He added that he was comfortable playing either in the ruck or up forward, and was looking forward to working alongside Gawn, but was yet to discuss in-depth plans for 2020 with the Dees.
“He’s definitely a player I try to model my game on. I’ve looked up to him the last couple of years,” Jackson said.
“We haven’t had too much talk yet about next year. I was predominantly ruck this year and a bit of forward. So between those two positions.
“I can’t wait to meet everyone.”
Jackson received his Dees jumper on stage from former Melbourne captain Brad Green.
Demons recruiting manager Jason Taylor told The Age that Jackson and Gawn could work in tandem.
“They’re slightly different styles,” Taylor said.
“It’s almost like an extra midfielder, the way [Jackson] plays the game, with his follow-up work, his ability to cover the ground and outnumber. But he has gone forward, particularly post-nationals with some genuine success where he’s been able to take a mark on the lead, or contest and hit the scoreboard. He’s even played a couple of quarters here and there as a genuine midfielder himself. We think that he’s just an absolute competitor.
“I think he could play a role forward. He probably plays that forward-ruck role, and helps out Max if he earns his stripes and gets that opportunity.”
Earlier, a plan hatched months in advance materialised as Gold Coast took best mates Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson at picks No. 1 and No. 2. Rowell is a huge winner of the ball and was the stand-out player in the draft pool. The taller Anderson also has the capacity to go forward although his kicking has room for improvement. He is the son of dual Hawthorn premiership player and St Kilda director, Dean Anderson.
Anderson also played for the Saints but fell short of the 100-game father-son eligibility mark at both St Kilda and Hawthorn.
“It’s a massive honour. It’s pure joy and excitement for me,” Rowell said on stage after being officially unveiled as the No. 1 pick.
Rowell later added that he had been told by Gold Coast last week that he would be the No. 1 selection, with the Suns visiting his family home to inform him.
At pick No. 4, Greater Western Sydney took smooth-moving half-back Lachie Ash from Invergordon in country Victoria, who models his game on his now-Giants teammate Lachie Whitfield.
Sydney sprung something of a surprise at pick No. 5, with late speculation vindicated after they took Norwood midfielder Dylan Stephens ahead of Sam Flanders, who had been linked to that selection.
Adelaide, also strongly linked to Stephens, opted for tall defender Fischer McAsey at pick No. 6.
Fremantle picked Victorians Hayden Young and Caleb Serong at picks No. 7 and No. 8 before matching a bid from Carlton for Next Generation Academy forward Liam Henry at No. 9.
The Blues also bid on GWS academy midfielder Tom Green, with the Giants matching at pick No. 10.
Carlton then traded with Gold Coast, who took Flanders at pick No. 11, before Pickett went at No. 12.
Will Day (Hawthorn, No. 13), Miles Bergman (Port Adelaide, No. 14), Cody Weightman (Western Bulldogs, No. 15), Cooper Stephens (Geelong, No. 16), Brodie Kemp (Carlton, No. 17), Mitch Georgiades (Port Adelaide, No. 18), Sam De Koning (Geelong, No. 19), Sam Philp (Carlton, No. 20) and Thomson Dow (Richmond, No. 21) rounded out the first round.
The Blues had traded up to receive pick 20 in a deal in which they handed picks 22 and 55. West Australian under-18 captain Deven Robertson, who won the Larke Medal this year and had been touted as a top 10 pick, will have to wait until Thursday night to be drafted.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter