2017 CFL Draft - What Players Will Our Leos Choose

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Blitz
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Our B.C. Lions go into the 2017 draft with two first rounders. We have a first round draft choice at #3 and #7. We also draft at #16 (second round) and #24 (third round).

Its a very favorable draft year. Often the concept is to draft the best player available. A second concept is to draft based on needs.

If we are drafting based upon needs the following positions would have to be rated highly:

1) Offensive Tackle (can back up Steward if he is moved back to left tackle)

2) Defensive Tackle (Jabar Westerman signed in Montreal and at present Foorde is the only National who has the size to play inside regularly

3) Free Safety (unless we go with an import there and use a National corner, we need to look to upgrade at this spot)

4) Kicker/Punter (we are ony one of two CFL teams using an International at this position and Waters is expensive

5) Receiver (we do have Brett Blazsco and the speedy Shaq Johnson) but Sean Gore is only a concussion away from retirement if he decides to play this season.

7) Defensive End (A National who can play defensive end and go into a defensive line rotation and get pressure on the opposing quarterback is a ratio changer.

This is a good draft year for offensive lineman, defensive tackles, and linebackers. There are some quality receivers too.

Offensive lineman who could fit the bill include Jusstin Senior, Geoff Gray, Dariusz Bladek, Qadr Spooner, Mason Woods, or Jean-Simon Roy, and Kwabena Asare

A this stage, there are some very good defensive lineman in the draft including defensive tackles- Junior Luke, Faith Ekakitie, Eli Ankou (USC) and Kay OkaforIn are also worth a look.

Looking at a defensive end Kwaku Boateng has great potential.

Robert Woodson could be the answer at the safety position. There are also a number of good receivers in this draft. Most intriguing is Antony Auclair, who at 6.6", 256 pounds, with speed, could be a flex receiver who could play tight end as well as slot and H Back but a team would have to know how to incorporate a receiver with those measureables, using him as a tight end, as a big receiver over the middle, etc. and we would not know how to do that. But some CFL team will eventually get out of the spread and use a hybrid tight end style of receiver in the future with great results.

With two first round choices, this will be a very intriguing and important draft for our Leos.

2017 CFL draft: Mitchell's mock draft 1.0

By Scott Mitchell, Toronto Sun

Postmedia CFL columnist Scott Mitchell serves up his first mock draft ahead of May 7's 2017 CFL draft

ROUND 1

1:1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (from TOR) — OL Mason Woods, Idaho

At this point, with the 2017 CFL Combine still to go (March 23-25 in Regina) and NFL opportunities nowhere near sorting themselves out, it looks like Bombers GM Kyle Walters will be debating between the top offensive linemen, as usual, and a ratio-breaking middle linebacker in Jordan Herdman, a Simon Fraser University star who was also born and raised in Winnipeg.

Teams are happy with the offensive line depth in this year’s draft, but they’re split on the next best spot — it’s either linebacker or defensive tackle, depending on who you talk to.

Once again, there’s no consensus No. 1 pick, and all of the top talents have options outside of playing in the Canadian Football League that they’re strongly considering.

Already trending upwards after making the playoffs with an 11-7 record last year, holding two first round picks is a glorious opportunity — thanks, Jim Barker, Scott Milanovich and Drew Willy — for the Bombers to add even more Canadian talent to a roster hoping to take another step in the competitive West Division next season.

That may be a reason Walters will lean towards players he’s absolutely certain will be available to head coach Mike O’Shea come June, as all teams should be doing with so much opportunity south of the border for talented Canadians these days.
Which brings us to Woods. The Idaho Vandals product looks committed to the CFL, pushing the 6-foot-9 guard right to the top of draft boards. Some scouts haven’t completely ruled out right tackle for the B.C. native, either.
The obvious comparison is Matt O’Donnell, the 6-foot-11 Edmonton Eskimos behemoth guard.

1:2 Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Geoff Gray, Manitoba

The homegrown aspect will work in Gray’s favour with the Bombers at No. 1 if NFL interest dries up following his pro day March 30 at University of Manitoba, but the engineering student has a year of school left, which may become a factor, as well. Talent-wise, he’s an athletic guard and one of the best available.
The Riders desperately need an offensive lineman, but there are defensive tackles talented enough to warrant going this high if GM Chris Jones & Co., find one with a level of NFL interest that doesn’t scare them off. The outside-the-box pick at both No. 1 and No. 2 is receiver Danny Vandervoort.

