THE PLACING of versatile tall Ben King looks set to shape the top 10 of Thursday night's NAB AFL Draft with a group of clubs keen on the Victorian.
King this week met with the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, and on Wednesday caught up with the Suns, including coach Stuart Dew.
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Port Adelaide will take his brother Max at No.5 in the draft if he gets past St Kilda's No.4 choice, which is considered a possibility.
But if the Saints go with the more likely option in King, then the Power will choose between Connor Rozee and Ben King. The Suns will likely then pounce on whichever gets past the Power, with Jye Caldwell the other contender at that choice.
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The Bulldogs also met Bailey Smith this week, and his draft position is fascinating if the Dogs look for Caldwell or Ben King at this spot.
Smith, who some recruiters view as the second best midfielder in the draft pool, would then likely be available to Geelong at pick No.12.
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The Giants have been strongly linked to Jordan Clark with one of its two early picks, but clubs are also of the belief he could get through to Port Adelaide's third selection.
Vic Country midfielder Ely Smith has emerged as a possible first-round smokey, after winning a late invitation to attend the draft on Thursday night.
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Smith is a 188cm ball-winner who impressed at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and has been on the radar of Brisbane for some time as a possible addition to their midfield unit.
They are likely to consider a range of midfield/forward options at their first pick, including Luke Valente, Liam Stocker and also Xavier Duursma.
There continues to be a range of murmurs among recruiters about the possibility of trades in the first round of the draft, including clubs eyeing off the Dogs' pick No.7.
The Bulldogs are believed to have met this week with Western Jets pair Xavier O'Halloran and Zak Butters, fueling the thought that they could be open to moving back down the order in the first round, where Butters and O'Halloran are likely to fit given they are not in the frame for No.7.
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Hawthorn also recently met Stocker, with clubs believing they could target him and try to move up the draft from their current starting position (pick No.53) by offloading a future first-round pick.
Later in the draft, the Saints have been linked to mature-age South Fremantle pair Marlion Pickett and close friend Matthew Parker. Collingwood also flew to Perth to interview Pickett earlier this month.
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Pick 1 – Carlton – Sam Walsh
Pick 2 – Gold Coast – Jack Lukosius
Pick 3 – Gold Coast – Izak Rankine
Pick 4 – St Kilda – Max King
Pick 5 – Port Adelaide – Connor Rozee
Pick 6 – Gold Coast – Ben King
Pick 7 – Western Bulldogs – Bailey Smith
Pick 8 – Sydney (matching Adelaide's bid) – Nick Blakey
Pick 9 – North Melbourne (matching Adelaide's bid) – Tarryn Thomas
Pick 10 – Adelaide – Jye Caldwell
Pick 11 – Greater Western Sydney – Jackson Hately
Pick 12 – Port Adelaide – Jordan Clark
Pick 13 – Greater Western Sydney – Riley Collier-Dawkins
Pick 14 – Geelong – Chayce Jones
Pick 15 – Collingwood (matching Adelaide's bid) – Isaac Quaynor
Pick 16 – Adelaide – Zak Butters
Pick 17 – Fremantle – Ian Hill
Pick 18 – Port Adelaide – Xavier Duursma
Pick 19 – Adelaide – Ned McHenry
Pick 20 – Richmond – Liam Stocker
Pick 21 – Brisbane Lions – Ely Smith
Pick 22 – Greater Western Sydney – Sam Sturt
Pick 23 – West Coast – Curtis Taylor
Pick 24 – Greater Western Sydney (matching Adelaide's bid) – Kieren Briggs
Pick 25 – Collingwood (matching Adelaide's bid) – Will Kelly
Pick 26 – Adelaide – Luke Valente
Pick 27 – West Coast – Luke Foley
Pick 28 – Western Bulldogs (matching Melbourne's bid) – Rhylee West
Pick 29 – Melbourne – Xavier O'Halloran
Pick 30 – Gold Coast – Jez McLennan