IF JOE Daniher leaves Essendon at the end of next season, having a key forward who plays like Charlie Curnow isn't a bad replacement.

Not that the Bombers concede Daniher will be leaving.

The spearhead's desired trade to Sydney went unfulfilled this year but as a restricted free agent at the end of 2020, he could still be leaving.

Essendon drafted Harrison Jones at pick No.30, a selection it acquired in a swap with North Melbourne that saw it give up pick No.35 and a second-round pick in next year's NAB AFL Draft.

Jones is raw but Essendon recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro is excited after identifying a need for tall forwards.

"It's an area that we wanted to address. We know he's going to take time. He's 197cm, he's very light at the moment. He's going to be a three or four-year project before he reaches his potential, but he's got a massive motor," Dodoro said.

DONS' DRAFT HAUL Highlights and bios of Essendon's newest players

"He's a local boy, barracks for the Bombers which is great, and we think he's got a huge future.

"There's a bit of Charlie Curnow about him. He just gets up the deck and keeps running."


Dodoro said the club had Jones in the first round on their pecking order and was adamant that he wasn't picked as insurance in case Daniher sought to leave next year.

"Not at all, not at all. We're looking forward to seeing Joey and Harry play together for a number of years. It'll be fantastic," Dodoro said.

An unsuccessful bid on speedy Brisbane Academy wingman Keidean Coleman at pick No.37 was followed by acquiring ruckman Nick Bryan, who has plenty of upside.

Essendon then opted for Ned Cahill at pick No.56, a small forward who uses his nous to hit the scoreboard.

At pick No.63 was Lachlan Johnson, the son of Brisbane triple premiership defender Chris.

The Lions had nominated Johnson as a father-son rookie, which meant he would have gone to the Lions had he slipped through the national draft.

Johnson, who was a member of Essendon's Next Generation Academy, won't play next year as he recovers from a knee reconstruction, so he'll go straight on the long-term injury list and the Bombers will find a replacement for him.