THE PHANTOM Draft for 2021 is in.

After another draft class hit by COVID-19 cancellations, disruptions and changed plans, players across the country will have dreams made on Wednesday and Thursday night as the NAB AFL Draft is again split over two days.

Here is's predictions for how the top 30 picks could roll out as well as a breakdown who who Geelong could pick with its current draft hand.

The order of selections in the Phantom Draft are changed as per bids on father-son and Academy prospects.

Pick 1: North Melbourne - Jason Horne-Francis

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 185cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 21/6/03
From South Adelaide/South Australia

The blond bombshell is set to be the Kangaroos' first ever No.1 pick and the first non-Victorian to be the top choice since David Swallow in 2010. Horne-Francis brings with him great excitement that will add plenty of star factor to North Melbourne's list: he's tough, physical, aggressive, mercurial and capable of brilliance around the ball. His preliminary final performance for South Adelaide put a full stop on his ascent to the top of the draft order and with Nat Fyfe-like aerial exploits for a midfielder, Horne-Francis is set to excite Roos fans for a long time to come. 

If not him? There's no ifs, buts or maybes here. The only consideration would be placing a bid on Nick Daicos, but that's not going to happen. The Roos knocked back massive offers for pick No.1 for a reason.

Pick 2: Western Bulldogs - Sam Darcy (matching Greater Western Sydney's bid) 

POS: Tall forward/ruck
Ht 205cm, Wt 93kg, DOB 19/7/03
From Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

Darcy has shot up to 205cm and is an imposing draft prospect given his agility and athleticism for a player his size. His improvement surprised many this year as he got going early on in the season at school level and continued to dominate games in attack, including a six-goal haul for Vic Metro mid-year. He competes well in the air and is smart on the lead but is also able to kick a goal out of nothing when inside 50. He has spent stints of this year in the ruck and in defence, with the son of former Bulldogs ruckman Luke to be given time to develop.

If not him? Darcy will be the latest in a long line of father-sons at the kennel. If Greater Western Sydney doesn't bid for him, it will likely be left to Hawthorn's pick, which would be a great result for the Dogs.

Pick 3: GWS Giants - Finn Callaghan

POS: Midfielder
Ht 191cm, Wt 86kg, DOB 26/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

The midfielder burst onto the scene earlier this year in a practice match for the Sandringham Dragons and just kept rising up draft boards across the country. Callaghan is very exciting talent: he started his year as a tall wingman with a raking left-foot kick and moved more into the midfield as the season wore on. He could even start his career off half-back, having grown to be 191cm and with a strong endurance and athletic base. He had some foot inflammation that bugged him in the second half of the year but is the guy for the Giants and will be able to impact on a wing, half-back or just about anywhere straight away.

If not him? The Giants have also put plenty of work into ruckman Mac Andrew, small forward Josh Rachele and tall back Josh Gibcus for this position.

Pick 4: Collingwood - Nick Daicos (matching Gold Coast's bid)

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 73kg, DOB 3/1/03
From Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

It was a sensational season for Daicos, who averaged 36 disposals and two goals in the NAB League, was dominant with 41 touches and two goals for Vic Metro against Vic Country and close to best afield in nearly every game he played. The midfielder can accumulate touches but he also makes an impact, taking the game on with his kicking and being dangerous around goal. The Collingwood father-son prospect will join his brother Josh at the Pies and following in the steps of dad Peter, a legend of the club. But Daicos is intent on building his own name and his arrival – finally officially – will be a big boost for the Magpies. The Suns showed real interest in Daicos mid-season and he toured the club's facilities. Expect them to make the bid if it's not done by their pick.

If not him? The Pies are locked in on Daicos, having committed to matching any bid for him after he agreed to a four-year contract as a father-son mid-year. Greater Western Sydney is the other bidding option. 

The NAB AFL Academy players and coaches pose for a photograph before the match between the NAB AFL Academy and the Geelong Cats VFL side at GMHBA Stadium on April 24, 2021

Pick 5: Gold Coast - Mac Andrew

POS: Ruckman
Ht 201cm, Wt 74kg, DOB 12/4/03
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

It has been an incredible rise this year for Andrew, who now looms as a top-five pick after showing great promise this season. The athletic ruckman gets around the ground, is skillful with the ball in his hands, follows up at ground level and has Luke Jackson-like movement for a player his size. The Egyptian-born South Sudanese prospect is a member of Melbourne's Next Generation Academy but the new AFL rules means the Demons won't get to match a bid on him, with the Suns poised to swoop. He could start his career as a key defender or forward as he builds up his body or even play on a wing like Essendon's Nik Cox.

