Defensive Player of the Year – Round Three

Leaders stepping to the fore, players in new roles making the most of the opportunity, and some long without recognition finally getting it.

It’s the Round Three results and overall leaders in The Mongrel’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.


The Mongrel Punt Defensive Player of the Year fills a hole in the AFL landscape.

With so much attention lavished on the midfielders and forwards, I found that outside of the All-Australian team, there was no real recognition for the best defenders in the game. It was the same for wingmen, and we now cover those players in our Robbie Flower Wingman of the Year Award.

The Defensive Player of the Year does not have the name of a great player attached to it (yet) but what it does have is four years of data analysing the best defenders in the game, ranking them on a weekly basis, and compiling that data into a leaderboard for each season.

We started this in 2020, with Fremantle’s interceptor/defender making the most of the shortened season to win the inaugural award. This accompanied his initial All-Australian selection, however, since then only none of our DPOY selections have worn the blazer – how they missed out is genuinely concerning when you look at who did make it in those seasons.

Previous winners listed below.

2020 – LUKE RYAN





This is normally restricted to our Inner Circle Members, who fork out additional dollars each week, so I try to provide as much info and analysis in each week’s edition as possible. This one will stay open for all as a way to introduce readers to the concept.

How does it work?

Each week, defenders are ranked in a range of categories pertinent to their roles as defenders. These include disposals combined with efficiency, one-percenters, intercepts, rebound 50s, metres gained, tackles, as well as votes from a range of sources.

There is particular focus on the purest of the defensive art – the spoils, and players who excel in that area tend to score consistently throughout the season, as evidenced by Andrews and Weitering winning the award.

That said, before moving into the midfield in 2023, Nick Daicos was the runaway leader, so as that, and this week’s rankings indicate, there is a definite possibility for a running, rebounding defender to take it home.

Okay, enough of the preamble. Let’s jump into the Round Three results, and the overall leaderboard.


Yep, that’s it for non Inner-Circle members. Sorry people – see below.


Now, I know some of you will ask – I am a member; why can’t I see this? This is for the Inner Circle Member tier – always has been. This is what these people generously pay a bit extra for, so I am more than happy to dive deep for them when it comes to this content. If you’re a Mongrel Member and you’d like to upgrade, go right ahead. If not, that’s cool, as well. But this is not a new thing – has been that way for over three years now.  Wanna join them?