Bombers release 2017 No. 1 overall choice, DL Faith Ekakitie

2017 first overall CFL Draft pick, defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie has been released after one season.

The 25-year-old played in 14 games making five tackles during his rookie year, although he was expected to compete for a starting defensive tackle position. Four first round picks from 2017 suited up in more games than Ekakitie as rookies: Riders linebacker Cameron Judge (3), Lions receiver Danny Vandervoort (18), Ticats defensive lineman Connor McGough (18), Eskimos receiver Nate Behar (12), Stampeders defensive lineman Randy Colling (2), Lions defensive lineman Junior Luke (18) and Redblacks offensive lineman Evan Johnson (18).

The Bombers wanted to see Ekakitie show up at training camp in better shape, but it didn’t happen and that was the start of the end.

Ekakitie made $88,000 in “guaranteed money” last season plus some playtime cash. He was paid a $13,000 roster bonus in February and $10,000 more for passing his physical and reporting to training camp for a total of $23,000. But Winnipeg saves $62,000 in base salary and $12,000 housing in 2018.

Winnipeg used the No. 1 overall selection acquired in the Drew Willy trade with Toronto to choose Ekakitie. Some might have seen that as a bonus asset. But either way you slice it the choice did not work out. At least the Bombers have admitted the mistake, cut their losses and moved on.


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

42 Comments on Bombers release 2017 No. 1 overall choice, DL Faith Ekakitie

  1. rogieshan // June 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm //

    Wonder at 6’1″, 295 lbs +, if Ekakite has the size for a team to consider converting him to the offensive line. Not having the athleticism to play special teams really hurt his cause.

  2. Just saying // June 9, 2018 at 8:57 pm //

    So first it’s $70,000 in bonuses now its $23,000 $93,000 could get you a pretty good player. Yikes!

  3. Swing and a miss on that pick. Give the Bombers credit for admitting their mistake. Makes you wonder what they saw in him to make him the 1st overall pick last year

    • Indeed. A first-overall pick *really* shouldn’t flame out this fast. In 2017 Scott Mitchell said “Some really like him, but others see an inconsistent motor.”

      Apparently the “inconsistent motor” people were right.

  4. The top 3 draft picks from 2017 all disappointments.
    Vandervoort – 1 catch last season, Behar zero catches.

    • You make a great point Jeff, however the Lions tend to integrate their CFL Draft picks whom are receivers into the lineup very slowly (in some cases, over several seasons) before they become significant contributors, as was the case with Marco Iannuzzi and Shaq Johnson when they were drafted. Vandervoot should receive more playing time and make a larger contribution to the Lions offense in 2018 with the retirement of Marco Iannuzzi and the trading of Chris Johnson to Montreal over the offseason.
      What I find shocking is the outright cutting of a first round pick after one season; which is a rare occurrence in the CFL.
      I guess that one can conclude that the Bombers Head Coach Mike O’Shea and the GM Kyle Walters had NO FAITH in Faith Ekakitie…LOL.

    • #4 PICK CONNOR MCGOUGH….. turns out to be a great investment. Well done TiCats!

      • Absolutely right, Josh!

      • Great investment? – McGough had a grand total of THREE tackles last season and played in 18 games.
        The other first rounders from the 2017 draft Junior Luke dressed for 18 games – 4 tackles
        Randy Collings in Calgary – 5 tackles
        The two O-linemen picked were backups
        I would say that the 2017 draft was a bust.
        The 2016 draft has produced ONE current starter.
        The 2015 draft, produced Demski and some starting O-linemen, Mateas, Chung Sukh, Sean McEwan, Groulx
        The Canadian draft is all about grabbing O-linemen and developing them for a couple of years.

    • Behar was drafted 5th. One of the better first round pick last year was Cameron Judge, who was picked at #2. After being injured all last year he’s had a great camp and should see lots of playing time this year.

      • Can Judge – – you mean the acknowledged pot addict with mental health issues who admitted to playing stoned? The guy who quit after THREE (3) regular season games?

        Sounds like another Chris Jones bust.

        • [Above comment, superimposed over a copyrighted image to create a really spot-on Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds meme.]

        • Justin Case // June 10, 2018 at 6:04 pm //

          Mental health issues!!! Mental health problems are a serious illness. What kind of [email protected]#$ are you. People have illnesses.

          Let me guess… You are perfect and are not a minority.


    • Just like your trolling CFL posts, all disappointments. Soccer World Cup will be on soon so I suppose you won’t be posting for awhile.

  5. Paul Bomber // June 9, 2018 at 9:11 pm //

    Too bad. A Canuck to replace Westerman would have been nice, but the guy didn’t seem to be taking his cfl career like a career, so to speak.

    • What’s the deal on this guy Paul. Don’t know ow a lot about his play last year.

