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2013 phantom Draft form guide

Callum Twomey  August 22, 2013 11:30 AM

THE NAB AFL Draft is less than three months away, and the closer it gets, the better handle we have on the talent of this year's crop.

AFL.com.au draft reporter Callum Twomey has ranked his best 20 prospects in the second edition of the Phantom Form Guide.

While there is only one change in the top 20 players from July's Form Guide, some players have pushed up the order with their performances over the last six weeks.

The list is not a phantom draft.

It does not take into account where clubs are placed on the ladder, and which clubs like which players.

It is a list of who AFL.com.au thinks are the best players in the 2013 draft.

The draft will be held on November 21 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.


Boyd still hasn't played since his ankle injury he suffered at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, but he remains at the top of the draft. A strong-marking forward who wins the ball in the air and is a terrific set shot at goal. Was named in the under-18 All-Australian side despite limited games.

Had a difficult championships after returning from his shoulder reconstruction but his form since then has been fantastic at SANFL level. Aish, a skilled, running wingman, averaged 23 disposals over a month and also kicked a few goals for Norwood to establish himself as perhaps the best midfielder available.  

The South Australian sits somewhere in the top five players of this year's draft, with a number of traits making him ready to play at the top level. At 190cm, Scharenberg can play in a variety of positions and is comfortable almost everywhere on the ground. Uses the ball well and has pace. 







Still managing a knee injury, but Billings had 32 disposals for the Oakleigh Chargers on the weekend and showed his class through the midfield. Has also been used off half-back, where his elite disposal and smarts help set up the play. Has the talent to be an even higher pick.

 

Apart from his games for Vic Metro, the North Melbourne father-son prospect has spent the rest of the season playing at VFL level for Werribee. He started the season with 31-disposal debut and had a few quieter games in between, but has been in stronger form of late. An attacking half-back who can shift into the midfield.

Kelly continues to shows his wares as an excellent midfielder. Has poise in traffic, is building his inside game, and can run all day. When he gets it he uses it nicely on his left side and is reliable with the ball. Could easily be drafted inside the first four picks.

The marking half-forward has had a strong month with the Northern Knights, spending a bit more time in the midfield. Lennon marks strongly and kicks goals but has racked up some more disposals, averaging 26 disposals in the last three games. An exciting player.

Creative, small midfielder who has been consistent throughout the season at every level he's played. Taylor is classy on both sides of his body, runs hard, has speed, and wins his own footy. In seven of his 10 games for the Falcons Taylor has gathered more than 30 possessions.

Showed where he sits in the pool with an excellent championships, where he averaged 27 disposals and was named an All-Australian. Can play on the wing and off half-back but does everything with poise. Tasmania's best prospect this year.  






Was played off half-back for Vic Metro to use his foot skills to set up the play but is perhaps most damaging as a midfielder. Salem has body strength and uses the ball with precision, is a strong overhead mark, and also kicks goals at important moments.
 



Freeman offers a point of difference to this year's draft with his speed, and he has grown in the eyes of many clubs. Overcome his ankle injury to perform for the Dragons, and gathered 30 disposals against the Murray Bushrangers last weekend. Is a burst player – Freeman loves to bolt from stoppages and take the game on.


Finished his championships with a broken leg but it was not as bad as first feared and the leaping forward has recovered well. Sits as perhaps the second best tall of the draft as he flies for grabs, runs well and kicks goals. Raw, but exciting.
 

Cameron McCarthy flies for his game-winning mark against Vic Country. Picture: AFL Media

Crouch wins the ball, dominates the clearances, and is a natural, old-fashioned midfielder. He doesn't have the endurance of others but manages to get to contest after contest and win most of them. Racks up plenty of the ball, and gathered 25 touches in his VFL debut for North Ballarat.


Didn't make the last form guide after a quieter championships, but he has had an impressive month at TAC Cup level. Athletic, tall and quick, Bontempelli could become a key forward or a big midfielder. Bontempelli kicked five goals from 22 disposals on the weekend.


Hartung has three things that make him a highly-valued prospect: he has brilliant pace, is the best endurance runner in the draft, and has top-end foot skills on his left and right side. The midfielder is small but best suited to the wing where he can push forward and use his traits.






West Australian midfielder who was named the Larke medallist as the best player of division one, even despite his broken collarbone. Hunts the ball at the packs and kicks it long. Sheed isn't especially quick but has a mature physique and knows his way around the stoppages.

There aren't many key defenders in this year's draft and Gardiner is probably the best of the lot. Lacks a bit of style but makes up for it with his competitiveness and attack on the contest. Can also be switched forward, where he has booted six goals for the Falcons in eight games this year.



Strong-bodied midfielder who wins the ball at the clearances and gets the job done. Some injuries hindered his output during South Australia's under-18 carnival, but he has impressed at SANFL level for Norwood, where he has showed consistency.


Acres is proving a hard one to judge given he has played so little footy this year, and won't play again after having his shoulder reconstruction. But he does have some nice traits. He's a good size, moves well, is mobile, and can play all over the ground. Had he played more he may well be a lot higher.


Dunstan is another who has experienced senior SANFL footy recently and excelled. Made his debut three weeks ago and has averaged 21 disposals, showing his can match it with the best. Is hard at the contest and wins plenty of the ball in hard-fought situations.