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ESPN's early two-round phantom draft for 2022 - every pick of the first two rounds

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The AFL's next big stat ... revealed? (1:30)

Christian Joly from Champion Data discusses the stats that AFL clubs are keen to measure more, a new one being ubbed 'intercept... returns from... stoppages'. (1:30)

Throughout 2022, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Chris Doerre has cast his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars. He's released his latest two-round phantom draft.


A note from Chris: "With this phantom draft appearing before the trade period, it is important to note many of these picks will be moving - in what may be the busiest trade period yet. Nonetheless, this phantom draft should provide early insight into who some of this year's top prospects are, how they play, and showcase where some of this year's top-rated father-son, academy and next-generation academy prospects are rated.".

1. Brisbane (matching North Melbourne's bid) - Will Ashcroft (Brisbane - F/S)
Will, the son of Brisbane great Marcus, has agreed to become a father-son selection for the Lions meaning Brisbane will match any bid for the talented youngster. A Round 1-ready midfielder who requires no time to develop, Will has dominated against all competition, headlined by his average of 29.3 disposals, 7.3 tackles and five clearances for Brisbane in the VFL. Will stands out with the volume of his contested ball winning and the frequency with which he bursts 5-15 metres out of stoppages.

2. North Melbourne - George Wardlaw
Wardlaw is a contested beast who does his best work at stoppages. A powerful first possession winner, Wardlaw absorbs and fends off opposition tacklers with ease. Wardlaw is a reliable distributor by hand from stoppages and defensively displays an unmatched level of commitment and effort which sets him apart.

3. West Coast - Elijah Tsatas
The premier loose ball-winning midfielder in this draft, Tsatas is routinely first to the ball and wins it on the move at speed. Tsatas has an established reputation for the ease and speed with which he breaks the lines, with his acceleration and evasion of opponents on the move a highlight.

4. GWS Giants - Aaron Cadman
The premier key forward in this year's draft, Cadman has demonstrated rapid improvement and has separated himself from the pack with the variety of ways with which he impacts games and takes advantage of rival key defenders. Cadman is a strong contested mark, creates separation on the lead, is powerful over ground balls, dangerous close to goal, and adept when pushing further afield.

5. Essendon - Harry Sheezel
One of this year's premier forwards, Sheezel demonstrates goal sense, sets up teammates forward of centre, takes contested marks, and is also a ground level threat inside 50. Also effective through the midfield, Sheezel wins first possession at stoppages, displays classy ball use and his deceptive agility and change of pace often catches opponents off guard.

6. Adelaide - Jhye Clark
Playing taller than his height, Clark is not only adept winning the contested ball through the midfield but is also a strong overhead mark who can push forward and provide a target. A complete midfielder, Clark displays a promising inside/outside midfield balance by winning and tackling on the inside, while his composure, tidy skills, and high work rate on the outside is notable.

7. Hawthorn - Cameron Mackenzie
Despite being a Saints Academy prospect, St Kilda will not have first access to Mackenzie as bids for Next-Generation Academy prospects can no longer be matched inside the top-40. A balanced and well-rounded midfielder, Mackenzie is a strong contested ball winner and is equally adept receiving the ball on the move at stoppages, where he displays quickness and evasion. He also hurts the opposition by foot by placing his kicks out in front of his targets to lead onto.

8. Gold Coast - Mattaes Phillipou
The son of former Footscray player Sam, Mattaes is a 192cm, dual position impact player who is arguably this year's most damaging prospect through the midfield and up forward. Through the midfield, Phillipou is a first possession winner who bursts out of stoppages at speed and demonstrates class with ball in hand. As a forward he provides a marking presence, hits the scoreboard at will, and sets up teammates inside 50 with precise entry kicks.

9. Port Adelaide - Jedd Busslinger
The most advanced key defender in this draft, Busslinger is an elite intercept mark who reads the ball early in flight and attacks the footy well in the air. With ball in hand, Busslinger is a composed and reliable ball user, while defensively he is competitive and able to curb the influence of his direct opponent.

10. St Kilda - Matthew Jefferson
An athletic, high-flying key forward, Jefferson is one of the best readers of the ball in flight in this draft, and is a marking force forward of centre. Providing heavy scoreboard impact during the Under-18 Championships headlined by seven goals for Vic Metro against Western Australia, Jefferson does not need to find much of the football to put points on the board.

