Knightmare's AFL Draft Power Rankings: November

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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.

These are his final rankings for 2017, with the AFL draft to be held on Friday night in Sydney.

ESPN.com.au's draft coverage will ramp up through the week, with Doerre to assess the draft's most underrated prospects on Wednesday, a live Q&A on Thursday evening and his final, full phantom draft on Friday.

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
October Ranking: 1
Rationale: Tops the rankings with his impact forward of centre making him the most damaging of the difficult-to-separate top-four prospects.
Strengths:
Damaging both as a forward and midfielder
Aggression
Scoreboard impact
Strength
Powerful fend-off
Burst through tackles at speed
Stands up through tackles and delivers handballs to target
Clean at ground level
First possession winner at stoppages
Contested ball-winner
Clearances
Draws free kicks
Explosive pace
Evasiveness in traffic
High leap
Tackles with force
Plays with desperation and provides second and third efforts
Powerful and damaging kick over distance often with good placement
Vision
Decision-making
One-on-one marking
Marking on the lead
Aerial marking
Production
Big game and big moment performer
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Set shot goal kicking
Kicking mildly inconsistent

2. 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: Patrick Dangerfield
October Ranking: 2
Rationale: Big game performer and efforts against more mature bodies is what separates Davies-Uniacke from the other top-end prospects. Promise when pushing deep forward and isolated one-on-one and his acceleration out of stoppages sees Davies-Uniacke rated the next most damaging of this year's top tier.
Strengths:
Stoppage work
Contested ball-winning
Reading of ruck taps
Smart positioning at stoppages
Clearance winner
Explosive 10m burst of speed to break away from contest
Freakishly clean and one touch at ground level
Vision
Decision-making
Precise short kick to target
Quick hands in close
Scoreboard impact
Overhead marking
Strength in one-on-one contests to gain and hold front position consistently
Strength through core and hips to keep his feet in the contest and stands up through tackles
A matchup nightmare up forward with one-on-one strength and nous at ground level
Has played his best football against more mature bodies
Big game, big moment performer
Weaknesses:
Placement of kicks over medium and long distance inconsistent
Can have quiet games or quiet patches in games

3. Adam Cerra (VIC)

Best position: Inside midfielder
Height, weight: 186cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: Top 10
Similar to: Trent Cotchin
October Ranking: 3
Rationale: Cerra is as dominant and classy as any midfield in this year's draft crop. Less exposed form and slight lack of explosiveness is all that places him slightly behind Rayner and Davies-Uniacke.
Strengths:
Contested ball-winning
Wins first possession at stoppages
Stoppage work
Wins clearances
Stands up through tackles
Strong build
Powerful mark overhead
One-on-one marking
Clean at ground level
Clean ball user on both sides of the body
Decision-making
Vision
Composure under pressure
Production
Evasiveness
Endurance
Workrate
Best suited through midfield but can also be utilised forward or back
Weaknesses:
Acceleration

4. Paddy Dow (VIC)

Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 185cm, 78kg
Recruited from: Bendigo Pioneers
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Joel Selwood
October Ranking: 4
Rationale: Contested ball-winning capabilities only equalled by Cerra of the top tier midfielders. Has acceleration from contest but overall marginally less hurt-factor is all that sees Dow placed behind Rayner, Davies-Uniacke and Cerra.
Strengths:
First-possession winner at stoppages
Contested ball-winner
Wins clearances
Burst out of stoppages at speed
Acceleration
Desperation
Tackling
Clean skills
Lowers eyes
Composure in traffic
Evasiveness
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
At stoppages can be prone to bombing long for territory rather than taking his time to consider his options

5. Darcy Fogarty (SA)

Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 192cm, 95kg
Recruited from: Glenelg
Projected draft range: Top 10
Similar to: Jake Stringer
October Ranking: 6
Rationale: While 2018 was a letdown due to meniscus tear which resulted in below expected form, Fogarty is one of a small few of this year's draft crop with the scope to be one of, if not the best, with his combination of attributes.
Strengths:
Strength
Contested ball-winning
Clearance winner
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 leap
Evasion
Agility
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Unclear best position
Inconsistent 2017 performances and production
Poor Under-18 Championships

