Jason Horne-Francis taken with No.1 pick of 2021 AFL Draft

play
This year's AFL draft bolters (1:22)

ESPN's draft expert Chris Doerre joins the podcast team to discuss the 2021 AFL draft - and who might be a surprise bolter on the night. (1:22)

No.1 AFL draft pick Jason Horne-Francis has been presented with his North Melbourne jumper by Kangaroos legend Malcolm Blight.

The talented South Australian was, predictably, selected as the best player among this year's draft crop after North chose not to bid on highly rated father-son prospects Nick Daicos and Sam Darcy.

The Kangaroos held the first pick for the first time in an AFL national draft and used it to select the classy midfielder on Wednesday night.

Blight, who won a Brownlow Medal and played in the Kangaroos' first two premierships in 1975 and 1977, was on hand to congratulate Horne-Francis in Adelaide.

As well as his North connection, Blight is widely-regarded as one of the best footballers in South Australian history.

Although he was a certainty to be selected by North, Horne-Francis did not instantly have the news relayed to him.

"It was a bit weird, we couldn't see much and luckily my manager hooked us up with his phone," he told Fox Footy. "Definitely a lot of excitement. I can't wait to get into things with the North Melbourne footy club.

"I think North are on the right direction, they've got a lot of young talented midfielders and I think I can learn a lot off players at the club."

Horne-Francis looks ready to step straight into North's best team under David Noble next year, after playing two seasons of senior football with SANFL club South Adelaide.

Meanwhile, ruck-forward Darcy was selected with pick two after the Western Bulldogs matched GWS' bid for the son of Luke.

Daicos went at pick four, with Gold Coast bidding for the midfielder before Collingwood quickly snapped him up.