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Lucky last: SOS rescues former first-round Sun

Draft prospect: Jarrod Garlett Watch highlights of 2017 draft prospect Jarrod Garlett in action
Ex-Sun Jarrod Garlett is now a Blue - AFL,Draft,Carlton Blues,Jarrod Garlett
Ex-Sun Jarrod Garlett is now a Blue

CARLTON first made inquiries about former Gold Coast midfielder Jarrod Garlett midway through this year.

Garlett, 2014's No.15 draft pick, was playing with South Fremantle in the WAFL at the time, having moved home to Western Australia at the end of 2016 after learning his older brother Desmond Lawson had suffered a burst blood vessel in his brain and had only months to live.

When Lawson stunned doctors by suddenly making a return to full health, Garlett, who had been contracted with the Suns until the end of 2018 before successfully seeking a release from that deal, started to entertain the idea of returning to the AFL.

It was around that time Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni and his team first contacted Garlett. 

"We inquired about him about halfway through the year and met with him just to see where he was at with his footy and he made it clear to us that he wanted to have another crack," Silvagni said on Friday night after the Blues had selected Garlett at pick No.78. 

From there, the Blues put "a fair bit of work" into Garlett, according to Silvagni. 

The midfielder's form with South Fremantle this season was solid rather than spectacular, but the Blues saw enough to maintain their interest.

"In his year in South Fremantle he didn't set the world on fire but there were some attributes there that meant you could probably understand why Gold Coast took him with a first-round pick a few years ago," Silvagni said. 

Silvagni and his team also increasingly saw a place for Garlett on Carlton's list.

"He's probably the outside midfielder, someone who runs really well. He's really skilful and he does tackle," Silvagni said. 

"And the fact he's going to be 21 years of age, you're not bringing an 18-year-old in to your system." 

Nonetheless, the Blues waited until their last pick on Friday night before reading out Garlett's name. 

They are under no illusions that the former Sun still has areas of his game that he needs to improve. 

But Garlett's talent more than justified a punt with a late draft pick. 

It's up to him now what he makes of his second chance.

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