With the 2018 CFL combine in the books, it’s time to take a look at which prospects may end up where and why.
1. Montreal Alouettes — REC Mark Chapman, Central Michigan
Montreal uses the first overall pick to select the most pro-ready national receiver the draft has seen in years. Capable of starting right away, there are some who feel Chapman would be a top-ten Canadian receiver (or even top five) in the CFL as a rookie.
2. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DB Godrey Onyeka, Wilfrid Laurier
The Ticats add a national defensive back who closely resembles former second-round pick Courtney Stephen in frame (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and ability to play safety, cornerback, and special teams. The Ticats need to add to the offensive line, but the club’s insane number of selections (five in the draft’s first 20) will allow them to address that need later on.
3. B.C. Lions — OL Dakoda Shepley, UBC
The Lions go local to select the top offensive lineman in the draft who is expected to be in the CFL next season (ie. a “now” player). Shepley has all the physical tools to be an excellent blocker up front and should contribute immediately for the league’s most offensive line-needy club.
4. Ottawa Redblacks — OL Ryan Hunter, Bowling Green
Ottawa grabs the draft’s first ‘futures’ pick in Hunter out of Bowling Green. Already employing ten Canadian offensive linemen, Ottawa will be able to wait and see how Hunter’s NFL opportunities play out before he comes north.
5. Saskatchewan Roughriders — REC Rashaun Simonise, Calgary
This is a match made in heaven. The Canadian Duron Carter joins the original Duron Carter in Riderville where his athleticism and natural ability will be most coveted.
6. Edmonton Eskimos — OL Trey Rutherford, UConn
The Esks use their existing depth along the offensive line to make a futures pick in Rutherford. He has the potential to play tackle at the CFL level, a fit for an Edmonton squad looking to start four (and possibly eventually five) Canadians up front.
7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — OL Mark Korte, Alberta
A violent throwback offensive lineman with intangibles, Korte perfectly fits the Bombers’ mold. The most athletic lineman available in this year’s draft, Korte will be given time to continue developing his frame before one day entering the starting line-up.
8. Calgary Stampeders — OL Ryan Sceviour, Calgary
The Stamps go local to grab an underrated lineman with quicks and a pro-ready body. Calgary has had awful luck recently with Canadian hogs leaving the league due to NFL opportunities (Brett Jones) or health concerns (Brander Craighead, Karl Lavoie), so they understand how critical it is to continue building depth up front.
9. Toronto Argonauts — OL Andrew Pickett, Guelph
The Argos get one of the most pro-ready linemen available in this year’s draft, continuing to replenish the club’s impressive depth along the offensive line. Pickett projects as a CFL guard.
10. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — REC Daniel Petermann, McMaster
The Ticats missed out on McMaster’s Danny Vandervoort one year ago and they won’t let another local pass catcher get away. Petermann is the fastest receiver available in this year’s draft class and the Tabbies are hungry for some national depth at receiver.
11. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DL Julien Laurent, Georgia State
Hamilton adds the top interior defensive lineman in the class to a unit that already includes all-star Ted Laurent (no relation) and second-year man Justin Vaughn. Laurent is seen by many scouts as a starter in no more than one or two years down the road.
12. B.C. Lions — OL Peter Godber, Rice
Ed Hervey has a good relationship with player agent Johnathon Hardaway, meaning he may be more forgiving of Godber’s combine stunt than others. Talent-wise, this pick is a slam dunk for a Lions team that desperately needs to add to the offensive line.
13. Ottawa Redblacks — DB Jackson Bennett, Ottawa
Bennett brings his pro-ready frame (5’11, 212), speed, and quicks to an Ottawa team that is desperate for depth behind starting safety Antoine Pruneau. The fact that Bennett is an Ottawa product is just gravy.
14. Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Darius Ciraco, Calgary
The Riders grab the best available offensive lineman to continue fleshing out their depth behind starters Brendon LaBatte, Dan Clark, and Peter Dyakowski, all of whom will be over thirty by the start of the regular season.
15. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — RB David Mackie, Western
A smooth pass-catching fullback, Mackie will contribute on offence with the Ticats after a season or two on special teams. Mackie is also an excellent long snapper, a role the Ticats need filled.
16. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — REC Marco Dubois, Laval
Dubois brings his tremendous frame (6’4, 217) to a team that is looking for depth after deciding to start two Canadian receivers this season. The Laval product will make his money out of the gate by contributing on special teams.
17. Calgary Stampeders — DB Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, Wilfrid Laurier
Guzylak-Messam will play special teams in the CFL right away while also providing depth behind new starting safety Tunde Adeleke. The sky’s the limit for the ultra-athletic Guzylak-Messam who some feel has the potential to one day play field-side cornerback.
18. Toronto Argonauts — DB Jordan Beaulieu, Western
The Argos add some much-needed depth at defensive back behind oft-injured safety Jermaine Gabriel and an aging Matt Black. There are some scouts who feel Beaulieu is worth a first-round pick.
19. Montreal Alouettes — DL Bo Banner, Central Washington
Montreal gets the player who is generally considered to be the best pass rusher in the draft in the American-born Banner. There are some concerns about his slight frame (6-foot-3, 225 pounds), but he’ll contribute on special teams immediately and fill in behind starting defensive end Jamaal Westerman.
20. Hamilton Tiger-Cats — OL Arnaud Gendron-Dumouchel, Montreal
You can’t teach size and Gendron-Dumouchel has that in spades (6-foot-9, 310 pounds). He lacks polish at the moment, but with above-average athleticism for a big man, the Tabbies will be able to bring him along slowly.
21. B.C. Lions — LB Mickael Cote, Concordia
The Leos get the best linebacker available in the draft’s weakest position group. Cote moves well for his frame (6’3, 225) and should bring some explosiveness to the Lions’ special teams units.
22. Ottawa Redblacks — DL Brett Wade, Calgary
Wade joins free agent additions Michael Klassen and Daryl Waud in Ottawa where the trio will hope to fill the void left by Zach Evans. Wade doesn’t have the highest ceiling — he’s already in his mid-twenties — but should be able to contribute right away.
23. Montreal Alouettes — DL Mathieu Breton, Bishop’s
A physical specimen at 6-foot-8, 275 pounds, Breton will likely be moved to the offensive side of the ball after draft day. Switching positions takes time, but a player with Breton’s frame and athleticism is worth developing over the long haul.
24. Toronto Argonauts — OL David Knevel, Nebraska
Arguably the best player available in this year’s draft falls into the third round as a futures pick. Knevel has the potential to play an exterior spot at the CFL level and could be the heir apparent to Argos’ right tackle Chris Van Zeyl.
25. Calgary Stampeders — LB Micah Teitz, Calgary
An athletic local product with a solid frame (6’2, 229), Teitz immediately makes an impact on the Stampeders’ special teams units.
26. Winnipeg Blue Bombers — OL Justin Lawrence, Alberta
The Bombers already got Lawrence’s teammate in Mark Korte, so why not double-dip? Lawrence solidifies Winnipeg’s depth along the offensive line for a club that is looking to increase the number of Canadians they start in the trenches.