What can AFL learn from the NFL draft? Introduce live trading of picks

Forget amateur chefs, romance on a farm and celebrities thrown into a forest - there is no better reality television than sports.

Take the A-League semi-final between Brisbane and Western Sydney for example. Please don't try and tell me there was more drama and suspense involved in someone producing an undercooked roast lamb than seeing Brisbane take a commanding, seemingly match-winning 3-0 lead only to have Western Sydney remarkably win a match 5-4 that needed 30 minutes of extra time to sort out the victor.

I use soccer (ahem, football) to make my point about the brilliance and unpredictability of sporting theatre because even that sport's detractors - many of whom claim it to be too slow and for lack of a better term, boring - could not say a bad word about the performance the Wanderers and Roar put on.

A few days later, there was another sports event that created substantial hype, buzz, tension, excitement and numerous other emotions as 253 young men were welcomed into the NFL family at the annual draft.

Chicago again played host to the three-day extravaganza and even the most imaginative of Hollywood film writers could not legitimately put into script what was to unfold at Selection Square in the Windy City.

Just minutes before the draft was set to kick off, Ole Miss prospect and a one-time consensus No. 1 overall pick, Laremy Tunsil had his Twitter account hacked and a video of him wearing a gas mask and smoking a substance was posted online for the world - and all 32 NFL teams - to see. Tunsil subsequently plummeted down draft boards as teams clamoured to find out - to be blunt - what the hell was going on.

It didn't end there unfortunately, as Tunsil's Instagram account was targeted next, with alleged text exchanges posted between him and his coach, Hugh Freeze, stating Tunsil asking for money to cover his electricity bill.

He was eventually selected by the Miami Dolphins at pick No.13.

Like I said, you can't script this stuff.

Away from that scandal, the draft gave a few hundred young men the opportunity to join America's most popular sport while earning millions of dollars and garnering eternal fame and notoriety.

Thumbs up, thumbs down for each team's 2016 NFL draft class

At this point, Tunsil is likely the most recognisable face to emerge from the draft - even more so than the top two quarterbacks who were selected one and two, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. But that will all change once kickoff happens, or someone else makes a bigger, more newsworthy error in judgement.

As an event, the NFL draft is magnificent.

In the lead-up to the draft, Tennessee, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Philadelphia set the NFL scene alight when the Rams and Eagles made audacious and bold moves up to the first and second overall positions, while the Titans and to a lesser extent the Browns stockpiled picks later in the draft - giving each supporter base a different angle and vision to dream towards.

Aussie selected in second round of NFL draft

The trading of those picks tipped this year's draft on its head.

When Tennessee had the pick of the herd, Tunsil was the likely first name off the board, as the Titans did not need a quarterback. So when LA and Philly leapfrogged just about everyone, it was made abundantly clear that both the Rams and Eagles were desperate to acquire a top QB.

The deal was done a couple of weeks prior to draft day, igniting chatter across the country as to which franchise was going to take who, what the trade meant for the teams involved and what else had the potential to happen. It kickstarted the draft a fortnight before crowds assembled at Selection Square to hear Roger Goddell call out Goff's name and present him with a LA Rams jersey.

The AFL's drafting process is building and while we may never scale the heights that the American version does, there are certainly opportunities for us to provide an even better form of entertainment and drama for those who wait with baited breath on draft night.

In the past year or so, the AFL Commission introduced the ability for clubs to swap future draft picks - certainly an added bonus for player movement but also an aspect that adds further intrigue to our trade period in October.

But the sport could take things to the next level and ride the coattails of the NFL by allowing picks to be exchanged on draft day.

Hopefully this doesn't happen, but imagine this: It's draft night, and my team, the Adelaide Crows finished last in 2018 and own the No.1 overall pick. The best underage player in the country is a 200cm power forward from Perth. This young man has the ability to be a game-changer for whoever drafts him, but the Crows already have a powerful, functional forward line - effectively, they don't need him.

West Coast are perhaps a gun forward away from being able to challenge for a premiership. They are close to the max in their salary cap, so free agency is a no-go and they aren't picking until seventh in the draft.

The two clubs failed to come to an agreeable trade during the exchange period, but on draft night, they bunker down for last-minute talks.

Press release - trade alert - West Coast have exchanged picks 7, 30, 44, 48 and 71 for Adelaide's pick 1 and 88.

West Coast are now on the clock...

Let's open the trading window and allow teams to jump up and pinch the top selections, right up until the actual night itself. It would be a showstopper.

Our game is, in my opinion, drenched with stories that are created for the sake of commentary, but something as meaningful and groundbreaking as this would demand and justify endless opinion, talkback and journalistic and expert analysis. Let alone fans conversing and bantering about the move.

On the field, I believe some people want to flip rules around to try and alter the way we think the game is moving - for better or for worse. The game will evolve naturally and has always taken care of itself but we should always be looking to improve the sport as an entertainment package, and boy, wouldn't the ability to trade right up until and during the draft making things sensationally interesting?

Not even Hollywood does Hollywood as well the NFL and maybe we in the AFL community can incorporate just a few things from the NFL's head offices in Park Avenue, Manhattan to continue to improve, market and grow our already outstanding product.