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AFL Draft Weekly Wrap: Hobbs does his top-10 chances no harm

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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

On debut for South Adelaide at SANFL League level, despite his side enduring a 58-point loss to North Adelaide, Arlo Draper showcased his class and enhanced his top-10 draft chances.

Draper worked hard defensively in the first half, bringing an opposition player to ground in a key tackle, and chasing and harassing with intent on other plays.

It was in the second half that he came to life and displayed a lot of what he can do. Starting the third quarter with a quick and instinctive goal, Draper then went on to take numerous leadup marks on the wing, demonstrating strong hands overhead.

What impressed recruiters most though was his kicking, vision and decision making. After taking marks on the wing, Draper more than once located and hit targets by foot in the corridor with precision. He also later in the game showed on the move the composure to take his time, lower his eyes and find the leading inside 50m target.

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While Draper spent his time in the front half, he is every bit as effective through the midfield. Despite having a lean build and being listed at just 71kg, Draper has in the Under-18s and Reserves impressed with his contested ball winning and tackling, winning an unusually high ratio of contested ball for someone of his stature.

With some hints of Robbie Gray as a genuine dual position midfielder/forward, while Draper managed just 11 disposals, five marks, five tackles and one goal, he was one of his side's best performers in a tough second half. More importantly from the perspective of clubs, despite only being his second match back after missing a month with an ankle injury, Draper fit in seamlessly at SANFL League level. He looked comfortable with the pace of play and did not look rushed which suggests once physically ready for AFL play, he shouldn't struggle with the step up.


Rising stocks

NAB League

*Due to Victoria's lockdowns, there were only two NAB League games played.

In a breakout performance, 194cm midfielder Mitch Knevitt was the dominant player on the field for Geelong in their 38-point win against Bendigo, with game highs of 36 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 10 marks (four contested), eight inside 50s. He also kicked one goal. Knevitt's draft stocks have risen over the course of the season and could with further strong performances make his way into the first-round mix. Knevitt's distribution by hand, his pressure applied around the ball and strong contested marking were features to his game.

WAFL

Colts

Building on his strong performance the previous week where he kicked three goals, overager Joshua Cripps backed up that performance with 23 disposals, nine hitouts and four goals for East Fremantle in their 116-point win against Subiaco. The younger brother of Patrick, Joshua is coming into form at the right time of year to bring himself into the draft consideration.

First round draft watch

NAB League

Securing 32 disposals, 16 contested possessions, eight clearances and one goal for Greater Western Victoria in their seven-point loss to Gippsland, Ben Hobbs did his top-10 chances no harm.

SANFL

League

While there were occasions Matty Roberts needed to take more time, lower his eyes and hit the shorter targets, he did nonetheless place some perfectly weighted kicks for targets to enjoy. Mostly being used as a receiver and being asked to play on the outside, Roberts secured 20 disposals and seven inside 50s for South Adelaide.

While pick one contender Jason Horne-Francis statistically appeared to have a quiet game with just 12 disposals for South Adelaide, he again worked hard defensively, chasing and pressuring with energy and enthusiasm. In the second half, Horne-Francis spent time in defence but struggled to generate much run or drive, with his better play coming earlier on through the midfield. Jason Horne-Francis had his name changed recently as a nod to stepfather and former AFL footballer Fabian Francis.

Under-18s

Port Adelaide father-son and son of Peter, Jase Burgoyne was prolific for Woodville-West Torrens in their 126-point win against Sturt. The classy utility managed 40 disposals, nine marks (three contested), nine clearances and six inside 50s. Burgoyne is a genuine dual position player who is not just a prolific accumulator and ball winner through the midfield but also in defence is an exceptional interceptor with how he reads the game. While Burgoyne isn't certain to attract a first-round bid, there may be clubs thinking about it if Burgoyne continues this level of performance.

Future draft watch

SANFL

Under-18s

Looking like he'll be an early pick in 2022, Matteas Phillipou put on a show for Woodville-West Torrens with 32 disposals, seven tackles, five marks and six goals, in a dominant display both up forward and through the midfield.

Draft eligible in 2023, Jack Delean was prolific up forward for South Adelaide in their 73-point win against North Adelaide with 12 disposals, five tackles and five goals. This is his second straight five goal haul and moves him to 16 goals in his past four games.

Other key performers

SANFL

League

Improving with each game at SANFL League level, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera managed 13 disposals, five tackles and one goal for Glenelg in their 54-point win against Central Districts in a lively display. Wanganeen-Milera's pressure, speed and ball use have shone through this year and could see him enter the draft discussion earlier than later.

Former Brisbane Lion, Sam Skinner starred in defence for South Adelaide with 18 disposals and 11 marks (four contested). Delisted at the end of the 2020 season, Skinner looks good enough to step straight into an AFL side at centre-half back with how dominant his intercept marking is. Starting the year up forward and playing good football, he looks even better since shifting into defence. He was just as effective last week with 12 marks (four contested).

WAFL

Colts

In Claremont's 95-point win against Perth, Jacob Van Rooyen starred up forward with 22 disposals, seven marks and five goals.