AFL Draft 2022: Full combine invite list and indicative draft order

The national combine is back on this year, and 67 AFL Draft hopefuls have received an invitation. Here are the bolters and top prospects clubs want to see in action.

A quartet of father-son prospects headline a list of 67 standout AFL draft hopefuls who have been invited to this year’s national combine.

After two years of purely state-based combines due to Covid-19 border restrictions, the AFL has revived its traditional national combine, which will be held in Melbourne from October 7-9.

Players from Victoria – which historically produces about half of all AFL draftees – make up almost half of the invitees with 33.

Thirteen players have been invited from South Australia, 12 from Western Australia and nine players hail from the other states and territories.

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Gippsland’s AFL Draft bolter Bailey Humphrey. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos
Gippsland’s AFL Draft bolter Bailey Humphrey. Picture: Graham Denholm/AFL Photos
Brayden George has been likened to Melbourne’s Christian Petracca. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos
Brayden George has been likened to Melbourne’s Christian Petracca. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos

Potential No.1 pick Will Ashcroft – who officially nominated as a father-son for Brisbane last week – is one of four father-son prospects on the list, alongside Jaspa Fletcher (Brisbane), Alwyn Davey (Essendon) and Max Michalanney (Adelaide).

Victorian draft bolters Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland Power), Olli Hotton (Sandringham Dragons) and Lewis Hayes (Eastern Ranges) also feature, along with the exciting but largely unsighted Brayden George (Murray Bushrangers).

George, who is likened to Melbourne’s Christian Petracca, has been sidelined with a knee injury since May which has meant he has missed Vic Country’s three matches of the under-18 national championships so far.

Oakleigh Chargers key defender Max Gruzewski – who has not been part of the Vic Metro squad – is one of the surprise names on the invite list.

Victorians are expected to make up the majority of top-10 selections in this year’s draft, with Will Ashcroft, George Wardlaw, Elijah Tsatas, Aaron Cadman, Harry Sheezel and Jhye Clark all in the mix to be top-five picks.

Matthew Jefferson and Cameron Mackenzie are considered to be not far behind.

Top South Australian draft prospects Nick Sadler, Adam D'Aloia, Kobe Ryan and Max Michalanney. Picture: Peter Argent.
Top South Australian draft prospects Nick Sadler, Adam D'Aloia, Kobe Ryan and Max Michalanney. Picture: Peter Argent.

Michalanney and midfielder-forward Mattaes Phillipou headline the list of South Australia’s top prospects, which also includes onballers Adam D’Aloia, Jakob Ryan and Billy Dowling.

North Adelaide midfielder Dowling has been a dominant force at SANFL under-18 level this season, leading the competition for disposals and ranking points – and on Saturday he took it to a whole new level.

The 187cm teenager tallied 44 disposals, 17 marks, 14 score involvements, 4.3 and 268 ranking points in the biggest individual performance of the season.

Dowling, a terrific leader, who co-captains his school side St Peter’s, also had some great moments for SA at the national carnival, alongside Sturt’s Nick Sadler who put his explosive traits on show.

Western Australia’s best hopes are key defender Jedd Busslinger and midfielders Reuben Ginbey and Elijah Hewett.

North Melbourne currently holds the No.1 draft pick, with West Coast at No.2 and GWS at No.3.

Draft dates locked in

The AFL has locked in dates for this year’s national draft, which will again be a two-night event held in the days after the AFLW Grand Final in late November.

The league has avoided a clash with Grand Final week of its women’s competition, which is set to hold its season decider on the weekend November 25 to 27.

The first round of the national draft will instead be held on the night of Monday, November 28, with the remaining rounds to be held on the night of Tuesday, November 29.

The rookie and pre-season drafts will follow on Wednesday, November 30.

George Wardlaw shapes as a top-three draft pick this year. Picture: Getty Images
George Wardlaw shapes as a top-three draft pick this year. Picture: Getty Images

TOP PROSPECTS: ALL THE NAMES YOU NEED TO KNOW

The drafts will come on the back of what is shaping as a busy free agency and trade period this year.

The free agency window opens on Friday, September 30 — six days after the AFL Grand Final — and closes on Friday, October 7.

Clubs then have a further three days to match bids, until Monday, October 10.

The trade period runs from Monday, October to Wednesday, October 12.

As it stands, West Coast and Gold Coast hold four picks inside the first 38 selections in this years draft.

Richmond (three picks inside the first 28) and Sydney (three picks inside the first 33) are also well placed.

NAB League rankings: Hidden gem bolting up draft boards after huge return

- Chris Cavanagh

A powerful midfielder-forward solidified his standing as a high AFL draft prospect with an impressive return from injury in the NAB League on the weekend.

