AFL Draft October Power Rankings: Harley Reid still on top but a compromised top 30

AFL have 'done the right thing' with Roos assistance package (1:33)

Rohan Connolly and Rodney Eade break down North Melbourne's contentious assistance package, featuring three extra first-round draft picks. (1:33)

The top-age campaigns of 2023 AFL Draft hopefuls across the country have concluded, with the only chance to enhance standing in the pool coming on the weekend in the form of the draft combine.

Harley Reid will head into the night of Nov. 20 as the consensus No. 1 pick, and there's an exciting variety of players across a strong top 10. The 2023 edition is set to be one of the draft's most compromised, with 10 of this top 30 aligned to an AFL club either as a father-son, next generation academy member or northern academy member.

With just less than two months until the 2023 AFL Draft, this is ESPN's extended top 30 October Power Rankings.

1. Harley Reid (last month: 1)
Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country
MID, 185cm, 82kg
Talent League: 6 games, 18.5 disposals, 2.0 goals

There's no conjecture on Reid's standing at the top of the 2023 draft - he's the quintessential game-breaking midfielder, capable of exploding out of contest and hitting the scoreboard with regularity. The only question remains where he will play his footy at the next level. North Melbourne is chasing Reid, but it would need to be a tremendous offer for West Coast to consider parting with their prized pick one.

2. Jed Walter (2)
SUNS Academy/Allies
FWD, 197cm, 91kg
Talent League: 4 games, 18.2 disposals, 4.5 goals

Walter is huge in stature and presence on the field, crashing packs as a traditional key forward leading out of the goal square and then converting his opportunities. He adds another element to his game with elite straight-line speed and hunger to chase and tackle without the ball. A mountain of a man with all the traits of an elite full forward, Walter will pair Ben King up at the Suns via their academy.

3. Colby McKercher (3)
Tasmania Devils/Allies
MID, 181cm, 73kg
Talent League: 9 games, 29.4 disposals, 1.3 goals

The best pure midfielder in the draft is McKercher, whose inside-outside balance and ball use is a standout. He swoops on loose balls and uses his speed to find space, and has a beautiful left foot entering the forward 50. The Launceston gun has suitors inside the top five.

4. Zane Duursma (5)
Gippsland Power/Vic Country
FWD/MID, 189cm, 79kg
Talent League: 12 games, 19.3 disposals, 2.8 goals

Duursma displayed his full array of forward-half exploits in the latter stages of the year for club and state. His turn of pace and evasiveness with ball in hand has turned heads for years, but a third quarter blitz against Vic Metro vaulted the Gippsland product into top three calculations.

5. Dan Curtin (4)
Claremont/Western Australia
DEF, 195cm, 93kg
WAFL: 6 games, 16.5 disposals, 4.0 marks

Curtin is a pure footballer with the frame to develop into a strong key defender. The West Australian is balanced and makes the right decision with his preferred left foot, but it's his aerial proficiency that has him rated as the best key back in the pool. Curtin flies for his marks and kickstarts transition, and has shown goalkicking prowess up forward and contested ability on-ball.

6. Nate Caddy (6)
Northern Knights/Vic Metro
FWD/MID, 192cm, 91kg
Talent League: 9 games, 16.3 disposals, 2.7 goals

Caddy is a bullocking forward that attacks the ball full-chested and creates shots at goal through a variety of avenues. The nephew of premiership Tiger Josh, his physicality and marking is his biggest strength, but he's also shown flashes as a big on-onballer and has had high possession games. Clubs will draft Caddy as a forward, with his draft year and style of play bearing similarities to Charlie Curnow. The draft combine could see Caddy garner top five consideration if those athletic glimpses translate to great testing results.

7. Ryley Sanders (7)
Sandringham Dragons/Allies
MID, 186cm, 85kg
Talent League: 9 games, 30.6 disposals, 7.0 clearances

A brilliant accumulator with an appetite for the contest, Sanders has steadily risen up boards through the year and will be heavily considered in the top five come draft night. His resumé is bursting at the seams with a talent league premiership to go with his Larke Medal as the best player in the state championships. Questions remain on his ball use and he lacks elite burst from stoppage, but Sanders is the best contested midfielder in the pool.

8. Ethan Read (8)
SUNS Academy/Allies
RUC, 202cm, 87kg
Talent League: 4 games, 20.0 disposals, 6.0 marks

Read could not have shown more this year playing across all three areas of the ground. His height and skills make him a unicorn type, and his best work has come in the ruck where he becomes an extra midfielder, dishing no-look handpasses and demonstrating a huge tank to cover the ground. Read could be absolutely anything at the next level, and the Suns will match a bid wherever it comes.

