AFL Draft Power Rankings: McDonald firming as Crows' first pick

With just more than a week until the 2020 AFL Draft, ESPN.com.au expert Chris Doerre has revealed his latest Power Rankings ahead of the big night.

1. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy)
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 195cm, 90kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 1-3
Plays like: Lance Franklin (with hops)
September ranking: 1
Rationale: Ugle-Hagan is the most unstoppable inside-50 threat that we've seen and is unstoppable like no one we have seen at his height when launching at the football aerially. He times his jumps to perfection, leaps high and protects the ball drop in the air so he can't be spoiled. Ugle-Hagan has the scope to be a generational key forward and it's the extent to which he is unstoppable when he launches at the ball aerially or when isolated one-on-one inside 50 that puts him narrowly ahead of McDonald on this draft board.
Strengths:
Leap, timing of leaps at the ball aerially, body control in the air, protects the drop zone so he can't be spoiled, aerial marking, takes advantage of opposition defenders when isolated one-on-one, scoreboard impact, agility, speed to create separation on the lead, one-touch and instinctive pickups when the ball hits the deck, focal point up forward, performances on the board.
Weaknesses:
Kicking penetration, set shot reliability, prone to dropping simple marks, unclear capabilities further up the ground.

2. Logan McDonald
Best position: Key forward
Height, weight: 196cm, 86kg
Recruited from: Perth
Projected draft range: 1-4
Plays like: Nick Riewoldt
September ranking: 2
Rationale: McDonald led the WAFL in goals kicked for much of the season and achieved a seemingly impossible feat for a junior prospect by earning a position in the WAFL Team of the Year, which is made even more impressive given he's a key position player and talls tend to take longer to develop. Combine McDonald's rapid rate of improvement with his performances this season and McDonald can develop into one of the premier key forwards in the competition and challenge Jamarra for claims to being this draft's best.
Strengths:
Production against WAFL League competition, consistency, rate of improvement, scoreboard impact, set shot goal kicking, reliable conversion in front of goal, penetrating kick, overhead marking at the highest point, aerial marking, protects the drop zone, one-on-one bodywork, contested marking, reading of the ball in flight, endurance, work rate, leap, mobility, agility, able focal point up forward, capable both close to goal and pushing up the ground, versatility to play key defence, still growing.
Weaknesses:
Able but not freakish at ground level, upper body strength.

3. Will Phillips
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 180cm, 80kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 5-10
Plays like: Taylor Adams
September ranking: 3
Rationale: The impact of Will Phillips during the 2019 NAB League Finals was as strong as that of Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson at the same age. His impact in last year's finals was equal roughly equal to Caleb Serong, Sam Flanders and Noah Anderson, with only Matt Rowell performing to a higher standard. Phillips is not only a prolific ball winner, but he combines contested ball winning and acceleration to impact games. He's the best and readiest midfielder in this draft. Phillips at #3 is unique to this draft board with most recruiters rating Elijah Hollands the best non-key position player. Phillips gets the nod as the slightly better performed, more immediate and lower risk recruiting choice with a higher probability of fulfilling his upside.
Strengths:
First possession winner at stoppages, contested ball winning, tackling, burst of speed out of stoppages, acceleration with ball in hand, aggressive taking on the game with his speed, spread from stoppages, line-breaking run, endurance, production, consistency, performances in big games, round one ready, proven finals performer.
Weaknesses:
Kicking consistency, handball happy and sometimes reluctant to kick, unclear versatility, scoreboard impact, limited as a marking threat.

4. Elijah Hollands
Best position: General forward/balanced midfield
Height, weight: 188cm, 85kg
Recruited from: Murray Bushrangers
Projected draft range: 1-5
Plays like: Andrew Embley
September ranking: 4
Rationale: Hollands is the most damaging player in the draft with ball in hand. His kick, run and how influential he can be when used forward of centre make him one of this draft's most desirable. There is added risk to selecting Hollands due to a ruptured ACL in February.
Strengths:
Damaging both forward and through the midfield, high impact per possession, makes quick and sound decisions with ball in hand, moves the ball on quickly, composure under pressure, takes ground balls on the move at speed, agility, evades tackles in traffic, takes on the game aggressively with his run, scoreboard impact, long range goalkicker, 60m kicking penetration, hurt factor by foot, overhead marking, one-on-one marking, protects the drop of the ball.
Weaknesses:
Improvement not as rapid as many of his peers in 2019, unclear best position, unclear scope to be a full-time midfielder, production not as high as some of the other top end midfielders, unclear following a ruptured ACL how durable or close to his best he will be.

