IT'S EVERY recruiter's dream.
The player everyone overlooked multiple times who ends up becoming a decade-long senior regular and, in some cases, a club great.
It happens more than people might realise, and talent-spotters would care to admit.
>> The 2019 NAB AFL Draft runs from November 27-28. Follow all the latest news in the draft hub
The incessant trading of fourth-round draft picks is often the source for naysayers to mock the attention given to the exchange period but they've proven incredibly valuable across the years.
Among the big names plucked in the fourth round since the turn of the century are Carlton's Kade Simpson, Magpie Dane Swan, Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray and Bomber Cale Hooker.
Dane Swan won the 2011 Brownlow Medal. Picture: AFL Photos
Where most recruiters saw only their flaws, the men in charge of the clubs they ended up at were more interested in what they could do.
Simpson (pick 45 in 2002) was too slight, while Swan (pick 58 in 2001) was too stodgy and slow and a bit of a ratbag – and on and on.
Between them, they've gone on to win a Brownlow Medal and four club best and fairests across 583 games, a total that Simpson is set to increase next season.
North Melbourne/Port Adelaide
* Still playing
The draft steals continue even as recruiting science has become more prominent and sophisticated.
Nabbed in the fourth round or later since 2015 were Geelong's Sam Menegola and Gryan Miers, Magpie Tom Phillips, Fremantle's Luke Ryan, Swan Jordan Dawson, Essendon's Michael Hartley and Matt Guelfi, and Tiger Nathan Broad.
The Roos and Hawks secured long-term key forwards in 2016 with picks in the 70s – Nick Larkey and Mitch Lewis – while the Giants breathed new life into Matt de Boer's career in the same draft.
Even still, there's a draft order for a reason.