1:3 B.C. Lions (from MTL) — OL Dariusz Bladek, Bethune-Cookman

Scouts will watch at the combine to see how he handles typical nuances, like being a yard off the ball, but this new Canadian — he found out his mother was born in Montreal — could be vying to go first in a month. Or he could be lower.

1:4 Hamilton Tiger-Cats — WR Danny Vandervoort, McMaster

One scout threw an Andy Fantuz comp on him, something sure-handed receivers out of Golden Horseshoe CIS programs are used to by now. He’s 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and he’s got more than enough speed and elusiveness.

1:5 Edmonton Eskimos — OL Qadr Spooner, McGill

The offensive line hierarchy will work itself out over the next two months, but this 6-foot-4, 315-pound social work major is just a little bit behind the first tier. He’s a well-built anchor at guard, but probably not a Day 1 starter.

1:6 Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DT Junior Luke, Montreal

This 6-foot-1, 287-pounder could solidify a first-round grade with a good showing at the CFL combine later this month. With the Carabins, he was in opposing backfields with regularity, recording 8.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks last year.

1:7 B.C. Lions — DB Robert Woodson, Calgary
A terrific athlete at 5-foot-11 and 197 pounds, Woodson will likely be a star of the 2017 CFL Combine in Regina from March 23-25. He fits the bill for any team looking to add to its Canadian depth in the secondary, likely at free safety.

1:8 Calgary Stampeders — OL Jean-Simon Roy, Laval

Hogs out of Laval are on quite the run, as the program has produced six first rounders in the past three drafts, including a trio in 2016 alone. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Roy is next in line.

1:9 Ottawa RedBlacks — DT Eli Ankou, UCLA

NFL interest isn’t the only thing muddying Ankou’s stock. At 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, the worry is he’s a bit oversized for a typical CFL interior lineman, but on the plus side, he’s not viewed as strictly a one-dimensional run-stuffer.
The RedBlacks would likely love an offensive lineman, but this Ottawa native might be the best talent on the board.

ROUND 2

2:10 Toronto Argonauts — DE Kwaku Boateng, Laurier

This 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive end had 28.5 sacks during his four seasons with the Golden Hawks. He’s by far the top pass-rusher available, but most teams don’t view him an elite ratio-breaker.

2:11 Saskatchewan Roughriders — LB Christophe Mulumba, Maine
A tier behind Herdman talent-wise at this point, he’ll have to run a really good 40 time at the combine for teams to view him as starting-calibre middle linebacker. The floor is that of a valuable backup who contributes a lot on special teams.

2:12 Montreal Alouettes — OL Jeremy Zver, Regina

Missed the 2015 season but returned to start at left tackle for the Rams in 2016. Went to the Minnesota NFL regional combine, and you can find him showing off his athleticism in the Fekula Classic Dunk Competition on YouTube.

2:13 Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DT Faith Ekakitie, Iowa

Like Ankou, there’s a chance this 6-foot-3, 290-pounder is a priority free agent after the NFL draft, leaving the Brampton, Ont., native’s CFL stock up in the air right now. Some really like him, but others see an inconsistent motor.

2:14 Edmonton Eskimos — WR Mitchell Picton, Regina

This solidly built receiver — 6-foot-1, 200 pounds — has been rising and took part in the Minnesota NFL regional combine on March 4. Has to prove he can provide value on special teams through the draft process.

2:15 Winnipeg Blue Bombers — LB Jordan Herdman, SFU

Signing with Joe Flacco’s agent helped this 5-foot-11, 238-pounder get a surprise invite to the Senior Bowl, and his stock has been rising ever since. The Winnipeg native will hold a pro day March 10 at SFU where his 40 time will be scrutinized. Herdman’s talent makes him a candidate to go first overall, but his agent’s history of getting legit pro looks for under-the-radar clients makes him a gamble.

2:16 B.C. Lions — WR Nate Behar, Carleton

The Ravens program hasn’t had anyone drafted since Harry van Hofwegen and Vito Greco way back in 1995, but this London, Ont., native will hear his name called within the first 30 picks. Combine size/speed is huge for listed 6-footer.

