Albury native Connor O'Sullivan is an exciting key defender who has risen through the ranks this year thanks to a strong campaign with the Allies at the National Championships.

O'Sullivan would earn All-Australian honours following the carnival, where he'd also be crowned as the Allies' best player of the season in their maiden premiership-winning undefeated run, coming ahead of top-rated prospects Jed Walter, Colby McKercher and Ryley Sanders.

The Murray Bushranger would lead an impenetrable Allies backline alongside the likes of Tasmanian James Leake and Suns Academy talent Will Graham, averaging 17.8 disposals (efficiency of 86%) and 8.2 marks from his four appearances.

O'Sullivan proved to be a ball-winner throughout the year at the Talent Leaue level also, recording under 19 possessions on just two occasions as an aerial threat, link-up player and option in attack.

He would spend portions of his draft campaign in the forward third to show off his versatility as a swingman option for scouts to consider, earning comparisons to Melbourne's Harrison Petty or Geelong's Sam De Koning after commencing his draft campaign in attack before reverting to a defensive role, where he looked equally at home.

His best position is undoubtedly on the last line though, with O'Sullivan's close-out speed and endurance helping him impact almost every aerial contest. He also ran a 6:11 at the 2km time trial to finish in the top 10 at October's Draft Combine.

While he might not have initially been in the top 10 conversation, O'Sullivan could be on the end of a selection as early as the top six at next month's draft. Geelong at Pick 8 could be of interest, while both Essendon and Adelaide, who hold the following two selections, would also be keen on O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan is perhaps the second best key defender on offer at this year's draft, rivalling Sandringham Dragons talent Ollie Murphy for a spot in the queue behind Western Australian MVP Dan Curtin.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Connor O'Sullivan of the Allies during the 2023 U18 Championships match between Allies and Western Australia at Thebarton Oval on June 11, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Position: Key Defender
Weight: 92kg
State: New South Wales
Club: Albury


Aerial Threat
Close-Out Speed

Draft Range

Pick 7-11

Potential Landing Spots

Geelong (Pick 8)
Essendon (Pick 9)
Adelaide (Pick 10)

AFL Comparison

Sam De Koning
Harrison Petty

Expert comments

"Athletic tall defender who was outstanding for the title-winning Allies at the National Championships winning their MVP award and All Australian honours. He has an exciting natural leap, good speed and elite endurance. Showed he can go forward and have an impact during his time with the Murray Bushrangers." - Kevin Sheehan