The AFL’s 2018 national draft was the first ever to feature live trades, adding extra theatre to the spectacle and allowing a club to make moves to secure players before another could swoop. In typical AFL style there was more than a little controversy to the night as the dare and imagination shown by team recruiting managers was more than the rulemakers or public could have seen coming

1. Sly Sydney

The Swans were the first club to ever make a live trade and they did it in style. To snare academy option Nick Blakey as cheaply as possible the Swans traded with the Eagles on each side of the GWS’ bid for the forward.

The move was so unexpected the AFL have said they will look into whether the rules should be changed to prevent clubs from doing the same in future.

2. Stocker shocker

The second trade event of the night has made even more headlines than the first. Carlton traded with Adelaide for their pick 19 and future first rounder giving up their 2019 first round pick in exchange. Carlton then went on to take Morrish medallist Liam Stocker.

It’s come out since that Carlton rated Stocker as the sixth best player in the draft, but if they finish close bottom four as expected and Adelaide make it back into finals it will be reviewed as a very costly trade.

3. Eagles make 1+0 = 2

The Eagles performed a series of trades to turn their coveted pick 23 (the first pick of the second day of drafting) into picks 28 and 31.

Facilitated by Gold Coast who wanted 23 to take intercepting backman Jez McLennan, West Coast used 28 on speedy mid Xavier O’Neill. 31 was spent on on overager Luke Foley who averaged 25 touches in the Colts this year.

4. Roos snag slider

North Melbourne might have gotten a shock by Adelaide bidding on NGA prospect Tarryn Thomas at pick 8, but when father-son Bailey Scott slid the next day it gave them the opportunity to play the live trade system like pros.

Curtis Taylor ended up with the Roos when they were able to shuffle picks left aside for a higher bid for Scott. Taylor, the medium forward that has been compared to Mark LeCras, was invited to the first day of the draft as a potential top 20 prospect and was seen as one of the biggest sliders on the night.