If not him? The Suns have looked at getting up to pick No.2 to take Finn Callaghan so if the Giants didn't take the midfielder then Gold Coast would. Andrew is likely to edge out key back Josh Gibcus for the Suns' selection.

Pick 6: Adelaide - Josh Rachele

POS: Small forward
Ht 180cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 11/4/03
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

An exuberant, exciting small forward who impacts games with his goalkicking, overhead marking and game sense. Rachele has the potential to be an A-grader: he's powerful, quick and brilliant with the ball in his hands and enjoys stepping up at the big moments in games. He will annoy opponents and likely agitate opposition supporters like most of the best small forwards do, and in time he can be a midfield option. The Crows have spent plenty of time on him in recent months and he would add a different dimension to their list.  

If not him? Adelaide has been closely considering Josh Sinn for this pick, as well as midfielder Ben Hobbs and local Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera. The Crows tried to move up the board to get Finn Callaghan and would read out his name in a flash if he fell to their pick, but it isn't happening.

Pick 7: Hawthorn - Josh Ward

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 15/8/03
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro

A relentless worker through the midfield who has genuine inside and outside traits, Ward is one of the more solid bets in this year's draft. A practice match earlier this season for the Northern Knights that wowed recruiters put him on the map as a possible top-10 pick and he kept up the same momentum through the year. He ran the 2km time trial in 5:57 minutes, showing his elite endurance, and he is a hard-nosed ball-getter who can get out on the spread. Hawthorn has been linked as a possible home for Ward, whose great grandfather Alex Lee played 31 games for the club in the 1930s.

If not him? The Hawks have looked closely at West Australian midfielder Matt Johnson and could grab him, as well as putting their time into Vic Country midfielder Ben Hobbs. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera is another they have put time into, and if Josh Rachele was still there he would be right in considerations.

Pick 8: Fremantle - Jye Amiss

POS: Key forward
Ht 196cm, Wt 83kg, DOB 31/7/03
From East Perth/Western Australia

It is hard to get good key forwards through the door if not for early draft choices, big-money trades or as father-sons. It is why Amiss is a target for clubs in the first round given his prolific season in front of goal in the WAFL colts competition, where he booted 51 goals, including 38.12 from set shots. Amiss has great goal sense inside 50 and is an accurate finisher who still has plenty of upside after just entering the talent system this year. The Dockers have been searching for a key forward and there is a very good one in their backyard.

If not him? Could they pick tactically and go with Matt Johnson or Neil Erasmus first? Or do they need to get Amiss off the board before Richmond picks? Josh Ward would have to be looked at if he got through, with Josh Rachele a very good chance if he also was passed over by others.

Pick 9: Richmond - Josh Gibcus

POS: Key defender
Ht 196cm, Wt 87kg, DOB 4/4/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

Richmond lost some of its key-position depth in the off-season and may have a chance to replenish with one of the best talls in the draft. Gibcus is the leading tall defender in the pool, with his aerial exploits and intercept marking drawing comparisons to Melbourne's Jake Lever and Brisbane's Harris Andrews. His leap is off the charts – literally – as seen when he jumped higher than the stand at the Vic Country Draft Combine testing. He flies for the ball and backs himself to be an attacking option in the back half.

If not him? Jye Amiss would be looked at if the Dockers didn't grab him, while the Tigers also have been linked for some time to Ben Hobbs, the Vic Country midfielder, and the same for Josh Ward if there. It seems unlikely the Tigers move up from this point of the draft in any trade.

Pick 10: Fremantle - Matthew Johnson

POS: Midfielder
Ht 192cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 16/3/03
From Subiaco/Western Australia

Johnson's point of difference through the midfield is his height and athleticism. He is quick (he runs a 2.98-second 20-metre sprint), his agility is top end (it was third overall in the Combine testing) and he also placed in the top 10 for the vertical jump. He's also performed on the field as a mobile midfielder who can get away at stoppages and use the ball well. Johnson was best afield on Grand Final day for Western Australia in the AFL curtain-raiser and enjoyed a strong carnival for his state.

If not him? Ben Hobbs would have to be looked at if still available, with Johnson's WA teammate Neil Erasmus also a chance here. If anything surprised in the top group and one of the early picks slipped through then the Dockers could shuffle plans.

Pick 11: St Kilda - Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

POS: Midfielder
Ht 187cm, Wt 71kg, DOB 22/2/03
From Glenelg/South Australia

Is this the silk the Saints are searching for? There's been a group of clubs clamouring for Wanganeen-Milera at the midpoint of the first round who are all keen on the classy wingman, who is the best kick in the draft. It is easy to see why when watching the Glenelg talent: he has poise, precise skills and can step around opponents and make them look silly. The nephew of Essendon and Port Adelaide great Gavin plays on the wing but might start his career providing run off half-back too. St Kilda would look closely at Wanganeen-Milera if he's still available. 

