Red Cliffs junior Dylan Stephens drafted to Sydney Swans

FORMER Red Cliffs footballer Dylan Stephens is now a Sydney Swan after Wednesday's first round of the AFL national draft.

Classy midfielder Stephens, 18, was selected by the Swans with pick five.

"Just to be in the AFL is a dream come true," Stephens told Fox Footy moments after being drafted.

"If you told me a couple of years ago I'd be going at pick five to the Sydney Swans I'd be there in a heartbeat."

Dylan Stephens during a Red Cliffs appearance in 2016.
Dylan Stephens during a Red Cliffs appearance in 2016.

Fox Footy analyst and Western Australian talent pathways manager Michael Ablett, who rated Stephens as pick six, likened him to a former GWS and now Essendon star.

"He's been overlooked a little bit to a degree," Ablett said.

"He's an elite athlete, an elite player, he reminds me a little bit of Dylan Shiel to be honest in the way he uses the ball."

Western Bulldogs club games record holder Brad Johnson praised Stephens' mix of speed and endurance as well as his skills both inside and outside the contest.

"This guy uses the ball really well by foot and he's good in close and in congestion as well," Johnson said.

Stephens becomes Sunraysia's highest drafted prospect since Colin Sylvia was taken at pick No.3 by Melbourne in the 2003 draft.

Stephens has spent the past few years boarding at Adelaide's St Peter's College, where he also played league football for Norwood in the SANFL and his adopted South Australian state sides in the AFL Under 18 championships this year.

He joins former South Mildura footballers Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne) and Lochie O'Brien (Carlton) and Wentworth trio Kobe Mutch (Essendon), Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Richmond) and Jarrod Brander (West Coast) as former Sunraysia footballers currently on AFL lists.

Earlier in the draft, the Gold Coast Suns selected Matthew Rowell with the No.1 pick.

Former Mildura footballer Brady Rowles remained on the draft board.

The draft continues on Thursday night.