AFL Draft Wrap: Ben King confirms top-10 prospects with formidable display

Each week, AFL draft expert Chris Doerre casts his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.

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 draft analysis.

Aside from the weekly wraps, Doerre will also unveil his power rankings at the end of each month and as we get closer to November's national draft, Doerre will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft.

Player Focus

Earning best on ground honours and providing the focal point for Sandringham in their win against Murray, Ben King was an unstoppable marking force up forward. He made the most of the space in front of him, managing 19 disposals, 11 marks (six contested), five goals and five behinds.

The 202cm key position prospect did much of his work on the lead. Often enjoying 30m of space to lead into and with Murray missing Under-18 All-Australian key defender Jacob Koschitzke, King took full advantage. King made the most of these favourable conditions to regularly mark on the lead inside 50m and jump up and take marks out in front of his eyes, making life almost impossible for his opponents.

Beyond King's marking on the lead, what makes him so dangerous is his combination of height, length, agility, coordination below the knees, leading patterns and the way he protects the drop zone for marks.

Despite playing as a key forward for Sandringham, King is arguably even more promising as an intercept marking key defender who wins his one-on-one contests.

With the dimensions of an up-and-coming ruckman, King possesses the scope to develop into something like Brisbane's Harris Andrews. King is expected to be one of the first 10 selected on draft day and is this year's most formidable key defender.


Producing a complete game, Sam Fletcher earned best on ground honours for Murray in their 110-point win against Greater Western Victoria. Not only was Fletcher prolific at stoppages, but he linked up and provided a threat forward of centre. The prolific ball-winner amassed 31 disposals, 10 contested possessions, seven marks, seven tackles, five clearances, five inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Looming as a first-round selection in this year's draft after a consistent season, Xavier Duursma used the ball effectively, provided run, won the ball through the midfield and took numerous intercept marks behind the ball. Helping Gippsland to a win against Geelong, the well-rounded utility managed 25 disposals, 12 contested possessions, 11 marks, six tackles and one goal.

Showing he can do more than hurt the opposition close to goal, Noah Gown demonstrated he possesses the versatility to play higher up the ground, taking several important marks. Having proven himself as one of the big improvers through the second half of the season, Gown secured 21 disposals, 14 contested possessions, eight marks (four contested), four inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Improving his draft stocks by the game, Geelong father-son prospect Oscar Brownless displayed his work rate, agility and evasion. His ability to locate and hit targets inboard and work at stoppages was also notable. The promising midfielder managed 29 disposals, 13 contested possessions, eight marks (one contested), nine tackles and five clearances.

Running all day and winning loose balls, Sam Walsh was prolific through the midfield with 28 disposals, 11 contested possessions and one goal.

Hurting the opposition with his kicking, agility and evasion, underager Noah Anderson was one-touch at ground level and one of Oakleigh's most damaging in their 120-point thrashing against Western. The likely top-10 choice for 2019 posted 23 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five marks and six inside 50s.

Making the case that he may be Collingwood's most promising Next Generation Academy member, Atu Bosenavualagi showed off his speed, agility, marking forward of centre, finishing around goal and work defensively without the ball. The athletic forward produced 17 disposals, four goals and three score assists.

Demonstrating resilience and not lowering his colours, Western captain Xavier O'Halloran was his side's best. He won the ball through the midfield and provided valuable drive with 17 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles, six clearances, eight inside 50s and one goal.

Laying several important tackles that stuck, crumbing and delivering inside 50m to targets, underage midfielder Jack Mahony performed a central role for Sandringham in their win against Murray. The 176cm, 70kg, midfielder amassed 25 disposals, 15 contested possessions, five clearances, five inside 50s, one goal and a game high five score assists.

Morrish medallist Liam Stocker not only won the ball at stoppages but his distribution by hand was outstanding, regularly finding targets in heavy congestion. Impressively, he seemed to react fastest to and win key ground balls. His ball use and the way he shrugged tackles easily was also noteworthy. The prolific ball winner secured 19 disposals, 13 contested possessions, five clearances, six inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Underage key defender Corey Watts was an intercept marking machine for Sandringham. In the conversation as one of the best 2019 key defenders, Watts is showing glimpses of Jeremy McGovern with the way he takes intercept marks and one-on-one marks in the back half. Marking seemingly everything in his vicinity, Watts managed 15 disposals, eight marks (three contested) and five rebound 50s.



Improving his top 10 prospects, Connor Rozee, who has spent much of the year playing forward, stood up to play through the midfield for North Adelaide in their win against Sturt. The likely top-10 choice collected 24 disposals, 10 marks for North Adelaide in win against Sturt.


Leading the way for Central Districts in their one-goal win against Glenelg, Jackson Hately amassed 27 disposals, six marks, nine tackles and one goal.

Under-18 All-Australian defender Jez McLennan was also prolific for Central Districts with 23 disposals, six marks and six tackles.


Playing a pivotal role, Tom Sparrow was instrumental for South Adelaide in their five-point win against Norwood. The explosive ball-winner managed 25 disposals, 11 tackles and two goals.



Earning best on ground honours for Subiaco in their win against Swan Districts, potential top-30 selection Luke Foley posted 22 disposals, five marks, five tackles and two goals.