Is Charlie Dean the best key forward in the AFL draft?

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

Charlie Dean is quickly building the case that he is this year's most promising key forward after providing a focal point up forward for Sandringham in their convincing 43-point win against Northern.

Dean amassed 15 disposals, eight marks (one contested) and four goals against Northern and with a style of game baring some similarities to Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead, his marking on the lead, reading of the ball in flight, clean hands, mobility and established set shot routine were highlights.

With nine goals through the first two rounds and a three-goal lead in the NAB League over second placed Noah Anderson on the goalkicking ladder, Dean is making the most of his side's silver service delivery.

The bonus with Dean is he proved in 2018 he can hold down a key defence post, demonstrating one-on-one and intercept marking capabilities.

A potential first round pick if he continues to build, Dean can enhance his draft stocks further by improving upon his contested marking, contested ball-winning and forward pressure.

NAB League

Playing a style of game not unlike 2018 top-10 selection and former Sandringham Dragon Bailey Smith, Ryan Byrnes brings similar strengths to the table for Sandringham. His kicking, contested ball-winning, evasion and acceleration that allows him to slice through traffic and break the lines place Byrnes firmly in the first-round mix. The talented midfielder secured 24 disposals, 15 contested possessions and six clearances.

One of Sandringham's most influential, Miles Bergman brought a lot to the table. He quickly and effectively moved the ball on after marks, was damaging with his ball use, evaded tackles, was clean at ground level and showed a burst of speed with ball in hand. Bergman managed 12 disposals, six tackles and three score assists.

From Sydney's Next Generation Academy, underage midfielder Errol Gulden was a highlight and announced himself as one of 2020's top prospects. His one-touch pickups at ground level on the move were freakish. His speed, the way he reads the play and gets to the right spots, his finishing around goal and hitting of targets by foot inside 50 made him look a class above. The talented midfielder amassed 33 disposals, 12 contested possessions, eight inside 50s and two goals for Sydney in their win against Tasmania.

Fellow Academy member Kyle McKellar also excelled. His overhead contested marking power, the way he read the ball in flight, strength and contested ball-winning in close stood out. McKellar secured 23 disposals, 18 contested possessions, five marks (four contested), eight tackles and four clearances.

Underage midfielder Sam Thorne was impressive for Sydney with his clean ground-ball pickups at speed and burst of speed standing out. The explosive midfielder managed 23 disposals, 10 contested possessions, seven tackles, four clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal.

For Tasmania, underage defender Sam Collins was the team's most impressive. His powerful intercept marking, aerial marking, cleanness at ground level and damaging but reliable kicks set him apart. Announcing himself as an early pick for 2020, Collins contributed 23 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five marks (one contested) and nine rebound 50s.

Tasmania's most highly regarded prospect and potential first round choice, Mitch O'Neil, was his side's most competitive at stoppages and wowed draft watchers with his precision kicking and vision. The classy midfielder posted 21 disposals, 12 contested possessions, nine tackles, 12 clearances and six inside 50s.

Leading the way for Eastern in a convincing win, Mitch Mellis was one the most influential. The small midfielder overwhelmed Western with 35 disposals, 17 contested possessions, four clearances, five inside 50s, three goals and two score assists.

Leading Oakleigh to a win against Calder and furthering his claims as a potential pick No. 1 contender, Noah Anderson played like a man possessed. In a dominant display, Anderson amassed 44 disposals, 20 contested possessions, five tackles, 10 clearances, five inside 50s and two goals.

Supporting Anderson through Oakleigh's midfield, likely early draft choice Matthew Rowell was prolific in his own right. The big game specialist produced 31 disposals, 16 contested possessions, 14 tackles, 10 clearances and seven inside 50s.

Performing strongly for Gippsland in a six-point loss to Dandenong, potential first round choice Sam Flanders secured 23 disposals, 13 contested possessions, eight clearances, four inside 50s and one goal.

Shining for Brisbane against Greater Western Sydney through the midfield, Will Martyn was a catalyst in the win. The prolific ball winner posted 30 disposals, 12 contested possessions, nine marks, five clearances, five inside 50s and one goal.

Powerful forward Tom Wischnat proved too strong to stop inside 50m. He managed 10 disposals, six marks (one contested) and four goals for Brisbane.

Greater Western Sydney midfielder and likely first-round choice Thomas Green was a force at stoppages. He secured 29 disposals, 18 contested possessions, nine clearances and seven inside 50s.

Key forward Liam Delahunty was GWS' other standout, providing an imposing presence in the front half. The strongly built key forward produced 15 disposals, nine contested possessions, seven marks (four contested), three goals and two score assists.



Powerful key defender Will Gould solidified his draft stocks as a potential first round choice. In a strong performance, Gould secured 24 disposals and 11 rebound 50s for Glenelg in their five-point loss to Norwood.


Potential first round choice Dylan Stephens was prolific through Norwood's midfield in their win against Glenelg with 36 disposals, 12 clearances and one goal.

South Australia's most highly touted forward Cameron Taheny contributed strongly for Norwood securing 16 disposals, nine marks and kicked one goal.

Port Adelaide father-son prospect Jackson Mead, the son of Darren Mead, enhanced his draft chances by gathering 26 disposals, six clearances and seven inside 50s and one goal for Woodville-West Torrens in their win against North Adelaide.

Dangerous small forward Kysaiah Pickett was difficult to contain in the front half for Woodville-West Torrens with 16 disposals and six goals.