With the countdown to the 2021 AFL national draft on in earnest, we rewind to this time six years ago, when another member of Australian Football’s famous Rioli family – Daniel – had surged into top-20 draft calculations following a superb showing at the 2015 draft combine. The exciting, young, small forward, originally from the Northern Territory, and then TAC Cup team North Ballarat Rebels, registered the fastest 30-metre repeat sprint in 24.15 seconds, produced a blistering 2.89 seconds over 20 metres, finished fourth overall in the clean hands test, and was adjudged the best all-round combine performer. Here is a cross-section of opinion back then on Daniel Rioli’s AFL prospects . . .

North Ballarat Rebels coach at the time, David Loader’s assessment of Rioli

“Attributes-wise, he's got the pretty complete package for a player of his size. He’s got exceptional speed, he’s got very, very good endurance, he’s got terrific agility, but he’s also a very, very good kick – distance and accuracy – and he’s got a great weighted kick for a player that’s not a big guy.”

AFL Media’s Callum Twomey’s phantom draft Rioli prediction – to Richmond at pick 15

“Given his surname, clubs had already been watching Rioli closely throughout the season. But Rioli really sprang up the draft order with his finish to the year, when he kicked four goals in a TAC Cup final, was among the best players in the Grand Final day curtain-raiser for the Allies, and then tested exceptionally well over the week at the draft combine. There he underlined his elite mix of speed and endurance, which made clubs look even harder at him as a possible top-20 pick. The Tigers are in need of a crafty small forward and Rioli fits that bill.”

Aussie Rules Draft Central’s Rioli draft profile

“He is a human highlights reel that can win a game off his boot in one quarter . . .

Consistency is the biggest question mark over Daniel, but he is a high reward for a club that can untap his potential.

Daniel is super quick, has great ability, a nous for the impossible and a good judge of the ball in flight and the bounce of the ball.

He will need to improve his consistency as well as bulk up a little and continue to work on his defensive game . . .

His highlights will be bordering from the unbelievable to the impossible and everything in between.

However, can he develop to become that midfielder/forward who is renowned for his defensive pressure as much as his highlights?

If he becomes a four-quarter player, Rioli could be anything. The fact he can play a quarter and still put his hand up for best on ground, speaks volumes of his ability.

Of all the players in the draft, Rioli will have the most interest over where he is selected. Could his ability to drift in and out of games have an impact, or will his ability to turn a game on its head and be a matchwinner, sway the recruiters?

In all likelihood, Rioli is a second-round pick. On form, he is probably a third-round pick; on potential he is easily a first-round pick.

Balancing the two factors, a second-round pick seems about right. But with the right guidance and development, Rioli could become an exceptional player . . .

One thing is for sure, regardless of where he ends up, Daniel Rioli will be a player every fan watches with interest.”