AFL Draft Weekly Wrap: Powerful mid-forward gives off Narkle vibes

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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

Starring for Glenelg's U/18s in their four-point loss to West Adelaide on the weekend, mid-forward prospect Hugh Stagg put on an exhibition of strength and power - showcasing his ability to absorb and break tackles, and remain standing and dispose of the ball with bodies hanging off of him.

Stagg's ground ball winning was a further highlight with how low he gets over the ball before bursting away with some of the fastest first four to five steps you'll ever see. The bonus with Stagg is while he can influence games through the midfield, he causes headaches for rival teams forward of centre with how dangerous he is at ground level, when one-on-one, and as a contested mark. There is a distinct feeling with Stagg whenever the ball is in his area or coming his way that he will make something happen.

With his strength, power and acceleration, Stagg has some Quinton Narkle vibes to his game, sharing some similar attributes. The exciting midfielder and forward amassed 30 disposals, five marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s, three goals and three behinds.

At this stage, Stagg has a far from complete game and will need to add additional polish. Specifically, he would benefit from lowering his eyes more and placing his kicks out in front of his forwards to lead onto when kicking into the forward 50 arc as opposed to going for low percentage shots on goal or directing his kicks exclusively to contests.


Mid-season draft watch

Younger brother of Giants midfielder Tom, Josh Green was the driving force for the Giants through the midfield in their 6-point win against Sydney. Josh did his mid-season draft chances no harm with 25 disposals, 15 contested possessions and one goal. This follows on from 24 disposals and two goals last week. Green has also been terrific for GWS through the midfield in the VFL where his contested ball winning and distribution by hand have been highlights. Josh has relished playing through the midfield this season after spending the 2019 NAB League season in defence.

After a strong two-game stint in the VFL, Max Pescud only enhanced his draft standing with team highs of 25 disposals, 15 contested possessions, seven marks (two contested), three goals and three score assists for Gold Coast in their 47-point win against Brisbane. While Pescud has attracted little in the way of mid-season draft discussion, he's one clubs would be wise to keep tracking, as the athletic forward is rapidly developing in front of our eyes.

Performing strongly for Brisbane, Saxon Crozier was their best with 34 disposals, 14 contested possessions, nine marks (one contested), eight clearances, six inside 50s, two goals and two score assists. Formerly more of an outside player at 190cm, Crozier showed improvement as a contested ball winner after being overlooked last year. Along with Pescud, Crozier may be a second overager from Queensland who with further exposure and development this year could firm as an end-of-year draft selection.


Key player notes and stats

SANFL

League

While he laid a season low one tackle, pick one contender Jason Horne otherwise performed strongly with 19 disposals, six marks (two contested) and five clearances for South Adelaide in their 27-point win again Central Districts.

Continuing to enhance his draft credentials, Port Adelaide father-son prospect, Jase Burgoyne (the son of Peter) secured 17 disposals and eight marks for Port Adelaide in their 29-point win against West Adelaide.

SANFL
Under-18s

Impressing with his run and precision kicking, Hugh Desira caught the eye for West Adelaide with 19 disposals, six clearances and one goal.

Displaying a high work rate, getting to the right spots, using the ball effectively by foot and providing meaningful run with ball in hand, Hugh Jackson continued his strong vein of form for North Adelaide. In a commanding 102-point win against Sturt, Jackson was the standout with 37 disposals, 12 marks, six clearances and 11 inside 50s for North Adelaide.

Displaying precision short kicking from defence and picking and choosing the right times to hit meaningful long targets and take on the game with his run, Blayne O'Loughlin, an Adelaide next-generation academy prospect starred for North Adelaide. The rebounding defender amassed 42 disposals, 10 marks, seven inside 50s and seven rebound 50s.

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WAFL

Colts

Earning best on ground honours, athletic key forward Jacob Van Rooyen enhanced his first round prospects with 24 disposals, six marks and three goals for Claremont in their 48-point win against East Perth.

NAB League

Starring in defence for Greater Western Sydney, Sam Frost for the second successive week was his side's leading accumulator. He amassed 30 disposals, 10 marks (four contested) and eight rebound 50s.

Speedy utility, Felix Rogers impressed for Sydney with 34 disposals, 16 contested possessions, seven marks, five clearances and one goal in his second successive striking display for Sydney.


2022 draft watch

SANFL Under-18s

Underager Tom Scully, who shares no similarities to 2009 No. 1 selection, was influential both through the ruck and up forward for West Adelaide. Through the ruck, Scully had several decisive hitouts to advantage and routinely took the ball out of the ruck himself. He was also threatening forward of centre and displayed a positive blend to his game of athleticism, ground level craft and marking capabilities. Looming as a player to watch in 2022, Scully secured 15 disposals, 24 hitouts and one goal for West Adelaide.

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One of 2022's top prospects, Isaac Keeler was influential for North Adelaide. Tied to Adelaide as a Next-Generation Academy selection, Adelaide will be unable to match Keeler if he attracts a bid inside the top-40 next year due to changing Next-Generation Academy bidding rules. Keeler at 197cm showed freakish ability, as an unusually smooth athlete for someone of his height, with a good leap, strong hands overhead, but also impressive one-touch cleanness at ground level. The exciting key forward produced 19 disposals, 10 marks (two contested), 10 hitouts, three goals and two behinds.