The race to the top of this year’s AFL draft appears to be down to three gun midfielders, with the league’s annual draft combine wrapping up.
This year’s draft hopefuls were put through a series of physical and mental tests and were interviewed this week by club recruiters at Etihad Stadium.
At the end of that process, three TAC Cup stars – Cameron Rayner (Western Jets), Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays) and Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers) – are vying to go first overall.
Rayner has won rave reviews for his strength at the contest and he has been likened to Richmond superstar Dustin Martin.
“Rayner is just powerful in one-on-one marking contests and can stand on an opponent’s shoulders too,” AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan said.
“He’s brilliant around goals – he can kick multiples of five or six – so he’s mercurial really with his ability down forward.
“He and Davies-Uniacke are both 187cm and 86kg so they’re in shape to potentially play in round one.
“Uniacke is more of a purist’s midfielder because he’s got the speed and agility that you want through there but he can push forward too.
“Paddy has been a dominant player at school and club level. He was All-Australian and finished his year really well.
“He’s a burst-from-stoppage midfielder, who hits the scoreboard as well.
“Any one of those boys would be worthy (to go No.1).”
Sheehan described this year’s draft class as heavy with midfielders but spiked with a few talented taller players.
Wooden-spooners Brisbane hold the top pick, but haven’t ruled out parting with it at the trade period that starts on Monday.
This year’s draft meeting will be held on Friday November 24 in Sydney.