Recently the Canadian Football League released the initial top 20 prospects list for the 2017 CFL Draft class. There were lots of talented players ranked. That said, there are always athletes who move up, down or off altogether. For example Ticats offensive lineman Brandon Revenberg was picked No. 3 overall in the 2016 three-down pick-fest and he never was included on any league top-20 throughout the pre-draft process. With that in mind, we’ve put together 10 players, in no particular order, to watch in the CIS or NCAA that could move up boards.
Jordan Filippelli, OL, Calgary
Played with Kirby Fabien, Sukh Chungh and Sean McEwen, so he’s seen first-hand what it takes to become a CFL-calibre offensive lineman. He has very good footwork and moves fluidly for his size.
Braden Schram, OL, Calgary
Dimitri Tsoumpas, second overall pick in the 2008 CFL Draft and three-time CFL All-Star, has influenced Schram who was recruited as a linebacker to Calgary, which means he naturally runs and moves well. That ability makes him an impressive blocker in space.
Johnny Augustine, RB, Guelph
The well-built runner rushed for 814 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago. Some scouts project the shredded running back as a fullback in the pros. If he can contribute on special teams that would boost his stock.
Alex Morrison, REC, UBC
A tall (six-foot-three), thick (211 pounds) receiver who made 39 receptions for 645 yards and six touchdowns in 2015, including seven catches for 95 yards in the University of British Columbia’s Vanier Cup victory. Impressive speed (4.61 40) and change of direction ability (4.05 shuttle) for a long pass catcher.
Mitchell Picton, REC, Regina
Quick receiver who can change directions in an instant – 4.02 shuttle and 6.87 3-come, the latter was the fastest time among all skill position players at the 2016 CIS East West Bowl. He has traditional CFL slotback size. Smart with good hands and brings a physical element to the position which should allow him to contribute on special teams instantly.
Jalen Price, DL, Wilfrid Laurier
Load in the middle. Needs to trim up and get in better shape. The only trait holding him back is his athleticism. He has all the tools and capabilities. Might be a lineman who could flip over to the offensive side of the ball. Dad, Mithcell, played nine seasons in the CFL.
Sam Narkaj, DL, Concordia
2015 first-team All-Canadian. Strong force on the inside – 36 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the CIS East West Bowl. Projects as a one-technique defensive tackle in the CFL. Quick off the ball. Some scouts say he’s a better prospect than University of Montreal defensive lineman Junior Luke who is ranked No. 13 on the September Scouting Bureau list.
Jordan Herdman, LB, Simon Fraser
Two-time defending GNAC Defensive Player of the year, Herdman is an instinctual linebacker who finds the football. With a strong senior season. the Winnipeg, Manitoba native could put himself in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick.
Nate Hamlin, DB Carleton
A fast, explosive athlete, Hamlin needs to keep getting stronger. That said, personnel men are intrigued by the two-time first-team OUA All-Star. Improving ball skills would help his pro potential.
Ty Cranston, DB, Ottawa
Rangy cover man who has room to add weight to his frame – six-foot-three, 188 pounds. Needs to become less stiff and more smooth. If he continues to develop the traits are there to become a starting safety in the CFL.