ESPN's AFL Draft expert Chris Doerre looks ahead to next year, predicting the top 10 talents for the 2023 draft.
Note: This list is in alphabetical order and not a ranking.
The nephew of former Richmond forward Josh Caddy, Nate is an athletic and aggressive tall forward. Strong on the lead, Caddy is a high-leaper who is a strong aerial marking threat and a dangerous one-on-one mark. Just short of key position height at this stage, Caddy can hit the scoreboard in bunches and will be looking to spend more time pushing up through the midfield in 2023.
Winning the NAB Medal for best afield in the annual NAB AFL Futures Grand Final curtain raiser match, Curtin is a prolific intercept marking key defender. A wonderful reader of the ball in flight, Curtin regularly gets into position for intercept marks and is a strong contested mark. He also regularly turns one-on-one situations in marks. For a key defender, Curtin displays rare agility and evasion to avoid tackles and a real dare and want to take on the game with his run. He is also a strong kick and hits up targets reliably with precision from defence.
A talented forward who made a name for himself in 2021, Delean is a small marking forward who hits the scoreboard heavily, averaging more than a goal per game in 2022 in the SANFL Under-18s. A high-leaping, strong aerial marking threat, Delean is also a talented finisher around goal and is a reliable set shot converter. He can set up teammates inside 50m with his clever work by foot and is also adept at ground level.
The younger brother of Xavier Duursma, Zane is a talented and high-leaping forward, who does his best work taking marks inside 50m. He's also a marking threat on the lead and one-on-one. A talented finisher around goal in general play who can hit the scoreboard heavily, Duursma is a reliable set shot goalkicker with a good approach. A good ground ball winner, Duursma can push up through the midfield and win first possession. He will also take on the game with his pace when given the opportunity.
The Grandson of Hawthorn premiership captain Graham Arthur, Lorenz is an offensively talented and damaging midfielder and strong ball winner. He's exceptional taking on the game with his speed and agility, stepping through traffic and looking natural with ball in hand. He's a great ball user, takes his time with ball in hand and hits meaningful targets by foot. He also likes a goal and is dangerous whenever there is an opportunity.
A talented and dangerous forward, Moir is a match-winner who does a lot of his best work inside 50m but can also impact games through the midfield. Moir is dangerous overhead, one-on-one and aerially inside 50m. He is also strong at ground level, often making something happen. With ball in hand, it feels like he can finish from anywhere. A gifted athlete, Moir is a high leaper and possesses explosive pace and good agility.
Reid displays the versatility to isolate one-on-one deep in the front half, intercept and generate meaningful rebound from defence or play through the midfield and win the ball and explode forward. A blend of Dustin Martin and Luke Hodge, Reid is the early favourite to be the first selected in next year's draft. Reid's performance for Victoria Country against Victoria Metro will remain in the minds of recruiters as one of 2022's most influential.
A damaging and speedy forward who can push up through the midfield, Tholstrup takes on the game with his run and is a good kick that can find targets around the ground and inside 50m. A capable contested ball winner, Tholstrup is dangerous at ground level, a strong mark and can hit the scoreboard in bunches when playing forward.
A Gold Coast Academy product, Walter was one of two 2023 eligible prospects to feature in the Under-18 All-Australian team. A strong-bodied and powerful key forward, Walter possesses unbelievable straight-line speed whether leading up at the ball and generating separation or when in a footrace for a groundball. There would be no one in the junior ranks who can outrun him when he has a direct path at the ball. Walter is also a big body who throws his size and weight around in contested situations and is a strong pack and one-on-one mark. His aggression also comes through with his pressure and tackling, chasing at high speed and burying opponents with force when he mows them down.
A small forward, Watson is as ready to impact games at AFL level as any prospect in the pool. Despite standing at less than 170cm, Watson plays much taller than his height and is both an overhead marking threat and dangerous at ground level. He often serves as his team's primary avenue to goal. He possesses exceptional skills and can set up teammates inside 50m for shots on goal, finishes around goal at will and converts his set shot attempts.