After an off-season of farewells to senior stars, the Hawks have officially put their foot to the floor on diving into a list rebuild, seeing five of their six oldest players depart since the end of their home and away campaign.

With another early draft selection at their disposal, there's plenty to be excited for at Waverley ahead of this month's draft.

Set to carry the youngest list into the competition next year, it's likely to be a season down in the cellar for Sam Mitchell and his crew as they begin to plot their pathway back to premiership contention.

With Hawks fans now more accustomed to placing their focus on the draft over the September action, here's a breakdown of how their club might be planning for the 2022 National Draft.

Draft Hand

Picks: 6, 24, 41, 48, 50, 52, 65

The Hawks will carry their third top-10 pick to the National Draft in as many years after recently securing Josh Ward (Pick 7, 2021) and Denver Grainger-Barras (Pick 6, 2020).

They'll hold Pick 24 as their second selection, an area of the draft familiar to them after recruiting Sam Butler (Pick 23) and Connor MacDonald (Pick 26) 12 months ago.

The Hawks are also hoping to have access to Next Generation Academy talent Cooper Vickery after Pick 40 passes, holding selections 41, 48, 50, 52 and 65 after the bidding cut-off.

List Needs

Key Forward:
After solidifying their defensive ranks in recent years and turning their attention to the future in midfield, it's Hawthorn's attack that is in need of a sharpening at the draft.

Their key position stocks took a hit with the departure of Jack Gunston this off-season, however Mitch Lewis took the reins as the first-string target in Sam Mitchell's attack to boot 37 goals from 15 games in 2022.

A partner for Lewis would be an area the Hawks are sure to discuss ahead of the draft, needing competition for Jacob Koschitzke as Emerson Jeka is likely to experiment as a swingman option.

Mitchell Lewis during the AFL match between Hawthorn and St Kilda in Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

A key-forward duo has been key for recent premiership success, and is likely to be required for the Hawks to press their case as a competitor further down the track.

Midfield Depth:
The Hawks will look toward the likes of Jai Newcombe and Josh Ward to lead their engine room ensemble for the years to come, but further midfield options from the draft are sure to join Mitchell's fledgling pack of onballers.

With Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara moving on from Bunjil Bagora, the Hawks will be needing to add support in the middle of the ground for the likes of Newcombe.

Outside Run:
With a focus on midfield, Hawthorn's draft planning should also be hoping to bolster their outside options after the departures of wing options Daniel Howe and Liam Shiels this off-season.

They've uncovered an exciting youngster in Connor MacDonald, while Finn Maguinnes and Harry Morrison are also capable of being placed on the wing, but there is certainly room for further run and carry outside of the midfield and on the flanks.

Ideal Prospects

Matthew Jefferson:
When looking toward the class of 2022's key-forward options, Jefferson is placed as the obvious choice should the Hawks look to add height to their attack with their opening selection.

The Oakleigh Chargers tall booted 13 goals in the NAB League at 2.2 per game, while adding an impressive National Championships campaign to his 2022 season with a return of 14 goals for Vic Metro.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: Matthew Jefferson of Vic Metro kicks a goal during the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys match between Vic Metro and South Australia at GMHBA Stadium on July 17, 2022 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

The athletic and aerial dominant spearhead would complement Mitch Lewis in attack, with the pair able to share the attacking third of the field and offer a balance of one staying deep and the other pushing up the field.

Jhye Clark:
The Geelong Falcons skipper would add another layer to the Hawks' hard-nosed midfield that is currently home to emerging star Jai Newcombe.

A fierce leader and prolific ball-winner, Clark would be the third piece of Hawthorn's midfield after the recruitment of Newcombe and Josh Ward last year.

Clark will demand the Hawks' first-round selection at Pick 6, meaning they'll be weighing up the bullish onballer or Jefferson among those at the top of their list.

Gippsland star Bailey Humphrey and Saints NGA prospect Cameron Mackenzie are also sure to be of interest to the Hawks early. Later options in Dandenong's Mitch Szybkowski or SA product Will Dowling could fill a void in midfield should the Hawks look deeper into the draft.

Darcy Jones:
Looking toward outside midfield options, Jones is an exciting name hailing from Western Australia.

The Swan Districts talent constructs his game off lighting speed and his agility around the contest to win his own ball and leave the opposition behind him.

Also capable of moving forward and impacting the scoreboard, Jones could be a fitting option for the Hawks should he still be on offer with their second selection - currently priced at Pick 24.

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Fellow WA prospect Edward Allan is another outside midfielder option around the late first round, while Bendigo Pioneer Jason Gilbee is a hard-working outside runner.