Ticats chase Vandervoort, go get some beef

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats wanted Danny Vandervoort. The fans wanted Danny Vandervoort. Unfortunately, so did the the B.C. Lions.

The McMaster Marauder receiver was selected by the Lions with the No. 3 selection in Sunday’s CFL Draft – one slot ahead of the Ticats at No. 4. Vice-president of football operations Kent Austin said the team wasn’t planning on taking Vandervoort with the top pick but hoped to trade up in order to make it happen.

“We figured he was going to go in the first round, we tried to trade up a couple of times prior to the draft to get another first round pick,” Austin said. “But B.C. took him and that settled it.”

The he Ticats selected University of Calgary defensive end Connor McGough in the first round, ignoring a number of highly-touted offensive lineman as well Carleton receiver Nate Behar, who was taken by the Eskimos at No. 5.

“He was the best guy on the board for our entire staff,” Austin said. “He’s a complete football player, he’s committed and he’s going to be a great fit in the locker room.”

The 21-year-old McGough played 26 games for the Dinos from 2013 to 2016, registering 67 total tackle and nine sacks and 17 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-2, 251-pound, McGough played one season at running back before converting to defensive line and twice earning Canada West all-star nods.

McGough was the 20th-ranked prospect on the final version of the CFL scouting bureau and wasn’t slotted as first-round selection in most mock drafts. While the pick makes sense from a ratio standpoint – the team has Justin Capicciotti under contract – the Ticats played with two American defensive ends last season in John Chick and Arian Tracy.

Still, McGough will give them ratio flexibility – something Austin has stressed – and options in the future. His athletic ability means he can likely contribute on special teams in the short term.

With their pick in the second round, Hamilton selected McGough’s teammate Braden Schram, 6-foot-3, 311 pounder who had an excellent CFL Combine in March. The Ticats needed offensive line depth after releasing veteran Pete Dyakowski then seeing youngster Mathieu Girard unexpectedly retire.

In the third, the Ticats selected another defensive lineman, Kay Okafor from St. Francis Xavier. A native of Nigeria, Okafor left his family at age 18 to pursue an education in Canada, and came to the game late. Austin says he could play tackle, end or even offensive line.

“He’s raw but he projects in a lot of different spots,” Austin said. “We love him as a person, he’s pure athletic ability and his maturity.”

Having traded away their fourth-round pick in the deal that brought Capicciotti and offensive lineman Xavier Fulton to the team last season, the Ticats took yet another defensive lineman with their fifth rounder in Hamilton native Justin Vaughn who played his college ball at Fordham University. He was the team’s defensive player-of-the-year in 2016.

In the six round, Hamilton selected Guelph receiver Jacob Scarfone who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, then took Wilfrid Laurier offensive lineman Brett Golding in round seven before taking running back Sean Thomas-Erlington with their final selection.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (904 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

30 Comments on Ticats chase Vandervoort, go get some beef

  1. Dario Cueto // May 8, 2017 at 5:37 am //

    Hey, yo … the Dario Cueto here. Austin and his nefarious regime will rue the day that he didn’t do whatever was necessary to acquire Vandervoort. Instead he settled on some nobody from Calgary as opposed to getting the the star local boy and appeasing the hometown fans. Hey Austin, be careful bubs … you work for us, pull-off some more boneheaded moves such as the one you executed last night and we’ll run you outta town … Holla if you hear me !!!

    • Vandervoot did look good in the CIS but he did not play in the NCAA was never hit by the bigger larger players down there, never been covered by a NCAA defender.
      Wait until the first time he gets hit by and American…………..
      I would take any Canadian receiver that has played in the NCAA over a CIS player.
      As expected they stocked up on “O” linemen, they have to start as many Canadians on the line so we can put the talent players at the talent positions.

    • Really? The guy was drafted 3rd. What should we have given up to get a higher pick than that? Austin played his cards right.

  2. No problem – the Cats just wait for BC to develop him and then he can sign here as a free agent- hometown boy makes his return!

  3. Largely unimpressive draft for Ticats. But typical of Allemang to prioritize “nobodies”…the Cats do their homework so we will see in 2-3 yrs if they knew better.

  4. Lets get this out and done once and for all… Disappointed we didn’t get Vandervoort… nothing you can do when he goes higher than expected… there… enough said…

    Again, just like last year’s selection of Revenberg, the Ticats went off script and drafted some players that are not well known to the average CFL fan… (have to admit I never heard of McGough)… however, Revenberg turned out to be a great selection… if you get caught up in all the press and hype about certain players you end up making 1st round selections like Lynden Gaydosh (total bust) or Brent Urban (no show)…

    So once again we have to trust that the scouts know better than the Media types who made all those mock drafts, etc.

    As I watched the draft it was interesting to see the list of Duane Ford’s top 20 and as team after team made their 1st round selections, none of Duane Ford’s choices were being picked… guess that’s why he’s on TV and not working for any CFL team…

  5. Breeze // May 8, 2017 at 9:45 am //

    Solid picks by the Tiger-Cats. Congratulations go out to both the scouting staff and to the new players.

    From what I’ve read McGough sounds like ex-Cat Garrett McIntyre. Schram and Okafor both have huge upsides.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

    • Well said, Breeze!! As Snake mentioned the team scouts and coaches know better than any of us who will fit on the team and potentially be successful. I was really disappointed about Vandervoort but agree with John that he might just “return to the Hamilton fold” after a contract or two out in BC. It seems that Scarfone just might have been a more highly ranked receiver too had he not missed all of last season. He might just turn out to be a “gem”.