If not him? If Josh Gibcus was still on the board the Saints would have to consider strongly, while Ben Hobbs would also be hard to pass up. Josh Goater is another contender for the Saints' spot.

Pick 12: West Coast - Neil Erasmus

POS: Midfielder
Ht 190cm, Wt 82kg, DOB 2/12/03
From Subiaco/Western Australia

A tall midfielder whose strength is his ability to get around the ground, with tireless running, overhead marking and capacity to make an impact around goal. Although a bigger-bodied midfield option, Erasmus isn't a purely contested player, with his aerobic capacity giving him other strengths. He kicked four goals in the colts Grand Final last year to mark his name as one to watch in 2021 and he dominated earlier this season by averaging 28 disposals for Subiaco. The Eagles missed access to Erasmus, who comes from a South African background, through their Next Generation Academy but could scoop him up anyway. 

If not him? Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera will be a shot if still there, as of course is Hobbs. That would be a tough call if the Eagles had those midfielders to weigh up. Jye Amiss and more recently Campbell Chesser are others who have been linked.

Pick 13: Essendon - Ben Hobbs

POS: Midfielder
Ht 183cm, Wt 79kg, DOB 16/9/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

Could the leading inside midfielder in the group land in the Bombers' lap? Hobbs averaged 30 disposals in his five completed NAB League games after an ankle injury sidelined him earlier in the year and he has a doggedness that helps him dig in and find the ball. Hobbs started to show more attacking flair just before the season got cut short as well and he has a single-minded, determined approach that will set him up to be a contested player at the next level. 

If not him? The Bombers are in a good spot to sit and wait to see who slips out of the top names. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera and Matt Johnson are right in the frame, the same for Josh Goater, while Neil Erasmus has also been in the mix.

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Pick 14: Port Adelaide - Josh Sinn

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 186cm, Wt 78kg, DOB 7/1/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

Clubs have been going back to Sinn's performances as an under-16s player and recognising his talent after what was a frustrating, injury-hit campaign in 2021. The quick left-footer has been played off half-back and might also settle into a wing role in the future, where his run and long kick can break the lines in a flash. The Sandringham Dragons captain battled hamstring and ankle injuries this season but would bring more speed to a Port list brimming with exciting youngsters. 

If not him? WA midfielders Matt Johnson and Neil Erasmus are a chance, as is attacking half-back Darcy Wilmot. If Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera was available he would be a very good shot.

Pick 15: GWS Giants - Sam Butler

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 184cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 10/2/03
From Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country

The Giants could trade this pick but if they stay could also look at it with more of a needs focus given it will be their last live selection before grabbing Academy talent Josh Fahey. As a small forward with great pressure skills, Butler is a quality option who would have an obvious job description at the Giants. The younger brother of St Kilda forward Dan, Butler starred at the Vic Country Draft Combine where he showed his speed (2.97 seconds over 20 metres) and he uses it on the field by tackling, smothering and making an impact when he's got it. 

If not him? WA small forward Jesse Motlop is a contender, as may be Vic Metro midfielder Jake Soligo who could be redeployed as a forward option. Jacob van Rooyen could be a shot if they went tall. Is there a tiny chance Josh Gibcus got through.

Pick 16: Brisbane - Darcy Wilmot

POS: Defender
Ht 183cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 30/12/03
From Northern Knights/Vic Metro

Wilmot has become a player in demand with a number of clubs interested in him in the second half of the first round of picks. The tenacious half-back plays with vigour and resolve in defence and enjoys taking the game on as well as stopping his direct opponents. Can mark the ball as well as tuck it under his arm and burst out of defence. The Lions have been looking for more rebounding defenders in recent years. 

If not him? If Josh Sinn got through he would be a big consideration, while Blake Howes, Sam Butler, Campbell Chesser and Tom Brown are others who clubs believe will be in the mix at this stage.

Pick 17: Richmond - Tyler Sonsie

POS: Defender
Ht 181cm, Wt 73kg, DOB 27/1/03
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

Sonsie began the year as a potential top-five pick and although that's not where he will have his name called this week, the Eastern Ranges midfielder still has clubs keen on his talent. With some dancing feet and smarts in close, Sonsie is able to get the ball out in the midfield with some burst and also be a dangerous player inside 50, where his goal sense comes to the fore. 