6. Noah Balta (VIC)

Best position: Key forward/key defence
Height, weight: 195cm, 95kg
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jarrad Waite
October Ranking: 5
Rationale: Balta's attributes and on-field impact means he has the potential to be the best key position player in the draft. He only drops below Fogarty because he's more likely to be the best key position player, whereas Fogarty has the scope to be the best in the entire draft.
Strengths:
Versatility to impact games in any of the 18 field positions
Freakishly clean and one touch at ground level
Wins the ball cleanly at speed
Explosive, breakaway pace from congestion
Breaks the lines
Burst athlete who can get several touches in chains forward
Agility
Vertical leap
Strength
Contested marking
Gets front position in marking contests
Reads the drop of the ball early
Difficult to contain on the lead or leaping up at the football
Takes marks at full stretch
Stands up through tackles
Tackling
Scoreboard impact
Weaknesses:
Unclear best position
Inconsistent performances

7. Aaron Naughton (WA)

Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 194cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Peel Thunder
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Alex Rance
October Ranking: 17
Rationale: Transition to WAFL League football has been seamless. Naughton may be the most ready-to-play key position prospect in the draft. Low risk choice and likely 200-plus gamer. Review of WAFL League play results in Naughton's massive rise in this month's rakings.
Strengths:
Intercept marking
Strong hands overhead
Reading the ball in flight early
Football smarts
Contested marking
One-on-one marking
Keeps his feet in the contest
Agility
Acceleration
WAFL League performances
Weaknesses:
Kicking while reliable enough is of a high, loopy style which is too easily intercepted

8. Andrew Brayshaw (VIC)

Best position: Inside midfielder/outside midfielder
Height, weight: 184cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: Top five
Similar to: Angus Brayshaw
October Ranking: 10
Rationale: While Brayshaw is in the mix for pick No. 1 overall, he sits behind the other top talents on this draft board due to lower impact per possession and less scope to change games by contrast to the other midfielders in the mix for the first handful of selections. Rises slightly on review due to complete game.
Strengths:
Contested ball-winning
Tackling
Second and third tackling efforts
Stoppage work
Clean at ground level
Footy smarts
Kicking
Vision
Lowers his eyes and finds inside 50m targets
Endurance
Evasiveness
Pace
Production
Consistency
Contributes effectively both at stoppages and in general play Just as comfortable as an inside or outside midfielder
Weaknesses:
Impact per possession only moderate
Needs to use athleticism more offensively

9. Jack Higgins (VIC)

Best position: General forward/outside midfield
Height, weight: 178cm, 77kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Toby Greene
October Ranking: 8
Rationale: Looks ultra-impressive as both a forward and midfielder. One of this year's most ready-to-go and complete performers. Rightly awarded the Morrish Medal for TAC Cup's best player of 2017. A hard worker who is a safe first-round selection. Drops one position as others rise.
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
Workrate
Consistent performer
Intangibles
Weaknesses:
Impact per possession low as midfielder

10. Hunter Clark (VIC)

Best position: Inside midfielder/outside midfielder
Height, weight: 186cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Dandenong Stingrays
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Steele Sidebottom
October Ranking: 9
Rationale: Drops slightly as others rise. Production stacks up with the best midfielders in the draft but his ball use under pressure and less hurt-factor sees him slightly lower.
Strengths:
First possession winner at stoppages
Contested ball-winner
Clean at ground level
Clean hands in close
Tackling
Runs in support
Workrate
Endurance
Outside run and carry
Agility
Evasiveness
Football smarts
Precise, dual-sided kick with time and space Just as comfortable as an inside or outside midfielder
Ability to play midfield, back or forward
Capable crumber off packs and inside 50m
Rate of improvement
Weaknesses:
Decision-making and ball use under pressure
Hurt factor with ball in hand