5. Riley Thilthorpe
Best position: Key forward/ruck
Height, weight: 201cm, 100kg
Recruited from: West Adelaide
Projected draft range: 1-10
Plays like: Tom Lynch (Richmond)
September ranking: 6
Rationale: Freakishly quick and can play either as a key forward or through the ruck. Thilthorpe has held his own at SANFL League level, and despite struggling with groin issues this year he still managed to feature in the bests in five of his nine appearances. Thilthorpe's move up one spot comes on review of his ceiling.
Strengths:
Contested marking, marks at the highest point and has sticky hands overhead, clean at ground level, hands in close, decision making under pressure, leap, takes on the game at speed, speed, endurance, agility, x-factor, finishing around goal, skills, size and strength, performances at SANFL League level, versatility to play key forward, through the ruck or up on a wing, still growing.
Weaknesses:
Unclear best position, consistency of impact, conversion in front of goal, durability.

6. Lachlan Jones (Port Adelaide - Next-Generation Academy)
Best position: General defence/inside midfield
Height, weight: 185cm, 89kg
Recruited from: Woodville-West Torrens
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Brayden Maynard
September ranking: 10
Rationale: Holding his own at SANFL League level, Jones earned 16 senior games this season and is a ready-made defender who can step into an AFL side in year one as a stopper. While Jones can play right away in defence, given his contested ball winning power, winning more than 50% of his ball in contested situations, to go along with his size and acceleration, his longer-term future should be as a midfielder. Jones' rise comes on the back of a finals series where he substantially elevated his play and made clear he is one of this year's premier players.
Strengths:
Consistency of SANFL League performances, wins a high percentage of ball in contested situations, strength, strong one-on-one defence, negates influence of opposition forwards, capable of matching up against tall and small forwards, acceleration, run and carry, leap, equally adept at ground level and aerially, penetrating and damaging kick, intercept marking, contested marking, strength and acceleration, versatility to play in defence or through the midfield, round one ready, proven finals performer.
Weaknesses:
Endurance, accumulation, finds little easy ball.

7. Denver Grainger-Barras
Best position: Key defence/general defence
Height, weight: 195cm, 78kg
Recruited from: Swan Districts
Projected draft range: 3-10
Plays like: Dylan Grimes
September ranking: 15
Rationale: This year's premier key defender, Grainger-Barras is an effective shutdown key defender who combines that with promising intercept marking capabilities. Grainger-Barras has risen up these rankings due to growing 3cm since last year which makes him more viable as a future key defender in the AFL ranks. This growth combined with his strong WAFL League play headlined by a quarter directly matched up against Logan McDonald where he had complete control has ensured Grainger-Barras' rise.
Strengths:
Intercept marking, reading of the ball in flight, aerial marking, attacks the ball aerially, leap, speed, agility, one-on-one defence, clean ball user, shuts down opposition forwards.
Weaknesses:
Endurance, production, size and strength, uncertainty around whether he will become strong enough to develop into a genuine key defender.

8. Reef McInnes (Collingwood Next-Generation Academy)
Best position: Inside midfield/general forward
Height, weight: 193cm, 86kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Marcus Bontempelli
September ranking: 8
Rationale: A potential tall, ball winning midfielder with the scope to also impact games as a forward. At his height and with his speed and versatility, his upside is among the highest in the pool. While Reef is far from a ready-made prospect, he holds his spot on this draft board despite others rising due to his high ceiling and rare capabilities and athleticism for someone his height.
Strengths:
Marking threat inside-50, aerial marking, scoreboard impact, versatility to play midfield, forward or defence, agility, speed, acceleration with ball in hand, evasion, clean skills, quick hands in traffic, clean at ground level, decision making with ball in hand, spread from stoppages, work rate, untapped upside due to limited midfield opportunity.
Weaknesses:
Unclear best position, limited midfield exposure, production, consistency.

9. Tanner Bruhn
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 183cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Geelong Falcons
Projected draft range: 5-15
Plays like: Zak Butters
September ranking: 5
Rationale: One of the standout talents in this draft and may be rated higher if not for missing time in 2019. Bruhn has the past performances on the board having won the Vic Country MVP in the Under-16s. Bruhn moves down a few spots as others move up.
Strengths:
Precise kick, composure with ball in hand, decision making under pressure, hands in close, evasion, agility, burst of speed out of stoppages, wins first possession at stoppages, contested ball winning, scoreboard impact, finishing around goal, stoppage specialist, past performance, versatility to play through the midfield or up forward.
Weaknesses:
Injury history, limited recent exposed form, strength, endurance.

10. Finlay Macrae
Best position: Balanced midfield
Height, weight: 186cm, 78kg
Recruited from: Oakleigh Chargers
Projected draft range: 5-25
Plays like: Jack Macrae
September ranking: 9
Rationale: Younger brother of Western Bulldogs star Jack, Finlay is a mirror image of his older brother. He moves and plays a near identical style of game and finds the ball just as easily. The main difference is that Finlay is 5cm shorter. Finlay moves down one spot due to the rise of others.
Strengths:
Class, composure and awareness in traffic, evasion, agility, speed, change of pace and capacity to stop on a dime with ball in hand, moves around opponents like they're traffic cones, distribution by hand, clean ball user, vision, production, smooth ground ball winner, improving contested ball winner, improving midfield craft, capability to play inside or outside midfield.
Weaknesses:
Unclear versatility, scoreboard impact.

