MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Lance Franklin of the Swans celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on March 31, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Lance Franklin is preparing for his 250th game of AFL football on Friday night, and the talented forward certainly has had a career to remember.

He was taken by Hawthorn with pick five in the 2004 National Draft, and has since become the most dominant current day forward, and his stats suggest he could be one of the greatest of all time.

Franklin currently has 795 goals to his name, and with five years left on his contract, the magical 1000 goal mark looks well within reach.

Since his debut, Buddy leads a multitude of statistics to show just how dominant he’s been, leading the league in goals, shots at goal, behinds, total points and disposals inside 50.

During the week, Swans coach John Longmire said his career achievements to date allow him to be mentioned in the same category as legendary forwards Tony Lockett, Gary Ablett Sr and Jason Dunstall.

“His athleticism for his size is what makes him a really unique forward if you’re comparing eras,” Longmire said.

“He gets up the ground and back and he’s so quick and such an amazing kick that he is quite unique, but he certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys.

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see how his career pans out but to this point you’d certainly say he’s in that bracket.”

Top five goal kickers

Player Club Goals
Lance Franklin Hawthorn/Sydney 795
Matthew Pavlich Fremantle 592
Nick Riewoldt St Kilda 573
Jarryd Roughead Hawthorn 495
Jack Riewoldt Richmond 486

 

Top five shots at goal

Player Club Shots
Lance Franklin Hawthorn/Sydney 1356
Nick Riewoldt St Kilda 947
Matthew Pavlich Fremantle 938
Jarryd Roughead Hawthorn 813
Travis Cloke Collingwood/Bulldogs 807

 

Top five behinds

Player Club Behinds
Lance Franklin Hawthorn/Sydney 561
Nick Riewoldt St Kilda 374
Travis Cloke Collingwood/Bulldogs 362
Matthew Pavlich Fremantle 346
Jarryd Roughead Hawthorn 318

 

Top five disposals inside 50

Player Club Disposals
Lance Franklin Hawthorn/Sydney 1952
Nick Riewoldt St Kilda 1656
Steve Johnson Geelong/GWS 1580
Eddie Betts Carlton/Adelaide 1580
Matthew Pavlich Fremantle 1558

 

While those numbers are impressive among current day players, where does Franklin rank among those all-time greats?

Admittedly it was a different era, but those three mentioned above had unbelievable records.

Lockett averaged 4.8 goals a game over his 281 game career, Dunstall averaged 4.7 in 269 games and Ablett averaged 4.2 in 248, with Buddy sitting well behind at just 3.2.

Both Lockett and Dunstall managed 100 goals in a season on six different occasions, with Ablett achieving the feat three times. Buddy has only hit the ton once.

Player Games Goals Goals per game 100-goal seasons All-Australian Coleman Medal Club leading goal kicker
Tony Lockett 281 1360 4.8 6 5 4 15
Jason Dunstall 269 1254 4.7 6 3 3 12
Gary Ablett Sr 248 1030 4.2 3 4 3 9
Lance Franklin 249 795 3.2 1 6 3 9

 

Will Buddy be remembered as one of the all-time greats once his career comes to an end?