Essendon great Matthew Lloyd believes Bombers rookie Nik Cox will take out the 2021 Rising Star Award.
Despite being yet to receive a nomination after the opening 10 rounds, Cox has thrived under first-year coach Ben Rutten as the Bombers continue to impress in their rebuild.
Along with fellow 2020 top 10 draft selection Archie Perkins, Cox has been able to offer the Bombers plenty of run and carry and has been able to use the ball at an effective rate of 78.5%.
Cox was instrumental in Essendon's 16-point win against the Eagles in Perth on Saturday night, amassing 14 touches, nine marks and two goals to momentarily place the Bombers in the top-eight.
Following on from the performance, Lloyd said on The Sunday Footy Show that he believes Cox will take out the Rising Star honours this year.
"I think it's amazing that at Round 11 ... I think he's the best player of the season in terms of all these names, [yet] has still not been nominated," he said.
"I think he wins it."@MatthewLloyd18 believes Nik Cox will win this year's Rising Star award, and can't believe he hasn't been nominated yet.#9AFLSFS | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/xHFaNdvPSz
— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) May 30, 2021
"I think he wins it. I think [Errol] Gulden and [Braeden] Campbell and [Chad] Warner, the first three, they've dropped off. [Lachie] Sholl he's got covered.
"I know Luke Jackson may be a star but he's had a better season than him. Harrison Jones [also].
"It's amazing ... he has to get it and I still think he'd be my favourite to win it."
Cox also faces competition from Greater Western Sydney midfielder Tom Green, who is favoured for the award after receiving his nomination in Round 10.
Green is averaging over 21 disposals, 2.8 tackles and 4.3 clearances this year and has booted seven goals from his 10 matches.