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Draft wrap: Bombers take McGrath with No.1 draft pick

And the No.1 pick is... Essendon has chosen Andrew McGrath with the first selection in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft

Find every pick, every club on the NAB AFL Draft Tracker

ESSENDON has crowned Sandringham Dragons speedster Andrew McGrath as the No.1 pick in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, ending a week of a secrecy and anticipation.

Holding the No.1 pick for the first time in their history, the Bombers kept their preference tightly guarded until submitting McGrath's name just after 7pm at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.

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The teenager, who was born in Canada, said it was a "surreal" feeling to be drafted with the prized selection, confirming he'd been left in the dark until the moment his name was called by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan. 

Essendon chose not to bid on Greater Western Sydney Academy star Will Setterfield at No.1, allowing the Giants to use their pick No.2 on midfielder Tim Taranto. 

Hugh McCluggage, the other main contender for the No.1 pick, was pounced on by the Brisbane Lions with pick No.3.

Gold Coast held four picks in the top 11 and selected small forward Ben Ainsworth (No.4), versatile left-footer Jack Scrimshaw (No.7) an inside midfielder Will Brodie (No.9) with their first three.

They later moved up from pick No.11 to pick No.10 when they matched Sydney's bid on their academy midfielder Jack Bowes, rounding out a strong haul of players considered ready to go in 2017.

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There were four academy bids before the start of the second round, changing the draft order and underlining the growing success of the New South Wales and Queensland club talent programs. 

The first came from Carlton at pick No.5 when the Blues bid on Setterfield, forcing the GWS to use picks No.15 and No.37 to secure their academy star.   

Carlton slid to pick No.6 as a result, where it took West Australian midfielder Sam Petrevski-Seton.

The Giants were also forced to match bids at pick No.14 from Adelaide and pick No.20 from the Swans to secure Harry Perryman and Isaac Cumming.

There were five Sandringham Dragons players recruited in the first round on Friday night, with pick No.11 Oliver Florent (Sydney) joining McGrath, Taranto, Setterfield and Scrimshaw from the TAC Cup club.  

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West Australian ruckman Tim English was the slider of the first round, landing at the Western Bulldogs with pick No.19 after being overlooked by both Fremantle and West Coast.

The Eagles had instead pulled a surprise by drafting tough Western Jets midfielder Daniel Venables at pick No.13, while the Dockers went for local key defender Griffin Logue at pick No.8.

The top 10 of the 2016 NAB AFL Draft. Pictures: AFL Photos

It was a draft punctuated by academy and father-son bids, with more drama coming in the second round with North Melbourne's two selections.

The Kangaroos used their pick No.34 to bid on Lions academy player Declan Watson, eventually securing the key defender when the Lions chose not to match.

They moved straight into a bid for Collingwood father-son prospect Callum Brown at No.35, but the Magpies didn't hesitate to use their points to secure the son of club great Gavin Brown.      

Next for the Kangaroos was a bid for Gold Coast academy player Josh Williams, with the Suns choosing not to match at pick No.36.    

In total, 12 players joined AFL clubs from the northern academies, with GWS (seven), Gold Coast (three) and the Lions (two) all contributing to the pool.

Five of those were snapped up by rival clubs, with Essendon, Carlton and Richmond launching successful bids for academy talent.

There were three father-son selections, with Collingwood adding Josh Daicos, the son of club champion Peter, at pick No.57.

West Coast used the last pick in the Draft (No.77) to secure Jake Waterman, the son of premiership Eagle Chris.

Hawthorn's first pick in the Draft finally landed at No.74, with defender Harry Morrison, the cousin of Lions skipper Tom Rockliff, joining the club.

It was their next pick at No.76, however, that caused a stir when the club took Calder Cannons player Mitchell Lewis – a replacement in name for departed premiership heroes Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.

Fremantle's need for a young ruckman was addressed at pick No.40 when it selected 201cm Geelong Falcons big man Sean Darcy.

The Dockers went tall for the third straight pick at No.41, drafting South Australian key defender Brennan Cox to join Ross Lyon's rebuild in 2017. 

In a major surprise at pick No.58, delisted Docker Matt de Boer earned an AFL lifeline with GWS.

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