Jed Walter celebrates a goal during the round 7 Coates Talent League Boys match between GWV Rebels and Gold Coast Suns Academy at Ikon Park, May 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have already held conversations with Gold Coast around potentially shifting up to pick No.4 at this year's AFL Draft, with the club considering ways to best maximise its dual first-round selections.

The Suns are looking to trade down from the No.4 selection to amass draft points for Academy guns Jed Walter, Ethan Read and Jake Rogers, and to ensure their opening pick isn't swallowed by early bids for the talented trio.

The Bulldogs currently hold pick No.10 and a later first-round selection tied to Brisbane's finals finishing position, following midfield star Josh Dunkley's trade to the Lions last October.

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The Dogs have since emerged as a leading contender to package those picks and leap higher up the draft order, with the club's list manager Sam Power telling's trade and draft show Gettable this week that moving up remained a live option.


"We'd definitely consider it," Power told Gettable.

"We've got an open mind towards all of those types of things. We'll analyse that and whether that's the right option. We'll also analyse whether there's other things we can do to maximise those two first-round selections. That might be taking them into the draft as well. We might see that, at the end of the day, as the best option.

"We'll weigh that all up now that we get some clarity with teams not playing finals. Teams will drop out each week now. So, where certain picks land, we'll be able to have more thorough conversations around that."

A host of other clubs, including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Essendon, have also shown an interest in trading up to pick No.4, with the Western Bulldogs expecting talks with Gold Coast to ramp up in the coming weeks.


"You definitely have some high-level conversations at this stage," Power said.

"Now that the season is finished for 10 clubs, you have high-level conversations. But until other clubs finish and you know exactly where picks land, through the finals and through to the draft, it plays an important role in how the pool will shape.

"Those conversations, not only with Gold Coast but with all clubs, will definitely heat up and increase over the next couple of weeks."

The Bulldogs have their own points situation to manage ahead of the draft, with father-son prospect Jordan Croft emerging as a potential first-round pick following an impressive season playing as a 200cm key forward.


"I feel like it's for others to dictate where that bid comes," Power said.

"He's had a reasonable year. He's clearly got some really good athleticism, which a lot of people have talked about. He got a taste of Coates Talent League last year … and we feel like he's improved again.

"He's quite raw in a lot of ways, there's a lot of improvement with Jordan. But he's got lots of really good attributes as well. His season's been pretty consistent."