AFL Draft June 2023 Power Rankings: Fresh faces and familiar footy names make their move

Hawthorn father-son Will McCabe has broken into the top 20, while some familiar last names in AFL circles, Nate Caddy and Zane Duursma, rise into the top three of ESPN's 2023 Draft Power Rankings for June, still headlined by consensus No. 1 pick Harley Reid.

The draft year is in full swing with the Allies enjoying a statement win over South Australia to kick off the National Championships, while the AFL Academy caused a boilover at Marvel Stadium when they knocked off Carlton's VFL side two weeks prior.

These are ESPN's 2023 AFL Draft power rankings for June.

1. Harley Reid (previous: 1)
Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country
MID, 185cm, 82kg
Talent League: 3 games, 22 disposals, 1.7 goals

Reid is aggressive and powerful through the middle of the ground, fending off would-be tacklers and making the game easier for his teammates by finding them in space. He hits the scoreboard from the midfield but also shows elite intercepting ability off halfback where he reads the play and bodylines the ball like Geelong's Tom Stewart. Reid dominated for the Pioneers, played a starring role in the VFL, and shouldered the load for the AFL Academy, but will be eyeing off a dominant National Championships with Vic Country to solidify his standing as a generational talent coming into the AFL.

Plays like: Dustin Martin

2. Nate Caddy (7)
Northern Knights/Vic Metro
FWD/MID, 192cm, 91kg
Talent League: 3 games, 15 disposals, 3 goals

Caddy delivered the performance the draft world was waiting for against the Oakleigh Chargers with 21 disposals and four goals. He has incredible presence in the air and hits the ball full-chested, but his ability to then win contested possessions and clearances at ground level has recruiters intoxicated by Caddy's upside, which is reflected in his sharp rise to No. 2.

Plays like: Charlie Curnow

3. Zane Duursma (4)
Gippsland Power/Vic Country
FWD/MID, 189cm, 79kg
Talent League: 5 games, 21 disposals, 2.3 goals

Over the past three rounds Duursma has kicked 10 goals and persevered through significant attention from the opposition. Brother of Port's Xavier, he boasts similarities to a Power teammate in Connor Rozee with his sharp sidestep, turn of pace and capacity to kick goals from the midfield. Duursma is bringing consistency to his exciting profile that already places him in high regard from clubs.

Plays like: Connor Rozee

4. Jed Walter (5)
SUNS Academy/Allies
FWD, 195cm, 91kg
Talent League: 4 games, 18 disposals, 4.5 goals

The first of three first-round Suns Academy prospects, Walter plays like a traditional key forward, leading out from the goal square and clunking pack marks. He's an aerial threat around the ground and possesses size-defying speed in straight lines that gives him a real point of difference. Walter could have kicked eight goals for the Allies against SA but was untypically wayward in front of goal, kicking 3.5 from 17 disposals in an otherwise dominant display.

Plays like: Max King

5. Nick Watson (3)
Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro
FWD, 170cm, 66kg
Talent League: 3 games, 26 disposals, 1.7 goals

Watson is pound-for-pound the most talented player in the draft pool, able to play above his height with aerial exploits but also make use of it to duck tacklers and slice through congestion. Watson's performances on-ball have been eye-catching to add a string to his bow. He has a wicked turn of pace and elite goal nous that will hold him in good stead at the next level.

Plays like: Izak Rankine

6. Colby McKercher (8)
Tasmania Devils/Allies
MID, 181cm, 73kg
Talent League: 5 games, 31 disposals, 1 goal

The best pure midfielder in a class that lacks mids towards the top end, McKercher will be in high demand as a classy, quick-footed engine room maestro. The Tasmanian is ultra-consistent in his high-end performances. He links play quickly and efficiently with deft kicks, which was on show in a 27-disposal performance for the Allies against SA.

Plays like: Zach Merrett

7. Mitchell Edwards (12)
Peel Thunder/Western Australia
RUCK, 207cm, 90kg
WAFL Colts: 4 games, 14 disposals, 35 hitouts

A modern-day ruckman with his leap and ability around the ground, Edwards has shot up the rankings thanks to a brilliant AFL Academy performance. He was the only draft prospect to take multiple contested marks against Carlton, plus he found space and used the ball well all day. Edwards doesn't just look like the Western Bulldogs' Tim English, he has all the hallmarks of the next great big man out of the West.

Plays like: Tim English

8. Daniel Curtin (6)
Claremont, Western Australia
DEF, 195cm, 93kg
WAFL Colts: 3 games, 16 disposals, 1 goal

Curtin has been thrown around the ground, unable to truly stamp his credentials on his top-age year after winning best afield honours in the Grand Final curtain-raiser last year. The utility has looked best down back where he reads the play and intercepts, while still being physical on his opponent. Curtin will be the key to WA's National Championships aspirations; at his best he's the premier key defender in the draft pool.

Plays like: James Sicily

9. Ashton Moir (2)
Glenelg/South Australia
FWD, 188cm, 84kg
SANFL Reserves: 2 games, 9.5 disposals, 2.5 goals

Moir has slid simply due to his lack of consistency to date. He hasn't impacted at AFL Academy level, and struggled to have any meaningful influence against the Allies with one soccered goal and another 'almost' performance. His talent is unquestionable - no prospect can stop on a dime, kick on both feet and pick out the goals from anywhere inside 50 like the mercurial forward. It's just a case of putting it all together for Moir.

