By Liam Melrose
Photo: West Coast Eagles
The main story to come out of this draft is what could have been ... The Gold Coast Suns had six of the first ten picks, including the top three selections. With the Suns struggling for the majority of their first decade in the AFL, they would be scratching their heads at some serious talent they could have taken early on in the 2010 draft.
PICK 1: GOLD COAST SUNS - JEREMY MCGOVERN (ORIGINALLY ROOKIE DRAFT SELECTION 44 - WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: DAVID SWALLOW
McGovern didn’t make his AFL debut until 2014, however both McGovern and the Eagles’ persistence paid off. McGovern eventually grew into a defender that West Coast have been able to rely on to hold down the mantle in defence year in year out, where he has become arguably the best defender in the competition. He is a four-time All-Australian and a 2018 premiership player.
PICK 2: GOLD COAST SUNS - TOM LYNCH (ORIGINALLY PICK 11 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: HARLEY BENNELL
Has the potential to be the best forward in the game, and has shown at times he could’ve been pick one in this draft at his absolute best. A former Gold Coast captain, the star forward crossed to Richmond at the end of 2018 seeking a taste of finals football where he became a 2019 premiership player. Has kicked 328 goals in 163 games and was an All-Australian in 2016, where he kicked a career-best 66 goals.
PICK 3: GOLD COAST SUNS - LUKE PARKER (ORIGINALLY PICK 40 – SYDNEY SWANS)
ORIGINAL PICK: SAM DAY
Parker has established himself as a midfield bull for the Swans over the past decade, with his best season to date coming in 2016, where he earned All Australian honours averaging just under 27 disposals and a goal per game. He has gone on to play over 200 games for the Swans, and is currently a co-captain of the club, as well as a two-time Bob Skilton medalist and 2012 premiership player.
Photo: George Salpigtidis
PICK 4 – WEST COAST EAGLES - ANDREW GAFF (ORIGINALLY PICK 4 – WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: ANDREW GAFF
One of the most consistent midfielders in this draft class, and arguably the best outside midfielder in the competition. Gaff had a career best season in 2015, where he led the league in uncontested possessions with an average of 30 disposals per game. A two-time All-Australian and a John Worsfold medalist in 2015. With a career average of just under 27 disposals per game Andrew Gaff remains as the fourth selection in the 2010 draft.
PICK 5 – BRISBANE LIONS - JACK DARLING (ORIGINALLY PICK 26 – WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: JARED POLEC
The athletic forward has kicked the most goals to date in this draft class with 387 in just over 200 games. Darling has been a consistent target for West Coast over the past decade. Stepping up in 2019 to put together a career best year kicking 59 goals, and receiving his first All-Australian nomination to go with a premiership in 2018.
PICK 6: RICHMOND - ISAAC SMITH (ORIGINALLY PICK 19 - HAWTHORN)
ORIGINAL PICK: REECE CONCA
Isaac Smith’s outside run was a major part of Hawthorn’s three-straight flags from 2013-2015. His outside run during that period and booming left foot was amongst if not the best in the game, and still plays a significant role in the Hawks' game-plan today. Smith has played 207 games, and is a three-time premiership player.
Photo: Hawthorn Football Club
PICK 7 – GOLD COAST SUNS – DYSON HEPPELL (ORIGINALLY PICK 8 - ESSENDON)
ORIGINAL PICK: JOSH CADDY
The Essendon captain has been a leader from the start, a 2011 Rising Star winner, as well as a Best and Fairest in 2014. Heppell has been the Bombers' most reliable midfielder over the past decade. With a career average of 25 disposals per game his numbers speak for themselves, still regarded as one of the best midfielders in the competition.
PICK 8 – ESSENDON - DION PRESTIA (ORIGINALLY PICK 9 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: DYSON HEPPELL
Prestia spent the first six seasons of his career at the Gold Coast Suns, where he was a Vice-Captain of the club for two years averaging 27 disposals per game in both 2015 and 2016. He moved to Richmond at the end of 2016 and has become a two-time premiership player at Punt Road, with ‘The Human Meatball’ enjoying a career-best year in 2019.
PICK 9: GOLD COAST SUNS - JEREMEY HOWE (ORIGINALLY PICK 33 - MELBOURNE)
ORIGINAL PICK: DION PRESTIA
The high-flying Howe played 100 games for Melbourne, before heading down Olympic Boulevard to the Holden Centre and joining Collingwood in 2016. It proved to be a great move for Howe, where he's established himself as one of the league’s best intercept markers over the past three years, and has enjoyed career-best form since moving to the Magpies.
Photo: News Corp Australia
PICK 10: GOLD COAST SUNS - DAVID SWALLOW (ORIGINALLY PICK 1 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: DANIEL GORRINGE
The Gold Coast captain was selected by the Gold Coast Suns with the first pick in this draft. He slides to pick ten in our redraft, but has been one of the only consistent Suns midfielders since they entered the competition. The reliable midfielder hasn’t put a foot wrong across the first nine seasons of his career, averaging just over 21 disposals per game in what has been an era the Suns would rather forget.