The 2021 AFL Draft might have only just wrapped up, but that hasn't stopped our draft expert Chris Doerre looking ahead to next year to try and uncover the next class of stars.
Here, in no particular order, are the 10 early standouts for the 2022 AFL Draft.
A Brisbane father-son prospect and the son of Marcus, Will is the early front-runner for the No. 1 pick in 2022. With a ridiculous 33 disposals, 20 contested possessions, 12 clearances, nine inside 50s and two goals for Vic Metro during their Under-17 Championships match against Vic Country, Ashcroft showed he is the complete package. He's not only a first possession winner at stoppages, but displays quick hands, agility and evasion in traffic. Ashcroft hurts teams with his kicks to targets inside 50m and with the ease with which he can hit the scoreboard.
Turning 17 in December, Broadbent looms as 2022's top ruck prospect after appearing in three WAFL League games and standing out in his appearance for Western Australia against South Australia. Broadbent directs hit-outs to advantage, works hard around the ground, demonstrates good skills, is clean at ground level and is more than capable when marking overhead.
One of 2022's leading key defenders, Busslinger is an elite intercept mark and uses his early read of the ball in flight to perfection. He attacks the ball aerially and is freakish at plucking the ball out of the air. With ball in hand, Busslinger is a composed and reliable distributor, while defensively he is competitive and able to limit the influence of his direct opponent.
Best afield in the SANFL Under-18s Grand Final, D'Aloia is one of the most advanced and consistent midfielders of the 2022 draft class. D'Aloia is a prolific first possession winner, tackler and an excellent distributor by hand. He plays a competitive two-way game and already possesses a penetrating kick.
With back-to-back outstanding performances in the WAFL Colts Grand Final and for Western Australia in the Under-17s against South Australia, Hewett has shown he is one of the most exciting midfielders in this draft. Hewett is a strong ball winner who displays power when exiting stoppages and is damaging every time he gets the ball forward of centre. With good speed, agility and evasion, Hewett mixes this with damaging skills by foot, whether he's locating and hitting inside 50m targets or finishing around goal himself.
A part of Adelaide's Next-Generation Academy, the Crows won't have first access to Keeler if a bid comes in the top-40 in 2022. Keeler is one of 2022's most exciting and freakish key forwards as a high leaping, smooth moving athlete at 198cm. He has strong hands overhead and is impressive with his one-touch cleanness at ground level.
The favourite to be the first key forward selected in the 2022 draft, Lemmey at 202cm enjoyed a strong season and finished it off in fine form with three goals in each of his finals, including 12 marks in his last match. Most threatening leading up to the ball, Lemmey demonstrates an insatiable appetite for the ball, displaying an exceptionally high work rate and routinely generating meaningful separation on the lead.
One of 2022's most advanced midfielders, Ryan is a strong contested ball winner who displays good speed and agility, and is a lively tackler. With a good inside-outside balance, Ryan not only wins the ball on the inside but covers a lot of ground and finds the ball on the outside, displaying neat and tidy skills.
Suited both on a wing and across half-back, Tsatas breaks the lines with his run and is an exceptional ball user by foot with his precisely placed kicks out in front of targets to lead onto. Tsatas will be hoping to push into the centre square more in 2022 so that he can used his acceleration bursting out the other side of stoppages.
A strong first possession winner who does his best work at stoppages, Wardlaw, after winning the ball, displays the strength to absorb opposition tackles, fend off opponents and burst out of stoppages. Wardlaw is also an impressive distributor by hand at stoppages, routinely finding targets on the outside by hand.