2:17 Calgary Stampeders — LB Justin Herdman, SFU
Overshadowed by his twin brother — the middle linebacker and the premier prospect — with the NCAA DII Clan, this 6-foot-1, 235-pounder outside linebacker is no slouch.

2:18 Ottawa RedBlacks — DE Connor McGough, Calgary
This Medicine Hat, Alta., native has oodles of athletic ability and a high motor. That’s a combo football coaches usually fall in love with.

ROUND 3

3:19 Toronto Argonauts — DT Justin Vaughn, Fordham

This 6-foot-5, 287-pound Hamilton native was a productive player in the Patriot League Conference with the Rams, posting 21 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks over four seasons.
**Roughriders forfeit 20th pick for selecting DB Kevin Francis in supplemental draft.

3:20 Montreal Alouettes — LB Nakas Onyeka, Laurier

This 6-foot, 210-pounder was a playmaker at Laurier, providing the key forced fumble a thrilling Yates Cup win over Western. At the pro level, his biggest contributions will come on special teams.

3:21 Hamilton Tiger-Cats — OL Kwabena Asare, Carleton

Played tackle in college but, like most, will shift inside to guard at the pro level. He’s a bit of a project who will take some patience. The Brampton, Ont., product will be watched closely in one-on-ones at the combine in Regina.

3:22 Edmonton Eskimos — DB Dondre Wright, Henderson St

As a senior at Henderson State in Arkansas, Wright piled up 65 tackles, seven pass breakups, one sack and one pick. If he can prove he can play safety at the CFL level, the thin DB class will work in his favour.

3:23 Winnipeg Blue Bombers — WR Alex Morrison, UBC

An arm injury ended this 6-foot-4, 220-pounder’s season in September, but he could shoot up draft board over the next two months. An impressive combine showing would really help boost the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native’s stock.

3:24 B.C. Lions — OL Jordan Filippelli, Calgary

The Dinos offensive line factory has been churning out almost as many pro-ready prospects as the Rouge et Or over the years. There’s two more in 2017.

3:25 Calgary Stampeders — OL Justin Senior, Mississippi St.
The top-rated prospect by the CFL scouting bureau is firmly on the NFL radar and just finished up performing for scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. If he’s drafted by an NFL team as currently projected, he’ll drop even further.

3:26 Ottawa RedBlacks — WR/TE Antony Auclair, Laval

Everyone’s gushing over this pass-catching talent, including the NFL. Thanks to his 6-foot-6, 254-pound frame and smooth stride, Auclair’s stock is so high that many believe he’ll be a Day 3 NFL draft pick. This top-five CFL talent will hold a pro day March 13 in Quebec City.
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OV - 54:40
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Wally has 3 high picks this year (#s 3, 7 & 16 i think).

IMO, he should go: at #3 - a DT from a very good crop this year - a guy who could play right away and get some rotation work on the D-line - with Menard & maybe Forde - able to go with one NI on the D-line at all times; at #7 - could possibly get one of the blue-chip MLB types - Jordan Herdman or Mulumba T (Maine) - guy who should be ST force right away, plus maybe play some reps on D too - in certain packages / plus a solid back up for Sol-E (departures of Bighill & Lokombo make addressing this position very sensible IMO); at #16 - a deep O-line crop this draft and CFL teams will continue to value NI O-linemen - even it is a depth guy behind Vaillancourt, Fabien, Steward - might make some sense (?); or - a receiver - a few good ones this draft it seems - and somebody who might be able to pass the likes of Adekolu, Blaszko and Shaq Johnson right away possibly.

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Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:58 pm

what about Jordan hoover ??
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OV - 54:40 wrote:Wally has 3 high picks this year (#s 3, 7 & 16 i think).

