Former No.3 pick Paddy Dow has caught the eye of rival clubs with eye-catching performances at VFL level, with the form of Carlton's midfield group pushing the 22-year-old to the fringes of the line-up.
Dow, who has played 60 games for the Blues since his selection from the Bendigo Pioneers in 2017, has only featured at AFL level this season as an unused medical sub in Carlton's victory over Port Adelaide after playing 17 games last year.
AFL.com's Callum Twomey has reported that Dow isn't neccessarily looking to move from the Blues with his contract expiring at the conclusion of 2023, but his barnstorming season at the lower level has attracted rival AFL clubs on the hunt for a ready-made midfielder with the potential to improve rapidly.
He was discussed as being expendable in last year's trade period, where Carlton brought in a bevy of players including key midfielders Adam Cerra and George Hewett.
Dow is second in the VFL Coaches Award, receiving a near-perfect nine votes in the VFL Blues' loss to Frankston last weekend with a 33-disposal, nine-clearance performance.
His form has been consistent too, with a tidy average of 28.2 disposals per game, 1.2 goals, 4.5 inside 50's and 8.7 clearances.
Should a club nab Dow, they'll be taking upon a former top three pick who is yet to truly deliver on his potential, without needing to give up key pieces in return. He looms as a low-risk, high-reward option for the likes of North Melbourne, Essendon or Hawthorn, who all have more than enough salary cap space coupled with a desire to improve their respective midfield rotations.
Carlton's VFL side have the bye this weekend, while their seniors will grapple with the Giants in the last game helmed by Leon Cameron.