The Hawks, who had two picks within the top 30 of 2021's proceedings, were interested in trading for the Dockers' third pick of the draft in order to poach highly-rated West Australian Matthew Johnson.
After selecting Connor MacDonald three picks later, the Hawks snapped up Jai Serong - brother of Dockers young gun Caleb Serong - to round off a successful recruitment drive and give coach Mitchell some more youthful exuberance going into 2022.
However, according to 7 News Perth's Ryan Daniel's, so keen was the Hawks' desire to secure Johnson that they offered Fremantle their Pick 23 along with a future first-round selection in order to gain Pick 21.
Once Matt Johnson slid in the draft, multiple clubs approached @freodockers. I'm told one offer included pick 23 & a future 1st from Hawthorn. Belief from key Freo parties was so strong in Johnson, they turned it down. Hawks loved Johnson, considered him at pick 8. @7NewsPerth
— Ryan Daniels (@FootyRhino) November 29, 2021
The Dockers rejected the offer despite it being incredibly tantalising, with the club apparently more than sold on Johnson's ability.
It was a perfect draft for Fremantle, targetting Western Australian talent in the form of key forward Jye Amiss (Pick 8) and big-bodied midfielder Neil Erasmus (Pick 10) as well as the aforementioned Johnson.
Should they have accepted the Hawks' offer, the Dockers would have gained more than they would have lost, with Sam Mitchell's side most likely not improving massively in 2022 despite the progress made in 2021 and potentially handing Fremantle another top-10 pick.
The departure of the Victorian-born midfielder during the trade period may have been the reason behind the Dockers strictly selecting West Australian talent.
Their midfield brigade with the likes of Nat Fyfe, Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and now bolstered by the aforementioned Erasmus and Johnson makes the prospect of lining up against the Dockers scary for rival clubs.
With the recruitment of Amiss at Pick 8 to play key forward, the Dockers now have some serious balance all around the ground which will only serve them well going forward.