IMO, he should go: at #3 - a DT from a very good crop this year - a guy who could play right away and get some rotation work on the D-line - with Menard & maybe Forde - able to go with one NI on the D-line at all times; at #7 - could possibly get one of the blue-chip MLB types - Jordan Herdman or Mulumba T (Maine) - guy who should be ST force right away, plus maybe play some reps on D too - in certain packages / plus a solid back up for Sol-E (departures of Bighill & Lokombo make addressing this position very sensible IMO); at #16 - a deep O-line crop this draft and CFL teams will continue to value NI O-linemen - even it is a depth guy behind Vaillancourt, Fabien, Steward - might make some sense (?); or - a receiver - a few good ones this draft it seems - and somebody who might be able to pass the likes of Adekolu, Blaszko and Shaq Johnson right away possibly.
We don't seem to be able to draft National linebackers and develop them into starters. Lokombo was the most recent National linebacker that we drafted and mainly used on special teams. The Stamps drafted Alex Singleton for 2016 and by mid-season they had said good bye to high profile signing Reed and moved Singleton to their starting middle linebacker spot. I can't see Wally ever doing that. He would have had Singleton playing mainly special teams for years.

Therefore I believe we would be wise to draft a National defensive tackle and a National offensive lineman with our two first round draft choices. We need both a backup left tackle for Steward and going with four National starters we will also need a backup National offensive guard for Fabian/Vaillencourt.

At defensive tackle, we really only have untested Forde as an interior defensive lineman, after losing Westerman. Menard is able to line up inside but he is light for the defensive tackle postion, even though he has a great motor. Maxx Forde, who also played defensive end in college has excellent potential. He is 6'5, 270, is quick, and has a big wingspan. He could have gone much higher in his CFL draft year and we were fortunate to get him at the spot we did in the draft. But we need another National lineman..whether its at defensive tackle or defensive end.

The next two key spots to me are receiver and safety. If we are going with a National field corner this year, we could go with an International safety, depending on how we choose to use the ratio. But we also could draft a National safety.

National receiver is also a spot we could be looking to upgrade. Gore may or not play this season but his concussion issue is a concern. Iannuzzi is going into his 7th season as a starting receiver and he has been underwhelming. Adekolu has looked excellent for us in his exhibition games and the two games he played in last year. He is tall, big (220 pounds) and has excellent hands but for some reason we haven't given him the opportunities. Blazsco has good size and speed too. But Adekolu and Blazsco are built as slot receivers who can go over the middle to make tough catches but our plug and play offence has them lined up as the field side outside receiver which does not play to their strengths.

Shaq Johnson is a blazer who can make people miss but once again and would be deadly on crossing patterns and quick hitches or a reverse, as well as the deep ball but we don't design our offence around our talent. There are some good receivers in this draft but we seem so set on playing Iannuzzi that we will likely draft a receiver who will languish, as others have.

With our Leos background in mind, I would be happy to see us draft offensive and defensive linemen with our first three drafts (two in the first round and one at #16 in the second round.
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Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:50 am

http://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040- ... 2-1.703799

We have Scott Rintoul on in the last segment to talk Lions/CFL Draft.
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Jim Mullin wrote:http://www.tsn.ca/radio/vancouver-1040- ... 2-1.703799

We have Scott Rintoul on in the last segment to talk Lions/CFL Draft.
Interesting listen Jim.

In reading Justin Dunk's mock draft, he has us taking defensive lineman Junior Luke at #3 and linebacker Christophe Mulumba at #7.

Mulumba performed in front of NFL scouts at the University of Maine pro day.He checked in at six-feet, 237 pounds, benched 225 pounds 22 times, recorded a 34-inch vertical leap, nine-foot, nine-inch broad jump, 4.77 40-yard dash, 4.54 shuttle and 7.55 3-cone. He could be signed by the NFL so he will be a risk.

I can see us taking Boeting, if he is still available at #3.

Of course the draft rarely turns out to be as many project.
Justin Dunk’s CFL mock draft 1.0
Posted on March 24, 2017 by Justin Dunk


Draft boards are taking shape across front offices in the CFL, which means puzzle pieces are coming together with somewhat of an idea about how the first round might shake out on May 7.

Only one defensive lineman from the 2016 Canadian pick-fest – Trent Corney – stuck with the team that originally drafted them last season. That could give us a run on defensive linemen when draft day comes this year. Let’s get to the pre-CFL combine mock draft.

1) Bombers – Faith Ekakitie, DL, Iowa
Flashed ability to be a load in the middle with the Hawkeyes, needs more seasoning and he could be really good.

