Aug
05

No.1 Priority

Just when it looked like Richmond was safe in obtaining the no.1 draft pick in this year’s AFL Draft, the Priority Pick may come into play.

The Priority Pick is awarded to a team who wins less than 4 games in two consecutive seasons, and if Carlton does not win another game, they will receive this pick. It is taken before the national draft, meaning they get first choice at who they want.

So this means that potential number 1 Matthew Kruezer might be plying his trade at the Blues next year.

A lot of coaches have spoken out about this rule, and it will likely be reviewed at the end of the season. Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse, speaking after their win over Carlton, stated that it has to change, as it rewards mediocrity.

Carlton would be ecstatic with drafting Matthew Kruezer, the dominant ruckman is exactly what Carlton needs. Carlton is a very young side, and he would develop with the team.

On the opposite side of the scale, the prospect of “tanking” games is brought into question, but I don’t believe this is the case. Interim coach Brett Ratten has stated that when they go out and play, they play to win.

What people often forget is that the number 1 draft pick is not always a superstar. Clubs just need to be smarter about who they draft and not to get carried away with hype. Take the example of Chris Judd, who was drafted at number 3, which ironically would be the draft pick number Carlton would have this year if it remains in the same position.

So should the draft rules be changed? I think the system should be overhauled, and as Gary Lyon stated a couple of years ago, the 9th place team (who just misses out on finals) should receive the first draft pick. This seems highly unlikely to happen, so another option would be to implement the lottery system.

- Chris Lesley