We are well and truly in a time when every performance by every eligible player will be scrutinized as Game One of the 2024 State of Origin series is now less than a month away.

The predicted sides are flowing thick and fast.

Last week I declared I'd name Dylan Edwards in the fullback role, despite fully expecting James Tedesco to be given a final series.

Today, we move into the centres, where competition is hot!

Below are the players most likely to be in consideration for a spot in a few weeks' time. There are some serious options in some series form below:

Tom Trbojevic

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Tom Trbojevic of the Blues and Jake Trbojevic of the Blues pose with the trophy following game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It sounds simple; if Trbojevic is fit, he plays Origin.

Despite floating him as a potential wing option, I believe he'll be named at centre. He's done the job there numerous times and has literally won games for the Blues.

That said, this continues the habit of picking players out of position, which is something NSW fans have long been frustrated by.

To be honest, I agree. Don't pick players out of position, except when it's Tommy Turbo.

The only issue I have is the Manly superstar's recent run of injuries in the Origin arena. It feels like he hasn't finished a game for the Blues in years.

For the record, he left Origin One last season due to an act of foul play, while his Origin Two lasted only three minutes.

You can't pick your team with an attitude of "what if...?" but the concerns are there.

They're the only concerns. Automatic selection!

Latrell Mitchell

Full disclosure: I wouldn't pick Latrell.

The second a player comes out and says he is considering making himself unavailable, he's unavailable.

I know NRL rules don't allow players to do that, etc., but you simply don't pick players who may have anything less than 100% attention on the sky blue jersey.

Although Latrell Mitchell is out of form right now, he's been a superstar for the Blues, and they're a much better side with him there.

Come Origin Three, if it's one all and Trell is firing, you pick him. You have to.

Not for Origin One, though.

Bradman Best

2023 State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 3
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Bradman Best of the Blues celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during game three of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on July 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The incumbent left centre and, for me, the best on the ground in Origin Three last year seems to be the forgotten man in discussions.

Best's club form has been pretty good. Like the Knights as a whole, he's had dips, but the past two weeks have seen him look like a monster.

Defensively, hit stats are well ahead of others on this list. Chrichton, a noted defender is tackling at 83%. Best is completing at 90%.

Truthfully I seem higher on Best than most. Unashamedly so.

His performance in Origin Three, albeit with the series already lost, was stunning and cannot be forgotten.

As previously alluded to, he's also an absolute monster on that left edge. I'd back him over any Queensland right-edge defender.

Stephen Crichton

NRL Pre-Season Challenge Rd 1 - Bulldogs v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Stephen Crichton looks on during the NRL Pre-season challenge match between Canterbury Bulldogs and Melbourne Storm at Belmore Sports Ground on February 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Stephen Crichton has built a career on the big moments in big games.

His intercept try, albeit on the wing, won his side a Premiership. He's also had a hand in numerous match-defining moments at the business end of the season.

Reuniting his club partnership with Brian To'o seems like a no-brainer.

Despite the ridiculous notion that players rep careers fall away when they join less successful teams, Crichton has enjoyed a stellar 2024 season to date.

I have zero concerns naming Chrichton, almost automatically.

The only question I have is whether or not Bradman Best's brilliant Origin Three can be ignored?

On club form, it's pretty close. All the stats are similar. Best's defence has been better but Chrichton did have that game at fullback and has to form a new defensive partnership with his new club.

Again, I know I'm higher on Best than almost anyone else, but he or Chrichton, there's no wrong choice.

The big difference is that Chrichton has delivered, numerous times, on the biggest stages. Both in Sky Blue and in Panthers colours.

Matt Burton

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Matt Burton of the Bulldogs looks to kick during the round three NRL match between Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Tigers at Belmore Sports Ground on March 19, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Without spoiling my own lead (more on that next week) I think Burton's role comes elsewhere in the side.

That said, he is a former Dally M centre of the year and has a weapon out wide that no one else on this list can even get near. That boot.

If Maguire goes elsewhere in the halves, there's every chance Burton could find himself named at centre. He's done it before. Well too.

Burton adding a fourth-kicking option could be massive.

Again, I think Burton's name will be far more seriously considered in the role of five-eighth but I wouldn't be upset if he ran out in the centres.

Jesse Ramien

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jesse Ramien of the Sharks dives to score a try which was later disallowed during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on September 21, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

I was actually a little shocked to hear Ramien's name mentioned as in contention this past weekend.

Not because he isn't playing well, it just seemed as though his time may have passed. Then I remembered he's only 27. It just feels like he's been part of the Sharks setup for a decade.

Ramien has been in extremely impressive form thus far in 2024. The Tigers game aside, and that can be said for every Shark on the night, he has been flying.

Despite marking fellow Origin contenders, he hasn't lost a direct one-on-one battle all season.

I feel it would take something very special in the next fortnight to truly put Ramien in the running.

Given the Sharks play the Storm and Roosters, he couldn't ask for a better proving ground to make a late case for selection.

Izack Tago

Tago may have played himself out of a position in the past fortnight.

Unfortunately he'll miss another chance to impress after being banned for a horror hip drop tackle.

The negatives aside, his offensive stats are massive. He has more tries, more try assists, and more than double the line breaks of each of Best, Crichton or Ramien.

His ridiculous six line-breaks against the Eels shows how dangerous he is in attack. Defensively he's tackling at 88%, again better than Chrichton and Ramien.

His past fortnight, though, has been rough viewing. Fans, myself included, have short memories.

If selectors look back a month or so, Tago is very much in the running here.

His suspension, though, has probably cost him any genuine hope of debuting in Origin One.

His time will come.

Verdict: Don't overthink it. Pick your best two weapons, whether that be Trbojevic/Crichton or Trbojevic/Best. Pick the best combo, and away you go.

Tom Trbojevic and Stephen Crichton for mine in Game One. If it doesn't work, make the move for Origin Two.