Essendon has selected general defender Archie Roberts with pick No.54 in the 2023 AFL National Draft.

The Bombers traded a future fourth round selection (tied to Collingwood) to receive Richmond's third round selection and snare the dashing defender.

The Sandringham Dragons back, who has been touted as a potential first rounder, joins the Bombers as a highly-rated ball user with a strong speed/endurance profile.


Roberts earned All Australian honours playing for Vic Metro and was a member of Sandringham's and Haileybury College's respective Talent League and APS Premierships.

National Recruiting Manager Rob Forster-Knight said Roberts was an unexpected slider which Essendon were happy to pounce on.

"We weren't expecting him to be at pick No.54, so we traded up to get the player we wanted," Forster-Knight said.

"He's a player who's got some versatility, so again, he had a great year representing Sandringham Dragons in their Premiership side and was also coached by a club great in Matthew Lloyd at Haileybury as well. 


"He can play wing or half back and he's a great user, left footer and (possesses) a really high footy IQ as well. We think he's got the temperament to come in and learn and grow as a player and push for selection over the coming years."