Chayce Jones

Adelaide's first-round draft choice is putting pressure on Don Pyke and his coaching staff to pick him for round one. Jones didn't win a pile of the ball against the Giants – just nine touches. But his intent around the contest was at a high level. Although he projects as a midfielder the longer his career goes, Jones is set to make his mark as a pressure forward early in his career. That could come as soon as a first-up contest against Hawthorn in front of an adoring Adelaide Oval crowd. - Ben Guthrie


Jarryd Lyons

The Lions were delighted to acquire Lyons at the end of last season when Gold Coast let him go with a year to go on his contract. The 26-year-old had forged a solid track record as a hard-nosed clearance winner over seven seasons with Adelaide and the Suns, but showed he has more strings to his bow in the Lions' win over Melbourne on Saturday, kicking four goals as he spent extended time in attack. Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said after the match Lyons was a more capable goalkicker than most people realised, which suggests he could be regularly deployed inside the Lions' forward 50m arc this season. As Fagan noted: "It's good if you've got midfielders who can go forward and be dangerous." - Nick Bowen


Sam Petrevski-Seton

The continued development of Petrevski-Seton has been a major positive for the Blues through the summer. He's spent a lot of his game time in the midfield, frequently starting in the centre bounces, while he's improved his ability to find the footy more consistently. He won 23 disposals on Monday and looked classy virtually every time he got his hands on it. With precise foot skills and an innate ability to find time in congestion, the improving onballer became a dangerous prospect when he won the ball forward of centre. - Riley Beveridge


Callum Brown

Every time the father-son prospect finds the footy, he looks like he's going to make something happen. He's got dash out of a contest and a slicing sidestep that frequently enables him to find a yard of space from seemingly nowhere. Importantly, he then uses that space to his advantage with his fine skills by foot. He finished Monday's game with 17 disposals. But the more of the ball he gets as he gains consistency, the more dangerous Collingwood will become. He looks a proper footballer. - Riley Beveridge


Jordan Ridley

With Cale Hooker set to miss the early stages of the season, the 192cm Ridley will get his chance to lock down his spot in defence. Opposed to Gary Ablett, Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus at stages on Thursday night, the 20-year-old more than held his own. Offered dash from half-back, even edging forward for a goal among his 18 touches in a role vacated by Brendon Goddard this off-season. After injury ruined his first two pre-seasons at Tullamarine, the former second-round draft pick is reaping the rewards of a full summer on the track. – Mitch Cleary


Reece Conca

He didn't have a lot of support when he was sent into midfield in his first game in purple against West Coast on Sunday, but the former Richmond utility battled manfully coming back from a knee infection and looks primed to have an impact in a depleted engine room early in the season. Conca's 18 disposals and three clearances in the first half helped keep Freo in the game before the Eagles put the foot down, and his versatility to play swap across half-back, not to mention experience helping guide a young midfield will be important while the Dockers wait for Stephen Hill and Connor Blakely to return. - Travis King


Tom Atkins

Geelong's Max Rooke 2.0. Replicating parts of the dual premiership player's physical style from the late noughties, Atkins all but secured a round one debut on Thursday night against the Bombers. Collected 17 disposals, two goal assists and kicked a goal in a workmanlike display as Gary Rohan and Luke Dalhaus took centre stage. The 23-year-old has arrived this summer, bringing the intensity of his 2018 season as VFL captain as a pressure forward. Hunting the opposition defenders, expect him to be assigned key defensive forward roles in the opening rounds. – Mitch Cleary


Charlie Ballard

After 11 games in his first season, the South Australian looks an even better player in 2019. Yes, he'll be on the wrong end of some 'highlights' for his two fluffed kicks that led directly to Sydney goals in the second quarter, but those aside, the 19-year-old put in another eye-catching display. Standing 195cm, Ballard reads the ball exceptionally well in the air, taking five marks against the Swans, and is composed with it in hand. Ideally suited as a third or fourth defender that can float across and intercept mark, Ballard has a bright future with the Suns and should play plenty of games this season. - Michael Whiting


Daniel Lloyd

Assistant coach Matthew Nicks was impressed with the way Lloyd took his chance up forward, with the ever-improving forward booting two goals from 15 touches against the Crows. Nicks spoke post-match about the strides Lloyd had taken with improving his professionalism off-field and his workrate around the ball on the field. The 27-year-old played seven matches in his first season and 14 last season and is eyeing off a permanent spot in the Giants' attacking group. He looks primed to deliver on that aim. - Ben Guthrie


