AFL Draft Power Rankings: The top 50 prospects in 2023

ESPN has released its final AFL Draft power rankings for 2023, extended to include the best 50 prospects from across the country.

Atop the perch sits Harley Reid, the consensus number one prospect for 18 months now. Reid will hear his name called first on the highly-anticipated night of November 20, when the first round is completed. Tuesday's November 21 will hold the remainder of the national draft, with the rookie draft on Wednesday.

The first round could be extended to as many as 27 picks, with three Gold Coast Academy players, plus Hawks and Dogs father-sons expecting to hear their names read out. Around 60 picks are expected in the national draft, with a strong top 12 making way for an even mix that have split club recruiters.

Amongst the talent in this year's edition are 11 prospects from the championship-winning Allies, including four Suns Academy prospects and four Tasmanians in the top 20. Twelve prospects have come through the Vic Country program, 11 from Vic Metro, while eight come from Western Australia and there are five South Australians. Another three prospects weren't given an opportunity at the National Championships, but have exploded in the second half of the year to rocket into draft calculations.

Back-to-back premiers the Sandringham Dragons boast seven of the top 50 names, headlined by Larke Medallist Ryley Sanders.

These are the 50 names you need to know in the 2023 AFL Draft, as ESPN unveils its official top 50 power rankings.

1. Harley Reid

Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country

MID, 187cm, 85kg

Talent League: 6 games, 18.5 disposals, 2.0 goals

The most powerful midfielder to come through the junior ranks in recent years, Reid has solidified his credentials in a dominant top-age year. In his bottom-age campaign he earned All Australian honours for Vic Country as an intercept defender and in 2023 he continued on his trajectory, playing as a game-wrecker in the forward 50 and then dictating play with composure at centre bounces. Reid has all the makings of a generational forward-half midfielder with his aggression, explosive traits and professionalism.

Draft range: 1

2. Jed Walter (SUNS Academy)

SUNS Academy/Allies

FWD, 194cm, 97kg

Talent League: 4 games, 18.2 disposals, 4.5 goals

The premier key forward of the draft is Walter, a behemoth with aerial prowess and a rounded defensive game. His straight line speed defies his size, helping to create separation on the lead and enable his elite ground-level pressure. It's the full package that makes Walter a match-up nightmare and the perfect partner to Ben King on the Gold Coast.

Draft range: 2-3

3. Colby McKercher

Tasmania Devils/Allies

MID, 181cm, 73kg

Talent League: 9 games, 29.4 disposals, 1.3 goals

A midfield maestro with creativity and skill in abundance, McKercher's high-level consistency places him as the best pure midfielder in the pool. The Launceston native swoops on loose balls with an elite turn of pace that helps him exit congestion, and he links play together with a sharp left boot.

Draft range: 2-5

4. Zane Duursma

Gippsland Power/Vic Country

FWD/MID, 189cm, 79kg

Talent League: 12 games, 19.3 disposals, 2.8 goals

Duursma is a forward line dazzler, flying through packs and exiting with ball in hand, impossible to catch with evasiveness akin to Power star Connor Rozee. His speed and dare, combined with elite skills at full flight make him a nightmare match-up. Duursma is a forward-half gamewinner with best-in-draft upside thanks to his athletic profile and goalkicking mastery.

Draft range: 2-5

5. Nate Caddy

Northern Knights/Vic Metro

FWD/MID, 193cm, 88kg

Talent League: 9 games, 16.3 disposals, 2.7 goals

Caddy is a brutish key forward with elite contested marking proficiency and a unique ground-level game. His stints on-ball are eye-catching, but it's his forward 50 aerial work that will see him drafted in the top 10. Caddy clunks grabs on the lead and crashes packs with real ferocity. He then butters up and gets involved on the deck with good hands below his knees.

Draft range: 5-10

6. Dan Curtin

Claremont/Western Australia

DEF, 197cm, 95kg

WAFL: 6 games, 16.5 disposals, 4.0 marks

An intercepting defender that always seems in control, Curtin reads the flight of the ball beautifully and can kickstart transition with tidy disposal off his left boot. He played on-ball and looked at home for WA, and has been swung forward at times to great effect. Curtin is a pure footballer that could end up at either end of the ground at the next level.

