North Melbourne champion David King fancies Melbourne tall Luke Jackson to win this year’s AFL Rising Star award.
Selected with pick No.3 in the 2019 National Draft, Jackson’s athleticism, ruck work and aerial prowess makes him an exciting package.
The 19-year-old, who stands at 198cm, gives Demons coach Simon Goodwin added flexibility given he can play in the ruck and as a key forward.
After a quiet debut season, Jackson has become a regular in Melbourne’s side in 2021, averaging 13.7 disposals, 10 hit-outs and 3.2 marks across 13 games this season.
“I did a little thing on AFL 360 the other night on Luke Jackson,” King told SEN Breakfast.
“I think Luke Jackson is tracking towards becoming some sort of phenom in the ruck.
“If I was having a wager, I’d be on Luke Jackson because I think he’s doing things ahead of time for a 19-year-old ruckman.”
Gold Coast midfielder Matt Rowell was the red-hot favourite to win this year's Rising Star award on the back of polling nine Brownlow Medal votes in four games last season.
Shoulder and knee injuries have disrupted Rowell’s start to his career with the former No.1 draft pick missing a large chunk of the year.
The 20-year-old’s impact has been subdued in his four games back from a PCL injury sustained in Gold Coast’s Round 1 loss to West Coast.
“I’m just waiting for Matty Rowell to catch fire, but it hasn’t quite happened,” Sam Edmund said.
“Just missed a lot of footy obviously and needs a good pre-season underneath him.”
Essendon young gun Nik Cox is also viewed as a contender to win this year’s Rising Star award in what is a wide open race.