North Melbourne has used this year's NAB AFL Draft to help cover the speed and creativity lost by the departures of veterans Brent Harvey and Daniel Wells.

The Kangaroos used their first pick in the draft, No.12 overall, on Jy Simpkin, a 182cm midfielder/forward who is quick and oozes X-factor, while their third pick, No.36, was used on another speedster, Queenslander Josh Williams.

North recruitment manager Bryce Lewis said the Roos were hoping Simpkin, in particular, could help bolster their outside class.

"Jy is the kind of player who can make things happen and with Daniel Wells and Brent Harvey going he does bring creativity that we hope will complement our playing group," Lewis said.

After addressing their spine in the previous two drafts with key defenders Sam Durdin and Daniel Nielson in 2014 and Ben McKay last year, North again went tall this year, selecting key defender Declan Watson and swingman Nick Larkey.

Lewis said the Roos had taken a balanced approach to this year's draft but had felt they still needed to add to their key-position depth.

"(Durdin, Nielson and McKay) haven't played yet, so they've got a bit of work to do to make sure they get their chance this year," Lewis said.

Selection No.12 – Jy Simpkin
Bryce Lewis says: "I see him starting out as a mid/forward but we think he's got the capacity to come up to a wing and midfield. He played very little this year because of the broken leg (he suffered in April) but if you track his 17-year-old year amongst his peers he was right up there. He certainly does provide an X-factor, plays with a lot of energy, and is very clever and dangerous around goal." 

Selection No.34 – Declan Watson
Bryce Lewis says: "A key defender who just gets the job done. He reads the play really well, has matched up against some of the better forwards this year and acquitted himself quite capably. He can body and negate but he does come off and reads the play very well. He also gets involved in the play on the way out too." 

Selection No.36 – Josh Williams
Bryce Lewis says: "Josh is very quick and he like to run and break lines, while he's proved himself to be a goalkicker too. He's still very much learning the game, so he's going to be a work in progress as an outside mid. Needs to put on some size and work on his endurance, but he's certainly shown his preparedness to work hard." 

Selection No.73 – Nick Larkey
Bryce Lewis says: "Nick has been a bit of a swingman. He played back for Oakleigh Chargers and in the National Championships. But he's kicked multiple goals when forward for Oakleigh and has pinch-hit in the ruck, so he's a bit of a troubleshooter. He still has a lot of filling out to do at 198cm, but we think he offers us some versatility as a tall."