2) Riders – Dariusz Bladek, OL, Bethune-Cookman
Bladek’s been through the NFL rigmarole, so you know he’s going to be on your roster this season.

3) Lions – Junior Luke, DL, Montreal
Absolute load in the middle, Luke needs to prove he can carry over that dominance to the CFL.

4) Ticats – Kwaku Boateng, DL, Laurier
Pro body, smart and special teams value – Boateng provides a full package.

5) Eskimos – Mason Woods, OL, Idaho
Mountain of a lineman fits in with size Ed Hervey likes on the offensive line (see, O’Donnell, Matt and Rottier, Simeon).

6) Bombers – Geoff Gray, OL, Manitoba
Local Winnipeg product who possesses and impressive physique, Gray has some traits that could see him get a chance to play tackle.

7) Lions – Christophe Mulumba, LB, Maine
Ultra-productive tackler brings special teams ability right away and with further development a possible starter down the line.

8) Stampeders – Justin Vaughn, Fordham
Provides a pass rush from the interior of the defensive line.

9) Redblacks – Eli Ankou, DL, UCLA
Ottawa native could step in and start immediately in the CFL, but after an explosive pro day showing he’s likely going to get an NFL opportunity.

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
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Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:24 am

Blitz wrote:Of course the draft rarely turns out to be as many project.
Correct. Sometimes teams take say, an inexperienced defensive end "project" with the #5 overall selection despite being projected as a 2nd round pick by the Canadian Football League Scouting Bureau, then cut him the following spring. :dizzy:


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Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:48 pm

As noted by many, the risks these days are about drafting the best player available in rounds 1 or even 2, as quite a few of them will no doubt try their skills in the NFL. Some are obviously talented enough to get NFL interest. Dayum the NFL, the big pond. LOL It has a voracious appetite, searching the world for talent.

I would expect the Lions to have interest in OL and DL. That is something that needs to be addressed each year.

After OL and DL, which groups need a look see? DBs. Receivers. RB. LBs.

Our Nat talent seems pretty good overall, with the exception of DL.
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If we sign Foucault, that might affect our draft thinking.

Does that mean we pass up drafting an OL, who might have an even higher upside than Foucault, and is much younger, in round 1? It might mean we go with a DL, et cetera.

OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft.

If we sign Foucault, I would hope we go with the best on our board, even if it is an OL.
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Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:34 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:If we sign Foucault, that might affect our draft thinking.

Does that mean we pass up drafting an OL, who might have an even higher upside than Foucault, and is much younger, in round 1? It might mean we go with a DL, et cetera.

OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft.

If we sign Foucault, I would hope we go with the best on our board, even if it is an OL.
I was thinking this exact same thing this morning WCJ. I see it as being an additional benefit from the trade. Acquiring Foucault very much gives Wally flexibility in the draft. On the pre-trade roster there was zero depth beyond the main 4 already mentioned; Steward, Vaillancourt, Fabien and Husband. After them BC has Dhillon with 5 career games as a backup all in 2016, Horton who was an 8th round DL pick by Calgary last year to be converted to OL an Pennell who was recently signed as an undrafted FA who was playing for UBC in 2016. Dhillon is the only one of the 3 who has seen any pro regular season action. To maintain 4 NAT OL starters It would be essential to come out of the draft with an OL capable of starting at the first sign of an injury. That could be as soon as the season opener. Serious injuries don't always wait for the season to start.

BC has 3 picks in the first 16. There are 7 OL who we ranked in the top 20 draft prospects either in September or January. 6 of them are ranked ahead of what would be BC's 2nd round pick. Obviously rankings and how the draft shakes out are two different things but only 3 of those OL prospects are ranked in the top 10 and Justin Senior is all but a lock to either be drafted in the NFL or a PFA signing right after the draft. NFL Draftscout has him ranked #18 OT. Over the past dozen or so years a minimum of 16 OTs have been drafted. Usually it's 20 to 23 taken. Odds are good Senior will be going to an NFL camp and likely will fall down the CFL board as Boyko did in 2015. So now you're down to 2 top 10 OL prospects assuming they don't get NFL offers. With Manitoba product Geoff Gray being the top ranked OL after Senior and the Bombers and Riders picking ahead of BC I don't think Wally can count on him still being on the board at 3. If he's gone the next ranked OL is PoCo product Mason Woods currently ranked 10th.

