AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan has released his Top AFL Draft Prospects in the category of Medium Defenders ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft to be held on Wednesday, November 24 and Thursday, November 25.

The Medium Defenders group has the potential to see multiple first-round picks at this year's NAB AFL Draft. Sheehan's positional profiles will be released every Thursday as we count down to this year's draft.

Nominations for the draft will close on Wednesday, November 17. The pre-season and rookie drafts will take place on Friday, November 26.


2021 NAB AFL Draft – Top Draft Prospects - Medium Defenders

Braden Andrews
Oakleigh Charges, NAB League / Boroondara FC / Carey Grammar
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 189cm
Weight: 83kg
Date of Birth: 21/02/03

Medium defender who has had an injury interrupted year after playing consistently well for Victoria Metro at under-16s level in 2019 to earn All-Australian honours after averaging 16.7 disposals and showing he had the power to navigate through heavy traffic. Played just five games at NAB League level this year and missed the NAB AFL Academy game against Geelong’s VFL team due to injury.

Sam Banks
Tasmania Devils, NAB League / Clarence FC
State: Tasmania
Height: 187cm
Weight: 71kg
Date of Birth: 02/04/03

Medium defender also capable of displaying his polish through the midfield. His use of the ball is elite, being a combination of precise decision making and neat disposal by hand and foot. Been Tasmania’s shining light for several years, winning its MVP and All-Australian honours at under-16s level in 2019. Had an injury interrupted season after suffering a broken wrist, missing the NAB AFL Academy game. But was in sparkling form before and after that, playing four matches with the Devils in the NAB League, averaging 21.8 disposals and was selected in NAB League’s Team of the Year.

Zac Becker
Sturt, SANFL
State: South Australia
Height: 190cm
Weight: 91kg
Date of Birth: 21/09/03

Medium defender who reads the play well, anticipating when to move to intercept mark or spoil. Capable of playing on a range of taller and smaller opponents and embraces the challenge. Had an entertaining duel with Western Australia’s most dangerous tall forward Jye Amiss in the first NAB AFL Challenge Game winning plenty of admirers and played all four representative matches for his state, including pushing forward and kicking three goals against the Allies to show his versatility. Dominant early in the under-18s for his club, he graduated to play seven reserves games, averaging 18 disposals in an impressive development year. Born in the Netherlands to Australian parents, his father Tom was a professional baseballer who not only represented his country at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but at one point signed with the New York Yankees and played in their minors team.

Cooper Beecken
Glenelg, SANFL / Sacred Heart College
State: South Australia
Height: 191cm
Weight: 75kg
Date of Birth: 24/02/03

Medium defender who is a composed player. He uses the ball well on his preferred left foot and provides polished use of the ball out of defence. Reads the ball exceptionally well in the air to take intercept marks, but also stays in the contest at ground level with his reaction time and agility helping him. He makes impressive second and third efforts. Having elite endurance for his size, he works hard to outnumber the opposition, using his game sense to impact the play. A South Australian under-19s representative against Western Australia and the Allies, he played 15 games at under-18s level, averaging 17.5 disposals for Glenelg as well as a couple at Reserves level. His agility was the standout feature of his performance at the Draft Combine in SA with a time of 8.07 seconds for the AFL Agility run (ranked second overall).

Luke Beecken
Woodville-West Torrens, SANFL
State: South Australia
Height: 185cm
Weight: 73kg
Date of Birth: 18/04/01

Medium defender whose run and carry and elite ball use has drawn comparisons to Adelaide star Brodie Smith. Beecken had a breakout season at senior level playing 16 games where he averaged 15.6 disposals at 78 per cent efficiency in a premiership side at the Eagles. Cousin of Cooper, his form late in the season resulted in his invitation to the NAB AFL Draft Combine in SA performing strongly in the 2km endurance test with a time of 6:34, which was ranked third overall.

Sam Breuer
GWV Rebels, NAB League / Horsham Saints FC / Ballarat Grammar
State: Victoria Country
Height: 183cm
Weight: 81kg
Date of Birth: 26/06/03

Medium defender who also has gone into the midfield this year and shown his versatility on the inside. Wins his own ball in one-on-one situations and looks very composed with ball in hand he also applies consistent pressure on the opposition with his aggressive tackling. Son of former AFL star Shayne Breuer, who played for Geelong (71 games) and Port Adelaide (54 games), he doesn’t qualify for either club under the father-son rule so is in the open 2021 NAB AFL Draft. Represented Victoria Country at under-19s level this year as well as impressing in 10 matches for the Rebels, averaging 17.5 disposals and 5.1 tackles in defensive and midfield roles.

