Ben Hobbs, Essendon, during the Round 14 AFL match against St Kidla at Marvel Stadium. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

Our Rookie Rankings top six has taken further shape after Round 16, but there's plenty of attention in our honourable mentions as a young Bomber and fledgling Eagle press their case for a breakthrough.

A forgotten Roo falls after not playing for close to a month, while a clutch performance from Essendon's top pick sees him rise.

A young Magpie's tight grasp on pole position was only strengthened, but there's still plenty of time left in the year to see change at the top.

Criteria: For our Rookie Rankings, we are selecting players who have made their debut this season. Other players who may still be eligible for a Rising Star nomination but have already made their debut prior to the 2022 season will not be considered.

I.e. players like Jai Newcombe, Jake Bowey, Corey Durdin and Sam De Koning are ineligible. 

VIEW: ROUND 15 RANKINGS

Round 16 Honourable Mentions:

Jesse Motlop (Carlton)
9 disposals, 3 goals, 88% disposal efficiency

Was a positive note for the Blues in what was a tough night in front of goal. Lead his side for majors, including one off the back of applying great pressure in attack.

Massimo D'Ambrosio (Essendon)
23 disposals, 6 marks, 4 intercepts

Is on track to break into our top six given his output across the opening three games of his career. One to watch in the coming weeks.

Brady Hough (West Coast)
20 disposals, 10 marks, 95% disposal efficiency

Was once again a highlight for the Eagles on the outside and joins D'Ambrosio in being on the fringe of the top six.

Jake Soligo (Adelaide
20 disposals, 9 contested possessions, 5 marks

The young Crow featured among Adelaide's centre bounce attendances and looked to tussle with the league's best midfield.

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6. Jason Horne-Francis (-2)

After three weeks with no action, the top pick from last year's National Draft has faced his first drop in our rankings for some time.

A Round 14 bye and two games out through suspension have given Horne-Francis no chance to defend his placing among our top six, with the young Roo now falling to sixth overall.

Should David Noble look to inject the hard-nosed ball-winner straight back into his side this weekend, then he'll have every chance of proving himself as a top-ranked rookie against the Magpies this weekend.

It hasn't been the easiest road to start on for Horne-Francis, but there's little to suggest he hasn't been consistent for North Melbourne across the start of his career.

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