After three National Draft selections in two years and more of a focus on securing ready-made talent in recent years, the Blues have made the call to prioritise the draft as their hunger grows for a finals berth.

Carlton are armed with Pick 10 at their disposal to utilise on a high-end selection in the draft pool as their focus will be on searching for a well-rounded youngster in the mould of a mature AFL footballer.

As Jesse Motlop joined forces at Ikon Park, secured with Pick 27 last year, the Blues' future in the small forward department looks more than capable of standing out the test of time with Corey Durdin attained the season prior.

With a host of stars already filling Carlton's engine room, a depth recruit seems unlikely as the inclusion of Adam Cerra and George Hewett during the exchange period last season seemingly puts a line through their search for a midfielder.

South Australian-born Mattaes Phillipou and Gippsland Power captain Bailey Humphrey firm as potential top ten picks, whilst Oliver Hollands will be watched with interest as suitable first-round option in contention.

All three are likely be snapped up quick smart, with a number of clubs circling to acquire their services with the trio on the hit list for Michael Voss' side over the upcoming draft period.

Draft Hand

Picks: 10, 29, 49, 68

The Blues carry their highest selection since Sam Walsh (Pick 1, 2018) landed at Ikon Park from the Geelong Falcons.

Their first-round selection of Pick 10 is a familiar draft number for Carlton after previously obtaining Coleman medallist Harry Mckay (2015) and Lochie O'Brien (2017), who endured a career-best year in 2022.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 17: Lochie O'Brien of the Blues celebrates a goal during the 2022 AFL Round 01 match between the Carlton Blues and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 17, 2022 In Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Carlton also hold Picks 29, 49 and 68 in their arsenal as draw cards to lure any potential personnel through the doors amid a search for an elusive flag whilst their list sits in a sweet spot with a balance of youth and experience.

List Needs

Lewis Young provided immeasurable support to former No.1 draft pick Jacob Weitering after a trade in 2021 ended his time at the Kennel with only 24 games under his belt.

Sporting a new role as the primary lockdown defender, Young remained a key stakeholder in the Blues' defence, with injuries ultimately derailing their year as a back six setup with undersized role fillers tasked with the job towards season's end.

With Mitch McGovern struck down by the continual re-aggravation of his hamstring for the majority of his time in the navy blue, Carlton will have eyes on a swingman-type selection capable of rotating to play both back and push further up the ground.

Outside Run:
After bolstering their midfield stocks by adding the aforementioned duo Adam Cerra and George Hewett last year, the inside nature of their brand of footy is an area chock full of talent.

The inclusion of winger Blake Acres during the trade period filled a noticeable gap in their outside running stocks, a troubling area of concern in recent years flagged as the Blues' Achilles heal.

Carlton recruit Blake Acres (Image via Carlton Football Club, Twitter)

Michael Voss showed faith in Lochie O'Brien, who developed alongside Matthew Cottrell in their wing trade, both their beliefs of cementing a spot in the side coming to fruition as a reward for effort.

High Half-Forward:
With crowd favourite Jack Silvagni adopting the workhorse role, stepping in to fill the shoes of the injured Marc Pittonet in the ruck role, second in charge to rising star Tom De Koning, the Blues were left exposed.

Their vulnerability was noticeable with a heavy reliance on Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay to carry the weight of the forward line, an assignment they passed with flying colours, but, the avenues to goal diminished.

As a result, the Blues will have the option of taking a punt on drafting a mid-sized forward with the goal sense to match the attributes of high pressure and the ability to show aerial prowess.

Ideal Prospects

Oliver Hollands:
Murray Bushrangers Oliver Hollands looks set to fit the bill looming as a potential prized selection with Carlton's head of list management Nick Austin in a prime position to swoop on the elite runner.

Catching the eye of onlookers in the SANFL, Mattaes Phillipou is a draft bolter rising up the ranks with a frame to compete at the highest level and is sure to come into calculations as the Blues weigh up which path they head down.

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Jedd Busslinger is another on the cards if Carlton want to pull the trigger on a defender to add depth to their backline unit, Bailey Humphrey will also be on the Blues' radar but is unlikely to slide as far as Pick 10.

Max Gruzewski:
Versatile defender Max Gruzewski from the Oakleigh Chargers camp will be on the sights of Carlton to throw their early second-round selection at, with the Blues hoping Pick 29 is enough to secure the NAB League gun.

Standing at 193cm, Gruzewski averaged 13.7 possessions per game to go with five marks, whilst showing a number of bows to his arrow with the ability to play at both ends of the ground, even trying his hand in ruck.

The Blues may value his teammate Josh Weddle higher on the pecking order, with the tall backman capable of playing a shutdown or intercepting role with All-Australian honours alongside his name.

Jaxon Binns:
Running machine Jaxon Binns has been touted as the hardest running wingman in the draft pool, with an off-the-charts work rate the 18-year-old emerged as a bright prospect under the guidance of the Dandenong Stingrays.

A standout 39-disposal game for VIC metro has thrown Binns' name in the conversation and with their lower draft selection, the Blues would be hoping to find a diamond in the rough with Pick 49.

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If the Blues head down a different route with higher choices, James Van Es may be a handy proposition Austin will have circled from the GWV rebels. The key defender has shown glimpses of upside at the NAB League level and at his size can be a damaging asset to add to their defensive structure.