Draft range: 4-10

7. Ryley Sanders (North Melbourne NGA)

Sandringham Dragons/Allies

MID, 186cm, 85kg

Talent League: 9 games, 30.6 disposals, 7.0 clearances

The premier contested midfielder is Sanders, who uses his strength and clean hands to rip the ball out of stoppages and rack up possessions. He rounded out his game well this season, improving his running capacity and hitting the scoreboard. Sanders isn't a consistently good kick and doesn't have the tricks of others, but his dogged determination at the coalface is supreme. North can only match a bid outside the top 40, but Sanders will go in the top 10 of the draft.

Draft range: 4-10

8. Ethan Read (SUNS Academy)

SUNS Academy/Allies

RUC, 202cm, 92kg

Talent League: 4 games, 20.0 disposals, 6.0 marks

Read is football's next unicorn, a 202-centimetre ruckman that can play as an extra midfielder and run like the wind. His 5:56 minute 2km at the combine was good for third place across the pool, highlighting his capacity to get from contest to contest and outwork his opponent. Read has already shown his acumen in the VFL, and despite his slender frame could play senior football in attack or defence as early as next season.

Draft range: 6-12

9. Connor O'Sullivan

Murray Bushrangers/Allies

DEF/FWD, 198cm, 92kg

Talent League: 9 games, 20.4 disposals, 7.0 marks

O'Sullivan is a mountainous pillar in defence, able to beat his forward with strength and positioning. His best asset is his intercept marking with strong hands (he averaged the second-most marks in the CTL) and good reading of the play, but he also gets involved in transition and has shown flashes up forward and on-ball. O'Sullivan has the physique that will allow him to step up to AFL level in 2024.

Draft range: 8-15

10. Nick Watson

Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

FWD, 170cm, 66kg

Talent League: 9 games, 20.0 disposals, 1.1 goals

The 'Wizard' Watson boasts freakish attributes in the forward 50, using his speed and smarts to sniff out goals in a variety of ways. The diminutive figure plays well above his height with incredible aerial exploits, but wasn't able to make his presence felt when run through the middle and at halfback. However, Watson immediately adds excitement to any list in the competition with his incredible goal nous.

Draft range: 4-6

11. Darcy Wilson

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

MID, 186cm, 74kg

Talent League: 11 games, 25.4 disposals, 1.5 goals

Wilson's best traits are his speed-endurance blend, which were confirmed with a 5:52 2km time trial and 3:05 second 20m sprint. He's an outside accumulator that gets the absolute best out of himself, whether it's on a wing or at half forward. Wilson hits the scoreboard, is reliable with ball in hand and suits the modern game to a tee.

Draft range: 10-15

12. Jake Rogers (SUNS Academy)

SUNS Academy/Allies

MID, 170cm, 68kg

Talent League: 4 games, 25.5 disposals, 7.0 clearances

Rogers rounds out the three top-end academy talents for the Suns, a diminutive midfielder with zip and defensive tenacity. He's a clearance machine under packs and can burst out of congestion to find targets in the forward 50. Rogers will start his career as a small forward, an area of the ground he's struggled in to date.

Draft range: 10-20

13. Arie Schoenmaker

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 the size to impact as a third tall and the running capacity to play further up the ground, as shown in his performances on the wing for the Allies. Schoenmaker averaged six more kicks than any other player in the Coates Talent League, with his professionalism and maturity elevating throughout the year.

Draft range: 20-30

14. George Stevens

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 flashy. But he's an elite ball-winner and decision-maker, plus can bite off corridor kicks with reliable ball use in space. 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.

Draft range: 20-40

15. Jordan Croft (Western Bulldogs F/S)

Calder Cannons/Vic Metro

FWD, 200cm, 81kg

Talent League: 11 games, 10.2 disposals, 2.1 goals

Croft is a super athlete, flying high and showing off superb acceleration on the lead. He's a nightmare match-up because of these traits as a 200-centimetre key forward who can also run a six-minute 2km. It's another exciting tall selection for the Dogs under the father-son rule; they may look to utilise Croft in defence where he played football prior to 2023.

