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How Crows' drafting turned one first-round pick into four

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ON THE surface, Adelaide's 2014 draft haul doesn't look like a success.

Only one of its eight players selected across the national and rookie intakes (plus elevated rookies) remains on its list four years on.

But dig a little deeper and the Crows' quality record of recruiting comes through.

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Adelaide picked four players in the national draft that year: Jake Lever (pick No.14), Harrison Wigg (No.35), Mitch McGovern (No.43) and Harry Dear (No.58). 

They also upgraded rookie Charlie Cameron to the senior list that year, before taking Reilly O'Brien, Keenan Ramsey and Anthony Wilson in the rookie draft. Of all of the players the Crows brought into the club in 2014, only ruckman O'Brien remains. 

But the Crows haven't lost out. Through their trading, and ability to find talent deeper in the draft, they have turned one first-round pick in 2014 (Lever) into four first-round selections, one of which helped them land Bryce Gibbs from Carlton last year (himself a No.1 pick back in 2006).

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Lever's exit to Melbourne at the end of 2017 following the Crows' Grand Final loss saw the Crows pick up two first-round selections from the Demons with a swap of later picks.

The Crows also spent last year's trade period negotiating the exit of Charlie Cameron, who wanted to head to Brisbane. The Lions finally gave away their pick 12 for the former rookie, who Adelaide had spotted in 2013 and taken a punt on. 

Adelaide drafted local forward Darcy Fogarty with the pick netted by Cameron's departure.

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McGovern's inconsistency saw him fall down the draft order in his under-18 year, but the Crows banked on his high marking and versatility and saw him flourish in his four years at the club. 

He quit at the end of this season despite being contracted, but the Crows were able to secure another first-rounder out of the deal, taking pick 13 from the Blues, as well as SANFL forward Shane McAdam. 

Clearly the Crows would have preferred to keep the players that have left the club.

However, their record of recruiting low and then selling high means their list has continued to evolve and add young talent, such as this year's draft when the Crows grabbed Chayce Jones and Ned McHenry with top-20 picks. 

Of the other players taken by the Crows in 2014, Wigg was traded to Gold Coast last year and Harry Dear was delisted at the end of this season.

Ramsay and Wilson, both rookies, were cut after 2016 and 2015 respectively. 

The Crows' key trades


Out: Jake Lever, second round pick (No.35), 2018 third-round pick
In: Pick 10, Melbourne's 2018 first-round pick, 2018 fourth-round pick

Out: Charlie Cameron
In: Pick 12

Out: Picks 10 and 16, pick 73, 2018 second-round pick
In: Bryce Gibbs, pick 77, 2018 second-round pick, 2018 third-round pick 


Out: Mitch McGovern, pick 40, 2019 third-round pick
In: Pick 13, 2019 fifth-round pick, Shane McAdam