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Naughton stakes his draft claim

Callum Twomey, AFL.com.au  November 10, 2017 2:00 PM

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Aaron Naughton was a standout at the NAB AFL Draft Combine

Aaron Naughton's end to the season at senior level in the WAFL has seen him become the hottest property among clubs looking to add a tall prospect to their list at this month's NAB AFL Draft.

The 17-year-old has been strongly linked to Fremantle (pick No.5) and Collingwood (No.6) with their top-10 picks, while he's also set to come under consideration from St Kilda with its pair of early selections (No.7 and 8).

Naughton played for the Dockers' WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder in the second half of the year and impressed with his athleticism and tight-checking approach.

Fremantle's pair of early picks means the club could look to bolster its midfield with pick two – Luke Davies-Uniacke, Andrew Brayshaw and Paddy Dow will all be considered – and then go for the local Naughton at pick five.

The Pies are also in the mix to grab Naughton, who grew up in Victoria before shifting to Western Australia and is a keen Collingwood fan.

They do not have as much depth in their key stocks after list changes at the end of the season and Naughton would appeal as a player who could play as soon as next year.

However, the Magpies have also been linked to midfielders Brayshaw and Adam Cerra if either of the pair makes it through to their selection.

The Saints are also tipped to look at Naughton as they weigh up the best combination for their strong draft hand, which is the first time since 2000 they have had two top-10 picks in a draft.

Naughton was a standout performer at the NAB AFL Draft Combine last month, finishing in the top-10 for the agility test (8.22 seconds) and Yo-Yo endurance test (level 21.8).

St Kilda landed Port Adelaide's Logan Austin at last month's trade period to bolster its key defensive stocks, but are still a little short in depth in that area. Key backman Hugh Goddard has missed the past season and a half after suffering serious Achilles and toe injuries.

Midfielder Hunter Clark, half-back Nick Coffield and exciting half-forward/midfielder Jaidyn Stephenson are among the other names linked to the Saints' selections.

Darcy Fogarty's struggles for form this season haven't stopped him from being sought after by clubs in the top rungs of the draft, with North Melbourne linked as possible suitors for the powerful forward with its No.4 pick.