GEELONG, VICTORIA - AUGUST 25: Gary Ablett of the Cats celebrates after a goal during the round 23 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Gold Coast Suns at GMHBA Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hawthorn greats Jason Dunstall and Jordan Lewis have rated their top five players since 2000, with the latter leaving out Cats maestro Gary Ablett from his list, despite leading Dunstall's.

Ablett sits just four games away from the 350-game milestone after opening his account for a 19th season in the AFL.

League Hall of Famer Dunstall said it was an easy choice to pick the two-time Brownlow Medallist over Lance Franklin given the Geelong stars overall numbers across his career.

“The big Bud is probably the most exciting player we’ve ever seen play the game, but just the numbers make it overwhelming – Gary Ablett Jr,” Dunstall told Fox Footy Live.

“We are talking about a guy who has played 345 games, won two Brownlows, six best and fairests – four runner ups in the best and fairests, a couple of premierships, five times – five – votes by the players as the AFL Players’ Association MVP and eight All-Australians as well.

“He is in rarefied air.”

Fellow four-time premiership Hawk Jordan Lewis couldn't fit the little master into his top five, giving former teammate Franklin the nod at the top of his list ahead of retired premiership Eagle Chris Judd.

“I love the way Gaz played – absolutely loved it – but maybe his time at Gold Coast wasn’t as influential as it may have been if he was still at the Cats.”

Lewis revealed that an on-field sledge from Ablett prior to the Hawks' three-peat has stuck all this time.

“He did say something in 2011… you blokes would’ve won more flags if you weren’t p*ssheads,” Lewis added.

“It was right near the bench (and I thought), yeah we did love beers.

Dunstall's top five payers since 2000
  1. Gary Ablett
  2. Buddy Franklin
  3. Nick Riewoldt
  4. Chris Judd
  5. Matthew Pavlich
Lewis' top five payers since 2000
  1. Buddy Franklin
  2. Chris Judd
  3. Luke Hodge
  4. Scott Pendlebury
  5. Matthew Scarlett