Draft range: 10-20

16. Lance Collard (West Coast NGA)

Subiaco/Western Australia

FWD, 185cm, 70kg

WAFL Colts: 11 games, 11.5 disposals, 2.9 goals

A late riser after a quiet national championships, Collard kicked 10 goals from his two finals to put his name in first round contention. His dazzling speed and evasiveness was reflected in a brilliant draft combine. Collard is a quintessential small forward with his goal sense and dash, bearing similarities to Bobby Hill in the way he plays. The Eagles have no chance of matching a bid for the draft bolter.

Draft range: 15-25

17. Ollie Murphy

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 height and attributes to develop into the number-one man down back for an AFL side. He has great defensive instincts in his positioning and reading of the play, but doesn't have speed and needs to build his strength before making the jump.

Draft range: 15-25

18. Koltyn Tholstrup

Subiaco/Western Australia

FWD/MID, 188cm, 80kg

WAFL: 10 games, 11.0 disposals, 0.7 goals

Tholstrup's physicality and x-factor makes him unique in this pool, playing as a high half forward in the WAFL and acclimating to the bigger bodies well. He has a huge work rate and has a presence similar to Cam Zurhaar on the field. Tholstrup is also an elite athlete that can be moulded into anything by an AFL club.

Draft range: 18-26

19. Caleb Windsor

Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

MID, 185cm, 74kg

Talent League: 16 games, 19.4 disposals, 4.2 marks

Windsor is a speed demon on the edge of packs, adept at tucking the ball under his arm and moving the chains with dare. He's a neat kick and found a happy knack kicking goals late in the year. Windsor is damaging with ball in hand but still needs to round out his contested game.

Draft range: 8-13

20. James Leake

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. His marking is elite and he has great instincts around the ball. Leake hasn't shown ability through the middle and doesn't have the size to play as a genuine tall, but his competitiveness and skill will hold him in good stead.

Draft range: 6-12

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21. Riley Hardeman

Swan Districts/Western Australia

DEF, 188cm, 80kg

Talent League: WAFL Colts: 7 games, 22.1 disposals, 4.9 tackles

Hardeman is a classy defensive-minded halfback that has the size to impact in the air and at ground-level. He was one of WA's best performers at the carnival in a tough campaign. Hardeman is a leader for club and state, and showed his offensive weapons with a penetrating left foot and run out of defence all year.

Draft range: 15-25

22. Will McCabe (Hawthorn F/S)

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.

Draft range: 15-25

23. Archie Roberts

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 ran the 20m sprint in 3:08 seconds and loves to tuck the ball under his arm and stream out of defence. His tidy skills and lockdown ability makes him a high-floor prospect.

Draft range: 20-30

24. Caiden Cleary (Swans Academy)

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 and an elite level of professionalism having been in the Swans Academy for half a decade.

Draft range: 25-40

25. Zane Zakostelsky

Claremont/Western Australia

DEF/RUCK, 196cm, 90kg

WAFL Colts: 13 games, 14.8 disposals, 14.0 hitouts

The rate of development for Zakostelsky this year was eye-catching, moving from an athletic project to a premiership ruckman in the Colts. He has an elite jump to go with a speed-endurance blend which is tantalising at his size. Zakostelsky's disposal and game feel still has a ways to come, but he's only made the switch to football from basketball in recent years and his rate of development could see him picked on the first night.

Draft range: 20-30

26. Luamon Lual (Western Bulldogs NGA)

GWV Rebels/Vic Country

DEF, 181cm, 71kg

Talent League: 14 games, 17.9 disposals, 3.6 tackles

Lual has had a terrific campaign for the Rebels, showing off defensive versatility and competitiveness. He has a good athletic base and tidy disposal, not trying to bite off too much but still offering lots with the ball. The Dogs will be hoping Lual slides past pick 40 so they can match a bid on their NGA star.

Draft range: 25-35

27. Cooper Simpson

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

MID, 181cm, 79kg

Talent League: 8 games, 21.5 disposals, 0.8 goals

Stingrays co-captain Cooper Simpson is an ultra explosive centre bounce midfielder. His first two steps are lightning and he has quick hands to get out of danger, plus a penetrating kick and the ability to hit the scoreboard. Simpson fell down the pecking order of midfielders this year with injury costing him a big chunk of the season, but he returned late in the piece and should hear his name called in the national draft. His upside is superb as a damaging inside accumulator.

Draft range: 30-50

28. Tew Jiath (Hawthorn NGA)

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.