11. Carlton - Bailey Humphrey
After missing Victoria Country's first three Under-18 Championships matches due to knee surgery, Humprey has starred since returning and has established himself as one of this year's most damaging dual position impact players. Up forward, Humphrey is a contested marking force and strong over ground balls while through the midfield he is a powerful contested ball winner with the strength to break tackles at will.

12. Western Bulldogs - Oliver Hollands
The younger brother of Gold Coast's Elijah, Oliver Hollands is one of the elite endurance athletes and two-way runners in this year's draft. A midfielder with a balanced inside/outside game, Hollands can push through the midfield and win his own ball, is a composed and classy user of the football by hand and foot, creates time and space for himself in traffic, and covers substantial ground over the course of a game.

13. Richmond - Elijah Hewett
A big game performer, Hewett is a strong contested ball winning midfielder who displays power when exiting stoppages. Hewett possesses speed, agility, evasion, and is an aerial marking threat. Damaging when he secures the ball forward of centre, Hewett places kicks out in front of targets and is a dangerous finisher around goal.

14. Brisbane (matching Fremantle's bid) - Jaspa Fletcher (F/S)
The son of 231-gamer Adrian, Jaspa is not only a father-son eligible prospect for Brisbane but has also been part of their Academy. Jaspa plays his best football on the outside, taking on the game with his speed and breaking games open with his run and carry and long and precise kicks.

15. Fremantle - Reuben Ginbey
A tall, big-bodied, ball-winning midfielder with power and acceleration away from stoppages, Ginbey won the Western Australian MVP during the Under-18 Championships. A consistent performer, Ginbey has a powerful build and distributes effectively by hand. He also possesses the strength to stand up through and break tackles.

16. Essendon (Matching Sydney's bid) - Alwyn Davey Jr (Essendon F/S)
The son of former Essendon forward Alwyn, Davey Jr plays his best football forward and displays blistered speed, agility, and evasion with ball in hand. He is freakish at ground level, is dangerous both as a crumber and when a loose ball is there to be won, routinely makes something special happen with ball in hand, and applies good forward pressure, often providing second and third efforts.

17. Sydney - Henry Hustwaite
The younger brother of Collingwood VFL co-captain Campbell, Henry is a 194cm stoppage specialist. Hustwaite is not only one of this year's best contested ball-winning midfielders but is also a reliable inside distributor who demonstrates composure in traffic. Hustwaite is a rapid improver with substantial upside who has benefitted from a late growth spurt.

18. Collingwood - Lewis Hayes
The younger brother of Port Adelaide's Sam, Lewis Hayes is a rapidly improving key defender and one of this draft's youngest. A high-volume intercept marking key defender, Hayes involves himself regularly as a rebounder from defence. He demonstrates tidy skills and displays great mobility for someone his height.

19. Sydney - Isaac Keeler
Part of Adelaide's Next-Generation Academy, the Crows will not have first access to Keeler if a bid is placed on him inside the top 40. A high-leaping, smooth moving athlete at 198cm, Keeler is dangerous around goal, can push high up the field, and displays impressive one-touch cleanliness at ground level. Arguably 2022's most freakish key forward, Keeler is also able to provide relieving minutes through the ruck.

20. Geelong - Josh Weddle
A 'third defender' who possesses the height, strength, and leap to play tall and the speed to stick with dangerous small forwards. Weddle is a capable intercept mark, and the run and dare he displays from defence is a strength, even if it's uncommon for someone his height and type.

21. Richmond - Coby Burgiel
A versatile and speedy midfielder who hits the scoreboard and wins his own ball, Burgiel displays the versatility to play an inside or outside role or up forward. What stands out most with Burgiel is how natural he is with ball in hand in general play, and how rarely he needs to break stride whether marking or receiving by hand on the move.

22. West Coast - Brayden George
A strong-bodied, powerful forward, George plays a high impact-per-possession game. He hurts opponents by foot around the ground and does not need to find a lot of the ball to hit the scoreboard heavily. Proficient both overhead and at ground level, George is a marking threat one-on-one, aerially and on the lead, while at ground level he is a one-touch player and a powerful contested ball winner.

