The Bombers are already trailing a number of potential SSP recruits at Tullamarine as they prepare for their first season under senior coach Brad Scott, with the Dons having one list position to fill for the 2023 season after moving draftee Jayden Davey to the inactive list.
Overlooked AFL draft talent Mitch Szybkowski and Hudson O'Keeffe are among the names pushing for a chance at the Hangar, while former Collingwood and Hawthorn midfielder Tom Phillips is also in the frame after joining Essendon's VFL squad for the year ahead.
Cleaver, a left-footed 188cm and 87kg defender, is the latest to be handed the opportunity to train for a list spot under Scott, with the Western Australian teenager tipped to link up with the Bombers later this month, according to The West Australian.
A versatile talent for East Fremantle, Cleaver featured in the club's senior side on seven occasions last year as an 18-year-old, averaging 14.3 disposals and 5.4 marks for the Sharks as a part of their team amid a deep finals run in the WAFL.
He would also play four matches for WA in the U18 National Championships, showing promise with his ball-running abilities and disposal efficiency.
Cleaver is expected to make the venture to Melbourne and begin training with Essendon at the end of January, giving the train and trial prospect close to a fortnight to prove his worth before the SSP deadline on February 15.
The West Australian have reported that while Cleaver is expected to link up with the Bombers as a potential SSP recruit, fellow East Fremantle player Reuben McGuire will not fly east after being touted as a potential pre-season pick-up for the Dons.
Instead, McGuire has opted to remain with the Sharks for the start of the 2023 season and could remain on Essendon's radar for the Mid-Season Draft.
The Bombers could opt against filling their vacant list spot through the SSP in favour of being in the queue for the Mid-Season Draft.