ESSENDON says draft sanctions from last year's supplements scandal have forced it to overhaul its tactics during the past two AFL Exchange Periods.
The Bombers were stripped of first and second-round picks in both the 2013 and upcoming 2014 AFL Drafts.
During the past 12 months they have lured veterans Paul Chapman (32 years old), James Gwilt (28), Jonathan Giles (26) and most recently, Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney (29).
Cooney came in the door as part of the compensation received for losing Paddy Ryder to Port Adelaide.
List manager Adrian Dodoro said being out of the draft forced a change of thinking for Essendon.
"You've got to make a judgment decision," Dodoro told NAB Trade Radio.
"Are you going to bring in kids late in drafts that are going to take time and have got a high fail rate, or do you bring in guys, value for money, are very reasonable and can play at a level?
"In some ways it's a risk."
Essendon got back into the draft in 2013 and selected Zach Merrett after trading out Stewart Crameri to the Western Bulldogs, and now have picks 17 and 20 in the upcoming draft.
Dodoro said while they could not draft the cream of the junior crop, the Bombers had not taken their eye off getting in quality young talent.
"We've got a good group of young players as well as some older players and if we can add to that we might be in a position where we can play finals footy," he said.
"We've got to make sure we get two hits with that (17 and 20)."