CFL combine helps bring Ticats draft board into focus

Even after four long days at the CFL combine in Winnipeg over the weekend, Hamilton Tiger-Cats assistant general and director of Canadian scouting Drew Allemang will get little chance to rest.

With another pile of data and film to go over, Allemang will now begin the process of finalizing the team’s player rankings ahead of the May 3 CFL draft in which they have five of the first 20 selections.

“We were happy with it but I don’t think things drastically changed. We had some questions we had on some guys answered and we have to go get some more information on some other guys,” he said. “We’re still about a week away from putting final grades on players. All of what happens at the combine gets taken into account.”

Held as part of CFL Week, the combine testing was put on in two different locations: the 40-yard dash, agility drills and bench press took place at the convention centre downtown while the one-on-ones were a day later at a nearby indoor field at the University of Winnipeg.

But the turf at the convention centre was a temporary surface installed just for the event and lacked the usual grip of a modern artificial field. That led to slower-than-expected times.

“There was some adversity but that becomes part of the evaluation, how they handle those kinds of things,” Allemang said.

McMaster receiver Daniel Petermann had an excellent weekend, posting the fastest 40-yard time and dominating a number of his one-on-ones on Sunday. Hamilton native Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, a defensive back from Wilfrid Laurier, also saw his stock rise with a strong performance.

Allemang says the nature of CFL Week, which the league plans to move to various CFL cities, poses some logistical challenges for football staff.

“It’s hard to know how exactly it’s going to run when they move it every year,” Allemand said. “But I understand what they are trying to do with it and I think it’s great.”