Rival clubs are said to be monitoring Denver Grainger-Barras' situation at Hawthorn as the young defender struggles to break into Sam Mitchell's starting side.

Grainger-Barras, who joined the Hawks from Swan Districts as the sixth overall pick in the 2020 National Draft, has played 23 games in the brown and gold since making the move to Victoria.

The 195cm defender managed 16 games last year after cementing his spot within Mitchell's rearguard, however has found minutes harder to come by in 2023.

After missing the opening month of the season, Grainger-Barras earned a recall for the club's Round 5 clash with GWS for Gather Round and would play the following week against Adelaide, where he would collect just the three disposals and one mark in the narrow loss before being omitted.

The 21-year-old finds himself behind James Sicily, James Frost and Jack Scrimshaw in the selection pecking order, while fellow young tall James Blanck has also struggled for game time this season.

According to AFL.com.au's Cal Twomey, Grainger-Barras' situation at Bunjil Bagora has piqued the interest of rival clubs, who are now keeping tabs on the former first-round pick.

Grainger-Barras is contracted until the end of next year, having inked a two-year extension before his second season at the club had gotten underway.

Tim Membrey and Denver Grainger-Barras during the AFL match between Hawthorn and St Kilda in Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

A potential suitor for the burgeoning backman may be West Coast, who are likely to look toward youthful home-grown talent amid their list rebuild. A product out of Kalamunda in the eastern suburbs of Perth, Grainger-Barras remains to have plenty of promise as a key defender at AFL level.

West Coast are likely to begin looking toward a successor for premiership defender Jeremy McGovern - who has a contract call of his own to make this year - and may see Grainger-Barras as a fitting asset to acquire in his place.

Likely to hold an early first-round selection at the draft this year, the Eagles may also weigh up local prospect Dan Curtin, who firms as the leading tall defender in this year's draft class.

The Eagles have managed to draft top local talent in recent seasons, with Claremont's Curtin among WA's best for 2023.