Champion Data has ranked the top five ruckmen, key forwards and key defenders in the competition, with a few big surprises making the lists.
All-Australian captain Lance Franklin ranks as the best key forward in the competition, which likely won’t shock many.
Sitting beneath him is Coleman Medal winner and All-Australian full forward Jack Riewoldt.
Tom Hawkins, Jack Gunston and Tom McDonald round out the top five, ahead of the likes of Ben Brown, Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling.
Hawkins finished third in the Coleman in 2018, behind Brown who led the race for a chunk of the season.
Gunston was also rewarded with All-Australian honours and was vital to Hawthorn’s 2018 success both inside 50 and down back when they needed to control the game.
McDonald kicked 53 goals in 2018, spearheading Melbourne’s forward line when Jesse Hogan went down.
Kennedy seems the unluckiest to miss out, averaging 3.1 goals per game in 2018, the most in the competition.
He missed time with injury, but given Jake Lever ranks in as the fifth best defender in the competition and Nic Naitanui as the third best ruckman, clearly injury wasn’t taken into account.
Key forward ranking:
- Lance Franklin
- Jack Riewoldt
- Tom Hawkins
- Jack Gunston
- Tom McDonald
Jeremy McGovern ranks as the best key defender in the competition, ahead of Brisbane rising star Harris Andrews.
All-Australian full back Alex Rance comes in third place, but the biggest shock is North Melbourne’s Majak Daw who is fourth.
Daw made the transition to a key defensive role in 2018 and clearly, Champion Data feel he thrived in the role.
Lever rounds out the five, despite only playing 11 games.
Key defender ranking:
- Jeremy McGovern
- Harris Andrews
- Alex Rance
- Majak Daw
- Jake Lever
Debate raged all season as to who the best ruckman in the competition was, as Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy both had incredible years.
Champion Data has had their say, with Grundy at number one and Gawn behind him at two.
Naitanui sits third, with Paddy Ryder and Ben McEvoy completing the top five.
- Brodie Grundy
- Max Gawn
- Nic Naitanui
- Paddy Ryder
- Ben McEvoy