Draft range: 30-40

29. Harry DeMattia

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 an exciting prospect, running the 20m sprint in three seconds. 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. After choosing footy over a promising cricketing career, DeMattia is set to be taken on the first night.

Draft range: 15-25

30. Archer Reid

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.

Draft range: 20-35

31. Taylor Goad

South Adelaide/South Australia

RUCK, 205cm, 90kg

SANFL U18s: 10.4 disposals, 20 hitouts

The highlight of the combine was Taylor Goad's 20m sprint, twice going under three seconds with a 2.97. His first few steps at 205cm are exceptional, bursting out of the blocks and it translates to parts of his game where he exits the contest quicker than everyone else. Goad took three contested marks in the SANFL Grand Final for South Adelaide and his rate of development has been exceptional.

Draft range: 25-40

32. Will Green

Northern Knights/Vic Metro

RUC, 204cm, 89kg

Talent League: 13 games, 11.3 disposals, 22.8 hitouts

A ruckman with terrific hands and a healthy appetite for the contest, Green has developed well this year and is a first round fancy. His soft hands in the ruck are the best in the pool and he has the aerobic base to beat his opponent around the ground.

Draft range: 15-30

33. Ashton Moir

Glenelg/South Australia

FWD, 187cm, 85kg

SANFL U18s: 6 games, 12.5 disposals, 2.2 goals

Moir had a tough campaign with illness and a hip issue robbing the talented forward of any consistency. He still kicked goals for club and state, showing his beautiful action off both feet and ability to twist out of trouble. Moir's ceiling is incredibly high for this stage of the draft, but his inability to play outside of the forward 50 could see him fall.

Draft range: 30-50

34. Mitch Edwards (Fremantle NGA)

Peel Thunder/Western Australia

RUCK, 207cm, 90kg

WAFL Reserves: 5 games, 8.8 disposals, 20 hitouts

Edwards is a huge ruckman that has monstered his opponents at junior level. In the reserves he found his level and really improved his contested work. His size allows him to win a lot of taps and he's a great mark of the footy around the ground. Fremantle will be hoping Edwards gets through to a stage where they can match a bid on him.

Draft range: 30-40

35. Will Graham (SUNS Academy)

SUNS Academy/Allies

MID/DEF, 186cm, 81kg

Talent League: 5 games, 19.4 disposals, 3.4 marks

The forgotten fourth of the Suns Academy haul is the ultra-athletic Graham, who has played off halfback and through the midfield. He has power and makes good decisions with ball in hand, but is sometimes let down by his disposal.

Draft range: 30-40

36. Angus Hastie

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

DEF, 190cm, 74kg

Talent League: 13 games, 20.0 disposals, 4.6 marks

Offering lightning acceleration off halfback, Hastie is the Geelong Falcons' best draft product this year. He takes the game on at every opportunity and has found consistency in his kicking at high speed. Hastie has traits recruiters love, but needs to prove his defensive ability at the next level - that should come as he builds size on his 190cm frame.

Draft range: 25-40

37. Koen Sanchez

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.

Draft range: 30-50

38. Charlie Edwards

Sandringham Dragons

MID, 191cm, 85kg

Talent League: 12 games, 17.1 disposals, 2.8 tackles

Edwards has shown flashes of an awesome upside, with his athletic profile giving him a platform to become a great midfielder. He has endurance and won a premiership with the Dragons as an integral piece. His issues come with his decision-making with ball in hand, and he hasn't shown much positional versatility to date. Edwards didn't feature for Vic Metro but his improvement towards the end of the year was great.

Draft range: 15-25

39. Phoenix Gothard

Murray Bushrangers/Allies

FWD, 178cm, 72kg

Talent League: 10 games, 15.9 disposals, 0.9 goals

One of the standout Allies this year was Gothard, a small forward that brings great pressure around the ball. He has zip and is a real competitor despite his smaller frame, taking the game on with dare and hitting the scoreboard with his speed out the back.

Draft range: 25-40

40. Joel Freijah

GWV Rebels/Vic Country

MID/FWD, 190cm, 88kg

Talent League: 14 games, 19.6 disposals, 0.9 goals

Freijah is a smooth-moving outside midfielder with nice hands and ability to hurt the opposition forward of centre. He's shifty and aggressive, and is the type of player that could explode in a professional environment given his firepower and size.

