• The verdict: How your club fared at the 2014 NAB AFL Draft• 10 things we learned from Thursday night's draft• Draft wrap: Saint Paddy's day and the Cats go for the X-factor
IF NORTH Melbourne bolstered its tall stocks for the here and now with Jarrad Waite in the free agency period, it bolstered them for the long-term with Sam Durdin at the draft on Thursday night.
North's recruiting team entered Tuesday night's draft mindful of its positional needs for talls and outside midfielders, but with the direction of coach Brad Scott to pick the best available players.
On that basis, North recruiting manager Bryce Lewis told AFL.com.au he had no hesitation in selecting Durdin when the West Adelaide tall was still available at the Roos' first pick, No.16.
"Sam Durdin was the best available player according to our order. Having said that, he was a 198cm tall who can play forward and back and we do need a couple of those," Lewis said.
"With Drew (Petrie) getting towards the end of his career – even though Jarrad's come in to play a role for us – we need to plan for the future.
"It worked out well for us."
Durdin spent some time in the ruck for South Australia in last year's Under-18 Championships, with some feeling it was where he played his best football.
However, Lewis sees the South Australian as a key-position player.
"I guess he was the best man for the job for South Australia and in that regard he probably didn't get an opportunity to settle in a position," Lewis said.
"But we see him as a forward and he can definitely play back."
Lewis was also content that the Roos had further bolstered their key defensive stocks with their second pick, No.25, which they used on Eastern Ranges defender Daniel Nielson.
Lewis said where Durdin could play as a creative, marking centre half-back, Nielson was more a hard-checking backman who killed the contest.Click here to view the Kangaroos' draft haul and watch highlights of every player on the 2014 NAB AFL draft tracker
Selection No.16 – Sam Durdin (West Adelaide)
Bryce Lewis says: "He's a contested mark player and is very athletic. We think he can play centre half-back, but equally forward. He had a bit of a disjointed year after breaking his thumb early on at training with the West Adelaide seniors. I think he only had two games back before he was thrust into the nationals, but he hit his straps late in the year, albeit with West Adelaide in the under-18s."
Selection No.25 – Daniel Nielson (Eastern Ranges)
Bryce Lewis says: "We see Daniel as a last-line defender. He's strong, he's powerful. He's got good closing speed and he's a genuine competitor. Daniel is your lock-down, deep defender, who kills the contest."
Selection No.36 – Ed Vickers-Willis (Sandringham Dragons)
Bryce Lewis says: "He's a 190cm midfielder. He did play as a defender on talls and smalls for Metro at the nationals. He was a bit of a trouble-shooter for them. But for Sandringham and for his school, he's played through the midfield, both on the wing and on the inside. We think he brings some flexibility."Click here to read recruiters' verdicts for all AFL clubs at the 2014 draft hub