I've seen a number of people tip Buddy Franklin as a potential Brownlow medallist this season, but it's hard to see him taking it away from the clutch of midfielders who usually dominate the voting. He has polled well in the past, but even the best forwards struggle to be as consistent as the mids. Gary Ablett should also be in contention, and I'd love to see him take home a second Charlie to cement himself as an all-time great. However, the Suns will lose lots this year, so he'll struggle to pick up many 3-voters and may have to settle for another top 5 finish.
My pick will come from a team who'll win the majority of their games, and I'm picking a player the umpires love, Joel Selwood. Long thought of as a potential winner of the award, I believe he'll be inspired after being named the new captain of the Cats. It'd also be great to see a couple of new players up there this year, and Dustin Martin & Nathan Fyfe both have the games to poll highly and consistently.
Dyson Heppell won the AFL Rising Star Award last year, ending a run of midfielders claiming the honour. This year I think another non-midfielder will flourish, with John Butcher being my pick to take home the accolade. As previously mentioned in this blog, Butcher played 4 games last year for the Power, picking up 11 majors. He's fast with good agility, and has an excellent set shot technique, managing to capitalise on most of the opportunities that come his way.