11. Jaidyn Stephenson (VIC)

Best position: Outside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 189cm, 76kg
Recruited from: Eastern Ranges
Projected draft range: First round
Similar to: Isaac Smith
October Ranking: 7
Rationale: Heart irregularity while medically cleared is still a concern and sees Stephenson drop. With strong finish to the season and big performances in the biggest games, Stephenson should remain a first round choice.
Strengths:
High leap
Aerial marking threat
Clean at ground level
Takes on the game with his run and is a genuine line-breaker
Acceleration
Agility
Tackling pressure
Provides second and third efforts Strong tackler
Reading of ruck taps
Composed with ball in hand
Vision Improving contested ball-winner
Versatility to play wing, forward or on the ball for patches as needed
Rises to the big games and big moments consistently
Weaknesses:
Hands overhead inconsistent
Strength
Inconsistent kick to target
Outside linking up
Consistency from game to game
Heart irregularity (medically cleared but still a query)

12. Zac Bailey (NT)

Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Southern Districts
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Dayne Zorko
October Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Rises upon review of Under-18 Championships play and rate of improvement in 2017. Bailey's ability to run around opponents like they're traffic cones after winning the ball in traffic is best-in-draft standard. Has the upside to be anything if he can become a more consistent ball user.
Strengths:
Freakishly fast movement through traffic
Acceleration away from the contest
Evasiveness
Speed
Agility
Strength through hips to stand up through tackles
Powerful don't-argue
Contested ball-winning
One touch at ground level
Rate of improvement
Decision-making
Production
Lowers his eyes
Vision
Weaknesses:
Unreliable by foot
Finishing in front of goal
Needs to take more marks
Unclear capabilities as a forward

13. Nicholas Coffield (VIC)

Best position: General defence/inside midfield
Height, weight: 191cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: Top 10
Similar to: James Kelly
October Ranking: 11
Rationale: Drops slightly as others rise. At his height and with his mix of attributes he may develop into a midfielder with time, but ball-winning ability remains unclear, so Coffield is rated behind other top midfielders.
Strengths:
Evasiveness
Sidestepping and composure in traffic
Sound decision-maker in traffic|
Classy ball user and clean kick over a variety of distances
Agility
Takes on players with his run
Clean at ground level
Clean, quick hands in close
Intercept marking
Reading of the ball in flight
Scope to develop into midfielder
Holds his own in one-on-one contests
Weaknesses:
Unclear contested ball-winning capabilities
Inconsistent production from game to game
Tackling
Tackle pressure

14. Charlie Constable (VIC)

Best position: Inside midfield/general defender
Height, weight: 191cm, 83kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: David Mundy
October Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Combination of classy ball use, contested ball-winning ability and work by hand under pressure at 191cm sees Constable earn a top 20 position on review. If Constable covered more ground on game-day and ran quicker he would be more highly rated.
Strengths:
Kicking
Kicking penetration
Vision
Decision-making under pressure
Height in traffic to see over numbers and deliver handballs to targets
Contested ball-winning
Production
Scope to play midfield or back
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Workrate
Pace
Agility

15. Oscar Allen (WA)

Best position: Key forward/general forward
Height, weight: 191cm, 83kg
Recruited from: West Perth
Projected draft range: First to second round
Similar to: Jack Gunston
October Ranking: 20
Rationale: Larke medallist who led the Under-18 Championships with 11 goals and was Team Enright's best in the Under-18 All Stars game. While short by position, his football smarts, athleticism, marking and work at ground level tick the boxes to suggest Allen is a safe choice as either a key forward or third tall forward. Rises on review of Under-18 Championships play and Under-18 All Stars game.
Strengths:
Football smarts
Reads play early
Reads ball in flight early
Leading patterns
Workrate
Forward pressure
Clean at ground level
Strong hands overhead
Weaknesses:
Below average height and reach by position