If not him? The Tigers are in a position to see if a player ranked in the top dozen falls through. It's always a chance. Jacob van Rooyen and Campbell Chesser could come into the mix.

Pick 18: Sydney - Tom Brown

POS: Defender
Ht 186cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 30/7/03
From Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

Brown combines power, speed, footy smarts and composure to be a promising prospect across half-back. He reads the ball well in the air and is comfortable using his leap to go for marks, and he distributes the ball without too much fuss as well. The son of former Geelong player Paul and brother of Cats AFLW player Millie, Brown isn't eligible to join the Cats as a father-son pick. The Swans have had a look at Brown and could pull the trigger. 

If not him? Wingman/forward Blake Howes could be a shot, as may Sam Butler. If still on the board Darcy Wilmot will be a contender for the Swans' pick.

Pick 19: Melbourne - Blake Howes

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 191cm, Wt 79kg, DOB 7/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

Another player who has multiple plans late in the first round and early in the second. Howes' running capacity (he finished the 2km time trial in an elite 6:08 minutes) as well as his height makes for an exciting combination for clubs weighing him up. Having started the season as a third tall forward, the versatile youngster moved onto the wing later in the campaign and found his groove. 

If not him? The Dees have been the masters of trading up the board so you wouldn't put it past them to do it again so they could nudge up the order. Howes looms as an option here, as do Tom Brown, Campbell Chesser and Darcy Wilmot.

Pick 20: Brisbane - Jacob van Rooyen

POS: Defender/forward
Ht 193cm, Wt 91kg, DOB 16/4/03
From Claremont/Western Australia

van Rooyen booted 24 goals in the final six games of the colts season as a key forward but it is in defence where many clubs see the swingman's future. The Claremont product is a tireless worker and competitor, giving him an advantage as a key-position player at either end. The Lions could look to beef up their key-position stocks in van Rooyen. 

If not him? Campbell Chesser could be a shot here, but it might depend on if they get a half-back with their first pick. Blake Howes is another possibility if the cards fall a certain way, with Sam Butler also a chance.

Pick 21: Fremantle - Josh Goater

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 190cm, Wt 80kg, DOB 2/6/03
From Calder Cannons/Vic Metro

Goater presents as a half-back option who could also be a runner through the midfield and on the wing. His size and athleticism gives him a point of difference to other prospects, and he has genuine speed, spring and excitement with the ball. He enjoyed a strong outing for Vic Metro mid-year when he had 23 disposals and eight clearances against Vic Country. Goater has family links in Western Australia and would offer the Dockers another running option.

If not him? Jacob van Rooyen and Jesse Motlop could be considerations if the Dockers hold in this spot, while they could also shift back when offers come in for the pick on the second day.

Pick 22: North Melbourne - Jesse Motlop

POS: Small forward
Ht 177cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 23/11/03
From South Fremantle/Western Australia

Motlop is a clever small forward who can create a chance out of nothing. He played eight League games for South Fremantle this year, including the WAFL Grand Final, and booted eight goals. Motlop was nominated by Fremantle as a Next Generation Academy player but the Dockers only get priority access to him after pick 40, where he's unlikely to slip. The son of former Kangaroo and Power forward Daniel Motlop. The Roos have been on the search for a small forward and Motlop could be a contender. 

If not him? Kai Lohmann is another goalkicking option who could be worth a look, while versatile swingman Jacon van Rooyen is also a chance. Would they take a run at Tyler Sonsie if he was there?

Pick 23: Hawthorn - Mitch Knevitt

POS: Midfielder
Ht 193cm, Wt 81kg, DOB 8/1/03
From Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

A tall midfield option who has a 'could be anything' factor to him. At 193cm Knevitt's appeal lies in what clubs may see him develop into as a ball-getting onballer who added more power to his game this season in the NAB League with the Falcons. He averaged 24 disposals for the year and has had interest from the Hawks as well as other clubs in this range. 

If not him? Could they jump in early and grab ruckman Toby Conway? Tyler Sonsie, should he get to the Hawks, would be a big consideration, particularly after his impressive VFL game with Box Hill this year, while they have put time into Sam Butler.

Pick 24: Geelong - Campbell Chesser

POS: Defender/midfielder
Ht 186cm, Wt 83kg, DOB 27/4/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country

An attacking half-back with great athletic traits and the versatility to move through the midfield. Chesser is back at full fitness and impressed at last week's training session with his movement after a season hindered by a nagging knee problem. The Cats lost a half-back/wingman in Jordan Clark during the trade period and Chesser would be able to fill that hole with his movement and run. 

