(L-R): Collingwood draftees Jakob Ryan, Ed Allan and Joe Richards (Image: Collingwood FC)

Collingwood rookies Ed Allan and Jakob Ryan have been backed to play AFL football in 2023 off the back of strong starts to their careers in the black and white through the VFL.

Allan was the Magpies' first selection at last year's National Draft at Pick 19, while Ryan landed on the draft board nine selections later to join the Western Australian in heading to Olympic Park.

Ryan, an acquisition out of Glenelg, South Australia, has been among the most impressive players in Collingwood's VFL program under Josh Fraser, averaging 26 disposals and 8.5 marks out of defence across two early wins for the Magpies.

Allan has also helped lead Collingwood's undefeated start as a inside-outside midfield option in the VFL, looking comfortable against Coburg and Port Melbourne on his way to averaging 25 possessions and a goal in the opening fortnight of the season.

The pair have managed to quickly gain the attention of coach Craig McRae, who revealed the duo may 'pick themselves' come senior selection if their form continues.

"I must admit, young Jakob Ryan, the young draftee this year, and Ed Allan, they look really impressive," the Magpies coach said.

"Those two kids are going to be really good for us in the future. There's lots of players playing above the level (in the VFL).

"...I've really liked both of those lads. They'll play AFL footy this year if opportunities present.

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"They're playing at a level that just asks questions. I've always thought players pick themselves and right now there's many players in the VFL that look ready to play.

"Josh Fraser, Neville Jetta (forwards development coach) and Andy Otten (defensive development coach), these guys have done a fantastic job getting that group ready to play.

"I suppose if you have role models like Darcy Moore that they get to play with at training then they get to see the level required."

Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan also made his return to the field through the VFL on Saturday night, booting two goals against the Borough in a 52-point win.

Returning from a club-imposed suspension for taking illicit substances, Ginnivan did enough to prove his fitness is at the required level, but a spot in McRae's side for Round 4 remains unlikely.

"I went out to Port Melbourne on Saturday night and he looked like an AFL player at VFL level," McRae said of Ginnivan's performance.

"... (Selection) will be interesting. We haven't finalised this week but whether he's done enough to go past someone or to put his name up there, I'm not sure.

"When he plays he definitely would've earnt it."

Collingwood's VFL squad will also make the trip up to Queensland to face the Lions this week, with a match scheduled at the Lions' training base in Springfield for Thursday afternoon.

Later that evening both AFL sides will clash at the Gabba, where the Magpies will be looking to continue their undefeated start.