GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 19: Jake Soligo of the Crows competes for the ball during the round 14 AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on June 19, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

With just the sole round remaining in the 2022 AFL season, our Rookie Rankings are almost finalised following an undoubtedly talent-rich year from the league's litany of debutants.

This week has seen further changes to our top six, with a Bomber falling in favour of a young Crows midfielder, who bounced back after being omitted last week.

The change has seen a young Tiger and Hawk rise up the order, while the podium remains the same after a Saint earnt Rising Star honours this week.

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 NewcombeJake BoweyCorey Durdin and Sam De Koning are ineligible.


Round 22 Honourable Mentions:

Paul Curtis (North Melbourne)
Leek Aleer (GWS Giants)
Elijah Hollands (Gold Coast)
Massimo D'Ambrosio (Essendon)

6. Jake Soligo (NEW)

The Crows' midfield-forward hybrid has bounced straight back into our rankings one week after falling out of the top six, putting in a season-best performance against North Melbourne in Round 22.

Soligo recorded 22 possessions against the Roos to be among the Crows' best, narrowly falling short of a Rising Star nomination.

This week will be his last chance to earn the honour, with the stage no higher than a Showdown against the Power.

Will face some competition from several eligible rookies for the last spot in our rankings, having only just replaced Bomber Ben Hobbs this week.

5. Josh Ward (+1)

Has quickly risen through the ranks in the back-end of this season, with Hawks senior coach Sam Mitchell showing more faith in his top 10 pick with each passing week.

Ward was once again among the leading ball-winners for rookies in the round, collecting 17 possessions in Sunday's loss to Richmond.

He could move as far as fourth and even move back a spot with one week remaining in the season, with Ward looking to end the year on a high as the Hawks hope to dampen the Dogs' party on Sunday.

4. Noah Cumberland (+1)

Added another two goals to his season tally in Sunday's win over Hawthorn, again rising to the occasion as a breakout name at Punt Road.

Cumberland also amassed 9 score involvements for the match, being a key link in his side's ball movement going forward.

The victory sees Richmond secure their return to the September action, with Cumberland set to play a key role in their push for the premiership.

Doesn't have both hands on the fourth spot in our rankings just yet, with Cumberland sure to be looking to end the regular season on a high against Essendon this Satiurday.

3. Marcus Windhager (-)

The young Saint claimed another scalp on Friday night, keeping Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale to just 16 possessions.

That tally was Neale's lowest in his time as a Lion (excluding shortened quarter seasons), with Windhager playing a monumental role in the game despite his side's inability to get over the line.

Windhager collected 21 possessions himself while recording 5 clearances, 9 contested possessions and 7 marks to get the better of Neale.

The performance warranted Windhager's Rising Star nomination, a nod that had been coming for some time.

Will likely retain his spot at No.3 after this week in what has been a stellar debut season.

2. Nic Martin (-)

For the eighth time this season, Martin recorded over 20 possessions and a goal for his side.

The performance, one we've become accustomed to for the Western Australian, came in a disastrous afternoon for the Bombers in front of their home fans, falling to Port Adelaide by 84 points.

Martin is among the small few who can hold his head high despite the defeat, playing his role out while others were seemingly happy to be bystanders.

With one week left in the season, Martin is unlikely to move from his place on the podium given the daylight between himself and first, and the rest of the chasing pack.

1. Nick Daicos (-)

Daicos was again the victim of a run-with role, a stunning result for a first-year player.

Swan Ryan Clarke was tasked with negating the teenager, who still managed to record 20 disposals, 11 contested possessions and a goal against Sydney.

While the Pies didn't get the win, Daicos was among Collingwood's best in the outing, playing on multiple lines in attempting to shake the tag.

The Magpies' father-son gun has built one of the best rookie seasons we've seen in modern history, and will have no competition for taking out the top spot in our rankings.