Plays like: Jack Lukosius

10. Ryley Sanders (15)
Sandringham Dragons/Allies
MID, 186cm, 85kg
Talent League: 3 games, 32 disposals, 1 goal

Sanders has been simply undeniable in his performances to date, and alongside McKercher gives Tasmania the 'exacta' for pure midfielders in the draft. For the Allies on the weekend, the contested bull had a day out; he finished with 36 disposals, seven tackles and two goals in a best afield display. Sanders isn't the quickest or the flashiest, but he wears his socks up, extracts the footy time and again, and works doggedly from contest to contest.

Plays like: Brad Crouch

11. Darcy Wilson (19)
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country
MID, 185cm, 73kg
Talent League: 6 games, 23 disposals, 1.4 goals

Continually impressing with his insatiable work rate and cleanliness under pressure, Wilson is rising in his top-age campaign from a relative unknown last year. The outside midfielder racks up the ball and uses it well, but then charges back defensively for his team and fills holes in defence. He's a true two-way midfielder that has a competitive edge to his game.

Plays like: Josh Daicos

12. Jake Rogers (new entry)
SUNS Academy/Allies
MID, 171cm, 68kg
Talent League: 4 games, 26 disposals, 6 tackles

Winning best afield honours for the AFL Academy, Rogers is the second of Gold Coast's academy haul. The energetic midfielder pressures the opposition and swoops on loose balls, then bursts out of trouble and uses it cleanly. He's shown his wares as a centre bounce midfielder but his tenacity holds him in good stead to play across all three areas of the ground.

Plays like: Touk Miller

13. Connor O'Sullivan (14)
Murray Bushrangers/Allies
DEF/FWD, 198cm, 92kg
Talent League: 4 games, 20 disposals, 7.5 marks

O'Sullivan has played up forward in recent weeks, but arguably his best work comes as a lockdown key defender. He has closing speed on the lead and safe hands in the air which allows him to fly for his marks and get the ball moving the other way quickly. O'Sullivan is no-fuss and ultra-reliable wherever he plays.

Plays like: Tom Barrass

14. Ethan Read (new entry)
SUNS Academy/Allies
RUC, 202cm, 87kg
Talent League: 20 disposals, 20 hitouts

Read offers tantalising upside with his dexterity at 202 centimetres and rounds out the best of Gold Coast's academy prospects. The ruckman has shown exciting forward craft to go with a deft tap and elite work around the ground, routinely collecting big numbers and playing like an extra midfielder. The ruck battle between WA's Edwards and Read will be watched closely by recruiters as the top two in the draft.

Plays like: Luke Jackson

15. Nathan Philactides (11)
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro
DEF, 181cm, 78kg
Talent League: 6 games, 19 disposals, 3 tackles

A dashing halfback with dare in abundance, Philactides is at his best with the ball tucked under his arm bursting onto the wing and picking out targets deep afield. He's a metres gained player that doubles as a stout defender, using his closing speed to limit opportunities and keep his forward in check. He announced himself with a 34-disposal performance in a tough game against the Knights, but his Chargers continue to flounder in the Talent League.

Plays like: Bailey Dale

16. Archer Reid (9)
Gippsland Power/Vic Country
FWD, 203cm, 93kg
Talent League: 4 games, 13 disposals, 1.25 goals

Reid has stacks of ability with a good aerobic base working up and down the wing before getting into the forward 50 to finish off opportunities. It's his consistency that has let him down a bit this year, and he was unable to make an impact in an AFL Academy forward line that boasted Nate Caddy and Jed Walter. Regardless, his athletic profile and marking ability gives him a base to push back into the top 10 this year.

Plays like: Eric Hipwood

17. Koltyn Tholstrup (13)
Subiaco/Western Australia
FWD/MID, 188cm, 80kg
WAFL: 5 games, 10 disposals, 0.67 goals

Tholstrup has been thrown a number of different tasks at league level for Subiaco, and impressed by holding two-time Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton to 11 touches in a tagging role. It's that fierce competitiveness that recruiters love about the long-haired country kid that thrives in transition where he can run and carry before driving the ball deep inside 50. If Tholstrup can prove a game-winning forward-half midfielder for WA over the championships he'll elevate his stock right into the top 10.

Plays like: Zac Bailey

18. Will Patton (10)
West Adelaide/South Australia
DEF, 193cm, 75kg
SANFL u18s: 5 games, 22 disposals, 5 marks

Like his SA teammates, Patton had a tough day against the Allies and struggled to contain a rampaging Jed Walter. He remains a steady influence for his teammates and is raved about for his on-field leadership. Patton reads the play well and is a good one-on-one defender to go with his leadership qualities.

Plays like: Alex Pearce

19. Will McCabe (new entry)
Central District/South Australia
DEF/FWD, 197cm, 81kg
SANFL u18s: 6 games, 21 disposals, 6 marks

The top father-son prospect in the draft, McCabe is set to end up at the Hawks where his dad Luke played 138 games. Will is an ultra-athletic swingman that could genuinely end up at either end of the ground. He intercepts and gets the ball moving quickly in defence, but also flies high and kicks truly as a forward. He was one of SA's best in their loss to the Allies over the weekend, finishing with seven intercept possessions as a backman.

Plays like: Harry Himmelberg

20. Logan Morris (new entry)
Western Jets/Vic Metro
FWD, 192cm, 84kg
Talent League: 5 games, 12 disposals, 3.4 goals

Morris featured in April's edition of the power rankings before dropping out in May, but his work at VFL level for Werribee where he kicked two goals was eye-catching. His timing on the lead is a hallmark of his play and it complements his beautiful set shot routine. Morris isn't part of the AFL Academy so will be keen to enhance his standing with a big National Championships.

Plays like: Nick Larkey