Ticats may be looking to move up in CFL draft

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Sounds like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are trying to move up in Tuesday’s CFL draft.




The team currently holds the eighth overall pick but general manager and head coach Kent Austin acknowledged that he’s been talking to other clubs across the league.

“We’ve had some discussions, nothing of much substance at this point,” Austin said. “But I would anticipate some moves.”

Though Austin was predictably short on specifics, the sense is that the Ticats are after one of the highly-touted offensive lineman that are expected to be taken early in the draft, players like the University of Calgary’s Sukh Chung, Laval’s Danny Groulx and the University of Connecticut’s Alex Mateas . TSN draft analyst Duane Forde says he expects a number of the big boys to come off the board early.

“If you’re looking for a guy to be on your roster and potentially start for you this year, I’d be holding my breath at No. 8,” Forde said. “To be sure of getting on those elite guys, you’d probably want to move up.”

The Ticats also have four picks between No. 17 and 29 in what’s considered one of the deepest drafts in recent years. They could look to package those picks in order to secure a higher selection in the first round or deal from their stockpile of Canadian defensive tackles or elite-level special teams players.

Austin said the team may also look to provide some depth after season-ending injuries to both Canadian receiver Spencer Watt and defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh.

“I typically believe in the philosophy of taking the best football player available but in light of what’s occurred this off-season that may influence what we do,” Austin said.

By moving up, the Ticats could take some of the uncertainty out of the draft process and allow them to secure a player near the top of their draft board.

“The mock draft only goes so far. There are individual players you mock draft with, meaning there might be some players you’re more interested in than others that might be on or off the board at the time we pick,” Austin said. “We’ll go through some ‘what if’ scenarios.”

Notes: The Ticats have signed free agent Johnny Sears Jr., a 6-foot-1, 193 pound defensive back who spent the last five seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. . In 35 career games, Sears Jr. registered 127 tackles, six interceptions, four fumble recoveries and one sack. The 28-year-old played mostly the strong side linebacker position for the Bombers and can also return kicks… Ticats selections in Tuesday’s draft: 8, 17, 20, 24, 29, 51, 52, 61… the first two rounds of the CFL draft will be broadcast on TSN with the remainder streamed on TSN.ca

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