MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Jye Caldwell of the Bombers runs with the ball during the round two AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at Marvel Stadium on March 26, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Round 2 provided fans with an interesting insight into who came to the 2022 season prepared.

Unlikely ladder leaders Hawthorn currently occupy top spot, while Collingwood narrowly trail them as the pair remain undefeated from the opening fortnight.

The weekend also saw an AFL great immortalised in the record books, while a number of the game's next wave of stars have begun to make a name for themselves this season.

Here are 20 thoughts and opinions from the Round 2 of the season.

1. Despite the ongoing delays, the pushing and shoving, the spilt beer and the overall chaos that engulfed Lance Franklin on Friday night, the latest member of the 1000-goal club couldn't wipe the smile off his face for the entirety of the 20 minutes that followed his milestone major. 'Buddy' just enjoyed the moment, as did everyone else.

2. Placing more focus on the game itself, Swans midfielder Callum Mills may have flown under the radar in having one of the best two-way individual outings we've seen for some time. Collected 29 touches - 12 of which contested - as well as seven marks and a goal while keeping Patrick Dangerfield quiet, something that seemed unlikely after the Brownlow medallist's season opener.

3. What also got lost in the Buddy celebrations and headlines was how poor Geelong's effort was across the four quarters. With Chris Scott's side needing to prove they can still contend, their dismal display at the SCG did the exact opposite. Seems only Brad Close can keep his head high after the loss.

4. In Thursday night's outing, it seems the Bontempelli vs Cripps debate has been rekindled, with early form for 2022 having the latter ahead by some margin. Cripps looks back to his best, but has plenty to make up for after a down past 24 months.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Patrick Cripps of the Blues and Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs line up on each other in the centre of the ground during the round 13 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on June 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

5. The Bulldogs can't win the premiership without a set-in-stone ruck system. Mitch Hannan was utilised as a ruckman at times in what was bleak viewing for Dogs fans. If Luke Beveridge wants to play Tim English forward, then Stefan Martin or Jordon Sweet must be named.

6. Craig McRae has berthed a level of confidence we haven't seen among the Magpies for a while. Their veterans aren't shackled to playing one particular role, while their more youthful figures are eager to step into key positions and lead from the front.

7. Jye Caldwell is showing plenty of poise and promise for a player that had 14 games to his name before this season. Could he be another star in the making the Giants have lost to Victoria?

8. Lachie Neale might be playing the best footy of his career. Having recorded an average of 36 disposals, 9.50 clearances and 18.50 contested possessions per game against two quality midfield ensembles, Neale has been a standout for the start of this season.

9. Bombers fans now have a taste of what Jake Kelly can provide for their defence. The ex-Crow looked right at home on the last line of Ben Rutten's backline while feeling the heat from some of the competition's best forwards in Charlie Cameron, Joe Daniher and Zac Bailey.

10. It seems the pre-season form Mitch Lewis enjoyed was no facade. Another five goals to his name on Saturday night has placed him in contention for a breakout campaign.

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11. Stunning to think Travis Boak is putting up the numbers he has so far this season given he turns 34 this year. 39 possessions against the Hawks was the third-highest tally of his 308-game career.

12. Plenty of the Rising Star noise has circled the likes of Nick Daicos and Jason Horne-Francis, but one Demon is making an early case for the honour. Premiership defender Jake Bowey could add to his mantle at season's end should his 34-disposal, 18-contested possession, nine-mark and 572-metres gained performance be anything to go by.

13. Tristan Xerri looks to have made his case as the leading ruckman for David Noble. Along with a game-high 24 hit-outs, the Roos tall collected 20 touches, 14 contested possessions and amassed five clearances in a solid outing against the Eagles.

14. Credit where it is due for West Coast. To make no complaint about Sunday's circumstances, play with their heart out and even keep the game competitive to some extent was admirable.

15. Also, can only hope that Sunday wasn't the last we've seen of Aaron Black. Was among the standouts for West Coast in what was a tough ask.

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16. Tom Green is adding to the headache that is coming up against the Giants' midfield group. Across the opening two rounds, the bullish onballer has been his side's best at the coalface.

17. Andrew Brayshaw is officially on the verge of the top echelon of midfielders in the competition. You can put him right up there with the Sam Walshs and Darcy Parishs of the league.

18. Josh Battle's formidable performance against the Dockers is sure to have his role secured within Brett Ratten's side. Stood up without Dougal Howard in defence and was pivotal in their come-from-behind win.

19. Just how highly should we be rating Fremantle? Understand they have some key personnel sidelined, but a loss to the Saints and a one-point win over Adelaide is an early-season concern for the Western Australian club.

20. You can safely assume the ladder won't take the shape of its current form come the end of the home and away season, but it has given the likes of Port Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs, Greater Western Sydney and Essendon a tough start. Can we expect all four sides to make finals?