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
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.
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.
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.