Essendon recruiting boss Adrian Dodoro has commented on top draftee Elijah Tsatas' chances of debuting in Round 1, claiming the No. 5 pick will "give himself a chance" at making an early-season appearance for the Tullamarine club.
Tsatas was taken by the Dons with the fifth pick of the 2022 National Draft, one slot behind the Bombers' original No. 4 mantle due to North Melbourne's bid on Brisbane Lions father-son gun Will Ashcroft at No. 2.
Throughout the build-up to the opening night of draft proceedings on Monday, Dodoro's Bombers were rumoured to be entertaining trade offers from rival clubs for their top draft choice, however, the red-and-black stood pat at No. 5 and hedged their bets with Tsatas, the standout Oakleigh Chargers ball-winner.
The Bombers, already boasting mainstays Darcy Parish, Zach Merrett, and Dylan Shiel, now add a prospective ball-magnet in the 18-year-old Tsatas, who averaged 33.8 disposals and 7.2 marks across six games for the Chargers last season, as well as gathering 29 possessions and six marks in his sole appearance for Victoria Metro at last season's Under 18 National Championships.
Dodoro, quizzed on Tsatas' chances of making a Round 1 appearance among a crowded Essendon engine room, said: "He'll certainly give himself a chance."
Meanwhile, the Bombers' attention now shifts to the second and final night of this year's draft festivities, where they will aim to secure promising father-son duo Alwyn Jr. and Jaiden Davey, among other talents across the later rounds.