MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Ben Hobbs of Vic Country poses for a photo during the 2021 NAB AFL Draft Victoria Training Day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Richmond entered this year's National Draft with arguably the strongest hand in the competition, with their fifth selection of the night landing at Pick 30 to round out a promising haul for the Tigers.

Headlined by GWV Rebels defender Josh Gibcus at Pick 9, the Tigers were also able to add fellow Vic Country jet Tom Brown in the first round before selections on Tyler Sonsie, Sam Banks and Judson Clarke in the second round concluded their draft night.

While recruitment manager Matt Clarke would have stepped away more than satisfied with his side's outcome from the draft, things could have been very different for the new neophytes at Punt Road.

Clarke and the Tigers flagged they would select the "best player available" when on the clock, with Gibcus seen as the leading defensive option in his class.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: The Victorian first round draft picks pose for a photo during the NAB AFL Draft Media Opportunity at Marvel Stadium on November 25, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Richmond had been strongly linked to Gibcus' GWV teammate Ben Hobbs ahead of the National Draft, with Clarke and the rest of the Tigers' list management strikeforce sure to have weighed up the Vic Country co-captain before opting for Gibcus with their first selection of the night.

While Hobbs' name was eventually called at Pick 13 to EssendonAFL.com.au draft guru Cal Twomey has revealed the Tigers made several moves to increase their place in the draft queue and land Hobbs' services.

Holding Picks 17, 28, 29 and 30 following their selection of Gibcus, Richmond had the capital to move back into the earlier selections of the first round, however several clubs baulked at their advances.

According to Twomey, Richmond's first attempt to land Hobbs came with packaging Picks 17 and 28 to St Kilda in exchange for their next selection at Pick 11, an offer the Saints declined, eventually selecting Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16: Ben Hobbs of Vic Country marks the ball during the AFL U16 Championship match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on June 16, 2019 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Tigers then reportedly threw in a future first-round selection and the two aforementioned picks to potentially please the Eagles at Pick 12, with a future second-round also heading to the Tigers.

The Eagles instead did business with Port Adelaide, moving back to Pick 14 while also gaining a future second-round selection from the Power.

Richmond's final chance of landing Hobbs came when the Bombers were on the clock, with the Tigers understood to have offered Essendon Picks 17 and 28 in hope of landing next in line.

The Bombers instead opted not to shuffle their selections and drafted Hobbs, breaking the hopes of Richmond' aggressive draft plan.

Essendon's selection was seen as one of the biggest bargains of the National Draft, with Hobbs ranked as arguably the best inside midfielder in his class.

Draft prospect Ben Hobbs training at Trevor Barker Oval, 2021 (Photo: Mitchell Keating - Zero Digital Media)

List manager Adrian Dodoro expressed his delight and surprise in being able to secure the Horsham product at Pick 13, telling 3AW of his shock to have Hobbs available that far into the draft.

“I know it’s said quite often but we certainly didn’t think he’d be there at pick 13,” he said.

“All the experts had him in the top six or seven, and we certainly did.

“For him to come through was terrific and he’ll really complement our midfield. He’s strong around the contest, he’s an inside bull, he uses the ball really well, he’s got a big motor."

The Tigers were soon tamed in their trade planning with Hobbs off the board, holding onto their selections and recruiting Brown four selections after the Bombers.

Twomey's report adds that Richmond did look to secure the Lions' Pick 20 in packaging some of their second-round selections, however Brisbane opted to select Kai Lohman to end the first round of the National Draft instead.

Despite the missed opportunities, the Tigers still came away from the National Draft as one of the big winners, adding five highly-touted teenagers and bolstering their depths for the long haul.