ST KILDA coach Alan Richardson would be surprised if Melbourne was granted a priority draft selection despite potentially finishing in a higher ladder position than the Saints.
With just four wins this season, the Saints and Demons have percentage separating them on the bottom rungs of the ladder.
St Kilda is currently 18th and the Demons 17th with two rounds left.
While Richardson said he supported the priority pick system – and the Saints are yet to announce if they would apply for one too – he couldn't see how the Demons could be gifted one if they finished 17th.
"I think it would be surprising if a club that finishes above you on the ladder ends up with [a pick] and I know it's a culmination when you look back," Richardson said on Wednesday.
"But we've had one draft selection inside pick eight in 10 years.
"Then for a club that finishes higher and has probably been more consistent with their performance, I think they've been in winning positions probably more often than we have in games.
"That would surprise me but that's a decision the AFL would make.
"They have all the information, we would leave it to them."
Richardson said he supported the concept that delivered Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke to St Kilda in 2000, Jarryd Roughead and Lance Franklin to Hawthorn in 2004, and Dale Thomas and Scott Pendlebury to Collingwood in 2005.
While he said on a whole it was a positive, there were dangers associated with the system.
"It has the potential to make you a little less competitive and I'm not sure that's what the AFL are after," he said.
"My personal stance is that it worked pretty well.
"I know there were some concerns about the fact perhaps clubs late in the year when it looked like they weren't going to have the year they wanted were starting to angle towards getting the priority selection and that compromised a few things."
Earlier on Wednesday, St Kilda head of football Chris Pelchen said the club agreed with the revamped concept that allowed picks to be awarded on a discretionary capacity.
But he warned against handing them out without considering the effect they would have on other clubs.
"I think they need to be allocated very, very carefully," Pelchen told SEN.
"Obviously they have a big impact on the other teams in the competition as we've seen from the concessions that have been given to Gold Coast and GWS over the last three or four years."
But Richardson said while the Saints were yet to declare their intentions about requesting a pick, he indicated they were more interested in trading like they did last year for early selections.
"We've had a conversation internally, we certainly haven't been to the AFL and it may be that we do that at season's end," he said.
"But we're pretty confident we're on the right track. We've mentioned there's going to be a bit of pain in terms of win-loss for us and even being competitive in games and consistency for a while.
"But we've going to drive that really hard from a coaching perspective and be really aggressive to make sure we get early selections as we did last year."
Pelchen said the Saints were open to trading their first pick – likely to be No.1 or No.2, depending on the ladder and allocation of the priority pick – in order to make their position in the early stages of the draft stronger.
"There are only two weeks to go and only a couple of teams now – ourselves and Melbourne – who can finish with the No.1 selection," Pelchen said.
"In terms of making it tradeable, I don't think it's any sensation to suggest that all picks are tradeable.
"If the deal is right for our club we'll certainly look at it but I don't think that's any sensational comment."
Pelchen said the Saints would take the best player available despite the holes that exist in their list, especially in the forward line.
Strong marking forward Paddy McCartin is expected to be a top pick, while powerful midfielder Christian Petracca is also highly touted.
He said the Saints would take the "best talent" and focus on being more specific when it came to filling roles after they'd strengthened their list.