Taking a look at forming the best possible AFL player based on nine key attributes and traits, we've looked to piece together football's 'Frankenstein' using some of the AFL's best and most skilled current players.
Identifying those that lead the way for a variety of skills, collectively they form the ultimate AFL player.
- Right foot
- Left foot
- General skills
- Football IQ
Athleticism - Lance Franklin
Whilst Buddy has lost a bit of the explosiveness which he once possessed, he is still a deadly combination of size, strength, speed and power.
A few others like the King brothers, Nic Naitanui or Aliir Aliir could also be here, Buddy's the best athlete all-around since he can do it all. Simply put, in an AFL athletics carnival, Buddy would probably be the only one who could win every event.
Right foot - Caleb Daniel
Whilst Caleb Daniel was only 19th for effective kicks during the 2021 season, his ability to hit a short or long target on the chest makes him the best right foot kick in the competition.
He sets up the team so well with the way he can pierce through defensive structures. Other potential candidates include the likes of Daniel Houston and Jayden Short, but they can't consistently hit targets as well as the Bulldogs' pocket-rocket.
Left foot - Daniel Rich
Whilst Zach Merrett and Marcus Bontempelli are other great options here, Daniel Rich has to be the best left-footer in the competition.
He finished first for effective kicks with 397 in total and proves again and again that he has the most penetrative long leg in the AFL. If you need someone to hit a 55-metre target on the chest, Daniel Rich is your man.
Hands/Marking - Harry McKay
This one is a dead-heat between Harry McKay and Aaron Naughton, but since McKay more consistently clunks big marks whilst receiving worse service, the Coleman Medal winner gets the nod here.
The big Blue led the league in contested marks for the season, averaging 2.63 per game to be simply unstoppable when he got a run and jump at the footy.
General skills - Toby Greene
There are no real statistics to back up this claim but the fact that Greene can make something out of nothing at any time during a game gives him an edge over guys like Joshua Kelly and Robbie Gray.
He's clean, great in the air, can evade tacklers and can kick miraculous goals.
Strength - Dustin Martin
Even though Dustin Martin isn't on the top of any tackling or contested possessions tally, the way that he can throw grown men off of him with ease makes him our strongest man in the AFL.
Exemplifying this is how Martin seems to always win one-on-one contests using his brute strength.
Jack Steele and Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines are also right up there, but Dusty gets the slight edge in this exercise.
Football IQ - Scott Pendlebury
Whilst rating football IQ is completely subjective, the majority of footy fans would see 'Pendles' as the smartest player in the AFL. He never panics and almost always seems to pick out the right option.
Whenever he gets the ball, it's like the whole game stops because no one wants to look silly. Other guys like teammate Steele Sidebottom and three-time premiership Tiger Shane Edwards are also close.
Speed - Nick Hind
In the 2021 season, Hind recorded the fastest pace of 36.07 km/h, whilst Oleg Markov (35.89 km/h) and Adam Saad (35.75 km/h) finished second and third.
Hind's blistering pace allows him to break through lines and open up the field for the Bombers.
Endurance - Sam Walsh
Sam Walsh was seen to be the best long-distance runner in the game this year, averaging 15.49km covered per game, with premiership winger Ed Langdon and Blue Matthew Cottrell finishing a close second and third with 15.30km and 15.29km efforts respectively.
His hard work ethic provides the Blues with more chances to impact the game in all areas of the ground.