Gippsland Power captain Bailey Humphrey logged 31 disposals and kicked four goals to lead his side to an 80-point thumping of the Northern Knights.

It was Humphrey’s first game since May, following a meniscus tear in his knee.

Humphrey’s day out on Saturday also included 14 contested possessions, 14 score involvements, 12 marks, five tackles and two clearances for a total of 239 SuperCoach ranking points

Bailey Humphrey representing Vic Country in the Young Guns game. He starred in his return for Gippsland Power. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos
Bailey Humphrey representing Vic Country in the Young Guns game. He starred in his return for Gippsland Power. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

“Bailey’s a powerful midfielder-forward that everyone seems to be screaming out for,” Gippsland Power talent manager Scott McDougal said.

“He’s very, very quick. He’s strong in the marking contests when he’s a forward and leads our midfield when he’s in there. He goes head-to-head with the opposition’s best midfielder every time he plays and he doesn’t lose too many contests, which is a fantastic thing. He’s a real competitor.”

Humphrey – who measures 184cm tall – is expected to be added to the Vic Country squad ahead of their final game of the AFL under-18 national championships against Vic Metro in AFL Grand Final week.

Geelong Falcons midfielder and Vic Country member Jhye Clark also starred last Friday night, racking up 27 disposals, nine clearances and two goals in his side’s two-point loss to the Western Jets.

Clark is firmly in the conversation to be a top-five draft pick this year after an eye-catching national championships campaign with Vic Country so far.

Only two rounds remain before finals in the NAB League.

WESTERN JETS 11.5 (71) d GEELONG FALCONS 10.9 (69)

198 points – Jhye Clark (Geelong Falcons)

191 points – Ted Clohesy (Geelong Falcons)

157 points – Darcy Weeks (Western Jets)

143 points – Jake Smith (Western Jets)

135 points – Cameron Kizan (Western Jets)

GIPPSLAND POWER 20.20 (140) d Northern Knights 6.4 (40)

239 points – Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland Power)

146 points – Zane Duursma (Gippsland Power)

142 points – Jonti Schuback (Gippsland Power)

137 points – Coby Burgiel (Gippsland Power)

GWV Rebels 11.16 (82) d EASTERN RANGES 7.7 (49)

135 points – Aaron Cadman (GWV Rebels)

129 points – Lewis Hayes (Eastern Ranges)

128 points – Jamieson Ballantyne (GWV Rebels)

112 points – Trent Marotta (Eastern Ranges)

107 points – Alex Molan (GWV Rebels)

TASMANIA DEVILS 17.11 (113) d CALDER CANNONS 4.6 (30)

186 points – Lachie Cowan (Tasmania Devils)

141 points – Jack Callinan (Tasmania Devils)

140 points – Colby McKercher (Tasmania Devils)

127 points – Will Splann (Tasmania Devils)

121 points – Fletcher Hooker (Tasmania Devils)

