With less than a month until the 2022 Mid-Season Draft, clubs will be putting their final plans into place for the June 1 count.
Currently, five clubs hold an open list spot for the draft, while several others are sure to consider moving hampered personnel to their inactive list in order to give their list more flexibility for the months ahead.
Carlton, Fremantle, Geelong, Hawthorn and Sydney each have one spot open on their list, while the likes of Collingwood (Nathan Kreuger), Gold Coast (Ben King), St Kilda (Nick Coffield & Jack Hayes) and Adelaide (Rory Sloane) might look to move injured players to their long-term injury list to gain an opening.
Historically, clubs have looked away from ex-AFL names in favour of younger project players from the state competitions and the NAB League, with Richmond the only to hand a reprieve last year in selecting former Saint Matthew Parker.
Ruckman were the popular selection in 2021, with four of the top seven picks landing rucks - headlined by No.1 pick Jacob Edwards to North Melbourne.
Hard-nosed Hawk Jai Newcombe has been arguably the best pickup from last year, having cemented his place in Sam Mitchell's midfield after playing under his new senior coach for Box Hill in the first half of last season.
Bomber Sam Durham, Saints forward Cooper Sharman, Eagle Connor West, Giant James Peatling and Parker have made a presence in the AFL since last June's draft, while Collingwood tall Aiden Begg and Hawks forward Jackson Callow are the latest to make their debuts after being a mid-season recruit.
From the inaugural 2019 Mid-Season Draft, just four players remain on their respective AFL lists, with Ryan Gardner (Bulldogs), Will Snelling (Essendon), Marlion Pickett (Richmond) and John Noble (Collingwood) all being fruitful selections.
Players who nominated for the 2021 National Draft are deemed eligible for this year's Mid-Season intake, seeing several promising products potentially requiring exemptions from the league should they gain enough interest from AFL clubs.
Claremont's Ryan Lim has enjoyed a dominant start to his WAFL campaign - averaging 32.1 disposals - but did not nominate for last year's National Draft.
North Adelaide's Campbell Combe and Port Melbourne's Marcus Lentini also weren't among the 863 players to submit their names for the draft, but could seek exemptions and AFL interest ahead of June 1.
Lim's teammate Bailey Rogers is another potential player of interest, having been among the top state league performers across the past 12 months.
Rogers was invited to train for a Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period vacancy at Fremantle earlier this year before returning to the Tigers for the 2022 season, where he has impressed in his bid as the reigning Sandover Medal winner.
The Claremont star edged out Eagles recruit Greg Clark and top-up player Aaron Black for the 2021 honours, and has begun his 2022 campaign at his ball-winning best.
Staying in the WAFL, East Fremantle tall Brynn Teakle is another that is gaining reported interest ahead of the Mid-Season Draft, with The Wests Australian listing the 203cm ruckman as an alive chance to gain a list spot in the AFL.
Both Collingwood and Carlton are among clubs potentially seeking a ruck-forward option at the Mid-Season Draft, having seen key talls Brodie Grundy and Marc Pittonet suffer lengthy knee setbacks in recent weeks.
Collingwood may not have to look too far for a Mid-Season recruit, with VFL forward Sam Fowler having booted 13 goals from the opening six rounds of the season for the Magpies' reserves. With Kreuger uncertain to return this season, Fowler could shape as a replacement in Collingwood's attack.
Other VFL prospects come in the form of former Gold Coast player Jacob Dawson and Carlton's Tyreece Leiu, with the former having been a bright spark for Queensland club Southport since leaving the Suns after just nine matches.
Dawson has averaged 29.8 disposals per game to start his 2022 VFL campaign with the Sharks, with his last outing against Footscray seeing the 22-year-old record 35 possessions, 10 tackles and 15 clearances.
Leiu is another prospect that was overlooked for a Supplemental Selection Period spot, having trained with Carlton in the summer after missing out on the National Draft.
Injuries hampered Leiu's chances to gain a spot with the Blues, who elected to hold onto their list opening for the Mid-Season Draft as train-on players Josh Cripps and Michael Lewis joined Leiu in signing with the club's VFL squad.
Should the Blues return their attention to the trio, Leiu firms as a strong candidate to join Carlton's defensive cohort as a versatile backman for Michael Voss.
Former Bulldog Fergus Greene and ex-Swan Malachy Carruthers could be in line for second stints in the AFL, with the latter reportedly on the radar of clubs following his return to SANFL side Sturt for 2022, per AFL.com.au.
Carruthers joined Sydney via the 2020 Rookie Draft before being delisted at the end of last year after going without a senior game for the Swans.
Greene enjoyed a stellar season with Box Hill last year, booting 30 goals from nine appearances. From four games to start the 2022 season, the lively forward has notched up 10 majors tp continue his impressive run of form in the VFL.
Greene is currently listed as a COVID top-up player for the Hawks, with Carruthers (Adelaide), Rogers (Fremantle), Teakle (Fremantle), Fowler (Collingwood), Leiu (Carlton) and Dawson (Gold Coast) also among the AFL's contingency list.
In the SANFL, clubs could look to Combe as a mature-aged option for their midfield, with the 26-year-old among the league's best ball winners.
The North Adelaide star has collected strong two-way numbers to begin this season, averaging 25 possessions, 6.6 tackles and 7.2 clearances from his opening five games.
Tasmanian duo Jye Menzie and Oliver Davis have begun life at South Adelaide in style.
After switching across from Adelaide's reserves, Davis has been among the leading midfielders in South Australia. At just 19 years of age, Davis is already staking his claim as a potential Mid-Season selection option after amassing strong numbers for the Panthers this season.
His teammate in Menzie has also been a shining light, having booted 13 goals from five matches.
Over-aged NAB League trio Max Ramsden, Jed Rule and Hugo Hall-Kahan have looked to redeem themselves in the East Coast state competition in 2022 and could be of interest to AFL clubs.
Sandringham pair Ramsden and Hall-Kahan have been prolific for the Dragons, with Hall-Kahan among the bracket of players requiring an exemption after opting not to nominate for the 2021 National Draft.
Ramsden was overlooked for a selection and has since sparked strong form in the NAB League, averaging 14.5 disposals and 19 hit-outs per game while Hall-Kahan has booted 11 goals to start his 2022 campaign.
Rule has been a formidable option in defence for the Oakleigh Chargers at half-back, averaging 15.3 possessions, eight marks and 2.5 marks per game.
As the AFL ladder currently shapes, Hawthorn would hold the opening pick among the quintet of clubs currently with an open list.
With the Mid-Season Draft scheduled for June 1, the final order will be confirmed after Round 11 of the 2022 season.