crossley has the scope to develop into a monster of a ruckman.
Strengths:
Roves off a contest like a small
Recovery after ruck contests rare
Followup work with ground ball winning and tackling exceptional
Physical
impact around the ball
Freakish cleanness at ground level for someone his height/size
Strength
Bodywork in the contest
Agile
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Leap
Acceleration

17. Andrew Brayshaw (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 183cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: First round to second round
Similar to: Angus Brayshaw
June Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Strong position and mix of attributes see Brayshaw earn top 20 position.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Tackling
Stoppage work
One touch at ground level
Footy smarts
Kicking
Vision
Endurance
Weaknesses:
Athleticism
No clear second position

18. Lochie O'Brien (VIC)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 75kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Pearce Hanley
June Ranking: 9
Rationale: Does damage on the outside and also finds enough of the ball. Drops due to underwhelming contested ball winning.
Strengths:
Arguably the best kick in the draft with his precision based on variety of kicks, hurt factor and dual sided kicking
Lowers eyes
Vision
Decision making
Line breaker
Acceleration
Evasiveness
Agility
Overhead marking
Production
Versatility to play midfield or on flanks at either end
Weaknesses:
Stoppage work
Contested ball winning

19. Jack Petruccelle (VIC)
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 184cm, 73kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Lin Jong
June Ranking: 11
Rationale: Combination of contested ball winning, pace and scoreboard impact make Petruccelle one of this year's more interesting midfield prospects. Quiet Under-18 Championships sees Petruccelle drop.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning
Acceleration
Breakaway speed from the contest
Aerial marking
Scoreboard impact
Tackling pressure
Protects the drop zone and has the strength to win one-on-one marking contests
Possesses the versatility to impact games through the midfield or up forward
Weaknesses:
Kicking consistency
Needs to find more outside ball
Consistency from game to game

20. Patrick Naish (VIC - Richmond - Father Son)
Best position: Outside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 69kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Connor Menadue
June Ranking: 20
Rationale: Playing high impact per possession football and is one of this year's premier ball users and line breakers.
Strengths:
Agility
Evasiveness
Kicking
Vision
Awareness and composure in traffic
Class
Acceleration
Run and carry
Impact per disposal
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning
Size