When the top Canadian Football League prospects descend on Toronto each year for the CFL Combine it provides a chance for team personnel men to get up close and personal with the players.
That means the interview process with potential employers becomes important because in a lot of cases it might be the only face-to-face contact athletes have with coaches and evaluators.
It’s always difficult to predict what will happen on draft day, but there is information to be gleaned from which teams prospects interview with and how many they partake in. Often players interviewing with every team or even seven or eight means they’re elite and are likely be picked near the top of the draft.
Highly rated offensive lineman Josiah St. John, Charles Vaillancourt, Philippe Gagnon and Dillon Guy interviewed with every team in the league. Jason Lauzon-Seguin checks in with eight and the only team he didn’t sit in a room with was Saskatchewan.
Mercer Timmis, who some scouts view as the next dynamic Canadian running back, visited with seven teams, Calgary and B.C. not among them. He will catch up with Stampeders’ brass back in Cowtown. As for not having a Lions meeting, it could be a sign that after Andrew Harris left the team is staying away from feature Canuck backs for the foreseeable future.
Lightning fast receiver Mike Jones met with eight teams, Saskatchewan being the only outlier. It’s clear to see that Jones attracted a lot of interest since being added to the draft class in January. Fellow pass catcher Llevi Noel visited with all nine teams.
On the defensive side of the ball, Western Oregon linebacker Doug Parrish sat in with Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Ottawa.
Meanwhile three talented defensive backs piled up interviews, Southern Illinois product Anthony Thompson nine, UBC’s Taylor Loffler eight with Edmonton being the one exception, and Calgary stud Elie Bouka eight, a meeting with the Stampeders will happen after the combine for him.
Easily the best kicker/punter in the draft is UBC’s Quinn van Gylswyk. Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto and Saskatchewan interviewed him. That’s intriguing because the Redblacks, Argos and Riders appear to be going Canadian at the kicking and punting positions and the Ticats don’t have a player currently signed at that spot yet.