11. Braeden Campbell (Sydney Academy)
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 181cm, 75kg
Recruited from: Sydney Academy
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Daniel Rich
September ranking: 7
Rationale: Awarded player of the match in the Under-17 All-Star match, Campbell is one of the most advanced prospects in the pool. Campbell's drop is in part due to others rising and in part due to a review of his 2019 play which leaves some questions around whether he can find and win enough of the ball to be a midfielder at AFL level. A rebounding role off half-back may be how best to optimise his play and take advantage of his best in class kick along with his run.
Strengths:
Damaging and precise kick, 60m penetration on his kick, acceleration, line-breaking speed, run and carry with ball in hand, spread from the contest, X-factor, contested ball winning, aggressive tackler, scoreboard impact, versatility to impact games in defence, through the midfield either inside or outside, or as a forward, best-on-ground honours in the 2019 AFL Grand Final curtain raiser which features 2020's best prospects.
Weaknesses:
Contested marking, size, accumulation, unclear best position.

12. Heath Chapman
Best position: General defence/key defence
Height, weight: 193cm, 81kg
Recruited from: West Perth
Projected draft range: 5-20
Plays like: Grant Birchall
September ranking: 12
Rationale: Chapman is suited to the modern game and is the premier tall intercepting and rebounding defender in this year's draft. Holds firm on this draft board on the back of his consistent season. If he was taller and more certain to develop into a key defender, he might be contending with Denver Grainger-Barras as this year's best key defender.
Strengths:
Intercept marking, reading of the ball in flight, production, precise kick to target, composure with ball in hand, moves the ball on quickly, plays on after marks, run and carry, run in support, endurance, speed, leap.
Weaknesses:
Unclear whether he will be tall enough to play key defence at AFL level, unclear capacity to limit output of direct opponent.

13. Jack Carroll
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 188cm, 79kg
Recruited from: East Fremantle
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Scott Pendlebury
September ranking: not ranked
Rationale: With a late December birthday and a strong rate of improvement, Carroll was a standout in the WAFL Colts this season, averaging a competition high 15 contested possessions per game. The contested side to Carroll's game has improved dramatically having transitioned from more of a classy outside player who can also rebound off half-back into a genuine inside midfielder this season. Carroll's rise on this draft board comes on review of his WAFL Colts play and the rate the contested side of his game has developed this season.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning, agility, evasion, skills by hand and foot, composure with ball in hand, clean hands, movement through traffic, puts his body on the line, versatility to play outside or across half-back, rate of improvement.
Weaknesses:
Endurance, conversion in front of goal, light bodied.

14. Brayden Cook
Best position: General forward
Height, weight: 189cm, 80kg
Recruited from: South Adelaide
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Jaidyn Stephenson
September ranking: not ranked
Rationale: Growing around 7cm in the last year, Cook is a late bloomer and has come into his own this year as a forward. Averaging two goals and in excess of two contested marks per game in the SANFL Under-18s, Cook is one of this year's most dangerous inside 50m. Cook brings to the table a strong mix of overhead marking and ground level craft. Cook's growth, rate of improvement and performance in combination with the versatility to play forward, back or on a wing earn him this position.
Strengths:
Overhead marking, aerial marking, leap, scoreboard impact, ground level craft, crumbing capabilities, scoreboard impact, freakish finishes around goal, threat when isolated deep one-on-one inside 50, with ball in hand feels like he will make something happen, able focal point up forward, versatility to play forward, defence or wing.
Weaknesses:
Contested ball winning, strength, inconsistent conversion from set shots.

15. Archie Perkins
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 186cm, 77kg
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons
Projected draft range: 4-15
Plays like: Dan Houston
September ranking: 11
Rationale: High impact per possession midfielder and forward. With the way he breaks open games, taking on the game with his run and hitting meaningful targets, his game arguably could be maximised if shifted into defence in a rebounding role. Perkins drops on this draft board in part due to the rise of others and in part due to a lack of a clear best position.
Strengths:
Shows decisiveness after marks in what he will do and gets the ball moving quickly, takes on opponents and the game with his run, generates meaningful drive with ball in hand, composure under pressure, impact per possession, line breaker, speed, agility, leap, one-on-one marking, aerial marking, scoreboard impact, damaging by foot, vision, lowers his eyes, strength, aggression, clean at ground level, contested ball winning, capacity to impact games as a forward or midfielder.
Weaknesses:
Accumulation, consistency, unclear best position, midfield craft.