Draft range: 30-50

41. Logan Morris

Western Jets/Vic Metro

FWD, 191cm, 90kg

Talent League: 10 games, 11.7 disposals, 3.0 goals

Morris has been one of this year's great goal-kickers, working brilliantly on the lead and taking advantage of the opportunities that come his way. He has brilliant hands and a nice set shot routine, but lacks the size to be a genuine key forward at the next level.

Draft range: 30-50

42. Kade De La Rue

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

FWD, 183cm, 79kg

Talent League: 8 games, 20.5 disposals, 0.7 goals

De La Rue is a smart and agile forward offering great decision-making with ball in hand. His football IQ is what sets him apart from the other mid-forwards in the draft, able to create opportunities for his teammates with skill and class.

Draft range: 40-60

43. Jack Delean

South Adelaide, South Australia

FWD, 181cm, 77kg

SANFL U18s: 13 games, 11.2 disposals, 2.9 goals

A crafty forward with some aerial tricks, Delean has kicked bags of goals all year and is cemented in the draft frame. His best is a joy to watch, creating chances in the air and at ground level and then forcing defenders into mistakes with his smarts around the contest.

Draft range: 40-60

44. Wil Dawson

Gippsland Power/Vic Country

DEF, 200cm, 86kg

Talent League: 13 games, 9.8 disposals, 3.5 marks

Dawson is a big key defensive prospect with unique traits. He is brilliant below his knees for his size and has great success in one-on-ones, but lacks the speed and development of other talls in the draft. He's a project player that has shown promise all over the ground, and one that a club will be keen to take on.

Draft range: 35-50

45. Luke Lloyd

Sandringham Dragons

FWD, 193cm, 84kg

Talent League: 11 games, 13.0 disposals, 1.9 goals

Lloyd has elevated his standing this year to be a draft fancy, maximising his game and kicking bags of goals. His football IQ is elite, getting to the drop of the ball and finding space where other talls don't, and he rarely wastes an opportunity in front of goal. Lloyd's size will be a concern at the next level but he's a pure footballer.

Draft range: 40-60

46. Will Patton

West Adelaide/South Australia

DEF, 192cm, 79kg

SANFL U18s: 5 games, 11.2 disposals, 2.4 marks

Patton has pedigree, having featured for the AFL Academy as a key defensive presence and turning out for SA over two years. He's a defensive-minded backman that can play on a variety of forwards, but doesn't quite have the size to become a full back at the next level.

Draft range: 40-60

47. Harvey Johnston

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

FWD, 183cm, 79kg

Talent League: 13 games, 17.5 disposals, 0.5 goals

A midfielder-forward with a lovely sidestep, Johnston has had a consistent top-age campaign culminating in the Talent League premiership. He always has time on his side thanks to brilliant evasiveness, and he makes good decisions with ball in hand.

Draft range: 40-60

48. Clay Hall

Peel Thunder/Western Australia

MID, 189cm, 87kg

WAFL: 9 games, 18.6 disposals, 3.1 tackles

A tough inside ball-winner, Hall produced a great campaign for WA as their premier midfielder and slotted into Peel's senior side. He made history being the first WAFL father-son pairing when he played for Peel with his father Derek last season. Hall has an appetite for the contest and links play together by hand with running power, but questions remain of his versatility and disposal on the outside of contests.

Draft range: 40-60

49. Vigo Visentini

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

RUCK, 204cm, 99kg

Talent League: 11 games, 12.0 disposals, 20.6 hitouts

Visentini could make it ruckman brothers in the AFL, with his development this year impressing clubs and giving him a chance to be taken in the national draft. His hands are soft in the contest and his competitiveness is a standout in the ruck. He needs to become a better player around the ground, but there's second round interest in Visentini.

Draft range: 40-60

50. Nathan Philactides

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

DEF, 179cm, 80kg

Talent League: 11 games, 17.8 disposals, 2.5 marks

With pace to burn and real aggression in the way he plays, Philactides is an excitement machine off halfback. He's struggled to find consistency in a poor Chargers side this year and couldn't influence the play in his taste of VFL action, but his speed is a real weapon that should see him get an opportunity.

Draft range: 40-60