Tasmanian midfielder Ryley Sanders is one of the cleaner inside onballers among the class of 2023, with his ball smarts and contested work separating him from the rest.

Sanders hails from North Launceston but boards at Melbourne Grammar, seeing him represent the Sandringham Dragons instead of the Devils in the Talent League.

The 185cm and 86kg ball-winner featured in both of the Dragons' premiership wins over the past two seasons, where he's held a pivotal role working alongside the likes of Ashcroft brothers Will and Levi, Cameron Mackenzie and Harry Sheezel.

Sanders' best efforts would come in the National Championships this year for the premiership-clinching Allies, where he'd average 35.5 possessions (14.3 contested), 5.0 clearances, 6.3 marks and 4.3 tackles per game.

The inside bull would take out the Larke Medal as the carnival's best player, capping off a stellar draft campaign that followed a very impressive bottom-age season. He would also be named captain of the U18 All-Australian team as one of eight Allies players selected.

Sanders would record similar numbers for Sandringham thanks to his work around stoppages and his ability to evade the opposition with ease, rivalling likely No.1 pick Harley Reid as one of the best contested players among this year's crop.

While not a player known to break away from the stoppage, Sanders does hold similarities to Melbourne superstar Clayton Oliver for his overall contested workrate and ability.

Sanders earned Next Generation Academy status with North Melbourne earlier this year, but with his ranking as a top 10 prospect there's no certainty he will land at Arden Street in November.

The Roos could select Sanders with either one of their two top five picks, while Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs or even GWS could consider the Tassie young gun.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Ryley Sanders of the Allies poses after being named as the MVP of the U18 Boys Championship during the 2023 U18 Boys Championships match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at Ikon Park on June 16, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Position: Midfielder
Weight: 86kg
State: Tasmania
Club: North Launceston


Contested Work

Draft Range

Pick 2-8

Potential Landing Spots

North Melbourne (Picks 2+3)
Western Bulldogs (Pick 5)
Melbourne (Pick 6)

AFL Comparison

Clayton Oliver
Rory Sloane

Expert comments

"Sanders has stepped up and shown himself to be a talented playmaker this year. He started the season in fine form with the Dragons, averaging 31.7 disposals and five tackles in the opening three rounds." - Kevin Sheehan