2020 NAB AFL Draft: Essendon
8. Nikolas Cox
Recruited from: Northern Knights, NAB League / Montmorency
Position: Tall defender/forward
Cal Twomey’s draft range: 5-15
Elite kicking skills on both his right and left side. Strong in the air and with clean hands below the knees he has excellence endurance for a player of his size. Son of former Fitzroy, Brisbane Lions and Melbourne swingman Darryl Cox, his exciting potential was on display in 10 matches in the NAB League in 2019 averaging 11.6 disposals and 4.5 marks. Also had a taste of NAB AFL Under-18 National Championships with Victoria Metro and was part of Team Dal Santo in Futures match on AFL Grand Final Day in 2019.
9. Archie Perkins
Recruited from: Sandringham Dragons, NAB League / Brighton Grammar
Position: Medium forward/midfielder
Cal Twomey’s draft range: 4-15
Strongly built medium forward who is creative and footy smart with his ability to kick and set up goals. Is a long and penetrating kick, strong overhead and has good speed and power. Another player to get the chance to play in the AFL Futures match on the MCG on AFL Grand Final day, with Team Dal Santo getting a sense of the opportunities ahead.
10. Zach Reid
Recruited from: Gippsland Power, NAB League / Leongatha
Position: Tall defender
Cal Twomey’s draft range: 6-15
Can really impact the game with his overhead marking and precise kicking both long and short out of defence. Still requiring plenty of physical development, he is a one touch player below the knees which is super impressive for a young player so tall. Very consistent player with the Gippsland Power in 2019 averaging 11 disposals in 15 games as a bottom ager before showcasing his overall talent and potential in Team Dal Santo in the Futures game on the MCG on AFL Grand Final day in 2019.
39. Josh Eyre
Recruited from: Calder Cannons, NAB League / Kilmore FC
Position: Tall forward
Cal Twomey’s draft range: Late/rookie
Showed exciting potential in eight matches in the NAB League last year particularly against the Dandenong Stingrays in a final kicking two goals from his 11 disposals. One touch overhead and a good user by foot he is an elite endurance athlete who is capable of repeat efforts as a marking target up forward. Tied to Essendon under the AFL’s Next Generation Academy rules.
53. Cody Brand
Recruited from: Calder Cannons, NAB League / Sunbury / PEGS
Position: Tall defender
Cal Twomey’s draft range: 20-50
Brand’s weapon is his overhead marking with the ability to go forward adding another string to his bow. Represented Team Dal Santo in NAB AFL Futures game in 2019 with his mobility and long kicking further features of his game. Played 10 matches as a 17-year-old last year with the Calder Cannons in the NAB League and was appointed captain of Essendon Grammar for 2020 indicating his leadership potential. Eligible for Essendon in Draft under the Next Generation Academy rules.
Re-listed rookies: Martin Gleeson, Dylan Clarke