ESSENDON has boosted its ruck division, signing big man Henry Crauford as a pre-season supplemental selection period player.

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It followed Adelaide's signing of Ayce Taylor under the SSP rules, ahead of Friday's deadline.  

The Bombers have trialled several players in recent months for the final spot on their list, most notably Northern Territory prospect Nigel Lockyer, who has trained for the longest and played in the Marsh Community Series.

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But the Bombers' concerns over their ruck department have seen them turn to the 22-year-old, who comes from a swimming background and attracted club attention around last year's NAB AFL Draft but was overlooked.

"Henry is a great young man that will broaden our ruck depth and has the ability to play as a tall forward. He displays good athleticism and endurance for a man of his height," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said. 

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"After careful consideration and monitoring several players over the past three months, we feel that Henry is the best fit for us and what we required for our team demographics." 

Essendon will head into round one with Tom Bellchambers likely sidelined by injury, with recruit Andrew Phillips to lead their ruck division.  

Tom Bellchambers and Andrew Phillips lifting weights in Coffs Harbour. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

It also has youngsters Sam Draper and Nick Bryan on its list in the ruck department.

The signing followed the Crows' announcement that they had picked up 19-year-old late-bloomer Taylor.

Standing at 190cm, Taylor shot into NAB AFL Draft calculations last year playing for the Northern Knights and attended the Victorian State Combine before he was overlooked on draft night.

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He then signed for North Melbourne's VFL side ahead of 2020, only to get a call from the Crows and sign a contract this week after a medical screening.

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"Ayce Taylor adds another piece; we're really pleased to put him on our list. He brings high-level speed and agility, which was really enticing for us," Crows recruiting boss Hamish Ogilvie said.

Ayce Taylor models his new Adelaide jumper. Picture:

"He's an athletic player that excels in the air but is equally adept on the ground which sets him apart from other prospects.

"Steve McCrystal (Adelaide's Eastern Recruiting Manager) has never dropped off his interest and pushed hard to get Ayce to the Club during the 2019 AFL draft period, so that gave us real confidence.

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"Ayce has been training really well at North Melbourne and has impressed during match play with their AFL-listed players so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can bring when he joins our group."

Taylor was cut by NAB League side Oakleigh Chargers ahead of last season before switching to the Knights and playing 13 matches. 

The former basketball showcased his athleticism at the Combine, finishing third in the standing vertical jump (78cm) and running a sub-three second 20m sprint. 

Adelaide, which left a list spot open after the Rookie Draft, looked destined to sign SANFL-listed Crow James Mathews before he ruptured his ACL in a practice match last month.