23. GWS Giants - Jacob Konstanty
As dangerous as any small forward in this year's draft around goal, Konstanty wreaks havoc both at ground level and as a marking target. While Konstanty is a weapon offensively, his speed, forward pressure and tackling inside 50 are also notable strengths.

24. Adelaide - Harry Barnett
This year's most highly-touted ruckman, Barnett is a contested marking weapon whether pushing forward or behind the ball. Though the middle, Barnett is an effective tap ruckman, but what separates Barnett at ruck contests is his strength to win the ball himself out of the ruck before disposing of the football.

25. Hawthorn - Mitch Szybkowski
A strong ball-winning midfielder, Szybkowski is one of this draft's better inside distributors, with his work by hand arguably the best in the draft. Possessing good speed, Szybkowski spreads well from stoppages, covers a lot of ground, displays agility, and, when given the time and space, places his kicks accurately out in front of targets.

26. GWS Giants - Olli Hotton
A dual position player who impacts games through the midfield and up forward, Hotton is a dangerous matchup across both positions. Through the midfield, Hotton wins first possession at stoppages and evades opponents with speed and agility. As a forward, Hotton is an aerial threat, and demonstrates a high work rate. He also crumbs well at ground level.

27. West Coast - Darcy Jones
A small but speedy outside midfielder, Jones breaks the lines and takes on the game with an unmatched level of dash and dare, displaying rare speed and agility. While Jones plays a high impact-per-possession game, he also finds and wins a good amount of his own ball.

28. St Kilda - Noah Long
Damaging both as a forward and midfielder, Long's burst of speed and work at ground level are his strengths. When used through the midfield, Long often wins first possession and bursts out of stoppages at speed, while as a forward, he is dynamic, a natural crumber, and talented finisher around goal.

29. Carlton - Jaxon Binns
One of this draft's elite endurance runners, Binns is a midfielder who runs all day and accumulates disposals at will. While best utilised on a wing, Binns is also dangerous when he pushes forward, with his agility, evasion, ground level work and finishing around goal notable.

30. Western Bulldogs - Charlie Clarke
A speedy small forward, Clarke is one of the better crumbing forwards in this draft. Clarke plays with an infectious energy, applies good forward pressure and is not just a freakish finisher who can hit the scoreboard in bunches - but is also effective setting up teammates for shots on goal.

31. Richmond - Jakob Ryan
A well-rounded medium defender, Ryan's greatest strength is his intercepting capabilities with his biggest threats being the ability to take intercept marks and win intercept possessions at ground level. A capable rebounder from defence, Ryan can generate drive both by foot and with his run and carry.

32. Gold Coast - Lachlan Cowan
A rebounding defender who generates meaningful drive from defence, Cowan is a damaging long kick and has the speed to break the lines. A prolific accumulator, Cowan is comfortable taking kickouts and is regularly intercepting in defence.

33. Melbourne - Luke Teal
An athletic medium defender, Teal does his best work behind the ball as an intercepting threat, with his reading of the ball in flight and intercept marking highlights of his game. While mostly used in defence this year, Teal has experience playing through the midfield where his ball use and composure under pressure have been hallmarks of his game.

34. Gold Coast - Sam Gilbey
A medium intercept marking defender, Gilbey is an exceptional reader of the ball in flight, who not only gets to the right spots behind the ball to take intercept marks but also displays sticky hands overhead. Despite his light frame, he absorbs opposition contact well and holds onto his marks. An athletic defender who moves well, Gilbey is a capable rebounder and sound ball user.

35. Sydney - Anthony Munkara
An Essendon Next-Generation Academy prospect due to being a part of Essendon's Northern Territory Zone, the Bombers will be hoping Munkara slips past pick 40 so they can match bids. Munkara is a talented medium forward who is a strong overhead mark with a springy leap who plays an instinctive style of game, displays good skills and is a talented finisher around goal.

36. Geelong - Edward Allan
The son of former Hawk and Docker Ben, Edward Allan is a tall utility of key position height who looks most likely to develop into either a tall wingman or flanker. Edward is a skillful and mobile tall who covers a lot of ground, finds the ball in bunches, and has also shown that he can even be utilised as an inside midfielder.