Sam Walsh was drafted with the No.1 pick. Picture: AAP
Sam Walsh was drafted with the No.1 pick. Picture: AAP

AFL Draft rocked by mind-bending trade

The AFL draft will continue on Friday with industry insiders and fans alike still trying to figure out who won the blockbuster Carlton-Adelaide trade that dominated day one.

The Blues claimed Geelong Falcons star Sam Walsh with the No. 1 pick at Marvel Stadium, but it was their bombshell trade with the Crows that stole the show.

With live trading in effect for the first time, Carlton shipped next year's first-round pick to Adelaide, who gave up pick No. 19 on Thursday night and their own first-round pick next year.

Blues list boss Stephen Silvagni pulled the trigger on the risky trade to take Sandringham Dragons midfielder Liam Stocker.

If Carlton struggle again next year and Adelaide bounce back into the finals, the deal will be a steal for the Crows.

The SA club could conceivably win the flag and have the No. 1 pick at the 2019 draft if the Blues take the wooden spoon again.

"That's all speculation - what happens if we finish on top of the Crows? It is what it is," Silvagni said.

"The season will take care of itself and what we do know is we're really happy to bring a good player through the door.

"This is going to happen more and more - if you travel to the (United) States, this happens a lot. I'm comfortable, because I know I've got a good player."

All the talk about Adelaide's draft intentions had them trading up to try to snare one of South Australian duo Jack Lukosius or Izak Rankine, who went to Gold Coast second and third respectively.

But after taking Tasmanian midfielder Chayce Jones (No. 9) and Geelong firebrand Ned McHenry (16), Crows list boss Justin Reid sent the 19th overall selection packing.

"There's always a bit of risk but with that also comes reward," Reid said. "I guess you can't (judge it) until you get to 12 months time and we know what positions we sit in the draft. Time will tell."

In all, 22 players were taken in the first instalment of AFL's new format, with the remaining rounds of the national draft and the rookie draft to be held on Friday.

West Coast will kick off proceedings at pick No. 23 after the premiers - with Hawthorn, Melbourne and Essendon - were onlookers on day one without a first- round pick to spend.

WHAT'S HAPPENED SO FAR

- The first 22 selections were made on Thursday night, with the rest from noon on Friday at Marvel Stadium

- The top picks went to script, with Carlton using the coveted No. 1 pick to recruit Sam Walsh - regarded as the best midfielder in this year's draft crop

- Apart from the draft being held over two days, the other innovation this year is that clubs can trade their picks live

- The first live trade happened before pick seven and it was the start of a cunning two-part ploy by Sydney. Part one was the Swans trading pick 26 to West Coat in exchange for a future third-round pick, which had most people scratching their heads and wondering "why"?

- Then the Swans matched the GWS bid at pick No. 10 for highly-rated academy prospect Nick Blakey.

- Moments after recruiting Blakey, which was expected, the Swans pulled off part two of their plan. They again traded picks with the Eagles - this time gaining pick No. 22 and giving up a future second-round pick

- The AFL approved the complicated ruse, which effectively meant the Swans have moved up four places in the second round of the draft

- But Thursday night's bombshell came at pick 19, which Adelaide swapped to Carlton along with their 2019 first-round selection in exchange for the Blues' 2019 first-round selection. Carlton then used the No. 19 selection on Liam Stocker, who they rated as a top-10 choice.

- It's a bold move by the Blues. At worst, if Carlton finish bottom again next season, Adelaide have the No. 1 draft pick no matter where the Crows finish on the ladder. But the Blues are banking on a climb up the ladder - and they reckon Stocker is worth the gamble

TOP 10 PICKS

1. Carlton: Sam Walsh (midfielder, Geelong Falcons)

2. Gold Coast: Jack Lukosius (forward, Woodville-West Torrens)

3. Gold Coast: Izak Rankine (midfielder/forward, West Adelaide)

4. St Kilda: Max King (tall forward, Sandringham)

5. Port Adelaide: Connor Rozee (forward/midfielder, North Adelaide)

6. Gold Coast: Ben King (key position player, Sandringham)

7. Western Bulldogs: Bailey Smith (midfielder, Sandringham)

8. North Melbourne: Tarryn Thomas (midfielder, North Launceston)

9. Adelaide: Chayce Jones (midfielder, Launceston)

10. Sydney: Nick Blakey (forward, Sydney academy)



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