      • Paul Bomber // June 10, 2018 at 10:51 am //

        Seems he was just a bust, and you got that impression that it was right from day one last year. I think the only reason he was in camp this year was that the Bombers we reluctant to release a highly regarded pick.

  6. Really….What the hell is Chris Jones thinking ??? 🙂

    • Ekakite, former 1st round pick, has the measurables: Chris Jones is probably on the phone with Ekakite’s agent right now.

      • NoShowMari Williams was another first round bust who “had the measurables” – – despite being soft and lazy – – and look at how much time Regina wasted on that no-talent scrub.

  7. Someone will kick the tires on Ekakite.

  8. Sun always shines at McMahon // June 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm //

    That’s how it goes sometimes. Too bad

  9. Something isn’t adding up here. Substance abuse issues? Mental health issues? If I was the Riders I’d sign him but I’d have him spend the first two weeks talking to the team psychologist. If he’d could get his head straight he’d be a great addition to our Canadian DTs, but right now something is really not right wit him.

    • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 9, 2018 at 9:42 pm //

      “if he could get his head screwed on straight” – seems to be the motto of the riders personnel department

    • Let’s not try to pretend there’s more to the story than the obvious. He’s fat, lazy and plays soft – – that’s all you need to know.

      • Justin Case // June 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm //

        I would call you a dick, but you don’t have the
        “measurables.” Speaking of soft.

    • Paul Bomber // June 10, 2018 at 10:54 am //

      Just lack of effort. This could serve as a wakeup call and you may be right, but at the moment, his stock is way down. Might be a good move to buy low, as they say.

  10. He had so so ability and no desire- no team will take a flyer on this guy. One would think the Bombers would have done their due diligence on his character. With Geoff Gray maybe never coming to the CFL I would suggest the Bombers blew 2 1st Round picks last year. I sure hope Simonese can get his act together as this year’s no. 1.

    • I think a lot of people rated him as a high first round pick. It wasn’t just the Bombers. Something isn’t adding up here.

  11. Bomber fans bragged about the willy trade
    Doesn’t look that great now

    • Paul Bomber // June 10, 2018 at 11:01 am //

      To get out of Willy’s salary AND get TJ Thorpe for a year was a good trade. That a draft pick was a bust doesn’t change that. The alternative was cutting Willy and getting nothing. Still a good trade, didn’t work out as well as it might have – so I’ll give you that much if you feel you must take a shot.

  12. So there were no winners in the Willy trade – just losers… fitting.

    • Paul Bomber // June 10, 2018 at 11:02 am //

      You really don’t know what you are talking about, but I’m sure that’s never stopped you before, so please, tell us more.

  13. Beg to differ… the Argos were losers because Willy was a bust and they certainly would have drafted wisely if they still had the 1st round pick… unlike the Bombers….

    • Paul Bomber // June 10, 2018 at 11:05 am //

      Well regarded draft pick who was a bust. It happens in every sport in every city. Don’t you have anything intelligent to say, or just going to stick with spewing nonsensical bile?

  14. TJ Heath is an excellent DB – – if the Bomber braintrust hadn’t been so dumb to let him leave it would have made the Drew Willy trade a massive lopsided rip off.

  15. True Blue // June 10, 2018 at 4:32 am //

    Area51 is typically very negative but “sometimes” very accurate. Faith was self admittedly out of shape and had to get back into football shape in the off season. He and his wife embraced the community which is admirable but you also need to “stay” in shape to keep your job. This is pro sports, not community service and the pro sports thing comes first, the community service comes second. Too bad he couldn’t stay in shape. It boils down to commitment and potentially too many cheese burgers

    • How does he not know this? Who is his agent?

    • Justin Case // June 10, 2018 at 6:19 pm //

      No he is not very accurate. Mental illness!!!! Who criticizes some one with mental illness. Oh right! Area 51. This area can be found on the backside of your underwear.

  16. Ari Katz // June 10, 2018 at 7:42 am //

    This is a very similar story to Evan Gill. He was a first round pick of the Ticats but unfortunately could not stay healthy. The Ticats kept him on the injured list for two years. Last year, he came back healthy but in his first game tore his ACL again and was gone for the year. A few weeks back, the Argos signed him to give him a chance, but I now note that the Argos have just cut him. Sad as he does look like he has potential.

  17. Edward Leslie // June 13, 2018 at 7:39 pm //

    A $10,000 bonus just for passing his physical?? What the hell?? This sounds like a Joe Mack draft pick.
    Kyle Walters must be embarrassed.

    So many high draft picks that have done little or nothing. Perhaps this shows that the whole combine thing is a big waste of time.
    Putting players through all those silly drills doing broadjumps and jumping in the air and lifting weights.
    That’s not a proper basis to find out if they can play football!

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