The Canadian Football League released its final scouting bureau rankings on Thursday. Predictably Mississippi State offensive lineman Justin Senior held down the No. 1 overall spot, but he’s likely to be taken in the NFL draft. UCLA defensive lineman Eli Ankou, Laval tight end Antony Auclair and Manitoba offensive lineman Geoff Gray might be selected in the later rounds of the NFL pick-fest or are likely to sign undrafted free agent deals soon after its over. Defensive linemen, Iowa’s Faith Joseph Ekakitie and Montreal’s Junior Luke could garner NFL looks too.
Varying levels of NFL interest will cause those players to slide down the CFL board, leaving spots open for prospects who didn’t make the league’s last list in advance of the CFL draft on May 7 to go before their counterparts who are in the top 20.
1) Justin Vaughn, DL, Fordham
2016 Eastern College Athletic Conference and first-team All-Patriot League selection, Vaughn recorded 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and one blocked kick as a senior. Canadians with production like that at NCAA Division I programs are uncommon. The Hamilton, Ontario native stayed under the radar at the CFL combine because he only weighed in (six-foot-five, 278 pounds) ran the 40 (5.09), did the vertical (28-inches) and broad jumped nine feet, four inches and did not take part in football drills due to a shoulder injury. Vaughn recently attended Jets and Giants local pro days.
2) Jean-Simon Roy, OL, Laval
Even though scouts feel Roy might be just a centre at the CFL level, the pedigree Laval offensive lineman have developed along with being coached by the best position coach in Canadian university football, Carl Brennan (pictured below with Roy), should ensure the six-foot-two, 287-pounder is taken higher than some feel. The 2016 USports first-team All-Canadian pumped out 39 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the combine and showed Roy has more than enough strength to play on the interior in the CFL.
3) Jeremy Zver, OL, Regina
Lots of explosiveness for a 305-pound young man – 30-inch vertical and eight-foot, seven-inch broad jump) Zver needs refining but he’s the type of athlete that pro coaches like to get their hands on and develop. Entered the University of Regina as a basketball player and then became a full-time football player by the end of his university days. Intriguing prospect with lots of room for growth.
4) Randy Colling, DL, Gannon
It took a while, but Colling was finally granted his Canadian Citizenship. He’s proven to be a force in the middle on a small arena league field but needs to slim down to be in the best shape for a vastly bigger CFL field. If he can shed some weight, Colling could be an instant impact maker up north.
5) Anthony Gosselin, FB, Sherbrooke
Last year Wayne Moore came off the board when the Alouettes selected the McMaster product 11th overall in the second round, Gosselin could be that surprise kind of a pick in 2017. He ran the fastest time for any running back or fullback at the CFL combine (4.73) and Gosselin’s well built, 30 reps on the bench at just over six feet tall and 251 pounds. Great body type for special teams, plus, he’s a strong blocker and can catch the ball out of the backfield.