On the rise: Jake Carlisle
At a glance: Carlisle was drafted by the Bombers with pick 24 at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft, and since then he's shown why the club was very keen to grab him. He played three games in his first season in 2010, and in his second game he took 12 marks against the Brisbane Lions. The last two seasons have been significant steps in the right direction. The 198cm 21-year-old has the ability to play at both ends of the ground, but is best suited to defence. He won a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in round nine this year against Greater Western Sydney – Essendon's only nominee for the season.
Plays like: When he's in defence, Carlisle shares a fair few attributes with Collingwood premiership backman Ben Reid. He reads the ball well in the air, intercepts forward forays, and can create the play from the last line.
Killer quality: By far Carlisle's most damaging quality at this stage of his career is his marking. His teammates call him 'Buckets' and it's easy to see why. Carlisle has sticky hands, and can mark in most situations. Despite his wiry frame he can outbody and outsmart bigger forwards, and he's not afraid to go back with the flight of the ball.
Best performance: The best thing about Carlisle's development in 2012 was his consistency. After missing the round one clash with North Melbourne, Carlisle played 18 of the next 19 games before injuring his ankle against Carlton in round 21. With a number of his teammates falling down with injury, Carlisle's maturity to stand up under pressure was an excellent effort.
What they say: "He's pretty raw, but he's developing. He loves asking questions and he loves watching edits of Dustin Fletcher. For the balance of the side, we need him down there [in defence] at the moment. But he reads the play really well and he's very clean once he gets his hands on the ball. I think it suits the things that he can do, playing down there." – defensive coach Sean Wellman
Stats that matter:
Tenth in marks (4.6 a game)
Third in contested marks (1.1 a game)
228 disposals at 12.66 a game
AFL Fantasy: Was $205,000 at the start of 2012 but expect a price hike of close to $150,000