The AFL Rookie Rankings are back for 2023, where we order the top six in-form debutants of the year each week as the season progresses.
So far this season, a first-round Roos draftee has staged a brilliant start to his rookie campaign, while a father-son Lion has made his maiden appearance in our rankings.
Criteria: For our Rookie Rankings, we are selecting 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 prior to the 2023 season will not be considered.
5. Mattaes Phillipou (-)
Mattaes Phillipou flashed moments of class and a sense of belonging at the top level last week during St Kilda's season-opening victory over Fremantle. He carried that same aura to Marvel Stadium in Round 2 in another win, this time against the Western Bulldogs.
After 16 disposals, a maiden goal, and 23 pressure acts against the Dockers, Phillipou solidified his ranking with a three-goal effort from just seven possessions, tagging on five score involvements and another 21 pressure acts and demonstrating his ability to heavily impact the contest from few touches.
While the Saints remain undermanned in their forward line due to the absences of power forwards Max King and Tim Membrey, Phillipou, along with fellow promising rookie Anthony Caminiti, who is unlucky to miss out on inclusion in this week's rankings, continues to ensure St Kilda's scoreboard threat is immense.