The conundrum for Buono would be that if he needs a top OL to support the 4 NAT OL deployment does he have to bypass a top DL prospect at 3 and reach down for Woods to ensure he gets one? Or does he go for one of the DL prospects at 3 and hope Woods is still there at 7? If Woods is gone at 7 does he then reach down the board to get one of the guys ranked 13, 14 or 15 or gamble that one will still be there at 16? I think this trade frees him up to go after the top player on their board at 3 and 7 be it a OL, DL, WR or LB. Without Foucault he is forced to come out of the 1st round with an OL whether he's the top player when their number comes up or not.
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Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:20 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:If we sign Foucault, that might affect our draft thinking.

Does that mean we pass up drafting an OL, who might have an even higher upside than Foucault, and is much younger, in round 1? It might mean we go with a DL, et cetera.

OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft.

If we sign Foucault, I would hope we go with the best on our board, even if it is an OL.
I look at Calgary, their success, and their draft record. The Stamps have spent a total of 10 draft picks on offensive linemen over the past four years including their first picks in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They broke that pattern in 2016, when they chose Alex Singleton, who would go on and become a starter and an impressive middle linebacker for them last season.

Right now, assuming Facault signs, and I am, we will have Nationals Husband, Fabian, Vaillencourt, Steward and Facault for 2017. Steward only signed a one year contract for 2017 and there is no guarantee he will be back for 2018. We should have locked him up for longer but didn't. There is a chance that Boyko could be here for 2018 but we can only speculate. Jaskaran Dhillon is a depth offensive lineman at this point. Drafting an offensive lineman would make sense somewhere amongst our first three draft choices and its a very good draft year for offensive linemen.

IMO, our priority, in terms of need, would be at defensive line first and foremost. Whether that is at defensive tackle or defensive end would depend on who is available. I could see the positives of drafting a National defensive end and a National defensive tackle with our first two picks and going for an offensive lineman at #16, depending on who is available.

We really need to shore up our defensive line. While Wally's first priority in free agency was signing an International receiver in Chris Williams our biggest weakness last season was defensive line. We struggled too often getting pressure, without blitzing. Bazzie started off the season guns blazing but wore out as the season went on but he was our best pass rushing defensive end and now he's gone. Our best pass rushing defensive tackle Jabar Westerman) signed with Montreal.

We do have three National defensive lineman presently on the roster for 2017. David Menard has an excellent motor and Craig Roh's play improved a lot towards the end of the season when we began to rotate Menard in for him. Max Forde, our seventh selection in the 2015 CFL draft spent his first season with our Leos on the practice roster but did see action in 2016, appearing in 5 games. Drafting a National defensive tackle would make a lot of sense and there are some good ones in this year's draft class.

We picked up Dylan Ainsworth in free agency. My thought is Buono mainly drafted Ainsworth for his special team ability. He was the Riders special teams nominee in 2015. Ainsworth was an 11 overall selection by Regina in 2014. He got hurt at training camp in Regina last year and didn't play in 2016. There are a couple of Nationals in this year's draft who can play rush end but the strength of this years draft is at offensive line and defensive tackle.

There are also some impressive linebackers and receivers we could chose in the upcoming draft. However, knowing Wally's penchant for wanting to go with two Nationals at the starting linebacker spots and an International at nickel back, I hope that we don't draft a linebacker in our first three selections because the likelihood is that that linebacker will mostly be used as a special team's player.

At receiver, a lot will depend on whether Gore retires or not. If he does, we will have the underwhelming and aging Iannuzzi, the underused Adekolu, who reeks potential, but has not been given opportunity, as well as Blazsco and Shaq Williams. With our Leos going with four International receivers, National depth at receiver, one would think, receiver would not be as much a priority in the early first two rounds as other areas of our squad.

I view our defensive line as the biggest weakness going into 2017. Other CFL West opponents have the edge on us, in terms of defensive line talent, going into 2017. A number of analysts believe our defensive line pass rush was a weakness last season. In terms of Internationals we have Craig Roh at boundary defensive end, along with Menard. But at rush end, we don't have a dominant edge rusher at this point. We signed DeQuinn Evans but he couldn't stick with Calgary and Montreal was not eager to have him back. Other than Evans, for the very important rush end spot, we have Darius Allen, Andrew Hudson, and Dylan Ainsworth. None of them jump out at me.