Tom Brown
Murray Bushrangers, NAB League / Mooroopna FC / Geelong Grammar
State: Victoria Country
Height: 186cm
Weight: 77kg
Date of Birth: 30/07/03

A line-breaking defender who loves to take the game on and step past the opposition using his elite agility. Composed and a great decision maker he can also go forward and impact the game. His father Paul played 84 games for Geelong but it wasn’t enough to qualify as a father-son so he’s eligible in the open 2021 NAB AFL Draft. Represented Victoria Country at under-19s level against Victoria Metro in 2021 and was among his team’s best as well as playing five matches for the Bushrangers, averaging 16.8 disposals at an impressive 75 per cent efficiency as he mixed his football between the Bushies and Geelong Grammar. Showed his speed over 20 metres with the second best time of 2.98 seconds at the Draft Combine for Victoria Country.

Jase Burgoyne
Woodville-West Torrens, SANFL
State: South Australia
Height: 186cm
Weight: 65kg
Date of Birth: 15/07/03

Dazzling running defender who can also bring his talents into the midfield and have an impact for his team. His acceleration from stoppages and neat side step are complemented by his distribution by hand and foot making him a thrilling prospect. Caught the eye when playing for the Australian NAB AFL Academy team in April as well as his two performances for South Australia against Western Australia at under-19s level where he averaged 21 disposals to be one of his team’s best. Son of Port Adelaide great Peter Burgoyne, Jase is eligible to join the Power as a father-son selection and was permitted this season to play three games at senior level for Port Magpies where he averaged 15.7 disposals.

Luke Cleary
Sandringham Dragons, NAB League / Beaumaris FC
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 189cm
Weight: 80kg
Date of Birth: 05/03/02

Invited to the NAB AFL Draft Combine last year but overlooked in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, he has bounced back, taking every opportunity to impress including strong performances in the Victorian Young Guns match as well as representing Victoria Metro at under-19s level. This complemented his polished performances for the Sandringham Dragons, playing seven matches and averaging 20.1 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency (a strong indication of his composure with the ball in hand). A fine intercept mark and reader of the play across half-back, he finished runner-up in the Dragons' best-and-fairest award this year.

Ben De Bolfo
Northern Knights, NAB League / Heidelberg FC
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 189cm
Weight: 80kg
Date of Birth: 21/06/02

Medium defender capable of matching up on taller opponents using his anticipation and intercept marking to rebound for his team. Defends well one on one and sets up the play with his precise decision making and execution on his preferred left foot. Was one of the best for Victoria Metro in its NAB AFL Under-19s Challenge match against Victoria Country, and he played six matches for the Northern Knights for an average of 14.7 disposals and four marks.

Josh Fahey
GWS Giants Academy, NAB League / Queanbeyan FC
State: New South Wales / ACT
Height: 186cm
Weight: 76kg
Date of Birth: 11/11/03

Medium defender/wingman who really takes the game on using his speed, step through traffic and prodigious elite left foot to break the game open. Starred for the Australian NAB AFL Academy team against Geelong’s VFL side in April, winning the AFL Commission Chairman’s Medal as Australia’s best player with 23 disposals at 75 per ent efficiency. Played three games for the GWS Giants in the VFL this year, averaging 13.3 disposals with his best being 24 disposals against Richmond. Recorded an outstanding 5:59 (Strava tested) for the 2km time trial in NAB AFL Draft Combine testing.

Joel Fitzgerald
Northern Knights, NAB League / St. Mary’s FC / Parade College
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 187cm
Weight: 78kg
Date of Birth: 08/08/03

Prolific ball-winning defender whose intercept marking, decision making and ball use helps him set up the play for his team. Starred for the Northern Knights in the NAB League, averaging 28 disposals at 72 per cent efficiency in eight matches to finish third in their best-and-fairest award this season.

