Aaron Naughton during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has shut down suggestions that star forward Aaron Naughton should make the switch to the backline in an experiment that could help the Dogs' cause.

Naughton has booted 21 goals in the blue, white and red this year, eight more than the next-best Bulldog Jamarra Ugle-Hagan with 13.

Beveridge has a bevy of tall forward options to consider at selection, with Naughton, Ugle-Hagan and Rory Lobb all contending for scoreboard impact each weekend, with the latter trialled through the ruck and further up the field in recent weeks.

The Dogs fell to Gold Coast in Darwin last weekend despite the forward trio combining for nine marks inside 50 and 11 shots on goal, with the club's contested forward pack questioned days after the seven-point loss.


Having begun his career as a promising defender, Naughton was floated as a potential asset Beveridge could look toward to swing into defence to aid Liam Jones on his last line, with North Melbourne great David King raising the idea.

"They have to have a look at Aaron Naughton down back with Liam Jones for a week or two, just to see what it looks like," King told SEN earlier this week.

"They're not going to win the flag with what they do on offense."

Fronting media on Friday, the Bulldogs coach was quizzed on the concept of moving Naughton to the other end of the field, with Beveridge rubbishing any idea of the kind.

The premiership coach highlighted Naughton's goalkicking prowess and importance in attack, while placing further support toward his incumbent back third.

"So he's kicked 100-150 goals over the last three years and he's probably been our most instrumental key forward, but (King) suggested he goes back?" Beveridge said on Friday.

Aaron Naughton during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"The thing is that we've got a lot of depth with our key backs and we've been pretty happy with their output. Our back seven against Adelaide were outstanding.

"... Aaron's been an amazing player for us, and he usually gets the opposition's best defender. We've got to do our best to help him play his best footy.

"Out blend (of forwards) will float to the surface with the scoring power over time.

"I'd be reluctant to play him (in defence), we'd need to train him there. He's not going behind the ball any time soon."

The Bulldogs defence will be tasked with taming Geelong's All-Australian calibre front third, consisting of Coleman Medal winners Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins, as well as Ollie Henry, Tyson Stengle, Gryan Miers and Brad Close.

Jones has been arguably the bargain recruit of the season in his return to the Kennel, losing just eight of his 39 contested one-on-one contests.

While the Bulldogs could fall out of the top eight with a heavy defeat this weekend, the Cats find themselves on a three-game losing streak heading into Round 12.

Both clubs will clash at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night at 7:25pm (AEST).