Melbourne Next Generation Academy prospect Mac Andrew could be drafted as high as the top two, where the Demons wouldn’t be able to match a bid.
A mobile ruckman who moves like a midfielder and can also play in the key posts, the Dandenong Stingrays product may be the bolter of the draft.
Despite having missed the cut for Vic Country and AFL Academy selection until his draft year, Andrew’s rapid rise is set to put him beyond Melbourne’s reach.
The Western Bulldogs matched a bid for Jamarra Ugle-Hagan with the first pick of the 2020 national draft, in spite of having finished seventh that season.
Since then, the rules have been tweaked so that NGA bids inside the first 20 selections can’t be matched.
From next year, clubs will not be able to match inside the first 40 picks.
Andrew is rated the eighth best prospect in this year’s pool by AFL.com.au draft guru Callum Twomey.
“(He’s) athletically amazing,” Twomey told Sportsday WA on Monday.
“What I love about the ‘Big Mac’ is just how competitive he is. He really is a great option.
“When he’s in the air and the ball is up for grabs he goes for it, and he fights for it at ground level.”
Twomey likened Andrew to Dees premiership player Luke Jackson, who has played 30 games for Melbourne as a second ruck since he was selected at No. 3 in 2019.
“There are some similarities,” he acknowledged.
“Just in terms of what they’re able to do athletically… (but) he’s a really lean prospect at the moment, he’ll take time to get used to the cut and thrust of it all.
“There’s a lot of clubs with top ten picks who are looking at Mac Andrew, including the Giants at pick two.”
Former Fremantle midfielder Paul Hasleby says the Dockers, equipped with picks 6 and 8 in the national draft, have their sights set on the 18-year-old.
“A friend of mine keeps telling me that Fremantle are showing a lot of interest in this kid,” he chipped in.
Twomey responded “He’s no certainty to still be on the board when Fremantle pick, but as a key forward and ruckman he’s certainly in that bracket.”