St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt has weighed in on the purpose of the AFL Draft and believes it needs to be looked at.
Riewoldt said that the draft might need to be overhauled as it is “not a big enough tool” to help teams rise from the bottom of the ladder.
The comparisons were made between US sports such as the NBA or the NFL whereby high picks can have an immediate impact and almost drag a team into championship contention.
“In the NFL it is because if you’re the worst team in it, you get the no.1 pick,” Riewoldt said on SEN.
“Well, you can go out and get the best quarterback in the country, who (with) every possession in offence has got the ball in his hands.
“So you can make a big difference, and they’re coming out (of the draft) at 21, 22.
“In the NBA, you can go and get Zion Williamson, well he’s 20 per cent of the team when he’s on the court.”
Riewoldt used a recent no.1 draft pick in Essendon’s Andrew McGrath when making his contrasts to show that getting the top pick in any draft year doesn’t always equate to team success.
He said the same year Essendon picked McGrath, the St Louis Rams also had the first pick in the NFL.
Fast forward to today’s date, the St Louis Rams, with the help of head coach Jared Goff, have been able to put themselves into a position to contend for the SuperBowl.
Similarly to the Philadelphia 76ers, whose acquisition of Aussie Ben Simmons has put them into the playoffs, as they vie for a championship since 1983.
“Andrew McGrath, he’s one of 18 (players),” Riewoldt said on SEN.
“The opportunity for him to have a huge impact in games, just by the way our game is set up and structured … it’s not a big enough tool anymore, particularly when we’re getting them at 17, 18.”
The means in which to rectify this, Riewoldt is unsure, but strongly believes that it must be looked at to help improve the game.
“I don’t have the solution, that will take a lot of work, but the way it’s set up at the moment it’s not enough for a team like the Gold Coast,” he said.
“The competition’s not better for Carlton being at the bottom for 10 years.”