Having not finished higher than 17th since 2019, North Melbourne could finally break the shackles that have seen them call the foot of the ladder home for most of the last half-decade.

The addition of five first-round draft picks will add to an already positive 2022 draft crop that included Rising Star winner Harry Sheezel and midfield gun George Wardlaw, with the Roos again carrying one of the younger lists into the competition next year.

Star onballer Luke Davies-Uniacke will again lead by example as the key cog at the heart of the Roos' gameplan, while spearhead Nick Larkey will be looking to improve on his career-best 71-goal season.

With Alastair Clarkson also in line to coach a full season after an interrupted start to his Arden Street tenure, a win tally close to double their 2023 count will be in their sights.

Ahead of the next chapter of the North Melbourne rebuild, here's what the Roos' best side for next season might look like...



1. Defenders

The loss of Ben McKay to Essendon has opened up as many questions as there will be opportunities for Alastair Clarkson's rearguard in 2024.

The key defensive posts are likely to be held by incumbents Aidan Corr and Griffin Logue next year, however the latter is likely to spend the majority of next season on the sidelines due to an ACL injury sustained in his first year with the Roos.

In the absence of both McKay and Logue, either emerging defender Kallan Dawson or new recruit Toby Pink could slot into Clarkson's side for Round 1, while developing forward Charlie Comben looms as a left-field chance to make the move to the backline as a tall defender.

Youngster Josh Goater boasts exciting aerial skills as a medium-sized flank option, while co-captain Luke McDonald will look to be the architect across the last line.

Rookie sensation Harry Sheezel could return to the backline after a record-breaking debut campaign in 2023, while former Carlton utility Zac Fisher is likely to offer some service from the defensive end with his run and ball use.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Harry Sheezel of the Kangaroos looks to pass the ball during the round seven AFL match between Melbourne Demons and North Melbourne Kangaroos at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on April 29, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Among the Roos' defensive depth options, Miller Bergman looms as a potential starter while the sky is the limit for ex-Tiger Bigoa Nyuon following his move to North Melbourne this off-season.

The Kangaroos also added Western Australian dasher Riley Hardeman and Gippsland defender Wil Dawson via the opening round of November's National Draft and could offer opportunities to the pair during their maiden campaigns.