9. Connor O'Sullivan (10)
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country
DEF/FWD, 198cm, 92kg
Talent League: 9 games, 20.4 disposals, 7.0 marks

O'Sullivan is a no-nonsense key defender that can peel off his man, intercept and kickstart transition with good ball use. His flexibility to play on different types of forwards, kick goals as a forward and also run through the midfield has been impressive and added to an alluring package for clubs. O'Sullivan is in that top-10 frame with his mature body giving him scope to play senior football early next year.

10. Nick Watson (9)
Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro
FWD, 170cm, 66kg
Talent League: 9 games, 20.0 disposals, 1.1 goals

An excitement machine in the forward half, Watson has a bag of tricks as a small forward and has produced highlight after highlight over the years. He can play above his height in the air, pounces on loose balls at ground level and makes you pay on the scoreboard. Watson hasn't shown he can move through the midfield, and it's difficult to succeed at senior level at his height, but clubs won't be concerned about his outlook as a small forward in the AFL.

11. Darcy Wilson (13)
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country
MID, 185cm, 73kg
Talent League: 11 games, 25.4 disposals, 1.5 goals

A gut runner with speed and skill, Wilson is the prototype modern day wingman. He hits the scoreboard, wins one-on-ones in space with his size and tenacity, and can pressure the ball with his running capacity. Wilson has remained a likely first-round pick through the year with consistently good performances.

12. Jake Rogers (11)
SUNS Academy/Allies
MID, 171cm, 68kg
Talent League: 4 games, 25.5 disposals, 7.0 clearances

Rogers is another diminutive figure in the draft, but he brings pressure and intensity in abundance through the engine room. He has defensive acumen sweeping at centre bounces before bursting through when his side wins the ball and delivering inside 50 with aplomb. Rogers rounds out the three top-end academy talents for the Suns.

AFL have 'done the right thing' with Roos assistance package

Rohan Connolly and Rodney Eade break down North Melbourne's contentious assistance package, featuring three extra first-round draft picks.

13. Ollie Murphy (12)
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro
DEF, 200cm, 85kg
Talent League: 9 games, 10.1 disposals, 4.2 marks

Vic Metro's carnival MVP was Murphy, a resolute key defender with the size and attributes to develop into the number-one man down back for an AFL side. He has great defensive instincts in his positioning, reading of the ball and closing speed on the lead, but will take some time to put on the kilos needed to compete at the next level.

14. George Stevens (16)
GWV Rebels/Vic Country
MID/DEF, 189cm, 84kg
Talent League: 13 games, 28.8 disposals, 7.0 clearances

Stevens is a polarising player in this draft - He doesn't burst from contest and isn't a flashy player. But he's an elite ball-winner and decision-maker, plus can bite off corridor kicks with sneaky good ball use. His athleticism is peripheral to these traits as an inside midfielder, and clubs know his leadership and professionalism are top notch after rehabbing a torn ACL last season and returning to captain the AFL Academy.

15. Arie Schoenmaker (14)
Tasmania Devils/Allies
DEF/MID, 194cm, 89kg
Talent League: 8 games, 27.0 disposals, 5.9 marks

Schoenmaker is the best kick in the draft, effortlessly launching it 60 metres when he wheels onto his left foot out of defence. He has third tall size at either end of the ground, but his ability to find the ball in space and kickstart transition is invaluable for the Devils. Schoenmaker averages six more kicks than any other player and is a genuine driving force as a key defender.

16. Jordan Croft (15)
Calder Cannons/Vic Metro
FWD, 200cm, 80kg
Talent League: 11 games, 10.2 disposals, 2.1 goals

Croft is a super athlete, flying high and boasting superb acceleration on the lead. He's a nightmare match-up because of these traits as a 200-centimetre key forward. It's another exciting key tall selection for the Dogs under the father-son rule.

17. Will McCabe (17)
Central District/South Australia
DEF/FWD, 197cm, 81kg
SANFL U18s: 9 games, 21.8 disposals, 5.9 marks

McCabe's athleticism at either end of the ground is a sight, and has the ability to kickstart transition with a bounding gait. His energy and willingness to get involved up the ground is rare for his size. McCabe comes at a good time for Hawthorn as a father-son given their lack of key position depth.

18. Archie Roberts (20)
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro
DEF, 184cm, 77kg
Talent League: 9 games, 20.9 disposals, 3.7 marks

Roberts was part of Haileybury's APS triumph and went on to win a premiership with the Dragons as well. He tucks the ball under his arm and takes metres with his legs before picking out teammates with carefully crafted kicks off his right foot. Roberts has a turn of pace, reliable ball use and has been a leader throughout the year.

19. Koltyn Tholstrup (22)
Subiaco/Western Australia
FWD/MID, 188cm, 80kg
WAFL: 10 games, 11.0 disposals, 0.7 goals

A tenacious forward that can pinch hit through the midfield, Tholstrup's physicality and x-factor makes him unique in this pool. He's done tagging jobs at WAFL level, has kicked goals for every side he's played with and tackles with real vigour.

