Essendon great Tim Watson has lavished praise on Bombers youngster Nik Cox after he announced himself against Sydney on Thursday night.
Standing at 202cm, Cox started on a wing and kicked an excellent running goal on his non-preferred foot before moving into the ruck later in the match, showcasing his versatility.
Cox finished with 18 disposals and seven marks in the three-point loss to the Swans and has a bright future ahead of him at Tullamarine.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Watson says the 19-year-old has all the tools to succeed at AFL level.
“Here’s a kid over 200cm tall, goes to Essendon during the pre-season, becomes the No.1 endurance runner, he was a kid who was fixated and dedicated to wanting to be an AFL player, so he had the right attitude,” Watson said.
“Apparently he interviewed extraordinarily well, which you would expect.
“He’s quick, he’s tall, he’s got great endurance – he’s almost exactly what you be looking for to play the modern game of football, and he’s very skilful on both sides of his body.
“He’s very competitive. I don’t know if there’s a box that he doesn’t tick.
“And he’s courageous too. For a string-bean kid there were a couple of times he positioned himself in front of packs to take marks.”
Garry Lyon was particularly impressed by Cox's stint in the ruck.
“He embraced the run around in the ruck,” Lyon said.
“Because Peter Wright was ineffectual … they had to get more competitive in the ruck, so they put Cox in and he was up and down the ground, marking in defence, he was pushing forward.
“He’ll be the NAB Rising Star (for Round 4), so that’s the end of the Swans’ run.”
Selected with pick No.8 in the 2020 National Draft, Cox has played every game for Essendon so far this season.