16. Harrison Petty (VIC)

Best position: Key defender
Height, weight: 195cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Norwood
Projected draft range: Second round
Similar to: Robbie Tarrant
October Ranking: 16
Rationale: Named South Australia's MVP during the Under-18 Championships. Petty is a relatively untapped talent who has improved significantly this season and is still growing, having shot up 5cm this season. Petty's potential as a still growing key defender with a late-year birthday sees him hold firm despite others rising.
Strengths:
Intercept marking
Reads the flight of the ball early
Takes marks at highest point
Clean at ground level
Effective ball user
Composure with ball in hand
Rate of improvement
Strong performances from limited exposure
Weaknesses:
Keeping balance in one-on-one contests
Strength solid but not as advanced as some of his peers
Capable but not a freakish athlete

17. Brayden Crossley (QLD - Gold Coast Academy)

Best position: Ruck
Height, weight: 198cm, 105kg
Recruited from: Labrador Tigers
Projected draft range: Third round
Similar to: Shane Mumford
September Ranking: 14
Rationale: Strength in the ruck combined with his rare follow-up work by position gives Crossley the scope to be the best ruckman in this draft. Late season and finals performances impacting games up forward only add to enhance Crossley's draft stocks, but drops down this draft board as others rise.
Strengths:
Rare speed to recover and compete at ground level following ruck contests
Follow-up work with ground ball-winning and tackling
Freakish cleanness at ground level for someone his height/size
Aggressive tackler
Roves off contests like a small
Physical impact around the ball
Strength to not go to ground when tackled and dispose cleanly of the ball
Bodywork in the contest
Agility
Provides a marking target forward of centre
Scoreboard impact when used forward
Strong NEAFL performances against men
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Leap
Acceleration

18. Charlie Ballard (SA)

Best position: Key forward/outside midfield
Height, weight: 196cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Sturt
Projected draft range: Second round
Similar to: Justin Westhoff
October Ranking: Not ranked Rationale: Late bloomer, having grown 15cm over the past two years and is still growing, Ballard has unique scope to develop into a key forward given his mix of attributes. Upside sees Ballard earn top 20 position.
Strengths:
Decision-making
Composure under pressure
Time and space
Works through traffic without getting tackled is like second nature
Vision
Lowers his eyes and finds inside 50m targets
Workrate
Endurance
Kicking
Mobility
Marking
Contested marking
Clean at ground level
Attributes suggest possible key forward potential
Pressure and tackling
Late bloomer
Rate of improvement
Weaknesses:
Unproven as a key position player
Contested ball-winning

19. Connor Ballenden (QLD - Brisbane Academy)

Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 199cm, 95kg
Recruited from: University of Queensland
Projected draft range: Second round
Similar to: Jeremy McGovern
October Ranking: 15
Rationale: Drops slightly as others rise. Promising late season and finals NEAFL performances and projects to develop into a powerful intercept marking key defender.
Strengths:
Intercept marking
Reading of the flight
Size and strength
Contested marking
Clean and reliable kick to targets on both sides
Vision
Decision-making
Physical style of play
Scoreboard impact
Forceful tackler
Versatility to play key defence, ruck or key forward
Weaknesses:
Endurance
Workrate
Athleticism
Agility
Acceleration Inconsistent performances as a forward

20. Jordan Butts (VIC)

Best position: Key defence
Height, weight: 196cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Murray Bushrangers
Projected draft range: Third to fourth round
Similar to: Jake Lever
October Ranking: Not ranked
Rationale: Averaged a TAC Cup-high 7.5 marks per game as the youngest in the draft pool. Scope to improve and re-evaluation of upside sees Butts place inside the top 20.
Strengths:
Powerful overhead mark
Intercept marking
Aerial marking
Reading of the ball in flight
Endurance
Capability to play at either end
Youngest in draft pool and likely to continue growing
Weaknesses:
Strength in one-on-one contests
Pace
Not always clean below the knees