20. James Leake (26)
Tasmanian Devils/Allies
DEF/FWD, 188cm, 75kg
Talent League: 11 games, 16.1 disposals, 1.5 goals

A pure footballer who can play as a third tall at either end, Leake is another Apple Isle star with tremendous AFL traits. He reads the ball and takes a lot of marks ahead of his opponent and kicks well for goal, a knack that has come to the fore over the second half of the season. Leake doesn't have the size to be a genuine key tall but he plays above his height.

21. Caiden Cleary (22)
Swans Academy/Allies
MID, 180cm, 78kg
Talent League: 4 games, 27.0 disposals, 6.5 clearances

The best tackler in the draft is Cleary, who will add to a lineage of strong tacklers for the Swans. He's an an-and-under midfielder that gets to a lot of stoppages and wins a lot of ball. Cleary has neat disposal but doesn't offer the tricks of other midfielders.

22. Caleb Windsor (25)
Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro
MID, 185cm, 74kg
Talent League: 16 games, 19.4 disposals, 4.2 marks

Windsor has speed to burn on the edge of contest, bursting away and hitting the scoreboard consistently towards the end of his 2023 campaign. He's risen up the ranks, but hasn't proven his ball-winning ability as a centre bounce midfielder with it likely he will become a wingman at the next level.

23. Riley Hardeman (18)
Swan Districts/Western Australia
DEF, 188cm, 80kg
Talent League: WAFL Colts: 7 games, 22.1 disposals, 4.9 tackles

Hardeman is a good size as an intercepting halfback that uses the ball well. He's a leader for club and state, showed his defensive ability for WA at the carnival and is a consistent contributor each week.

24. Mitchell Edwards (19)
Peel Thunder/Western Australia
RUCK, 207cm, 90kg
WAFL Reserves: 5 games, 8.8 disposals, 20 hitouts

It's a good ruck crop in 2023 and Edwards has the best ruck craft of the group. He mauled ruckmen at Colts level, averaging over 40 hitouts per game. In the Reserves he battled against the bigger bodies and needs to improve his disposal and running capacity.

25. Will Green (23)
Northern Knights/Vic Metro
RUC, 204cm, 89kg
Talent League: 13 games, 11.3 disposals, 22.8 hitouts

Green rounds out the three ruckmen in the top 30, impressing with his rate of improvement with his ruck craft but more importantly a healthy appetite for the contest. He gets to work in the second phase of the contest which is a great sign for his ability to help his midfielders at the next level, but doesn't have the same craft as Edwards.

26. Harry Demattia (29)
Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country
MID, 184cm, 77kg
Talent League: 11 games, 19.0 disposals, 4.8 tackles

Demattia's speed and endurance blend makes him a tantalising prospect. The midfielder has played some of his best football off halfback and he operates really well in space, but has some question marks over his forward half nous and ball use under pressure.

27. Tew Jiath (28)
Gippsland Power
DEF, 187cm, 71kg
Talent League: 10 games, 17.7 disposals, 3.5 marks

The younger brother of Changkuoth, Tew Jiath is a Hawthorn NGA player but has played himself inside the best 40 prospects in the land, so may not make it to be matched by the Hawks past pick 40. He bounds out of defence with an effortless gait and uses the ball effectively, going at 80% by foot.

28. Koen Sanchez (24)
East Fremantle/Western Australia
FWD/MID, 178cm, 71kg
WAFL Colts: 6 games, 25.3 disposals, 4.2 marks

Sanchez is zippy and energetic, proving a disruptor defensively as a small forward and also hitting the scoreboard. He's spent most of his year as a midfielder where he finds the footy in abundance and takes ground with his legs, but he'll start his career in the forward 50 as a speedy small.

29. Luamon Lual (30)
GWV Rebels/Vic Country
DEF, 181cm, 71kg
Talent League: 14 games, 17.9 disposals, 2.1 marks

An ever-reliable halfback, Lual has been a beacon of consistency for a talented Rebels side. He doesn't try to do too much and doesn't often venture forward, but his defensive instincts and sound ball use make for an exciting package when coupled with his closing speed and a leap that allows him to play above his size.

30. Archer Reid (unranked)
Gippsland Power/Vic Country
FWD, 203cm, 93kg
Talent League: 11 games, 13.5 disposals, 1.5 goals

Reid has all the tools to be a star at the next level, with his height, aerobic capacity and safe hands. He's also had a strong backend of the year, but he hasn't quite shown an ability to be a first-choice ruckman or the number-one target in the forward line. The ceiling remains very high for the brother of Essendon's Zach.