MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 26: St Kilda assistant coach Brett Ratten looks on during the round 10 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Carlton Blues at Marvel Stadium on May 26, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

St Kilda has signalled their intent to collect more picks to take into December's national draft.

After a somewhat quiet 2020 draft, the Saints are keen to bring in some higher selections to bring in some top drawer talent in this year's edition according to AFL.com.au's Mitch Cleary and Riley Beveridge.

St Kilda has spent the last two off-seasons bringing in experienced talent. But after missing the finals in 2021, the focus has been turned back to the draft.

The news broke on Monday evening that utility Ben Long was the subject of interest from Essendon and could possibly be used as leverage to bring in picks to the club.

Embed from Getty Images

St Kilda currently hold picks 9, 46 and 64 in this year's proceedings however are wanting to become more active in the primary stages of the draft after several years on the outer.

Two of their Next Generation Academy prospects in the form of Mitchito Owens and Marcus Winghager are tipped to go inside and outside the top 20 respectively.

With the new rules that have been implemented from this year's draft onwards preventing clubs from matching offers for their NGA prospects if they are inside the top 20, Owens likely won't be joining the club.

Embed from Getty Images

On the flip side prospective Ben Long-suitors Essendon currently hold picks 11, 48 and 54 going into the draft. The Saints are hoping to somehow pry one of them away from 'The Hanger' should Ben Rutten make a play for the 24-year-old.

Long has been out of favour at times throughout 2021, only appearing on 15 occasions this year as Brett Ratten's side struggled to make ends meet for the most part.

The Northern Territory-born speedster is contracted until the end of 2022 however it seems the Bombers have their heart set on getting him in before then.

This could be one of the busiest drafts the Saints have had for some time, with the National Draft not bearing a whole heap of fruit in recent times for them.

Conversely, the mid-season draft has been where they have made some crafty plays after the 2021 edition saw them pick up gun forward Cooper Sharman from Woodville-West Torrens.

Embed from Getty Images

Sharman only appeared in the final four games of the season however managed to boot 10 goals in those games whilst averaging 11 disposals.

There is no question that the Saints are in need of another midfielder this off-season with speed through the midfield being a priority for the side.

In a bid to clear space in the midfield, the Saints have already informed Luke Dunstan he won't be receiving another contract from the club despite him being their second-best vote-getter at the Brownlow behind Jack Steele.

Meanwhile, Jack Lonie and dean Kent will most likely be forced to wait until the end of the trade period before knowing what their futures look like.