Number one pick Cameron Rayner has been backed by his fellow draftees to make the biggest impact of any first-year player in 2018.
Over 100 draftees are currently spending two days at the AFL Players Association induction camp in Melbourne, where they took part in the poll.
21 per cent of the draftees believe Rayner will win the 2018 Rising Star award, closely followed North Melbourne’s Luke Davies-Uniacke (14 per cent) and Carlton’s Paddy Dow (6 per cent).
Geelong’s Tim Kelly and West Coast’s Liam Ryan were the two players most picked to surprise the competition.
Kelly and Ryan were drafted as mature-age recruits from the WAFL, where they dominated throughout the 2017 season.
Luke Hodge, Nat Fyfe and Joel Selwood were the most popular existing stars amongst the youngsters.
AFLPA President Matthew Pavlich spoke to the group, as did retired stars Leigh Montagna, Drew Petrie and Andrew Swallow, and Richmond premiership player Kane Lambert.
Rayner described the camp as eye-opening, taking wisdom from the greats that spoke at the event.
“Hearing from AFL legends such as Matthew Pavlich, Leigh Montagna and Drew Petrie today really demonstrated that doing something off field is the key to a long and successful career,” Rayner said.
“I’m just really excited to get stuck into it.”
AFLPA General Manager of Player Development Brett Johnson also spoke glowingly about the camp, saying it details the support available for modern AFL players.
“The key focus of this camp is to ensure the players understand what the AFLPA has to offer them during and after their AFL careers and how these programs and services can help them maximise their time in the game both on and off the field,” Johnson said.
“With the average AFL career being just over six years, we encourage the draftees to jump right into their off-field development to ensure they’re prepared and equipped for what a career after football might look like.”