Round 2, Pick 9: DE Trent Corney, Virginia
A phenomenal athlete, Corney is arguably the best Canadian defensive end prospect since Ricky Foley was drafted fourth overall by the Lions in 2006. Many scouts were surprised Corney went unselected in April’s NFL draft, which speaks to the value of this selection. Corney will immediately make an impact on Winnipeg’s special teams and should serve as a rotational pass rusher. The Virginia product projects as a starting defensive end at the CFL level.
Round 2, Pick 10: OL Michael Couture, Simon Fraser
A player who many predicted would be selected third overall by his hometown BC Lions, Couture is an athletic centre who projects as an interior CFL offensive lineman. Undersized throughout his collegiate career, Couture was able to bulk up to 292 pounds this past off-season, dramatically raising his draft stock. Couture is friends with fellow Simon Fraser product and starting Blue Bomber centre Matthias Goossen.
Round 3, Pick 19: DB Taylor Loffler, University of British Columbia
Originally recruited to Boise State, Loffler is a rangy safety who boasts a rare combination of size (6’4, 218 pounds) and ball-hawking ability. Loffler should immediately become one of the Bombers’ best cover players on special teams and projects as a starting CFL safety in the not-too-distant future.
Round 4, Pick 28: LB Shayne Gauthier, Laval
An undersized linebacker at 5’10, 223 pounds, Gauthier runs well – he ran a 4.67 40-yard dash at March’s CFL combine – and should make an immediate impact on the Bombers’ special teams units. Many scouts speak highly of Gauthier’s high motor and toughness – the two traits Mike O’Shea most covets in his players.
Round 5, Pick 37: OL Zachary Intzandt, McMaster
A converted defensive lineman, Intzandt boasts above-average athleticism for his 6’5, 304 pound frame. Intzandt is a raw talent who will likely need a minimum of two years under Bob Wylie’s tutelage before he is ready to take on a starting role on the offensive line.
Round 6, Pick 46: DT Rupert Butcher, Western
Butcher dominated in the one-on-one drills at the CFL combine in March. Though he boasts impressive athleticism for his 6’5, 335 pound frame, some scouts would like to see him lose 20 to 30 pounds. Butcher was expected to go as high as 20th overall in this year’s draft, making him a great value pick at 46. He’ll slot in at nose tackle behind newly acquired starter Keith Shologan and incumbent back-up Jake Thomas.
Round 7, Pick 55: WR Alex Vitt, Manitoba
Vitt doesn’t boast the same raw athleticism as many of this year’s CFL receiving prospects, but his strong hands and crisp route running drew a lot of attention from scouts as the off-season progressed. Born in Winnipeg, Vitt graduated from J. H. Bruns Collegiate before spending time with the Winnipeg Rifles. Vitt is the first Manitoba product drafted by the Bombers since Don Oramasionwu was selected in 2008.
Round 8, Pick 63: LB Frank Renaud, Windsor
Renaud was named the Lancers’ Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and participated in the 2015 East-West Bowl. Renaud, 6’1, 215 pounds, projects as a CFL special teamer.