Early on Wednesday, we named the 10 biggest snubs from TSN’s Top 50 list, but if you want to put somebody on, you have to take somebody off. So here are the 10 players who probably shouldn’t have been ranked in the top 50 in 2017, listed in alphabetical order.
Travis Bond, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Ranked: 50)
Bond was one of seven offensive lineman, five of which were American, to make the list and I just don’t know if we know how good he is yet. He played 12 games last year, and while I appreciate the big guys getting love, there were too many talented players left off the list (ex. John Bowman) for Bond’s inclusion to make sense.
DaVaris Daniels, Calgary Stampeders (Ranked: 20)
So this one is going to be controversial, but hear me out. It is not that I don’t think Daniels is an excellent player, but he has played just 11 games in his CFL career and that is nowhere near a large enough sample size to say he is one of the league’s best players. He was great in limited action last year, and probably will continue to be great in a Calgary system that will enhance his talents, but Daniels on the list over a guy like Brandon Whitaker is insanity.
Darian Durant, Montreal Alouettes (Ranked: 29)
Durant is the first of a trio of quarterbacks that made the list that probably shouldn’t have. I like Darian Durant quite a bit, probably more than most, but he has not played a full season since 2013 — in case you were wondering, it is 2017 — and he wasn’t all that great in Saskatchewan last year. He is a Hall of Fame player, but he is no longer one of the league’s elite and didn’t deserve to be in the top 50.
Gabe Knapton, Montreal Alouettes (Ranked: 37)
Knapton is a good player, but he isn’t even the best defensive lineman on his team, that honour goes to John Bowman, who didn’t make the list. So seeing Bowman go unranked while Knapton was named the league’s 37th best player is just wrong.
Justin Medlock, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Ranked: 22)
Is Medlock the best kicker in the CFL? Absolutely. Is he one of the five best in the history of the league? Probably. Does he make a difference for the Bombers? Of course he does. Is he a better player than Brandon Whitaker, Marquay McDaniel, Andy Fantuz, John Bowman, Terrence Toliver, Ed Gainey, Abdul Kanneh, Nik Lewis, Brandon Banks and Brad Sinopoli? Nope.
Matt Nichols, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Ranked: 28)
These lists are usually skewed to quarterbacks — eight of nine starting quarterbacks made the list, all in the top 29 — and Matt Nichols is the epitome of that. Are we really sure he is that good or was his success last year a product of Winnipeg’s ridiculous turnover-creating defense? Do it over a full season and then get back to me. Until then, Nichols has not proven he is top 50 worthy.
Jovon Olafioye, Montreal Alouettes (Ranked: 19
Reputation not only got Olafioye on the list, but got him ranked in the top 20. Wally Buono deemed him expendable in the off-season, and he was one of just three players ranked in the top 20 who switched teams this off-season. At one time if could be argued Olafioye was the best left tackle in the CFL, but that time is not now.
Ricky Ray, Toronto Argonauts (Ranked: 27)
Ricky Ray is going to the Hall of Fame when he is done playing, but Ricky Ray has not played a full season since 2011 (he played 17 games in 2014) and has played in just 12 of the last 36 games the Argos have played. Ricky Ray is an all-time great player, but Ricky Ray is not one of the 50 best currently playing in the CFL.
Justin Sorenson, Edmonton Eskimos (Ranked: 49)
Is there really anything that separates Sorenson from Ryan Bomben or Suhk Chung or any other interior Canadian offensive lineman? Ranking him instead of someone like Brandon Whitaker or Abdul Kanneh is just wrong.
Odell Willis, Edmonton Eskimos (Ranked: 31)
Does Odell Willis get publicity because he is still a great player or because he is a great quote? His numbers have been in decline every year since 2014 and he is no longer the feared pass rusher he was half a decade ago. He is still a good player, but I don’t think he is one of the league’s 50 best.