The Kangaroos will read out McDonald's name at pick eight next month having matched the Eagles' bid to use their first-round pick (No.6 overall) on the 18-year-old on Monday.
Despite North's hopes they could secure McDonald, the son of former player and current commercial chief Donald, with its second-round selection, a rival was always set to force its hand given his talent.
The Eagles were one of a handful of clubs to interview McDonald, despite the long-kicking, quick and tenacious teenager training at North for the past year.
McDonald travelled to Utah last year for the Kangaroos' pre-season training camp and played all season with Werribee in the VFL, where he was one of the standout players over its finals campaign.
Most recruiters fit the 190cm McDonald in the top five or six players of this year's draft pool, and see him moving into the midfield in time after starting his career as a rebounding, skilful defender.
McDonald's stocks rose last year when he was a standout for Vic Metro as a 17-year-old. He was also eligible for the Greater Western Sydney mini-draft and had some interest from clubs before coming to an arrangement with the Kangaroos.
He captained Vic Metro this year and warmed to the position, and is an outgoing personality who is a natural leader.
Pick eight is the highest selection a club has used on a father-son, after the bidding system was introduced several years ago to make clubs to pay a fairer price for eligible father-sons.
North would have been able to use its second choice – pick 26 – to recruit McDonald if no club inside the first seven picks had placed a bid on him.