PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Matthew Johnson of Western Australia is tackled by Adam DAloia of South Australia during the 2021 U19 Championship match between Western Australia and South Australia at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Sam Mitchell's Hawthorn could have potentially secured another top tier midfielder at this year's National Draft if not for Fremantle's reluctance to part with their Pick 21.

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.

Instead of selecting Johnson with their Pick 7, Hawthorn chose to select midfielder Josh Ward before taking Sam Butler at Pick 23 on the second night of proceedings.

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.

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.

With Fremantle on the cusp of making finals this season, there is a surging amount of buzz around the potential of the playing group despite the loss of highly-rated youngster Adam Cerra.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Jye Amiss and Neil Erasmus pose with Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir during the NAB AFL Draft at RAC Arena on November 24, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Photos)

The departure of the Victorian-born midfielder during the trade period may have been the reason behind the Dockers strictly selecting West Australian talent.

Now that all of Fremantle's business over the off-season has effectively concluded, Justin Longmuir now has one of the best young teams across the entire competition.

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.

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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.

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