MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Nic Naitanui of the Eagles competes for the ball against Brodie Grundy of the Magpies (L) during the round 17 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the West Coast Eagles at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 15, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd has listed the AFL’s top seven ruckmen who could make a difference come finals time.

Given Melbourne aren’t expected to feature in September this season, Max Gawn has been left off the list, despite being one of the best ruckmen in the competition.

Lloyd began his countdown for Sportsday Radio with a ruckman who has barely played this season, with Adelaide’s Sam Jacobs taking spot number seven.

Despite Reilly O’Brien’s best efforts this season, Lloyd would hand the reigns back to Jacobs.

“I’m saying, Reilly, well done, you’ve done a good job, but – out. I’d back Jacobs in now.”

Richmond’s Toby Nankervis, Brisbane’s Stefan Martin and Port Adelaide’s Scott Lycett were next on the list, before Lloyd got to his top three.

North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein has found some form this season, and Lloyd believes he could help his side seal a finals berth under caretaker coach Rhyce Shaw.

Collingwood superstar Brodie Grundy comes in at number two, with returning West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui holding top spot on the countdown.

“[Naitanui] probably has the biggest impact going into this finals series of any player,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd’s top 7 ruckmen heading into the finals

7. Sam Jacobs
6. Toby Nankervis
5. Stefan Martin
4. Scott Lycett
3. Todd Goldstein
2. Brodie Grundy
1. Nic Naitanui