Bombshell AFL draft ‘gamble’ backfiring
IT was the biggest bombshell we've ever seen on draft night, as Carlton and Adelaide made an eye-catching trade at the 2018 national draft.
As Adelaide was on the clock with Pick 19, the Blues swooped and traded their 2019 first-round pick, in exchange for the Crows' Pick 19 and 2019 first-round pick.
Reading between the lines after swapping picks, Carlton backed themselves to jump off the bottom and expected Adelaide to not finish in the top handful of teams in 2019.
But after eight rounds, the move is proving to be disastrous, with Carlton urgently needing to win games to avoid handing the Crows the coveted No. 1 pick.
With Carlton in 18th position and Adelaide in 3rd position, it has seen the gap between the two 2019 picks move to a season-high difference.
Currently the Crows have their hands on Pick 1, with Carlton's first pick being Pick 15.
With Pick 19 in 2018, the Blues plucked out TAC Cup best and fairest winner Liam Stocker, who made his debut a fortnight ago and showed promise in their loss to Collingwood in Round 8.
But while Stocker might be receiving praise from the Carlton fans, deep down there is a bigger flow on effects for giving up their first pick.
Essendon great Tim Watson declared the bold move would make Carlton insiders "nervous" after the dramatic difference between the two clubs on the ladder.
"They rolled the dice on this. We don't know how good this kid (Liam Stocker) might be. There's a lot of development left in him but right now they'd be concerned," Watson said.
"They wouldn't have thought at the time that they'd be in this position on the bottom of the ladder and that pick would be the No. 1 pick - so yes that would make them nervous."
On draft night, dual North Melbourne premiership player David King explained the decision was a "gamble" by the Blues, but one worth taking.
"I think most would have Carlton in that bottom six teams in the competition. It's courageous by Carlton to say 'no there's our man, we've got to find a way to get back in and get him," King told Fox Footy.
"Maybe they saw Stocker as potential top-dozen pick this year and just said 'this is time to go, we'll worry about next year when it comes'. All credit to them."
After a fast-start to 2019, Vic Metro midfielder Matthew Rowell is the early favourite for the No. 1 pick, with some recruiters rating the onballer higher than 2018 No. 1 pick Sam Walsh.
"He does look like a Rory Sloane type in the way that he moves. He's an excellent kick, he gets big numbers, he's a big powerful midfielder," Kane Cornes told Footy SA.
Rowell won best on ground honours in the Australia Under 18 match against Casey Demons last month, with former Melbourne player Bernie Vince explaining the Demons players had high praise for the youngster.
"They had big wraps for him after that game," Vince said.
"I think Port's their (Adelaide) second most hated team now. They just want Carlton to lose every week. They'd rather Port win than Carlton win. It's unbelievable."