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AFL 2016 Rd 03 - Richmond v Adelaide

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 9: (L-R) Rory Laird, Rory Atkins and Rory Sloane of the Crows sing the team song after the 2016 AFL Round 03 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Adelaide Crows at the Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 9, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

IF YOU were to select this year's best 22 players purely on stats, five Adelaide players would make the cut at the mid-point of the 2017 season.

A quintet of Crows – Rory Sloane, Rory Laird, Eddie Betts, Jake Lever and Rory Atkins – have made a mid-season All Australian team compiled by Champion Data, based on the players who top the Schick AFL Player Ratings along with some structural requirements.

Spots in the side were categorised as: tall forwards, general forwards, tall defenders, general defenders, midfielders, wingmen and a ruck. An individual had to play at least 40 per cent of their football in a position to be considered there, with eight games being the qualification.

The top two key forwards and defenders were selected. From there, the next four best forwards and backmen were picked, although only one more tall in each section of the ground could be used.

At least one non-midfielder had to be on the bench.

Superstar pair Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin are the two highest-ranked players this season respectively, so would be the captain and vice-captain if performance was the only measure.

Those unlucky to miss were Trent Cotchin, Marcus Bontempelli and Nathan Jones, who were the next three in line to make the side.

For the Crows, Sloane, Laird and Betts were obvious inclusions. Defender Lever was named at centre half-back, while Atkins nabbed a spot on the wing.

Lever was ranked No. 1 in the competition for intercept possessions (10 per game) and intercept marks (four) going into round 12.

Atkins has more pressure acts than any other wingman in the AFL, and is No. 2 in metres gained for players in that position.

Opposite him is Gold Coast's Aaron Hall, who has been the AFL's fourth-most efficient tackler.

Melbourne young gun Christian Petracca was recognised with a spot on the bench.

In his third year as at the elite level, Petracca has lit up the competition. Of general forwards, he is first for contested possessions, equal-first for inside-50s and second for score assists, behind Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray.