Emerson Jeka says it was his goal to be drafted in the first round of the 2019 national draft but had to wait until the rookie draft to be selected in the first round by Hawthorn.

"It was a bit of a shame. I had to sit through it and watch other people get drafted, which was a bit painful," Jeka said.

"I had my hopes up leading into the draft, so it was a very emotional night for myself and my family. I didn't even think of the rookie draft. I thought I was done.

"I don't want to be mediocre. I want to be one of the best. But I tried throughout the year just to block off that external pressure and not be so hard on myself and just go out there and play football."