Gold Coast must use a likely AFL No.1 draft pick this year as trade bait to add experienced players in their prime to their squad.
That's the view of ex-Suns coach Rodney Eade who believes the club's over-emphasis on unproven young players is hurting their progression.
The Suns have slumped to last on the ladder following back-to-back hammerings at home against Richmond and Adelaide, with their losing streak in 2019 now extending to 12 matches.
Suns coach Stuart Dew said after Saturday's humiliating 95-point shellacking by the Crows he needed to make changes to his team, but admitted there's not many of his reserves banging down the door.
Eade says the Suns list lacks proven talent in their mid-20s and the club needs to use its draft picks - and a priority pick it has indicated it will seek from the AFL - to lure those kinds of players to the Gold Coast.
"They've gone all youth and their experienced players are probably depth players from other clubs who've all been in and out of the side as well," Eade told RSN on Monday.
"I don't think priority picks as such will help them. I think they need to get some experienced players.
"The best way would be to get the No.1 pick but they must trade it. There'll be teams clamouring for that."
Eade says the Suns and GWS both have to pay above the market to retain and recruit players and would also like to see the league grant Gold Coast salary cap relief.
"You need to get a 24-25 year-old with some talent and sell it to that player," Eade said.
"He'd probably get paid above the odds too but say 'we're going to do the same next year'.
"So the next two or three years we get the first pick but we must trade it so there's going to be some other talent coming in."
Australian Associated Press