Vic Metro players Josh Ward (Left) and Darcy Wilmot (Right) at Trevor Barker Oval, 2021 (Photo: Mitchell Keating - Zero Digital Media)

Melbourne reached the top of the football world in 2021, securing their first premiership in 57 years after blowing the Western Bulldogs off the park in the second half.

As preparations turn to season 2022, the Demons will look to add even more depth to their grand final winning list.

In an impressive feat in isolation, Melbourne managed to sign each member of their 23-man premiership-winning side going into next season, meaning they could become the first team to put out the same lineup from the previous year's decider.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: The Demons celebrates after the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

In recent drafts, the Demons have nailed selections including Luke Jackson, Kysaiah Pickett, Trent Rivers, Tom Sparrow and James Jordon who were all a part of the club's drought-breaking victory.

Draft hand

Picks: 17, 37, 49, 57
Draft Points: 1997

As expected after winning a premiership, Melbourne doesn't exactly boast a great draft hand. In terms of Draft points, the Demons hold the fourth-worst hand from the competition's 18 clubs.

With a first-round selection, the Demons will still have the opportunity to pick some talent otherwise they may open negotiations with a number of clubs and trade down the order.

List needs

With arguably the most complete list in the competition, the Demons have executed a list build masterclass through both the draft and free agency.

There seems to be no obvious holes or needs in their list, however, with the uncertainty of an AFL season you can never have too much depth which is how Melbourne should approach draft night.

Key forward:
For much of the season, talk around Melbourne's forward setup lingered. In the end, it was off-season recruit Ben Brown who delivered in the grand final alongside young prodigy Luke Jackson who looks to be a star in the making.

As Jackson looks to spend more time in tandem with Gawn as the sensible replacement in the ruck for the future, another key forward may be worth a look for the Demons.

AFL Rd 9 - Melbourne v Port Adelaide
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: Luke Jackson of the Demons makes a handpass during the round nine AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Port Adelaide Power at The Gabba on July 30, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Currently possessing the aforementioned Brown, Melbourne also has Sam Weideman where the jury is still out on what he will become.

Another key forward would intensify the competition for selection, while also providing cover in the case of an injury. With depth, it would also give a key position player the time to develop into an AFL-ready body.

Another position that garnered a fair share of attention in the back end of 2021 was Melbourne's half-back line.

With Joel Smith injuring his hamstring late in the season, Michael Hibberd was able to re-gain his position in the back six. Although, as Hibberd is approaching the back end of his career, the veteran signed on for 2022.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Hibberd (left) and Trent Rivers of the Demons celebrate during the 2021 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on September 10, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Former top-10 pick Christian Salem seems to be entering the prime of his career, while young gun Trent Rivers may look to spend some time in the midfield moving forward, potentially opening the door for a role down back.

Widely regarded as the best defence in the competition and boasting two All-Australian selections, any young draftee would find themselves in good hands in the back half at Melbourne.

Ideal recruits

Jacob van Rooyen:
With their first-round selection falling right where Jacob van Rooyen is expected to be picked, Melbourne could snap up the young tall.

Labelled as the best swingman in the year's draft pool, van Rooyen hails out of Claremont in Western Australia. Standing at 194cm and 88kg, the young tall would provide any club which selected him with supreme flexibility.

With Jake Lever and Steven May the cornerstones in defence, Melbourne could see van Rooyen as a long-term prospect up forward particularly with his strengths in contested marking and sheer competitiveness.

His versatility could also add depth in the case of an injury to one of their star defenders.

Drawing comparisons to Aaron Naughton and Oscar Allen, van Rooyen put his versatility on display for Western Australia against South Australia where he played in defense for the majority of the game before sneaking down late to kick the winning major.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 10: Jacob Van Rooyen of WA Gold in action during the Western Australia AFL Draft All Stars game between WA Black and WA Gold at Medibank Oval on October 10, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Darcy Wilmot:
Another player touted as being selected in the vicinity of the Demon's first pick is Darcy Wilmot.

If the Demons select to bypass a tall option with their first-round selection, Wilmot could fit what the Demons are looking for.

A product of the Northern Knights NAB League club, Wilmot also represented Vic Metro in 2021 and has been described as "an attacking, hard-running half-back with a physical edge" by AFL Media's Callum Twomey.

With the traits he possesses, Wilmot seems to fit the mold of a Melbourne player on the surface level. His glimpses of flair, and ability to take the game on provide him with a genuine transferrable AFL ability, one that has certainly caught the eye of scouts this season.

With an aging Michael Hibberd, the departure of Marty Hore and the continued development of Trent Rivers and Jake Bowey, the Demons might ultimately see Darcy Wilmot as the best available player left when they use their first selection.

Vic Metro defender Darcy Wilmot training at Trevor Barker Oval, 2021 (Photo: Mitchell Keating - Zero Digital Media)