Dashing defender Alastair Lord has received the best present on the eve of his 18th birthday, joining Essendon in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.

The Norwood product arrives at the Bombers via pick No.46 - the club's second selection.

A run-and-gun player who breaks the lines and uses the ball well, Lord averaged 22.4 disposals and 5.4 marks from his five SANFL matches this season.

02:17 Mins
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Draft | Alastair Lord highlights

Highlights of our pick 46 from the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, Alastair Lord.

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Injuries limited his 2021 campaign, but Lord bounced back with a strong showing at the SA Draft Combine, recording the best agility test time (7.94 seconds) and the fifth-fastest 2km time trial (6.48 secs) of all players that took part in the Combine around the country.

General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said Lord had plenty to offer across the ground.

"He's a rebounding defender with terrific speed who uses the ball. We think he can play as a pressure forward, which is an area we've wanted to build on our list, so therefore we thought he'd be a really good pick," Dodoro said.

"Despite the fact he had a couple of injuries this season, we tracked him all year and felt he'd be a terrific player for us."

Lord joins Ben Hobbs (pick No.13) and Garrett McDonagh (50) as the Bombers' 2021 national draft selections.

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Draft | Pick 46 selection

Watch the moment Alastair Lord's name was called out during night two of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.

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Position: Small defender
Team: Norwood/South Australia
Height: 180cm
Weight: 76kg
DOB: November 26, 2003
Key strengths: Speed, ball use, line-breaking ability
Key stat: Averaged 22.4 disposals in SANFL under-18s this season

Expert view:

"He reads the play beautifully, runs and links up very well. He was super at this Combine with his agility and is among the best kicks in the country. That rebound ability and that dash, there’s a bit of Adam Saad about him. He’s another of those line-breaking defenders who can find the footy and intercept well." - AFL talent ambassador Kevin Sheehan