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Giants always felt small sparkplug could have big impact

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GREATER Western Sydney recruiting manager Adrian Caruso says there was only one reason semi-final hero Brent Daniels slipped down the draft order – his height.

INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand

Daniels joined the Giants as pick 27 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, and has been a revelation this season, being a Rising Star nominee and playing every game for the year.

His speed and classy finish in the dying minutes last week against Brisbane was the match-winning play in the Giants' victory at the Gabba.

Caruso said the Giants "got lucky" in having access to Daniels when they required a small forward.

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"'Binga' was one of those players you just couldn't not love. He's so exciting and energetic. His highlights package in his draft year was outstanding. It was as good as anyone's," he told this week's Road to the Draft podcast.

"I still feel we got a little bit lucky that year to get a player who you rate so highly on your talent board, but also who fills the specific one need that we had. We had a pure need for a quick, small forward with skills. We just got lucky."

Brent Daniels delivered the dagger for the Giants in their win at the Gabba. Picture: AFL Photos

But the Giants didn't overlook him for the reason other clubs may have had him further down their respective draft boards.

Daniels, at 170cm, was sort in stature, but the Giants saw his big impact.

"The funny thing is, on attributes, he should have been a very high draft pick. If you just strip him back to his attributes in terms of skill, decision-making, clean hands, goalkicking ability, pressure. All the attributes that you rate a player on, he came up really high," Caruso said.

"The one factor that every club looked at was his height. There's been a bias against players' heights forever, and I think that's just one of those things that played into our hands that we just viewed him as a player and someone we wanted to bring in."

There's been a bias against players' heights forever ... we just viewed him as a player and someone we wanted to bring in - Adrian Caruso on Brent Daniels

Daniels was the Giants' second pick that draft, behind Aiden Bonar, who was taken at No.11.

But the Giants considered taking Daniels with their opening choice, with Caruso saying if live trading was available to clubs that season they would have tried to move up the order to snare Daniels.

They also had pick 28 in that draft, which they used on defender Sam Taylor.

"I can 100 per cent guarantee you that there were conversations I had with [coach] Leon (Cameron) around 'Could we pick him at pick 11?' in certain scenarios if Aiden was gone," he said.

"The hard thing is you could pick someone else and there was still a chance he slipped through to 27. If live trading was there, there's a chance we might have packaged up our 27 and 28 to 18 or 19 and take 'Binga' before someone else did."