With the new year upon us and all 18 clubs getting stuck into the thick of pre-season, it’s time to remind ourselves who are the front-runners in each position across the league.

Here is our list of the top 10 defenders in the league heading the 2021 season.

See also:

The TEN best midfielders heading into 2021

The TEN best ruckmen heading into 2021

The TEN best forwards heading into 2021

8. Luke Ryan

Ryan had a fantastic season in 2020, with the 24-year-old being the Dockers’ best player in another below-par year for the club. The intercept defender finished with an elite average for disposals with 18.6 per game, and picked up a Doig Medal as well as an All-Australian blazer. With Fremantle’s excellent crop of youngsters starting to come into their own, expect for Ryan to stay up amongst the best for the foreseeable future.