Ticats deal up to address draft needs

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats came into to the 2016 CFL draft needing to shore up their Canadian depth along the offensive line and receiver. They got that done.

And they selected a local kid, too.

The Ticats traded up in the first round, jumping up two spots to No. 3 to take offensive lineman Brandon Revenberg from Grand Valley State. Head coach Kent Austin said the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder was the team’s top target going in.

“We really love him. He’s very athletic, he’s strong, he’s got a high compete level, he’s aggressive,” Austin said. “I think he’s going to be a great fit.

“When he was available – you don’t wait on guys that you want.”

Revenberg was scouted in person by assistant general manager and director of Canadian scouting Drew Allemang and came to Hamilton for a workout with the club but it was still a surprise when his phone rang early Tuesday evening.

“I assumed it was the B.C. Lions but it was coach Kent Austin. He just told me that he traded up for me and how I was going to be a Tiger-Cat,” said the Windsor native. “I was overwhelmed. I’m ecstatic, I couldn’t be happier with the choice.”

The Ticats start three Canadians along the offensive line and Revenberg could provide them with some immediate injury insurance while developing into a future starter at either guard or tackle. Revenberg was a two-time Great Lakes Conference all-star and a three-year starter.

After trading away their first round pick last season for starting offensive lineman Ryan Bomben, Austin said the team’s approach shifted slightly for 2016.

“This draft was a little different for us, we went for the guy that was the best combination of best player, best fit and best need to make sure we have sustainability for success on the offensive line going forward,” Austin said.

With their second round pick at No. 14, Hamilton selected running back Mercer Timmis, a Burlington native who has been mentored by former Ticat Jesse Lumsden. A three-time all-Canadian at the University of Calgary, Timmis gives Hamilton ratio flexibility and a feel-good story: he grew up a Ticat fan watching games at the old Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Hamilton also addressed a need at receiver – they may start two Canadians at that position this season – when they selected speedster Mike Jones from Southern University at No. 18, a pick they acquired when they dealt defensive end Brandon Boudreaux to the Riders in 2014.

The Ticats made yet another deal to move up to No. 21, sending No. 23 and No. 30 to the B.C. Lions and selecting UBC linebacker Terrell Davis. A converted running back, Davis is considered a top-notch athlete who could potentially start in the future – Hamilton has a number of quality Canadian linebackers – but should be able to help on special teams right away.

Having dealt away their fourth round pick, the Ticats selected receiver Felix Faubert-Lussier from Laval University and defensive back Elroy Douglas, from Missouri Western State with Nos. 39 and 41 in the fifth round. The six-foot, 215 pound Lussier posted solid numbers at the combine could play multiple positions on offence while the 5-foot-11 Douglas could potentially serve as a back up to Canadian corner Courtney Stephen.

With their final two picks, the Ticats took linebacker Mitchell Barnett from UBC in the seventh round and Western receiver Matt Uren 67th overall.

Notes: Five McMaster players were selected on Tuesday: running back Wayne Moore went at No. 11 to Montreal,  Declan Cross was taken No. 27  by Toronto, offensive lineman Zachary Intzabdt went at No. 37 to Winnipeg, defensive lineman Michael Kashak went 51st to Calgary and defensive back Johnathan Ngeleka Muamba was selected 58th by Toronto.

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