“My opinion is that 18 works really well,” Wells told SEN on Wednesday.
“There’s a system in place, the AFL’s set it up very well, that any player that didn’t want to nominate for the draft doesn’t have to.
“If an 18-year-old thought that he wanted to concentrate on his schooling and decided with his family that he didn’t want to nominate for 12 months, he doesn’t have to.
“Also, clubs don’t have to pick 18-year-olds, so there’s two safety measures there already for the 18-year-olds.
“I also think some of the most exciting players to watch in the competition, albeit that they are young, are the 18-year-olds that come in and make a difference to a club right from the start.”
All AFL feeder leagues, including state-based and underage competitions, are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s under-18 national carnival could be cancelled, which would leave some players unable to push their cases to be drafted in November.
Wells said all clubs would like to see draft prospects in action again this year, but added none would be disadvantaged if the draft went ahead as planned because they are all working off the same information.
Wells also noted last year’s future pick trading had been done with an eye to this year’s draft, and the plans of many clubs would be thrown out of whack if the draft did not go ahead.
Geelong boast three first-round selections in 2020, including their own first-round pick, Gold Coast’s AFL assistance package pick (No.11) and a first-round pick tied to West Coast’s finishing position.
“We’ve traded into the first round this year, but I don’t want to sound at all parochial about this for our club,” Wells said.
“I just think the draft in general works well for 18-year-olds and it’s something that I think could and should go ahead this year.
“But I’d be thinking that if we didn’t have any first-round picks or, as it turns out, we’ve got three.”