'Three-hour snoozefest': AFL legend slams new-look draft

An AFL legend has slammed Thursday night’s draft after “an interesting one-hour was turned into a three-hour snoozefest.”

Leigh Matthews took to social media on Friday with a major gripe after he was left unimpressed by what he’d seen.

“Last nights AFL Draft of 20 odd picks was a perfect exercise in time wasting , an interesting 1 hour was turned into a 3 hour snoozefest , us 100 K who watched must need to get a life !” he tweeted.

In all, 22 players were taken in the new draft format on Thursday, with the remaining rounds of the national draft and the rookie draft continued on Friday.

But the new format meant the night was stretched out much longer than previous years.

Leigh Matthews wasn’t impressed. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

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 top 21 draft picks pose for a photograph during the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

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.

The 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)