16. Joel Jeffrey (Gold Coast - NT Zone)
Best position: General defence/general forward
Height, weight: 192cm, 80kg
Recruited from: NT Thunder
Projected draft range: 10-30 (if not for concessions allowing Gold Coast to pre-list Jeffrey)
Plays like: Nick Haynes
Preseason ranking: not ranked
Rationale: Set to be pre-listed by Gold Coast, Jeffrey may otherwise have featured inside the first round. Equally capable at either end, Jeffrey is second only to Jamarra Ugle-Hagan aerially and whether used in defence or as a forward is a threat. Combine that with the way he moves and the magic he creates when he has ball in hand, and Jeffrey is a difference maker. Unlucky not to crack the top-20 in previous updates, Jeffrey at either end of the field impacts games too heavily to be any lower, reminding us of this with his play in the Northern Territory Under-18 All-Star Game.
Strengths:
Marks at the highest point, aerial marking, marking on the lead, creates separation on the lead, one-touch at ground level, leading patterns, evades tackles, creates time and space effortlessly with ball in hand, change of direction on the move, leap, agility, speed, line-breaking speed, mind to body connection, able focal point up forward, versatility to play back or forward, decision making under pressure, vision, instincts around goal, performances on the board.
Weaknesses: Consistency by foot, consistency converting in front of goal, endurance, strength.

17. Sam Berry
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 181cm, 82kg
Recruited from: Gippsland Power
Projected draft range: 20-40
Plays like: Dylan Shiel
September ranking: 19
Rationale: Exciting midfielder with an enviable combination of ball winning, clean skills and speed. Winning over 50% of the ball in contested situations, his probability of an AFL career is high. Berry's position on this draft board rises on review of 2019 performance and how consistently influential he was.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning, first possession winner at stoppages, tackling, aggression, kick placement out in front of targets to lead onto, dual sided kick, composure with ball in hand, distribution by hand, acceleration with ball in hand out of stoppages, line-breaking run, speed, endurance, leap, works hard both ways, strong mark, consistency, versatility to play midfield, defence or forward.
Weaknesses:
Outside accumulation, running patterns outside the contest.

18. Tom Powell
Best position: Inside midfield
Height, weight: 183cm, 74kg
Recruited from: Sturt
Projected draft range: 10-25
Plays like: Lachie Neale
September ranking: 16
Rationale: Powell is one of the most prolific midfielders in the pool. Averaging almost 35 disposals per game in the SANFL Under-18s, Powell won the SANFL Under-18s MVP. Powell remains inside the top-20 on the back of his consistency and strength of his season but moves down slightly due to the rise of others.
Strengths:
Contested ball winning, production, stoppage work, tackling, inside/outside balance, distribution by hand, hands in close, speed of decision making under pressure, reliable ball user, endurance, scoreboard impact.
Weaknesses:
Hurt factor by foot, unclear versatility, endurance, strength.

19. Jackson Callow
Best position: Key forward/key defence
Height, weight: 194cm, 101kg
Recruited from: Tasmania Devils
Projected draft range: 30+
Plays like: Jeremy McGovern
September ranking: 17
Rationale: A key forward with a deceptively hard to defend game, with strength and one-on-one marking blending in nicely with his agility, work at ground level and capability to turn opponents inside out. Although Callow drops as others rise, Callow remains inside the top-20 thanks to his strong play in defence, suggesting at either end of the field he has scope to develop.
Strengths:
Overhead marking, one-on-one marking, contested marking, body size and strength, reading of the ball in flight, intercept marking, keeps his feet in the contest, one-on-one strength, clean at ground level, agility, turns opponents inside out, intercept marking, set shot goal kicking, production, consistency, versatility to play key forward or defence to a strong standard.
Weaknesses:
Athleticism, questionable upside given how physically advanced he is already.

20. Nik Cox
Best position: Utility
Height, weight: 200cm, 87kg
Recruited from: Northern Knights
Projected draft range: 5-15
Plays like: Darcy Moore
September ranking: not ranked
Rationale: One of the more intriguing talls in the draft, Cox is an athletic and skilfull tall with the scope to either play as a key forward, key defender or as a tall wing. He earns a position on this draft board on review of his upside. With no NAB League this year or Under-18 Championships to measure his rate of development, it is guesswork as to how much he has improved as a footballer. As someone who for his height displays a rare combination of attributes, it should give him chances across a number of different positions to become effective at AFL level, and makes taking a chance on him worth the risk.
Strengths: Dual sided kick, penetration and reliability by foot, endurance, speed, agility, overhead marking, contested marking, ground level craft, versatility to play key forward, key defence, wing or as a tall flanker.
Weaknesses: Strength, size, one-on-one strength, production, wins a low percentage of ball in contested situations.