NAB LEAGUE TOP 50 RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 14

Ranking, Player, Club, Position, 2022 Games, 2022 Ave. KFC SuperCoach Points

1. Will Ashcroft (Sandringham Dragons), MID, 8 games, 156 points

2. Harry Sheezel (Sandringham Dragons), FWD, 8 games, 148 points

3. Lachlan Cowan (Tasmania Devils), DEF, 9 games, 147 points

4. Bailey Humphrey (Gippsland Power), MID, 7 games, 146 points

5. Joel Fitzgerald (Northern Knights), DEF, 1 game, 140 points

6. Ted Clohesy (Geelong Falcons), MID, 8 games, 138 points

7. Elijah Tsatas (Oakleigh Chargers), MID, 4 games, 137 points

8. Jai Culley* (Dandenong Stingrays), MID/FWD, 2 games, 135 points

9. Massimo D’Ambrosio* (Western Jets), DEF, 4 games, 134 points

10. Lloyd Johnston (NT Thunder), DEF, 3 games, 127 points

11. Aaron Cadman (GWV Rebels), FWD, 9 games, 127 points

12. George Wardlaw (Oakleigh Chargers), MID, 3 games, 125 points

13. Jhye Clark (Geelong Falcons), MID, 8 games, 125 points

14. Tom Gillet (Geelong Falcons), FWD, 5 games, 123 points

15. Taj Campbell-Farrell (Dandenong Stingrays), MID, 10 games, 123 points

16. Jaelen Pavlidis (Western Jets), FWD, 9 games, 122 points

17. Mitchell Moschetti (Gippsland Power), MID, 7 games, 122 points

18. Oskar Faulkhead* (Bendigo Pioneers), MID, 5 games, 121 points

19. Seth Campbell (Tasmania Devils), FWD, 10 games, 121 points

20. Michael Ktona (Calder Cannons), 4 games, 120 points

21. Coby Burgiel (Geelong Falcons), FWD, 6 games, 120 points

22. Noah Bradshaw (Murray Bushrangers), MID, 10 games, 120 points

23. Colby McKercher (Tasmania Devils), 10 games, 118 points

24. Nicholas Quigg (Murray Bushrangers), MID, 11 games, 117 points

25. Charlie Molan (GWV Rebels), MID, 5 games, 117 points

26. Ethan Grace (GWS Academy), FWD, 4 games, 117 points

27. Patrick Dozzi (Northern Knights), MID, 6 games, 117 points

28. Hugh Bond (GWV Rebels), MID, 9 games, 117 points

29. Jonathan Tomasiello (Northern Knights), MID, 7 games, 116 points

30. Mitch Szybkowski (Dandenong Stingrays), MID, 4 games, 115 points

31. Jason Gillbee (Bendigo Pioneers), MID, 6 games, 115 points

32. Luke Giacometti (Sydney Academy), DEF, 4 games, 114 points

33. Zane Duursma (Gippsland Power), MID-FWD, 10 games, 114 points

34. Harry Rowston (GWS Academy), FWD, 4 games, 113 points

35. Liam Jones (Tasmania Devils), MID, 11 games, 113 points

36. Nick Madden (GWS Academy), RUCK, 4 games, 112 points

37. Jed Foggo (Gold Coast Suns Academy), MID, 3 games, 112 points

38. Max Walton (Gippsland Power), MID, 7 games, 111 points

39. Harley Reid (Bendigo Pioneers), MID, 8 games, 111 points

40. Luke Fellows (GWS Academy), DEF, 4 games, 111 points

41. Henry Hustwaite (Dandenong Stingrays), MID, 9 games, 110 points

42. Jaspa Fletcher (Lions Academy), MID, 3 games, 110 points

43. Angus Anderson (Swans Academy) MID, 2 games, 110 points

44. Will Lorenz (Oakleigh Chargers), MID, 1 game, 109 points

45. Cam Mackenzie (Sandringham Dragons), MID, 5 games, 108 points

46. Tyreece Leiu (Eastern Ranges), FWD, 3 games, 108 points

47. Lewis Hayes (Eastern Ranges), DEF, 9 games, 108 points

48. Charlie Clarke (Sandringham Dragons), MID-FWD, 9 games, 108 points

49. Jake Rogers (Gold Coast Suns Academy), MID, 3 games, 107 points

50. Max Ramsden* (Sandringham Dragons), RUCK, 6 games, 107 points

*Recruited in AFL Mid-Season Draft

Draft hand boosting Richmond’s regeneration on the run

Fresh off a bumper draft hand last year, Richmond is once again the envy of other clubs as it eyes three top-30 selections in this year’s national draft.

The Tigers had five top-30 picks in the 2021 National Draft, choosing Josh Gibcus (pick 9), Tom Brown (pick 17), Tyler Sonsie (pick 28), Samuel Banks (pick 29) and Judson Clarke (pick 30).

A further three high picks this year would help accelerate a regeneration on the run.

After round 19, Richmond held picks 9, 19 and 27.

Pick 19 was passed on by North Melbourne as part of the Callum Coleman-Jones trade last year.

The Tigers’ selections are likely to be pushed back a couple of places, with an early bid expected on Brisbane father-son prospect Will Ashcroft, while North Melbourne is posturing for a priority pick.

Josh Gibcus was one of five top-30 draft picks for Richmond last year. Picture: Michael Klein
Josh Gibcus was one of five top-30 draft picks for Richmond last year. Picture: Michael Klein
Will Ashcroft is a highly-rated father-son prospect for Brisbane this year. Picture: Getty Images
Will Ashcroft is a highly-rated father-son prospect for Brisbane this year. Picture: Getty Images

However, if Matthew Clarke and the Richmond recruiting team can nail their picks again this year, it could set the Tigers up for some more success in the not-too-distant future.

If North Melbourne does not receive a priority pick from the AFL, its next selection after pick one in this year’s draft would not be until pick 55.

Gold Coast and West Coast sit alongside Richmond as the clubs with the strongest draft hands this year.

The Suns currently hold four picks in the first 33 selections and the Eagles have four picks inside the first 38.

Originally published as AFL Draft 2022: Full combine invite list and indicative draft order

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