After a strong 2022 campaign, the Lions fizzled out in a disappointing preliminary final defeat against the Cats. With a deep list that's in its prime, they would have been hoping for so much more, leading to a big off-season of recruiting.

They were a powerhouse for much of 2022 and made a statement ending the Demons' season at the MCG in the semi-final, showing that they were a contender. While they won 15 games and plenty went right on-field for the Lions, things started to go awry when Marcus Adams went down, costing them a crucial piece of their defensive foundation.

Injuries, form and a perceived lack of big bodies at the contest looked to leave them exposed when push came to shove, which the Cats capitalised on. Their much-vaunted midfield was smashed in the contested game in their most crucial match of the season.

Season 2023 has already started off in interesting fashion for the Lions, being smashed by Port Adelaide and found wanting against the Western Bulldogs. Yet they've also managed to beat the two teams that most consider being the benchmark in the competition in Melbourne and Collingwood.

At the moment, they are a bit Jekyll and Hyde, searching for consistency while clearly in their premiership window, having gone about solidifying their talented list by recruiting Josh Dunkley, Conor McKenna, Jack Gunston and landing gun father-son recruit Will Ashcroft.

Brisbane Lion Will Ashcroft, 2023. Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Photos

While there are still minor concerns with bedding in all their new assets, at their best, they are a force to be reckoned with and absolutely a premiership chance once things click.

Yet they would still happily take another player or two to match the kind of depth that the likes of Collingwood now possess.

Here are some options we think might be of interest to the Lions if they were able to 'steal' a rival player.

2. Rowan Marshall

While Oscar McInerney is a quality ruckman, he has very little backup at Brisbane and, while he has proven reasonably reliable on the injury front, were he to go down, the Lions would be in trouble. With Darcy Fort as the only other AFL-level option to call upon, a player of the quality of Rowan Marshall would be a boon.

Marshall's power and athleticism around the ground would complement McInerney's tap work nicely, while his ability to go forward and kick a goal cannot be underestimated given Hipwood and Daniher's tendencies to occasionally have quiet games. At 27 years of age, Marshall is in his prime, much like the Brisbane list and would likely create headaches for opposition coaches if swapping with McInerney in the middle.

After a quiet 2022 stats-wise, largely due to sharing ruck duties with star veteran Paddy Ryder, Marshall appears back to his best in 2023. He's averaging 19 disposals, 23.8 hit-outs, 5 marks, 3.5 tackles and 6 clearances per game, ranking him 9th in total hit-outs and 7th in total stoppage clearances. Taking into account his being subbed off at three-quarter time against the Suns, the numbers could be even better.

Embed from Getty Images

Marshall's forward prowess, engine and ruck craft are not his only strengths, proving an invaluable option behind the ball when his side has it locked inside forward 50.

His ability to either take a contested mark down the line or in defence, or bring the ball to ground for his midfielders is crucial in the modern game where possession is everything. He would instantly walk into the Lions' lineup and no doubt prove his value immediately.