Justin Dunk’s CFL mock draft 1.0

There is a large group – literally – of high-quality offensive linemen available in the 2018 CFL draft.

Big men should rule the first round, as they often do, but the overall calibre of players available in this year’s draft is exceptional. Only two offensive linemen went in the first round last May, at No. 8 and No. 9 overall, and that number could triple in 2018.

With the combine set for this weekend in Winnipeg, a lot can change ahead of the draft on May 3 but here’s a look at where the top players might end up. And get it in podcast form too.

1) Alouettes – Mark Chapman, REC, Central Michigan

Most pro-ready receiver and possible player in the draft. Montreal could use a ready-made starting Canadian for the ratio and an infusion of more play-making ability on the league’s lowest-scoring offence.

2) Ticats – Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green

Big, versatile and smooth might be the best words to describe Hunter. He started all over the offensive line for the Falcons. A legitimate NFL opportunity could come, but because the Ticats have lots of picks Hamilton can afford to be patient if needed.

3) Lions – Trey Rutherford, OL, UConn

Rutherford started all 12 games for the Huskies at right guard in his senior season. Size and movement skills have caught scouts’ attention.

4) Redblacks – Julien Laurent, DL, Georgia State

Slimmed down for the CFL game, Laurent heads into the national combine as the best interior defensive line prospect in the class.

5) Riders – Rashaun Simonise, REC, Okanagan Sun

Simonise played five games in the CJFL last year making 17 receptions for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He has NFL talent – time in Bengals training camp proves it. Simonise is certainly the most polarizing player in the draft.

6) Eskimos – Mark Korte, OL, Alberta

Local Golden Bears product to the hometown CFL team. Edmonton would be just fine with Korte making it to the six hole.

7) Bombers – Dakoda Shepley, OL, UBC

Rising offensive line prospect might be the most athletic offensive lineman available and Shepley could get an NFL look based off that.

8) Stampeders – Peter Godber, OL, Rice

Plenty of starts in the NCAA adds to Godber’s pedigree. Calgary could use some luck with a highly drafted Canadian offensive lineman staying healthy.

9) Argos – David Knevel, OL, Nebraska

A massive blocker with the physical tools to play tackle. Jim Popp has employed five Canadian offensive linemen in the past and Knevel could make that possible in the future. Just on his sheer size NFL teams are going to do their homework on the Brantford, ON native.

Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman David Knevel #77
Football vs Wyoming
Nebraska Football
Lincoln, Nebraska
Game Start Time: 11 AM
Game Date September 10, 2016
Photo by Scott Bruhn/NU Communications

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (940 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

18 Comments on Justin Dunk’s CFL mock draft 1.0

  1. I realize these mock drafts are tough, but you have to go two rounds at least, preferably 3.

    • Alex Droho // March 22, 2018 at 6:38 pm //

      Agreed. JD go 3 rounds. I think there would be a lot of interest from readers and I sense you have pretty good knowledge of the available players. Cheers!

  2. Wish these included more detail about what positions these guys will play in the CFL?

    Is Hunter or any other offensive line prospect a tackle or a guard, at the pro level?

    Is Chapman or any receiver better suited to play in the slot or outside?

  3. I think the Riders could go with Simonise in the first, because Jones loves great athletes and he could be too good to pass up, but with our depth I don’t see us starting more than one Canadian, and although we lost Demski this year we also signed Jake Harty, and we’ll be getting Mitchell Picton from the Rams, and I’m also lobbying to get Addison Richards to come out of retirement.

    If we don’t go with Simonise there are a few different way we could go. If we thought there was an OL who we could sign right away and who had a chance to start at RT right away, like perhaps Shepley or Hunter, then that would be very tempting. It could be a ratio changer for us and we could flip Coleman to LT again. We also have JSJ and Meredith who can play tackle so adding a top prospect might give us enough depth to plan to make that switch.

    We could also use a stud safety prospect, given that MOB and Hecht are both 32, so Godfrey Onyeka might be the guy.

    Or, if Julien Laurent was still available he would be good depth and a rotation guy with Evans, Steele and Henry for an all-Canadian group of DTs.

    • As far as receivers go, I wouldn’t mind taking Marco Dubois later in the draft, maybe even in the second round. He’s a top level athlete with good size but he didn’t catch many passes at Laval because of their depth and the way they ran their offence. For us he could be a special teamer right away and we could take a couple of years to develop him as a receiver.

  4. Love Justin Dunk’s knowledge and support for Canadians and U Sports football, but I don’t think CFL teams will waste 1st round picks on player’s that will be in NFL camps. That probably rules out Hunter, Rutherford, and Knevel. Simonize, Korte, and Shepley could also get an NFL look but will probably be back soon in the CFL.

  5. Footballnut // March 22, 2018 at 4:58 pm //

    Would be surprised to see a cis ol go before the kid from rice… he started plenty of games down there vs teams that would put over 80 on teams like Laval

    • Get with the times my friend! The CIS is a lot better than it used to be. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was drafted by KC out of McGill. He became a starter in his second year, and he’s been a starter ever since. There are currently 3 Regina Rams in the NFL, Jon Ryan, Stephan Charles, and Akiem Hicks. I’m sure there are a lot of NCAA DI schools that can’t say that.

      • BRAIN CRAMP! There are FOUR Rams in the NFL, of course. Brett Jones started 13 games this year for the Giants, and three of them are starters.

        • Let’s try that again. There are four Regina Rams in the NFL, and three of them are starters. Brett Jones started 13 games this year for the Giants, and Akiem Hicks and Jon Ryan are also starters.

  6. Rick Cowan // March 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm //

    I think if Laurent is available the Rider’s will take him if not they may go for Korte or Jackson Bennett

  7. I’m looking at the 2016 and 2017 draft picks, few are still playing and even fewer are starting. The exceptions are a couple of “O linemen.
    The top pics are still south of the border.
    I just can’t get excited about the Canadian draft, FA is still the most interesting and exciting event.

    I like TSN’s idea about reducing the Canadian ratio to three on offense and three on defense, I would go further and have two per side

  8. Bestcflfan // March 22, 2018 at 11:37 pm //

    Chapman sure made defensive backs appear slow

  9. One big advantage Montreal has is that they can talk to players and come to an agreement ahead of time. They can talk money, and playing time, and whatever else. When they pick at #1 they shouldn’t be wondering if the guy is going to try the NFL. They should already have everything worked out and ready for him to sign.

  10. Who cares cfl will be done in 2019 bye bye Cfl hello to alliance league and xfl

  11. Whitestallioninred // March 23, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    Seems to me there are some good olinemen available this year. I’d say teams would be wise to focus there

  12. OldBaldGuy // March 24, 2018 at 4:32 pm //

    Darcy obviously starting early on the legal canabis. Perhaps the medical variety for obvious head trauma.

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