A host of players from last year's class of Mid-Season Draft recruits are said to be on the radar of rival clubs as they await calls on their future.
Carlton pickup Will Hayes, Cats recruit Zane Williams and unused Crow Brett Turner were the only three players not to have their six-month deals extended by the end of last year, while a handful of mid-season draftees came with deals that penned them until the cessation of the 2023 season when they were drafted.
Five players still currently listed are yet to make their AFL debuts, with Wade Derksen (GWS), Iskar Faulkhead (Gold Coast), Jacob Bauer (Richmond), Hugo Hall-Kahan (Sydney) and Sebit Kuek (Fremantle) yet to break into their respective senior sides.
Essendon's Massimo D'Ambrosio, teammate Jye Menzie, No.1 pick Jai Culley, Hawk James Blanck and Collingwood's Josh Carmichael have been among the standouts from last year's count, however the quintet are all unsigned for the 2024 season.
According to AFL.com.au's Riley Beveridge, rival clubs are keeping tabs on the contingent of off-contract Mid-Season Draft recruits, namely D'Ambrosio.
The dashing Bombers defender played eight games to end his first year at the elite level on a high note, while 2023 has seen opportunities harder to come by. The Point Cook junior collected 27 disposals in Essendon's Round 3 loss to St Kilda and would find himself back in the VFL a week later, not returning to Brad Scott's side until Round 7.
The 19-year-old was a late inclusion for the Bombers for Saturday's loss to Brisbane, and would be subbed out during the proceedings with nine disposals to his name.
The Western Jets graduate has shown the ability to offer run and dash from defence as well as accurate ball movement across all three lines of the field.
Menzie has also shown plenty of promise in the red sash, playing in eight matches this year to add to his pair of appearances in his debut season. Menzie has booted a goal per game so far in 2023, having opened the season with four goals from his first two matches.
Culley's season has come to an abrupt end due to an ACL injury that will likely allow the Eagles to head back to the Mid-Season Draft drawing board and recruit another top pick as they move the midfielder to the inactive list.
Carmichael, a South Australian, has been among Collingwood's best performers in the VFL this year, with his most recent outing earning a return of four goals from 28 disposals through midfield.
The 23-year-old has managed just the sole appearance at AFL level this year, having been used as the tactical sub in Round 3 against Richmond.
This year's Mid-Season Draft leading list of prospects and draft order is beginning to take shape, with several clubs still able to open list spots ahead of the May 31 count.