The trouble with Canadian kids (and the NFL Draft)

So it’s been an interesting first day at 3DownNation.

I’d hoped for a glitch-free launch, some decent numbers and generally positive reviews. What we got instead was a smooth launch, numbers that exceeded my wildest expectations and tons of support from the CFL community. I did two radio interviews about the site, both of which also included plenty of chatter about the Ticats and some of the issues facing the CFL.

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There was also plenty of great content added to the site today, including this candid John Hodge interview with Chris Bauman where he talks about his struggles with the Ticats. Ian Busby pondered John Hufnagel’s legacy, Curt Rush chatted with Leo Cahill, Santino Filosi went deep on the Redblacks draft options and Mike Dryden set the stage for the analytics coverages he and FenderGuy69 (aka Mark Fulton) will be providing this season. Oh, and the Edmonton Eskimos made some money.

Not much by way of straight Ticat news other than this: former Ticats DB Arthur Hobbs was cut by the Calgary Stampeders. He started for the Ticats at halfback in the 2013 Grey Cup and now he’s unemployed, example 2,389 that football is a tough business.

There was other news today that has Ticat implications, however. With reports that both offensive lineman Danny Groulx and receiver Nic Demski have NFL rookie camp invites, every single one of the CFL Scouting Bureau’s top ten prospects has either an NFL contract or an invite to a camp. The camps are scheduled to take place either this weekend – before the CFL draft – or next. The Giants camp, which has a slew of Canadian players set to attend, happens this weekend and those players will know by Sunday night if they are going to be signed. Still, there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty on draft day about whether certain guys will be available this season.

And that’s a big deal. During the Saskatchewan Roughriders media conference today, head Corey Chamblin said the team has three different options for its ratio this season (each team has to start seven Canadians.) The loss of offensive lineman Ben Heenan to the NFL and Dominic Picard to a cap-related salary dump has forced the Riders to do Canadian roster math, something that was much easier last season when they had five National offensive lineman. With key Canadian talent moving south – Calgary centre Brett Jones signed with the NFL, too – there are several teams that could use a guy who could contribute sooner rather than later. Drafting a guy with NFL prospects is risky (see Gaydosh, Linden) and right now, a lot of guys seem to have at least a shot.