Contracted: 37 (no category B rookies).

List needs: More midfield depth.

Midfield prodigy Will Ashcroft won’t last beyond pick two, with North Melbourne expected to place a bid after the Giants likely bypass him to anoint Aaron Cadman as the No.1 pick. The Lions will save 483 draft points – the equivalent of pick 37 – if that scenario plays out. Fellow father-son draftee Jaspa Fletcher, like Ashcroft a midfielder and under-18 All-Australian, is also set to attract a first-round bid. On top of Josh Dunkley’s recruitment, Ashcroft and Fletcher are ideal additions to the club’s on-ball brigade. They will be Brisbane’s only national draftees, given the rest of their list spots are already accounted for. The Lions will likely be involved in another pick swap or two to boost their draft points. Their current draft hand adds up to 2238 points, which will almost entirely be used up if Ashcroft goes at No.2. Brisbane can go into deficit for next year’s draft but avoiding that would be preferred. They will also sign a third father-son-eligible player, Darryl McDowell-White, as a category B rookie. Brisbane are committed to redrafting delisted duo Nakia Cockatoo and Ryan Lester, while the other list spot will go to Irish star and ex-Bomber Conor McKenna.


Draft picks: 10, 29, 49, 64, 74.

Contracted: 38 (one category B rookie).

List needs: Leg speed, defensive depth.

Tireless Murray Bushrangers on-baller Ollie Hollands continues to be linked with the Blues’ first pick, but this could easily change depending on what happens in front of them. A Will Ashcroft bid will push Carlton’s selection to 11 but more important will be any potential sliders making it through. Essendon’s decision at No.4 could mean Elijah Tsatas or Mattaes Phillipou slip down the order, so they could interest the Blues if they were somehow still up for grabs. Cam Mackenzie is another possibility if St Kilda, who have the previous pick, go in a different direction, and if he makes it past Hawthorn. If Carlton opt for a key defender, then Jedd Busslinger could be available at their first pick. Hard-running Dandenong Stingray Jaxon Binns – who could slot in as a wingman or high-half-forward – is one player Carlton have monitored and may consider with a later pick, along with Oakleigh ruckman Hudson O’Keeffe. The Blues delisted Ed Curnow but will redraft him as a rookie.

Ollie Hollands, pictured tackling George Wardlaw, is in Carlton’s sights.

Ollie Hollands, pictured tackling George Wardlaw, is in Carlton’s sights. Credit:Getty Images


Draft picks: 16, 25, 27, 51, 79.

Contracted: 38 (one category B rookie).

List needs: Long-term defensive and ruck options.

The Magpies find themselves smack bang in the middle of a swathe of Giants and Swans picks late in the first round, after being active players in the trade period. Medium-sized defender Jakob Ryan is one player consistently linked with Collingwood, and to a lesser extent Melbourne. Jedd Busslinger is almost certain to be gone by Collingwood’s first pick, so if it’s not Ryan, they may instead go for another defender in Lachie Cowan. The Giants like Olli Hotton, son of ex-Collingwood big man Trent, so the Magpies would likely need to use pick 16 on him if they want him. Small forward Charlie Clarke has also been raised as a potential target, but that may be in the second round. Key defender Lewis Hayes could still be available in the 20s but industry sources believe ruckman Harry Barnett would be a priority at 25. They could place a bid on Brisbane Lions father-son prospect Jaspa Fletcher, too. Collingwood are committed to redrafting delisted first-year midfielder Cooper Murley in the rookie draft.


Draft picks: 4, 22, 54, 61, 66.

Contracted: 37 (no category B rookies).

List needs: Midfield class, leg speed, defensive depth.

What the Bombers do with their first choice could have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the top 10. Not as much is likely to change if they go for Elijah Tsatas, but it would be a different story if they pick ultra-confident mid-forward Mattaes Phillipou. Coach Brad Scott met Tsatas and his Essendon-supporting family this week, and rivals believe they are more likely to select the classy Oakleigh Chargers midfielder than Phillipou. What is certain is Essendon will snap up the Davey twins – Alwyn jnr and Jayden – but will desperately hope a bid on the former comes after No. 22. West Coast and the Bulldogs, who have the two picks before the Bombers, are doing their due diligence on Alwyn jnr and loom as the dangers. Another option is for Essendon to find a trade partner to move up or down. Jayden is poised to join the Bombers with their last national draft pick. Elijah Hewett is one player the Bombers may consider if they retain that selection and Alwyn jnr hasn’t already attracted a bid, but he is tipped to be off the board on Monday night. Irishman Cian McBride is set to return as a category B rookie as well.