Jaeger O'Meara

Alastair Clarkson downplayed the need for O'Meara to step into the void left by an injured Tom Mitchell after the game, focusing more on the collective. But for Hawthorn to remain in finals contention, it seems only natural that O'Meara needs to have a big season. His game-high 35 disposals illustrated the influence he can have, with 23 of those uncontested. The gun midfielder has the ability to win the ball inside and outside the contest, making him a dual threat for teams to try to shut down. - Ben Guthrie

Read: JLT observations


Joel Smith

Smith has kicked just one goal in 11 premiership games for the Demons, having been stationed primarily in defence before Saturday's game at Casey Fields. But the 23-year-old trained with Melbourne's forward group over the pre-season and looked right at home inside the Dees' forward 50m arc against Brisbane. Despite battling minor groin soreness in the second half, Smith, 191cm, kicked four goals against the Lions and took six marks, two of them contested. Coach Simon Goodwin later said the Demons were "really excited" about Smith's progression, while his athleticism could help him cement himself the third tall spot in Melbourne's attack alongside Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman. - Nick Bowen


Jared Polec

It's easy to see why the Kangaroos were keen to get Polec to Arden Street. The winger's workrate was on display in his return to Alberton on Saturday. Playing against his old club Port Adelaide for the first time since joining the Roos on a five-year deal at the end of last season, Polec was extremely busy, racking up 25 disposals and seven inside 50s. To top it off, he also kicked a sensational goal from hard on the left-hand boundary line from 50m out in front of the Power faithful. - Lee Gaskin


Xavier Duursma

A quick midfielder who can also provide plenty of forward defensive pressure, the 18-year-old put his name forward for a round one debut with another impressive performance. Duursma had 24 disposals, 11 marks and four inside 50s in Saturday's 21-point win against North Melbourne. The 18th pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft, Duursma is on track to be one of four round one debutants for the Power alongside Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Willem Drew. Duursma's link-up play was on display when he received a handball from Sam Powell-Pepper, burst through the middle of the ground and kicked the ball to the advantage of Robbie Gray. - Lee Gaskin


Jack Graham

Going into his third season, Graham could become a vitally important player in Richmond's midfield. The 21-year-old has a defensive mindset that some of his teammates don't, and with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and co. hunting the ball, Graham's natural instincts would be rated highly. Graham had five tackles in the third term and eight for the game, finishing with 20 disposals as a key contributor in Richmond's exciting fightback. - Ben Guthrie


Matthew Parker

Just watch the first two minutes of Sunday's win over the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat. The mature-age recruit out of South Fremantle took the mark of the pre-season, standing on four players' heads. He also provides a hit-up across half-forward, a bit of mongrel and pressure when defending. Complements the tall trio of Josh Bruce, Paddy McCartin and Tim Membrey and smalls Jack Lonie, Dean Kent, Ben Long and Jack Sinclair. Looks a certain starter for round one. - Mitch Cleary


Nick Blakey 

Most top-10 draft picks have plenty of expectation on them, and Blakey is no exception, but based on the evidence of his outing against Gold Coast, the Swans Academy product will have no trouble living up to them. Blakey's 10 disposals only tell part of the story. A beautifully weighted left foot pass into the path of the leading Jordan Dawson started his day off with a goal assist, and there was plenty more to come. He took advantage of a Suns blunder in the second term to kick his first goal from a clever snap, and then outbodied the taller Ben King to mark and goal in the third quarter. Although the Swans were missing a few players, Blakey has well and truly put his hand up for a round one debut. - Michael Whiting


Jack Petruccelle 

The speedy small forward has enjoyed an outstanding pre-season and after an encouraging first JLT clash against Geelong, Petruccelle showed why club insiders have been raving about him all summer against the Dockers. The 19-year-old breaks the lines like few others can, and loves tucking the ball under his arm, which he did on several occasions on Sunday, and finished with 16 possessions and two goals. With pressure small Jamie Cripps in major doubt for round one, expect Petruccelle to face the Lions and add spark to the attack. - Travis King


Aaron Naughton

Luke Beveridge believes "he could be anything" as a forward, now Naughton will get the chance to prove that in round one. Playing most of his debut season in defence last year, Naughton offered presence in the front half and booted three majors against St Kilda on Sunday. With doubts around Tom Boyd's return date, Naughton will be given the keys to the forward line alongside Josh Schache. With the Dogs every chance to play only one of Tim English or Jackson Trengove, the 195cm Naughton may also be asked to pinch-hit in the ruck. - Mitch Cleary