We have Kenneth Boatwright and Marquis Jackson to compete with Evans, Darius Allen and Hudson. Drafting Kwaku Boateng would be worth consideration if he is available.

But right now we don't have a proven dominant pass rusher for 2017, like a Charlton Hughes, John Chick, Shawn Lemon, or Amando Sewell going into 2017. We really need to address this area of our team. Alex Bazzie really did a commendable job when one considers that he was really a linebacker in terms of weight at 228 pounds but its hard to rush the quarterback all season against huge offensive tackles as an undersized defensive end.

The Stamps signed free agent Brian Hall to an already formidable defensive line for 2017. Cordarroh Law also joined the Stamps at the end of last season, played four games and had nine tackles including a tackle for a loss and three sacks and added one fumble recovery as well as recording two sacks and one knockdown in the Grey Cup game. The Riders brought in defensive end Willie Jefferson towards the end of last season. In five games, Jefferson proved himself to be an impact player – collecting three quarterback sacks and one forced fumble.

If our Leos want to win the Grey Cup this season or have a good chance of winning it, we have to improve our pass rush from the defensive line. In order to do that, we will need a rush end who can consistently get pressure on the opposing quarterback.

Brooks played in 13 games for us last year at defensive tackle. He had 18 tackles but only one sack. We have to hope that he can be healthier this season and give us a dominating inside player. He has that potential and we've seen flashes but not sustained play. We pined Bryant Turner Jr for too many games last season but when he and Brooks played together towards the end of last season our defensive lne interior was much more formidable. We do have some International defensive tackles signed for training camp including Frank Alexander, Louis Palmer, and Luther Maddy to compete.
OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft. WCJ
I'm more than with you on this one!!
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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WestCoastJoe
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Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:06 pm

Hambone wrote:
WestCoastJoe wrote:If we sign Foucault, that might affect our draft thinking.

Does that mean we pass up drafting an OL, who might have an even higher upside than Foucault, and is much younger, in round 1? It might mean we go with a DL, et cetera.

OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft.

If we sign Foucault, I would hope we go with the best on our board, even if it is an OL.
I was thinking this exact same thing this morning WCJ. I see it as being an additional benefit from the trade. Acquiring Foucault very much gives Wally flexibility in the draft.
For sure, Hambone. Foucault brings a talented Nat OL tackle, possibly with starter potential. One could say he is more proven than any OL available in round 1.

If we sign him, DL might be more of a priority in round 1. It seems clear that our drafting of Nat OLs has been pretty darn good lately. Fabien, Steward, Vaillencourt, plus pickup Husband. Still a bit thin for depth, perhaps.

DL. The cupboard is somewhat bare, with the departure of Westerman. Menard gets top marks from me from the get go (great strength at the Combine, and destroying OL in drills). Forde could be productive, not sure yet. If we could scoop a couple of top DL prospects in rounds 1 and 2, that would be nice.
Blitz wrote:
WestCoastJoe wrote: OL and DL are always key areas for CFL clubs in the draft. WCJ
I'm more than with you on this one!!
We have seen this play out over and over, Blitz. Ya gotta draft the top hogs as a primary focus. We have gotten by with a lot of Nat patchwork in Wally and Dan D's time here. Many, many wasted draft picks, chronicled and discussed in great detail on this site. Much better success in drafting talented OL lately, as with Fabien, Steward and Vaillencourt.

And Westerman and Menard have been great picks for the DL. Very, very thin in Nat depth in the DL at this time.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:23 pm

Agreed that D-line is a very big area of need. And IMO there is plenty of very good prospects at both DE and especially DT this draft.


DTs: Elie Ankou (UCLA) - might get an NFL look but might not stick down there; might be the top rated D-lineman this CFL draft but IMO maybe more of a huge NFL style middle plugger DT and maybe not as suited for the CFL game as some other DTs on the board - like Junior Luke (Montreal), Justin Vaughn (Fordham), Faith Ekakitie (Iowa) or Sam Narkaj (Concordia)

DEs: Kwaku Boatneg (Laurier), Evan Foster (Manitoba), Connor McGough (Calgary) - all very productive and athletic CIS DEs.

