THE BRISBANE Lions failed as a club when they let five first-round draft picks go at the end of 2013, captain Tom Rockliff says.
The 'Go Home Five', as they became known, set back the Lions for a couple of years, to the point where Rockliff now believes they now need a priority pick to help climb the ladder again.
Jared Polec (Port Adelaide), Elliot Yeo (West Coast), Patrick Karnezis (Collingwood), Billy Longer (St Kilda) and Sam Docherty (Carlton) all asked to leave the club and were traded following the 2013 season.
At the time, Rockliff was agitated, particularly with Polec who nominated Port as his preferred club after playing 16 games in three years at the Gabba.
However, speaking on Melbourne radio station RSN927 on Wednesday morning, the Lions' skipper concedes the club failed.
"Obviously we lost a lot of high draft picks, which is probably our own fault looking back," Rockliff said.
"They all left for different reasons, but if you're a good organisation, a good club, you keep players like that."
Former No.7 pick James Aish also wanted out at the end of last season and was traded to Collingwood.
Rockliff said the Lions deserved a priority pick to help restock their talent pool.
The club has not made a formal request to the AFL, but is expected to do so in the near future.
"To try and get some more talent on our list I think it's important to get that priority pick," he said.
"It is going to be a long road for us.
"One player, I don't think, as an 18-year-old, is going to make us jump from 17th to eight next year or anything like that; it's just important we get that talent on our list and continue to build it."