With the 2017 CFL combine in the books, it’s time to take a look at which prospects may end up where and why.
1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DL Junior Luke, Montreal
Tough as nails and equipped with a high motor, Luke is a pro-ready interior defensive lineman who can play the run and rush the passer. The Montreal native would be in contention to earn starting reps as a rookie in Bomberland.
2. Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Mason Woods, Idaho
You can’t teach size and Woods is a mountain of a man at 6’9, 320 pounds. The Riders are on the hunt for an offensive lineman with the potential to play tackle at the CFL level — Woods fits that bill.
3. B.C. Lions — DL Faith Ekakitie, Iowa
The Lions lost Jabar Westerman in free agency, but three-year veteran David Menard may be ready to take starter reps along the defensive line. Ekakitie gives B.C. a bulky interior force who should make an impact as a rookie.
4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — REC Danny Vandervoort, McMaster
Vandervoort dominated the one-on-ones at the combine, playing larger than his 6’1, 203-pound frame and running squeaky-clean routes. The Ticats would be wise to take Vandervoort with their top pick — the fact that he’s is a local product is just gravy.
5. Edmonton Eskimos — OL Geoff Gray, Manitoba
Gray isn’t expected to play in the CFL next season — the NFL is a possibility, while Gray has also expressed interest in finishing his schooling — but that shouldn’t bother the Esks. Edmonton has a deep pool of interior offensive linemen and can afford to wait a year or two for the best guard in the 2017 draft class.
6. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — OL Braden Schram, Calgary
Schram is a solid physical specimen at 6’3, 311 who put up solid testing numbers and had a respectable showing in the combine’s one-on-ones. Schram’s best asset is his passion for the game, something that will garner strong consideration from the Bomber brain trust.
7. B.C. Lions — OL Justin Senior, Mississippi State
The Lions recently traded for David Foucault, a ratio-breaking tackle prospect drafted fourth overall by the Montreal Alouettes in 2014. With Hunter Steward already on the roster and 2015 second rounder Brett Boyko in the pipeline, Senior would add to an already deep pool of current and future Lions tackle prospects.
8. Calgary Stampeders — LB Christophe Mulumba, Maine
Alex Singleton was a revelation for the Stamps in 2017, earning the starting middle linebacker spot after being selected sixth overall in last year’s draft. Mulumba offers strong depth and the ability to contribute on special teams right away.
9. Ottawa Redblacks — OL Jean-Simon Roy, Laval
Roy put up an outstanding 39 bench press reps at the combine at just 287 pounds — an outstanding feat for a guy who could afford to add weight to his 6’3 frame. Roy’s also bilingual, an added bonus for a bilingual market.
10. Toronto Argonauts — DL Kwaku Boateng, Wilfred Laurier
Boateng, the premier edge rusher of the 2017 draft class, provides the Argos with immediate impact on special teams and the potential to earn reps on defence. With Ricky Foley turning 35 in June, Boateng would inject some much-needed youth to Toronto’s defensive line.
11. Saskatchewan Roughriders — RB Johnny Augustine, Guelph
Augustine was one of the biggest risers at the combine, testing well in the drills and dominating in the pass protection one-on-ones. His versatility as a ball carrier and receiver make him a prime target for a Rider team that is expected to start a Canadian running back in 2017.
12. Montreal Alouettes — REC Nate Behar, Carleton
The Als have been without proper depth behind starting national wide receiver Sam Gigure since he signed with Montreal in 2015. Boasting strong athleticism (22 bench reps, 4.61 40-yard dash), soft hands, and tremendous intangibles, Behar quickly helps solidify Montreal’s pass catching depth.
13. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — OL Dariusz Bladek, Bethune-Cookman
Bladek didn’t have the best showing in the combine’s one-on-one drills, but there’s no doubting the Floridian’s size (6’4, 300) or strength (22 bench reps). Bladek projects as a solid CFL guard who may be capable of dabbling at right tackle.
14. Edmonton Eskimos — DB Dondre Wright, Henderson State
Wright is among the draft’s biggest defensive backs (5’10, 200) who also runs well, has great foot speed, and plays a physical game from the safety spot.
15. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — REC Antony Auclair, Laval
The Bombers use their second rounder on 6’5, 256-pound receiver Antony Auclair. The Laval product will get an NFL look in 2017, but the stud may come north in time. If and when that happens, Auclair would be well-worth the wait.
16. B.C. Lions — LB Alexandre Chevrier, Sherbrooke
Chevrier provides the Lions with an immediate upgrade to the club’s special teams units. Chevrier, an under-the-radar prospect who garnered an invite to the national combine by way of the Montreal regional, posted the best speed and quickest test results of all linebackers at the combine.
17. Calgary Stampeders — OL Jeremy Zver, Regina
The Stamps take on a project with the selection of Zver, the most athletic offensive lineman at this year’s combine. Zver is raw, but he has the potential to play any of the five positions along the offensive line.
18. Ottawa Redblacks — DL Justin Vaughn, Fordham
The Redblacks don’t need help along the defensive line, but Vaughn is too talented to pass up this late in the draft. Vaughn, who played tackle and end at Fordham, could be a nice complement to Ottawa’s Connor Williams who can also play any of the four spots along the defensive line.
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