Cooper Hamilton
Bendigo Pioneers, NAB League / Colbinabbin FC / Caulfield Grammar
State: Victoria Country
Height: 184cm
Weight: 83kg
Date of Birth: 24/09/03

Medium defender/midfielder with elite endurance which enables him to get to multiple contests as well as outnumber the opposition. A very strong contested mark, he also uses the ball effectively by hand and foot. Represented both the Australian under-18s team and Victoria Country this year after being an All-Australian at under-16s level in 2019. He played four matches in the NAB League, averaging 13.2 disposals (7.5 contested) and 4.8 tackles. His time of 5:48 for the 2km time trial at the Victorian Country Draft Combine was the second-fastest ever. His twin brother Hugh is also a draft contender with both dividing their football between Caulfield Grammar and the Pioneers.

Corey Preston
Eastern Ranges, NAB League / Ferntree Gully
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 182cm
Weight: 77kg
Date of Birth: 18/12/02

Medium defender/forward with exciting speed and a dynamic left foot. Developing into a versatile player who opened the season kicking four goals as a forward before having 29 disposals as a defender in a Victorian Metro trial game. Invited to the NAB AFL Draft Combine last year but overlooked in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, he trained in the pre-season with the Western Bulldogs and was considered for a rookie spot but has benefited from the experience as he continues to develop his football craft. Played in the Victorian Young Guns game as well as representing Victoria Metro at under-19s level, he also played two games with Footscray in the VFL. Averaged 16 disposals in five matches for the Ranges this year and was selected in NAB League’s Team of the Year.

Lewis Rayson
Glenelg, SANFL / Ex. Sacred Heart College
State: South Australia
Height: 183cm
Weight: 69kg
Date of Birth: 14/01/03

Dashing defender who is capable of setting up the play with his penetrating left foot. A one-touch player below the knees, he reads the play exceptionally well, running hard to outnumber the opposition and rebound for this team using his blistering speed. South Australia’s leading possession winner with 25 disposals against Western Australia in the NAB AFL Under-19’s Championships match in August, he played predominantly at under-18s level in the SANFL, averaging 26.7 disposals in 14 matches this year for Glenelg, including 27 in the losing Grand Final side. A back injury kept him out of NAB AFL Draft Combine testing.

Josh Sinn
Sandringham Dragons, NAB League / Old Xavierians
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 186cm
Weight: 78kg
Date of Birth: 07/01/03

Dashing defender who breaks the lines with his acceleration and penetrating left foot. Had an injury-interrupted year, missing the Australian AFL Academy game with a hamstring injury before impressing for Victoria Metro in its match against Victoria Country but suffered an ankle injury late in the match. An All-Australian at under-16s level in 2019, he played five matches with the Dragons this year, averaging 17.6 disposals, and also making the NAB League’s Team of the Year. Recorded a sharp 2.98 seconds for 20 metres at Victorian NAB League testing earlier in the year, then a solid 6:41 in the 2km time trial.

Hamish Sinnott
GWV Rebels, NAB League / Camperdown
State: Victoria Country
Height: 186cm
Weight: 67kg
Date of Birth: 25/11/03

Medium defender with high footy IQ and is a neat user of the ball. Intercept marks are a feature of his game, using his anticipation in reading the play and clean hands to execute. A member of the Victoria under-19 team in its AFL Challenge match against Victoria Metro, he also played 10 matches for the Rebels and was resolute in defence, averaging 13.7 disposals at 67 per cent efficiency. His elite endurance was on display at the Victorian Country Draft Combine recording 5:58 (ranked second) for the 2km time trial.

Bryce Watson
Swan Districts, WAFL / Gin Gin FC
State: Western Australia
Height: 183cm
Weight: 70kg
Date of Birth: 28/01/03

Medium defender with dazzling pace and a prolific ball winner who excels in winning his own ball in contested situations. Impressed for Western Australia in its win over South Australia in the NAB AFL Under-19s Championship match as well as for Swan Districts at Colts level, averaging 17.1 disposals in 15 matches and being a prominent member of their premiership team. Showcased his athleticism at WA's Draft Combine with his 2.95 seconds for 20 metres and 8.01 seconds for AFL Agility run (ranked second).

Darcy Wilmot
Northern Knights, NAB League / Montmorency FC / Hazelglen College
State: Victoria Metro
Height: 183cm
Weight: 75lg
Date of Birth: 16/05/03

Medium defender with natural power and agility whose intercept marking is a real feature of his game. Very strong contested ball winner who uses the ball well in rebounding for his team. Played seven games for the Northern Knights, averaging 15.1 disposals and often was involved in 60-metre plays. Another player to shine in Victoria Metro's impressive win over Victoria Country at under-19s level in July, and rewarded for his overall form with selection in the NAB League Team of the Year.