Round 2 of the 2022 AFL season gave further insight into this season's leading candidates for our Rookie Rankings.

The weekend has seen a majority of the top five selections shift their place in the order, while a number of emerging names are pressing their case to break into the standings.

Hawthorn pair Josh Ward and Connor MacDonald are among those knocking on the door ahead of Round 3, with Tiger Josh Gibcus showing plenty of poise and potential in just his second career game as the trio earn honourable mentions.

For our Rookie Rankings, we are taking a look at players who have made their debut this season. Other players who may still be eligible for a Rising Star nomination but have already made their debut previously will not be considered.


Round 2 Honourable Mentions:

Aaron Black (West Coast) - 15 disposals, four marks, four clearances, one goal
Josh Gibcus (Richmond) - 10 disposals, four marks, 100% disposal efficiency
Josh Ward (Hawthorn) - 20 disposals, five marks, four clearances, one goal
Connor MacDonald (Hawthorn) - 18 disposals, two tackles, one goal

4. Jack Hayes (-1)

The mature-aged Saint started strongly in his side's trip to Perth, recording six possessions and laying four tackles by the end of the opening term.

While his numbers may have cooled off in the following quarters, Hayes continued to offer a service to his side in attack and as a ruckman.

The South Australian ended his evening with 12 possessions, three clearances, four tackles, six hit-outs and seven contested touches.

Hayes' stunning Round 1 outing against Collingwood has the Saints utility in good stead however, only falling one spot in our rankings.

Selection won't come as easy next week with veteran tall Paddy Ryder tipped to return, but Hayes' place in Brett Ratten's best side should be extended for their Round 3 clash with Richmond.