AFL 2022: ESPN's way-too-early predictions - Premier, runner up and Brownlow Medal

Do the Dees go back to back? Can the Cats make one last push? Is it finally Port Adelaide or Brisbane's time to shine? While so much can happen through the trade and draft periods, ESPN's AFL experts have nevertheless turned their attention to 2022 for their way-too-early predictions.

Below are their ladder predictions, expected grand finalists, as well as Brownlow and Coleman Medal winners.


Jake Michaels

Melbourne
Port Adelaide
Western Bulldogs
Brisbane
Geelong
Sydney
Richmond
Essendon

West Coast
St Kilda
GWS
Fremantle
Carlton
Collingwood
Hawthorn
Adelaide
North Melbourne
Gold Coast

Premier: Western Bulldogs - The pain of 2021 will sting long into the offseason and I expect them to come back even hungrier next March.
Runner up: Port Adelaide - Surely it's time the Power break through for a Grand Final berth...
Brownlow Medal: Sam Walsh - He proved just how talented he is in 2021 and if he improves even 5% going into next season (and he can), the Brownlow could be his.
Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron - Probably wins it this year if not for all the missed games. If he stays fit next season, I think he wins it relatively easily.
Biggest storyline: Farewell, Bud! Lance Franklin hangs up the boots as just the sixth player in history with 1,000 goals to his name.

Matt Walsh

Port Adelaide
Melbourne
Geelong
Brisbane
Western Bulldogs
Fremantle
Essendon
St Kilda

Sydney
Carlton
Richmond
GWS
Gold Coast
Adelaide
West Coast
North Melbourne
Collingwood
Hawthorn

Premier: Port Adelaide - They finally get the missing piece by attracting a dynamic forward and classy midfielder to get them over the line.
Runner up: Brisbane - They go one better by making the Grand Final, but can't get it done against Port in a classic throwback to 2004.
Brownlow Medal: Jack Steele - Still without reliable and extraordinary midfield support, Steele lifts the Saints back into the finals and takes home Charlie.
Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron - He had an interrupted 2021, but showed when fit he's still one of the premier forwards in the game.
Biggest storyline: Cats defy their age -- again! -- to make (and fail in) another prelim.

Jarryd Barca

Melbourne
Brisbane
Western Bulldogs
Port Adelaide
Richmond
Geelong
Essendon
Carlton

St Kilda
Sydney
Fremantle
GWS
Gold Coast
West Coast
Collingwood
North Melbourne
Adelaide
Hawthorn

Premier: Melbourne - The Dees break a one-year premiership drought and in the process go back-to-back for the first time since 1960. The fifth dynasty team of the 21st century, anyone?
Runner up: Brisbane - Chris Fagan breaks the curse of a recent wretched finals win ratio, but it'll be heartache again for the gallant Lions.
Brownlow Medal: Touk Miller - Further cements himself as one of the game's most damaging midfield beasts and finally earns the umpire recognition that seemed to elude him in 2021.
Coleman Medal: Jeremy Cameron - It'll be a second Coleman-winning season for Jezza after finally getting a full slate of games under his belt and leading the Cats to another finals campaign.
Biggest storyline: Clubs make crunch calls on coaches - Adam Simpson, Chris Scott and Leon Cameron will not be the coach of their current clubs by the end of the season, while Alastair Clarkson takes the helm at the Gold Coast Suns.