Wally could IMO easily address both DT & DE with his 2 top picks (or maybe even wait till #16) this draft; and give both those picks real shots to compete for playing time at those 2 positions of big need. Doubt this happens. Menard showed he can play when given a shot. So did Ricky Foley a number of years back.

Drafting Canadian O-linemen for the sake of "depth" when you already have Vaillancourt, Steward, Husband, Fabien, plus maybe now Foucault or even Boyko sooner than later (and too bad Dillon Guy got away) = myopic/limited thinking. Could still use the #16 or later pick on an O-lineman "project" - where did Husband go in the draft ? How bout Stamps' starter Shane Bergman?
Cody Husband wasn't drafted. He signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011 with Hamilton after playing his university football with the UBC Thunderbirds.

Husband was picked up by our Leos as a free agent after being dropped by Hamilton at the end of the 2013 season. In 2014 Husband was "Cody was a roster exemption in training camp as he continued to rehab a knee injury suffered the previous season. After eight games on the injured list, he made his Lions debut versus Saskatchewan on Aug 24/14. He dressed for a total of four games with one start at guard before being placed back on the injured list for the final six games of the year: (B.C. Lions)

Husband remained under the radar screen until he started the final 8 games for us in 2015, as well as the WDF. Prior to those 8 starts, Husband had spent 10 weeks on the injured roster or as a reserve. I give former Leo coach Dan Malone credit for seeing that Husband had the talent to be a starting offensive lineman. Prior to the 2015 season, Husband had only been viewed as a depth offensive lineman.

Last season, Husband won the center position at training camp. Husband impressed as our starting center, especially when one considers that he was essentially a rookie at the position.

Shane Bergman of Calgary also did not enter the pro ranks considered very highly. He was a 6th round draft choice of Calgary in 2013. Bergman started 14 games for the Stamps in 2014 from then on, he has continued to enjoy success as a starting guard for the Stamps. He's big at 330 pounds and offensive guards are getting bigger all the time in needing to play against bigger and bigger defensive tackles.

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Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:48 pm

I have to think, at least right now, that our Leos will seriously consider Junior Luke, Eli Ankou, Kwaku Boateng,
Faith Ekakitie, Justin Vaughn or Kay Okafor if any one of them is available with one of our first three selections.

But there could be a couple of good prospects for the defensive line in Round 3 as well. Connor McGough or Justin Vaughn might be available.

This is probably the best draft ever for defensive lineman. We need at least one good National. Our timing is good in terms of needing a National defensive lineman and having so many good ones in this draft year.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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WestCoastJoe
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Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:28 pm

Blitz wrote:I have to think, at least right now, that our Leos will seriously consider Junior Luke, Eli Ankou, Kwaku Boateng,
Faith Ekakitie, Justin Vaughn or Kay Okafor if any one of them is available with one of our first three selections.

But there could be a couple of good prospects for the defensive line in Round 3 as well. Connor McGough or Justin Vaughn might be available.

This is probably the best draft ever for defensive lineman. We need at least one good National. Our timing is good in terms of needing a National defensive lineman and having so many good ones in this draft year.
DL Junior Luke 6'1'' 287 ranked #9 in the fall

DT Eli Ankou 6'3'' 325 ranked #3 in December

DL Kwaku Boateng 6'2'' 250 ranked #6 in December

DL Faith Ekakitie 6'1'' 304 ranked #11 in December

DL Jean-Simon Roy 6'3'' 285

DE Connor McGough

DT Justin Vaughn 6'5'' 287

DL Kay Okafor 6'3'' 270 #19

This fan would be very happy if we landed Ankou, Ekakitie, Luke or Boateng for the DLine.

Top OLs are

Justin Senior 6'5'' 310 #1

Geoff Gray

Mason Woods 6'9'' 320

Qadr Spooner 6'4'' 315

Dariusz Bladek

...........

Hoping we score one top OL and two top DLs.

Hoping we do not go off the consensus board and take someone no one else sees that high.

Worst nightmare: "With their first pick the B.C. Lions select ***** *****." And fans search desperately on the draft boards to find the selection. Oops, he is ranked way down at #18 #19 or #20 on other boards. WTF ...
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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