Draft plans for the Gold Coast Suns are substantially different to their 17 opponents this year, with the prospects they're likely to attain already known to them.

The Suns have placed a priority on draft points rather than working their way into the top of the draft order, having parted with Pick 4 during the trade period before splitting further selections in subsequent moves to strengthen their points tally.

Their current hand sees them hold ten selections, currently entering the draft at Pick 24, as they prepare to match rival bids for Academy prospects at the top end of the draft.

With the Suns taking an alternative route to their counterparts this year, we assess how their draft plans for 2023 might play out...

Draft Hand

Picks: 24, 26, 27, 32, 36, 38, 66, 71, 74, 84

The Suns will place more of a focus on draft points rather than their hand of picks, with their current tally of 3877 points hopefully enough for them to match the number of needed bids for Academy talents.

A trio of those bids could come in the opening ten picks and might force the Suns into a deficit, with list manager Craig Cameron potentially needing to get involved in further trading prior to or during the draft to make sure they're in a strong enough position and have the needed points total.

While unlikely, the Suns could trade back into the draft if the bids come late enough and see them hold a multitude of late selections after their final Academy selection is settled.

List Needs

Tall Forward: The Suns' front third has undergone considerable change this off-season, with Mabior Chol departing the club a year on from his 44-goal campaign, while the VFL's two best forwards Chris Burgess and Brodie McLaughlin, have also left since their grand final win. That leaves 14-year veteran Levi Casboult and emerging forward star Ben King to carry the load. Fortunately for the Suns, they have priority access to the best key forward among this year's crop.

The final '20 per cent': Incoming coach Damien Hardwick famously mentioned that 80 per cent of the club's first premiership side are already listed with the Suns, with some further additions all that's needed to steer the Queensland club to the summit. This year's draft could give the club the catalyst it's after for the years to come as they look to break the September barrier and make a deep finals run under the triple premiership mentor.

Potential Targets

The Suns enter this year's count knowing who they'll likely come away with, given the quartet of Academy kids they're seeking to secure. Here's what each tied prospect brings to the table and when they might be selected:

Jed WalterA big-bodied and bustling key forward, Walter is the premier attacking target of 2023. Dominated in his short Talent League stint for the Suns' Academy - booting 18 goals in four games - before backing up his efforts with the Allies in their premiership-winning campaign with 11 goals from a quartet of appearances also. A rival bid for Walter could come as early as North Melbourne at Pick 2.

Ethan ReadOn top of having access to Walter, the Suns will also get first dibs on arguably this year's best ruckman in Read. The 202cm talent is an athletically gifted key position prospect who can also be placed behind the ball as an intercept threat. He was judged as the best player in the Talent League's Academy series and would add to his stocks with the Allies. A bid for Read could come as early as the top five selections.

Jake RogersThe hard-nosed midfielder is the third Suns Academy talent that could earn a bid in the opening 10 selections at November's draft. Is one of the best tacklers this year's crop has to offer and knows how to find the ball on the inside and outside, with Suns skipper Touk Miller a fitting role model for the Broadbeach junior.

Will Graham: The fourth and sometimes forgotten Suns Academy star, Graham is a formidable ball winner who thrived in a new defensive role for the Allies at the National Championships. Graham is a powerful midfielder but flexed his versatility under Allies coach Mark McVeigh as a strong defensive stopped. He could earn a bid early into the second night of the draft.