New Canadian Mark Chapman chipping way up CFL draft boards

Mark Chapman had all 32 NFL and three CFL teams at his Central Michigan pro day and the receiver could be one of the top picks in this year’s draft.

The Alouettes, Ticats and Riders sent scouts to watch Chapman work out in Mount Pleasant, MI. Chapman was timed in the 4.50-4.60 range in the 40, short shuttle 4.30, three-cone 7.07, 60-yard shuttle 11.64, leapt 35.5 inches on the vertical, 10-foot, six-inch broad jump and pumped out 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.

Chapman went through the process of getting paperwork in order last fall – his mom was born in Canada – and now has dual citizenship, meaning he can play in the CFL as a national. That designation and Chapman’s talent could move him into first-round territory in the CFL draft.

“Productive, good route runner who separates on film,” one CFL scout said. “He has the potential to be the best receiver in the 2018 class.”

“Chapman plays fast on film and keeps his top end speed throughout games,” another personnel man added.

Chapman led Central Michigan University with 59 receptions and 875 yards while reaching the end zone five times in 13 games during his senior season. The six-foot, 180-pound pass catcher caught eight balls for 168 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas in the best game of his collegiate career to date which was a 45-27 victory.

The Chippewa’s finished the regular schedule 8-4 and lost to Wyoming in the Idaho Potato Bowl. ESPN colour commentator Tom Ramsey, a former UCLA and NFL quarterback, said he reminds him a little bit of an old Kent State player by the name of Julian Edelman, the Patriots star receiver.

Chapman’s older brother Jarret, who also played for Central Michigan, had a stint in the CFL. After going unselected in the 2015 supplemental draft, he was signed by Hamilton but did not appear in a game. The younger Chapman has the potential to have a longer pro career.

Proven performance in NCAA Division I helps improve a draft grade and Chapman has 147 receptions for 2,035 yards and 10 touchdowns over four seasons with the Chippewa’s. It’s worth noting he was a high school star too, earning Michigan’s Player of the Year honours in 2012 as a dual-threat quarterback.

Chapman has turned into a blue-chip prospect after getting his red and white stamp.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.