AFL Draft Wrap: Intercept king Jesse Clark a first-round contender

Each week, ESPN.com.au 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

Winning best-on-ground honours for Geelong in their 31-point win against Sydney's Academy -- delivering Sydney their first NAB League loss -- Jesse Clark starred in defence.

Clark who managed 25 disposals, 11 contested possessions, six marks (one contested) and eight rebound 50s most stood out for his intercept marking with five of his six grabs intercept marks.

Throughout the contest, Clark's reading of the drop of the ball was earlier and more consistent than anyone else, while his body positioning and one-on-one marking were also exceptional. He made the case that he is the best reader of the ball in flight in this year's draft.

Beyond his intercepting, Clark is also a very good rebounder. He demonstrates excellent vision and is a precision kick over a variety of distances and was entrusted with taking Geelong's kickouts. He's also a difficult to beat body-on-body.

A first round contender and a likely first half of draft selection, Clark's game bares similarities to Luke Ryan and has the scope to achieve similar success in a similar role.

To take the next step, if Clark can develop the capacity to play another position or start providing more run and carry from defence, he will solidify his first round claims.

NAB League

Working in tandem with Clark in defence and reading the ball expertly in flight, Geelong's Sam Bourke looks like a draftable defender. He managed 13 disposals and seven marks (two contested).

Geelong underager Oliver Henry, the younger brother of Geelong's Jack, was dangerous in the front half for Geelong with 12 disposals, five marks (two contested), four goals and two score assists. His aerial and leadup marking, athleticism, agility and evasion stood out.

Sydney Academy underager Braeden Campbell played a strong all-around game. He won his own ball, tackled aggressively, stood up through tackles and hurt Geelong by foot and with his run. Campbell managed 22 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 12 tackles, 10 inside 50s and one goal.

Providing meaningful run, breaking the lines 15m and 30m most times he got his hands on the ball and hitting meaningful open targets up the field, the impact of Lachlan Potter was as great as any on the field for Northern. In their win against Northern Territory, the talented line breaker produced 24 disposals, seven rebound 50s and two score assists.

Impressing with his intercept and one-on-one marking, including a one-on-one mark against ruck size key forward Matthew Cumming, Ryan Sturgess was excellent for Northern. The medium defender provided run and was damaging with his ball use. He contributed 21 disposals and eight marks (two contested).

Leading Oakleigh to a one-point win against Tasmania, skilful midfielder Trent Bianco played a complete game and improved his draft stocks with 42 disposals, 17 contested possessions, nine tackles, 17 contested possessions, seven clearances and eight inside 50s.

Dangerous each time he found the ball inside 50m and providing relentless forward pressure, Malcolm Rosas Junior for Northern Territory continued to make his case as one of this year's premier crumbing forwards. The talented forward produced 21 disposals, two goals and two score assists and is firming as a possible first half of draft selection.

Northern Territory underager Joel Jeffery was promising in defence with his intercept marking and athleticism catching the eye. The talented defender collected 21 disposals, seven marks (one contested) and eight rebound 50s.

For Murray in their win against Greater Western Sydney, Jimmy Boyer was one of his side's most damaging. Hurting the opposition by foot and with his run, Boyer managed 22 disposals, 13 contested possessions, five marks (two contested) and three goals.

For Greater Western Sydney, Thomas Green starred through the midfield with 37 disposals, 19 contested possessions, 11 clearances, one goal and two score assists.

Presenting up strongly at the football, Liam Delahunty secured 21 disposals, seven marks (three contested), seven inside 50s and one goal for Greater Western Victoria.

Instrumental for Gippsland in their win against Eastern, Brock Smith intercepted everything coming his way and used the ball effectively out of the back half. He amassed 27 disposals, 12 contested possessions, eight marks (four contested) and nine rebound 50s.

Performing strongly through Gippsland's midfield and up forward, Sam Flanders posted 25 disposals, 13 contested possessions, seven tackles, nine clearances, five inside 50s, two goals and two score assists.

Earning best-on-ground honours for Calder in their win against Bendigo, Jacob Martin accumulated 36 disposals, 18 contested possessions and six marks.

Sharing the midfield load with Martin, Daniel Mott was also excellent with 36 disposals, 16 contested possessions, six marks, six clearances and one goal.

Continuing to be an intercept marking force for Calder, Brodie Newman continued his strong vein of form with 21 disposals and 12 marks.

SANFL

League

Holding his own for Norwood in their loss to Adelaide, Dylan Stephens performed strongly with 13 disposals and two goals.

Contributing his consistent play in defence for Glenelg, Will Gould was effective in his role with 17 disposals for Glenelg in win against Woodville-West Torrens.

Under-18s

Kicking 27 goals through his first five rounds and having not dropped below five yet this season, Woodville-West Torrens forward Josh Morris kept his hot streak going in front of goal with six goals, helping to keep his side's unbeaten streak alive.

WAFL

Colts

Prolific ball winner Deven Robertson was the driving force through Perth's midfield in their win against Claremont with 37 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and one goal.

In a best-on-ground performance, strongly build midfielder Tyron Hindmarsh secured 28 disposals, seven marks, 11 tackles for West Perth in their win against East Fremantle. This follows 34 disposals and one goal the previous week.

One of East Fremantle's best, athletic ruckman Luke Jackson did his draft chances no harm with his play through ruck and up forward with 17 disposals, 28 hitouts, six inside 50s and two goals.