Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro believes 2020 top-10 draft pick Zach Reid could one day make a “pretty good forward,” despite being drafted to the club as a key defender.
The Bombers famously had three top-10 draft picks in last year’s draft, picking up Reid, Archie Perkins and Nik Cox.
Perkins and Cox played regularly throughout 2021 and showed signs of their talent, while Reid only managed the one game due to injuries and glandular fever.
However, Essendon’s team is stacked with young talent, and the overall picture is what excites Dodoro most.
“When you’ve got such a young list, you don’t know what you’ve actually got,” he told Sportsday.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids that we just want to play and develop.
“That’s the exciting thing about when you’re developing a new team under a young coach who had a terrific first year at the club.”
The veteran list manager also revealed how the club sees their list, admitting they could have used Giants’ livewire Bobby Hill.
Hill requested a trade to the Bombers over the weekend but the two teams were unable to agree to terms.
“For us, we’re okay down back,” Dodoro said.
“We’ve got some really solid midfielders, a couple of All-Australians now, we’ve worked really hard to bolster that area.
“Our front half, yeah sure, we would have liked a Bobby Hill to help out, some goalkicking power.
“That is one area that we would like to probably bolster a little bit, our goalscoring power.”
With the Bombers looking for additional firepower up forward, Reid might be part of the club's future plans.
The 203 cm prospect is being treated as a “new recruit” in 2021.
“I think he’s still growing, and that was probably one of the reasons why he had that stress fracture in the back this year, which has healed beautifully mind you,” Dodoro said.
“He debuted against Brisbane in the pouring rain at the Gabba and then we found out he had glandular fever.
“So, we’re really, really excited about what he can do.
“Truck (Ben Rutten) knows that we’ve drafted him as a key defender, but there’s something in the back of everyone’s mind that he might be a pretty good forward one day.
“He’ll be a brand-new recruit for us next year.”
The Bombers will take picks 11, 51, 56 and 87 to the AFL National Draft in late November.