Behind-the-scenes footage of GWS recruiting boss Adrian Caruso has explained the Giants' infatuation with first-round draft bolter Phoenix Gothard.
The eye-opening video, posted to X by GWS' social media team, provides telling insight into the Giants' pre-draft approach to targeting the Murray Bushrangers forward, as well as their consideration of West Coast's competing trade offer.
Ultimately, GWS traded back with the Adelaide Crows, resulting in the Giants selecting Gothard at No. 12, while the Crows snapped up in-demand Western Australian Daniel Curtin with Pick 8.
The all-access footage first depicts Caruso, the Giants' National Recruiting Manager, first discussing his personal order of preference with his club's first choice.
"I think, first and foremost, I'll put it on the table; my order at the moment for our pick is Gothard as the first priority, followed by (James) Leake, (Connor) O'Sullivan, and then a gap to some of these other guys that I think would be backup options at (Pick) 16," Caruso says to his recruiting team.
"The reason I landed on Gothard was I just think he suits us more than anyone. I rate his talent, I think he's as talented as any of these others that we're discussing, but I think positionally he helps us, style of play he helps us [and he] fits us as a club I think, in terms of what we're about and the types of players we bring in on character.
"Being a New South Wales boy is an added bonus, but I just think this kid's going to really surprise everyone."
Caruso then goes on to explain GWS' rejection of the Eagles' offer to trade back into the first round.
"The other option was the West Coast future first [round pick], which was obviously of appeal," continued Caruso.
"But, working through it for me if we took the West Coast future first offer and we sat at [Pick] 16, we basically are conceding we're not bringing in anything this year of note."
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) November 23, 2023
In the video, Caruso also notes his preference for Gothard over fellow draftee Nate Caddy, whom Essendon traded up one spot ahead of Geelong to select with Pick 10 on Monday.
"Gothard's ahead of Caddy for us," Caruso declared.
"I think externally people might look at it and say 'okay, well why, why are you going that early?' well, we're not comfortable he's going to be there with the next pick.
"This is our talent order. We stick to our talent order. We have such a specific set of things that we're looking for ... the drop-off (in talent) is enormous.
"For me, he's (Gothard's) a 200-game Giants player. We're going to have the best small brigade, our small forwards are going to be unstoppable. That's what I'm banking on."
After Gothard, the Giants selected James Leake at Pick 17 before swooping on Joe Fonti with Pick 44 and Harvey Thomas at No. 59 on Tuesday evening, and then claiming Nathan Wardius via Wednesday's Rookie Draft.