After less than a year of playing Australian Rules, Draper found his way to Essendon with the first player selected in the 2017 Rookie Draft. Draper is a late comer to the sport, having only taken up Australian Rules in 2016 after a background playing Soccer. At 203cm he has a level of athleticism, skill at ground level, and ability in the air that is highly desirable for someone his size.
Draper’s first two seasons at the Bombers saw him developing in the VFL, holding his own against more mature and experienced rucks. In 2018 he finished 5th in the VFL side best and fairest, after recording more than 40 hit outs on seven occasions. In three games he notched up more than 60 hit outs, while also going forward and proving he can be effective on the scoreboard as well.
In 2019 Draper suffered a season ending ACL injury, and after a year on the sidelines made his long awaited AFL debut in Round 9, 2020.