If not him? Local midfielder Mitch Knevitt could come into contention here, with the tall ball-getter having a strong NAB League season. If Tom Brown was still up for grabs the Cats would likely look strongly at the attacking half-back, while WA midfielder Angus Sheldrick has also been linked.

Pick 25: Geelong - Toby Conway (after doing live picks trade with Western Bulldogs)

POS: Ruckman
Ht 205cm, Wt 97kg, DOB 24/4/03
From Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

The Cats have rarely drafted a young ruckman in the draft but Conway might be too good an option to pass up, particularly if Geelong can execute a trade with the Bulldogs and secure pick 23 as we're tipping. Conway shapes as a very good long-term ruck talent: he's big and growing in strength, he gets around the ground and can be a marking option. A cousin of Swans defender Tom McCartin and former Saint Paddy.  

If not him? South Adelaide midfielder/forward Arlo Draper could be a chance, with Sam Butler also likely to be considered in the smaller chance he is still there to be picked. 

Pick 26: Hawthorn - Arlo Draper

POS: Midfielder/forward
Ht 186cm, Wt 76kg, DOB 30/1/03
From South Adelaide/South Australia

Draper finished his season as a half-back after spending most of his season as a midfielder or half-forward. He's classy with his decision-making and isn't a player to be rushed, and can also be a marking option around the ground. Has a unique skillset and is capable of exciting moments. 

If not him? The Hawks have shown interest in St Kilda NGA prospect Marcus Windhager so could be the ones to pull out the bid for him. Forward Kai Lohmann is another potential option for them.

Pick 27: GWS Giants - Josh Fahey (matching Carlton's bid)

POS: Defender
Ht 186cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 11/11/03
From GWS Academy

The Giants brought in extra draft points during the pick swaps trade period to ensure they are well placed to match a bid for Fahey. Fahey played for the Giants' VFL side this season and impressed with his approach across the backline, where he can break the lines with his kicking. He also has a good attack on the ball. Carlton looks a possible bidder and Fahey appears likely to be picked around this mark. 

If not him? The Giants have been planning to use their two early picks and then match a bid for Fahey as their three live selections so it would be a surprise for it to go another way. Richmond is the main bid threat inside the first 20.

Pick 28: Carlton - Connor MacDonald

POS: Midfielder
Ht 184cm, Wt 77kg, DOB 13/1/03
From Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

The Blues have been linked to MacDonald and his competitiveness through the midfield would add to their group. He averaged 30 disposals in the NAB League this season with the Stingrays and is able to play as an inside/outside option. He offers grunt around the stoppages and is a character who many clubs talk highly about. 

If not him? Sam Butler, Zac Taylor and Jesse Motlop are also possibilities for the Blues with this selection.

Pick 29: St Kilda - Mitchito Owens (matching Richmond's bid)

POS: Midfielder
Ht 191cm, Wt 87kg, DOB 24/9/03
From Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

The Saints have added more points to their draft hand to ensure they can match a bid for Owens, with the likelihood remaining that it comes after the top-20 protected zone of the draft for Next Generation Academy players. Owens is a tall midfielder whose standout game for Vic Metro mid-season highlighted his running traits and versatility. Clubs have had interest in Owens inside the top 20, but outside of that the Saints would be ready to match any bid. 

If not him? St Kilda will move up the board to match the bid for Owens if they are able. The Giants and Tigers have interest but are not expected to bid in the first 20.

Pick 30: Richmond - Jake Soligo

POS: Midfielder
Ht 180cm, Wt 78kg, DOB 25/1/03
From Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

A hard-working midfield option who can accumulate the ball, as seen in the NAB League this season when he averaged 23 disposals, including lifting that to 27 across the last three games of his campaign. Some clubs also see the Ranges talent starting his career as a forward option. 

If not him? It might depend on how the Tigers' pair of first-round picks go and what they bring in there. If they don't secure a tall early then perhaps Rhett Bazzo would come under consideration, or if they're looking for a similar player to Soligo then Calder Cannons midfielder Zac Taylor could be a chance.

Picks: 22, 30, 32, 34, 50 (likely to use four or five selections)

The Cats' draft plans after pick 30 could shift dramatically depending on if they do a deal with the Western Bulldogs to secure pick 23 by offering a couple of their picks in the 30s. Blake Schlensog was delisted by the Cats last year but after an impressive season in the WAFL he has come into considerations again for Geelong and has spoken to the club. Tough midfielder Angus Sheldrick could be a chance in the second round as may reliable midfielder Connor MacDonald if still available, while Tasmanian half-back Sam Banks might also be a chance in the 30s. There has been some interest in Jai Serong, a developing tall, while delisted Swans wingman Matt Ling could be worth a look.