  6. Can McGough become this years Revenberg ?? That’s the question

  7. McGough is the kind of “Swiss Army Knife” player that Austin covets… read that he’s played OL, DL and RB… sounds like a good all around athletic specimen…

    Some experts predict Okafor could (in time) be the best DL of the 2017 class…

    Shram is a big body (300 lbs) good for OL… maybe a future starter at tackle…

    All in all I am thinking the Ticats did OK inspite of not getting the big name players…

    • Dario Cueto // May 8, 2017 at 11:14 am //

      Hey yo, the Snake …. the Dario Cueto wonders what happened to your goofy “just saying” moniker ?!? Holla if you hear me !!!

  8. Dario Cueto // May 8, 2017 at 11:12 am //

    Hey yo, the Dario Cueto says that Austin/Tillman & company were unwise to select players from the Alberta. No doubt they bolt for the Stampeders once they have the opportunity to do so. Holla if you hear me !!!

  9. The Iceman // May 8, 2017 at 11:47 am //

    And we will grab our Mac receiver back and complete the circle of CFL life.

    • Dario Cueto // May 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm //

      Hey, yo … the IceMan … your prebuscent Lion King reference is goofy – no ??? Holla if you hear me !!!

  10. I’d have liked to see Danny V. in black and gold too, and we have no idea what the Cats offered to move up in the order but perhaps the price was just too high (no sense selling the farm to buy a new horse, especially when it comes to a prospect).

    As for loading up on DL, seems clear we may see two nationals playing there consistently this year if some of these guys show they’re worthy of the pros. The team was already loaded up there so this depth may lead to some interesting decisions in camp. This provides some flexibility in case we have less of it on the offensive side, particularly until we know what will happen with Fantuz. In fact I can see the team playing more nationals on defense than offense (2 DL, safety, corner, and 3 interior OL) until and if Andy returns.

    I don’t mind them drafting two Dinos with their first two picks regardless of the risk of losing them later to the home province cities — they’re from a very successful team and were ranked in the top 20 of all players nationally. But hopefully the guys who missed their final seasons due to serious injury (WR Scarfone, OL Golding) are fully ready to compete; that is a concern, but they are later round picks and some extra rolling of the dice usually happens then anyway. Interesting we drafted a RB, and I know little about him but he may give Timmis a push and be useful on STs too.

    Patience people. The draft is a long-term proposition.

  11. Ronald Tuthill // May 8, 2017 at 2:44 pm //

    I was disapointed in the Ticats first round pick and we will see how it works out but Braden Schram sounds like the second coming of Branden Ravensberg in that he can play all OL positions. I was also surprised that Johnny Augustine was not drafted.Kay Oakafor and Justin Vaughn are two other fine choices.

  12. Dario Cueto // May 8, 2017 at 4:34 pm //

    Hey, yo … the Dario Cueto says that his sources are telling him that the price to move-up in the draft was Manziel. Austin obviously feels that the Johnny Football era is imminent in TigerTown … Holla if you hear me !!!

    • madcatter // May 9, 2017 at 8:09 am //

      You have way too much spare time on your hands! I guess you like to see your name in print.

  13. Just love Schram. Great name for an offensive linemen, may portend hall of fame caliber.Nobody gets around Schram! Schram says nobody touches Zack – Scharm!!… to all opponents.

  14. TicatTO // May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm //

    Actually, I’m more curious about last years picks to see if they’re development is more advanced such as Jones and Timmis.

  15. Slow news after the draft… hopefully Drew is tracking down and interviewing the new Ticats and putting together a solid piece of reporting/writing as is his forte…

    Was wondering if Capicotti returns to his level of play from his Redblacks days and Gough who has LB speed can be a rotational player at DE then yeah, I can see two Nationals starting on the DL…

  16. Sorry, make that McGough and not Gough… no disrespect intended

  17. Connor McGough is headed to NY Giants mini camp… Following quoted from Calgary paper…

    McGough, a fourth-year science student from Medicine Hat, Alta., is ranked No. 20 on the CFL’s prospect list. A first team Canada West all-star and a former All-Canadian, the 6-foot-2, 251-pound lineman has impressed with his speed and skill as he looks to make the leap to professional football. He ran a 4.73 40-yard dash at the CFL combine.

    “After the combine, my agent thought we would be able to look at something down south, and this is a great opportunity,” said McGough. “My mindset going in will be similar to the combine: I’ll do what I know I can do to the best of my ability, and not worry about anyone else. I want to learn as much as I can, and I’m feeling really good and confident that I’ll represent myself and the school well.”

    • Perhaps McGough will be the Cats running back if Gable gets injured;he certainly has the speed,and if he can catch we may have a real winner here.A fast,powerful Canadian running back is a route to playoff success.

  18. Dario Cueto // May 10, 2017 at 5:38 pm //

    Hey, yo … the Dario Cueto here … not only did Austin draft some dude who is not committed to SteelTown, but he is not even committed to the CFL … how does the Snake say “bust” ?!? Holla if you hear me !!!

    • Snake never says bust, he rattles.

    • Philski // May 12, 2017 at 2:27 am //

      Agree…wasted pick. In general all the other CFL teams so far, especially the Lions, are improving their ranks and getting stronger. The TC’s? Still mired in mediocrity.

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