Five rounds into the 2023 season and some typical stars have started separating themselves from the rest, while plenty of fresh faces have broken into the elite category.

The league has never seen a plethora of talent as big as we have now, with more and more players impacting games from all positions and from seemingly all demographics.

From 18-year-old Harry Sheezel to 35-year-old Scott Pendlebury, the modern player has never been more skilful and durable than what we currently have on offer.

Four teams are not represented in the side thus far, with one of those sides being a notable premiership fancy. Six clubs are represented twice and one surprise side has managed three players in our rolling All-Australian side after Round 5.

2. Midfielders

We will start our midfield discussion in the ruck position where Tim English has dominated for five games straight. His dynamic production and versatility has him better placed than the rest of the ruck field, who typically specialise in only a couple of areas. Sean Darcy has been terrific at stoppages, Brodie Grundy has covered the ground brilliantly, Toby Nankervis has provided a quality physical and defensive presence. English, however, provides the whole package while being the best marking ruckman in the competition so far.

At ruck-rover, Clayton Oliver is well on track to earn his fourth All-Australian honour after a typical elite start to the season. For all midfielders, here are the stats where Oliver is number 1 in the comp: disposals, contested possessions, ground ball gets, f50 ground ball gets, centre clearances and score launches. He is also a top five player in the entire competition for inside 50s, effective disposals and score involvements. Enough said.

By his side, Caleb Serong is breaking out as one of the elite midfielders of the competition after a top-tier first five games to back up a quality finals series last season for the Dockers. He is ranked elite for disposals, inside 50s, effective disposals, stoppage clearances, goal assists and importantly, pressure acts.

Next up, Marcus Bontempelli takes the centre position and the team captain honours after willing the Bulldogs to victories against Richmond and Brisbane when his side needed him most. He seems to change the way he plays in order to suit his team on the day, he tackles when more pressure is required, he kicks goals when they're at a premium, and he collects bulk clearances to give his side momentum. A fourth All-Australian looks likely for the Bont.

On the outside, Josh Daicos joins brother Nick as the two look to earn their maiden blazers. Like his brother, Josh is one of the best kicks in the competition and showcases this ability up and down the ground. He makes good decisions and possesses the typical Daicos flare with his ability to hit the scoreboard creatively.

On the other side, Mason Wood has turned heads this season with some surprising performances, dominating quality opposition in a versatile way. He is collecting 24 disposals at 73% per game, while providing one of the league's best intercept and overall defensive threats. He is taking over eight marks a game and is also adding a forward 50 presence with goals and score involvements. His first five games have him as one of the most valuable players in the competition this season.

Coming off the bench is Kangaroo Luke Davies-Uniacke. LDU likely had six Brownlow votes after Round 2 where he bullied the West Australian midfields and heavily influenced both North Melbourne victories. His production has since dropped but at 23 years old and coming off a quality 2022 season, expect Davies-Uniacke to continue dominating the contest and ground-ball game through 2023.

Sitting beside him will be Darcy Parish, who continues to produce monster numbers for the Bombers each week, this year averaging 33 touches, eight clearances and eight score involvements. Critics have called him out in recent years for not contributing to the scoreboard in a major way, but his production in a top-four side currently is worthy of All-Australian honours.