Peel Thunder draft prospect Aaron Naughton has given his chances of being a top-10 pick a boost after a solid performance at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft Combine.
The combine puts the nation’s top draft hopefuls through their paces in eight different physical tests, with Naughton piling up some healthy results.
The key defender finished among the top 10 in the goal-kicking, agility and Yo-Yo test.
A score of 25 was good enough for Naughton to secure equal second in the goal-kicking, but he especially shone in the agility test with a time of 8.22 seconds landing him in sixth spot.
The Rockingham product was able to score 21.8 in the Yo-Yo, good enough for fifth overall.
Naughton is expected to be taken in the first round of the draft, following a prolific year playing for Peel Thunder and WA’s state under 18s squad.
He was named at centre-half-back in the under 18s all-Australian side following a brilliant display at nationals, and made a seamless transition to senior football in the back half of the year playing for the Thunder’s league side.
The steady defender averaged seven marks per outing in his seven games at Peel’s top level, and never looked out of place next to the Thunder’s bona fide Fremantle Dockers players.
Naughton has been linked to Fremantle in the lead up to the draft, but appears unlikely to be selected by Peel’s affiliate club after Dockers list manager Brad Lloyd told AFL.com.au’s Road to the Draft podcast the club would look to bolster its midfield and forward stocks.
The home-grown defender would be a tempting prospect for the West Coast Eagles should he still be available at pick 13, but they too could look to the best available midfielder.
The Western Bulldogs (pick nine), Brisbane Lions (12 and 18), Richmond (15 and 17), Adelaide (16) and Gold Coast (19) are also potential landing spots for the 17-year-old.
AFL.com.au draft guru Cal Twomey has Naughton ranked as the 14th best player in this year’s draft, according to his Phantom Form Guide’s September edition.
The key defender has sprung into the top region of the draft board thanks in a large part to his form at senior WAFL level for Peel Thunder. He played alongside AFL players and didn't look out of place, and hasn't really for the best part of the year with his intercept marking, strength overhead and defensive mindset. Naughton played seven games at senior level and averaged seven marks an outing.Cal Twomey on Aaron Naughton in his Phantom Form Guide September edition.