Draft picks: 30, 43, 44, 65, 70, 77.

Contracted: 36 (no category B rookies).

List needs: Long-term ruck support, key defensive depth.

South Australia’s Harry Barnett, the best ruckman in this year’s draft pool, seems a logical choice if he makes it to the Dockers’ first pick. Sean Darcy and key recruit Luke Jackson – who they gave up this year’s and next year’s first-round picks, plus a future second-round selection for – are their only recognised big men after Rory Lobb and Lloyd Meek departed. No one expects Barnett to make it any further than pick 30, but the firm belief is he will be gone by then. List boss David Walls is on record as saying he wants a developing ruckman and another key defender but will draft the best available talent at their first pick. Tall defensive options Fremantle could look at include Tom McCallum, Jed Adams, Hugh Davies, James Van Es and Ethan Phillips, who starred as an interceptor in the VFL this past season. Assuming Barnett is gone at the Dockers’ first pick, they could pivot to Oakleigh’s Hudson O’Keeffe or Eastern’s Clay Tucker as a ruck project. Ireland’s Ultan Kelm previously committed to Fremantle but is now not expected to join the club as a category B rookie.


Draft picks: 7, 58.

Contracted: 38 (one category B rookie).

List needs: Long-term key defensive depth.

The so-called Joel Selwood clone, hard-nosed Geelong Falcons midfielder Jhye Clark, has long been linked with the Cats’ top pick, but there is interest in him ahead of that selection, including from Hawthorn. Key defender Jedd Busslinger and fellow Western Australian Ed Allan, a 194-centimetre endurance machine, are others on Geelong’s radar. Busslinger seems a good fit for the long term, given the Cats already brought in Tanner Bruhn and plan to use Jack Bowes, in part, as a midfielder as well, but Clark might be too appealing as a local product. They have few list holes to fill and them snaring a top-10 pick – thanks to the Bowes trade with Gold Coast – was a brilliant get after winning the flag. Geelong doesn’t pick again until late in the draft after trading a series of selections as part of the process to eventually acquire promising forward Ollie Henry from Collingwood. Irishman Oisin Mullin will fill one of the Cats’ category B slots.


Connor Blakely could join Gold Coast in the draft.

Connor Blakely could join Gold Coast in the draft.Credit:Getty Images

Draft picks: 5, 45, 68.

Contracted: 42 (including one category B rookie).

List needs: Midfield and defensive depth, experience.

Gippsland Power captain Bailey Humphrey is hotly tipped to be the Suns’ top selection, but they remain keen enough on Reuben Ginbey to have darted across the Nullarbor to interview him this week. They are the two prospects most commonly linked with Gold Coast, and it would be a shock if they went in a different direction. Their second pick will come in a bit – likely inside 40 – once the Lions, in particular, match bids on father-son pair Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher, so the Suns will hope someone they rate slides down the order. Gold Coast used their second national draft pick (No. 63) last year on ex-Cat Charlie Constable and this time around it could be delisted Docker Connor Blakely in the 60s again with their third selection. They are also interested in former Kangaroo and Hawk Jed Anderson, but the belief is he is more likely to be a pre-season selection.


Draft picks: 1, 15, 18, 19, 31, 57.

Contracted: 38 (one category B rookie).

List needs: Key forward, midfield depth.

The Giants traded for the No.1 pick as part of a four-club mega deal in October and were quickly tied to Greater Western Victoria Rebels key forward Aaron Cadman. The obvious hope is Cadman will eventually fill the club’s top need as a reliable target, to ease the load on Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan, especially with Harry Himmelberg moving down back. Rivals believe GWS won’t bid on Brisbane Lions father-son gun Will Ashcroft at the top of the order, but that will be confirmed on Monday night. They are believed to be keen on Josh Weddle, but the Swans will likely swoop on the defender first, leaving the Giants to grab one of the small forwards they are keen on. Brayden George, Jacob Konstanty and Charlie Clarke are the likeliest to go there. Ollie Hotton is another player who has been linked to GWS, while they have made no secret they are willing to trade one of their picks from 15 to 19. Cadman’s Rebels teammate Hugh Bond, a tough midfielder, could be in the mix at 31, assuming a bid doesn’t come before that for fellow on-baller Harry Rowston. Will Shaw is a chance to return as a category B rookie.

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