CFL free agent rankings: Linebackers

As we approach the opening of CFL free agency on Tue., Feb. 13, 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Drew Edwards and John Hodge are ranking every player potentially available by position. Here are the linebackers, divided by nationality.

International

1. Larry Dean, HAM
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 18
Key stats: 96 tackles, 3 sacks
Notes: Evolved into one of the game’s elite defenders in his second season in Hamilton.

2. Bear Woods, TOR
Age: 31
Starts in 2017: 17
Key stats: 90 tackles, 2 sacks
Notes: An ageing veteran who likely has something left in the tank.

3. Taylor Reed, OTT
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 18
Key stats: 94 tackles, 4 sacks
Notes: A durable veteran with four CFL seasons and still just 26.

4. Deron Mayo, CAL
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 0
Key stats: 87 games, 277 tackles in six seasons with Calgary.
Notes: Still trying to get back to form after suffering a bad knee injury in October of 2016.

5. Khalil Bass, TOR
Age:27
Starts in 2017:
Key stats: 40 tackles, 2 sacks
Notes: Asked for his release after losing his starting job with the Redblacks last season, played one game with the Argos.

6. Serderius Bryant, OTT
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 6 (18 GPs)
Key stats: 47 tackles, 9 special teams tackles
Notes: Undersized tackler who may be best-suited to a depth role.

7. Kyle Knox, WIN
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 8 (17 GPS)
Key stats: 33 tackles, 2 sacks, 8 special teams tackles
Notes: Phenomenal athlete who lacks football IQ. Has the potential to be one of the league’s best special teamers.

8. Alex Hoffman-Ellis, EDM
Age: 28
Starts in 2017: 2 (14 GP)
Key stats: 27 tackles, 10 special teams tackles
Notes: Great teammate with experience as both middle and weak-side linebacker. Solid depth piece.

9. Greg Jones, OTT
Age: 29
Starts in 2017: 0 (1 GP)
Key stats: 47 GP in four CFL seasons
Notes: Had strong seasons with Toronto and Saskatchewan in 2015 and 2016, respectively, but had trouble finding work last year.

10. Maleki Harris, CAL
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 6
Key stats: 21 tackles, 2 special teams tackles, 1 INT
Notes: Depth piece who’s spent the past three seasons in Calgary. Could be ready for a larger role elsewhere.

11. Reggie Northrup, MTL
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 2 (4 GP)
Key stats: 22 tackles, 1 special teams tackle
Notes: Little-used depth piece in the La Belle Province.

12. Cameron Ontko, SSK
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0 (10 GPs)
Key stats: 10 special teams tackles
Notes: Career special teamer who’s spent time with Calgary, B.C., and Saskatchewan.

•••

National

1. Adam Konar, EDM
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 12
Key stats: 59 tackles, 4 special teams tackles, two INTs
Notes: An elite Canadian talent who has had trouble staying healthy.

2. Sam Hurl, WIN
Age: 27
Starts in 2017: 18
Key stats: 65 tackles, one sack
Notes: Has 46 starts and 90 games played in six seasons. Can start at linebacker for a team looking to go Canadian in the middle.

3. Nick Shortill, HAM
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0 (10 GP)
Key stats: 7 tackles, 14 special teams tackles
Notes: Excellent special teamer has potential as a ratio-breaker if he can stay healthy.

4. Fred Plesius, MTL
Age: 30
Starts in 2017: 0 (7 GP)
Key stats: 7 special teams tackles
Notes: Injury-plagued season in 2017, though typically among league leaders in special teams tackles.

5. Tanner Doll, OTT
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 0 (14 GP)
Key stats: He’s a long snapper, so…
Notes: See above.

6. Mitch Barnett, HAM
Age: 24
Starts in 2017: 0 (18 GP)
Key stats: 10 special teams tackles
Notes: Has developed into a solid special teamer.

7. Adrian Clarke, BC
Age: 26
Starts in 2017: 0 (14 GP)
Key stats: 8 special teams tackles
Notes: Clarke has played 50 games over three seasons, registering 25 special teams tackles.

8. Doug Parrish, EDM
Age: 25
Starts in 2017: 0 (4 GP)
Key stats: 2 special teams tackles
Notes: Seventh-round pick in 2016 has yet to make much of an impact.

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 (1394 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.

8 Comments on CFL free agent rankings: Linebackers

  1. Attention Blue Bombers, you need a starting caliber middle linebacker, his name is Greg Jones.

  2. Jeff Garcia's Agent // February 12, 2018 at 11:02 am //

    I feel sorry for the team that views Hurl as the fix to their starting MLB position.

    • I had great hopes for him while he was in Sask, and was sorry to see him go. Hasn’t developed into what I thought he could unfortunately.

  3. I’ll be shocked if one of Larry Dean or Taylor Reed doesn’t land in Winnipeg.

    • Fan in the stands // February 12, 2018 at 4:07 pm //

      Agree. Depends on what packages Ritchie, “never blitz”, Hall has drawn up. I will wager that they will start Santos-Knox at middle, with Leggett and Wild on either end. All the above are smaller, but fly around, and have a good skill set!

  4. Show’s how bad the Canadian talent is if Hurl is rated No. 2

  5. Taylor Reed played at SMU when June Jones was the Head Coach there just saying.

  6. I think Greg Jones is underrated and could be a starter on most teams in the CFL. He’s a real sleeper

Comments are closed.