Which modern AFL superstars are most respected by their peers?
In the lead-up to Round 1, aflplayers.com.au (in conjunction with afl.com.au) will reveal the top 50 players in the game, as voted by the players.
Sam Mitchell, the cog in the powerful Hawthorn engine room, has capitalised on another stellar season by bolting up 12 spots to number six in the Players’ Top 50 for 2016.
The league’s seventh-oldest player continued his career-best form in 2015, finishing third in the Brownlow Medal and collecting a third All-Australian blazer while averaging a career-high 31 disposals – including 34 throughout an impressive finals series.
Mitchell enters his 15th AFL season in 2016 aged 33 and is set to become the seventh Hawthorn player to play 300 games in the second-half of the year.
His 2015 season included leading the competition for disposals and being one of only two players to average more than 20 uncontested possessions per game, showing versatility within the Hawthorn line-up.
The four-time premiership player remains one of the competition’s best ball-users by hand and foot, with his lateral movement unrivalled at the top level.
Mitchell, a four-time Crimmins Medallist, has averaged more than 24 disposals per game in his last 11 seasons in the AFL.
He is the sixth Hawk to feature in the Players’ Top 50 so far, following teammates Josh Gibson (46), Shaun Burgoyne (34), Jordan Lewis (27), Cyril Rioli (17) and Jarryd Roughead (11) in this year’s poll.