The CFL combine 1-on-1 scorecard

After the CFL combine in late March, 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Drew Edwards and John Hodge went back and watched the one-on-one sessions involving the offensive and defensive lineman, the receivers and defensive backs as well as the running backs and linebackers.

While watching each match up – sometimes several times – we assigned a win, loss or tie to each player depending on the outcoming of the rep and, in the case of the skill positions, registered any relevant stats (catches, interceptions etc.)

This is, of course, a subjective exercise and so keep that in mind when reviewing these numbers. That said, the grades give a pretty good indication of the performances at the combine.

Up first, the offensive linemen. These marks are for the pass rush drill: there was a run blocking session but it was virtually impossible (if you’re Edwards) to determine winners and losers. The pass rush drill notoriously favours the defence as they have unlimited time and space while not having to respect the run.

Dakoda Shepley, who had an excellent combine overall, had the best record among offensive lineman. He also took the most reps. While the players more or less go in rotation for the first part of the drill, scouts and coaches request specific matchups in the latter part: Shepley and Mark Korte were certainly on display. We assigned a win, loss or draw for each snap.

OL
No. Name School Record
58 Dakoda Shepley UBC 4-2-3
55 Justin Lawrence Alberta 2-2-2
50 Arnaud Gendron-Dumouchel Montreal 2-2-1
57 Ryan Sceviour Calgary 2-1-2
52 Darius Ciraco Calgary 1-1-1
57 Andrew Pickett Guelph 1-4-0
54 Mark Korte Alberta 0-5-3
51 Sam MacMillan Toronto 0-4-1

Among the defensive lineman, Bo Banner showed plenty of quickness and polish in his pass rush ability while Brett Wade won some battles early – including a memorable one against Shepley – before fading late.

DL
No. Name School Record
90 Bo Banner Central Washington 4-1-2
97 Brett Wade Calgary 4-4-2
96 Kene Onyeka Carleton 4-2-1
95 Norvell McGlaun Indiana State 3-2-1
92 Mathieu Breton Bishop’s 2-1-3
93 Rashari Henry Wilfrid Laurier 2-0-4
47 Khadim Mbaye Ottawa 3-1-0

The one-on-ones between the receivers and defensive backs favours the offensive player who has unlimited space and time to execute his route. That said, Mark Chapman put on a display, winning the majority of routes and making four catches. It’s worth noting that there was an obvious disparity in the quality of the quarterbacking: while Noah Picton was reasonably accurate and on time with the football, Christian Strong was erratic on both counts. Again, some players – Chapman and Rashaun Simonise in particular – got lots of reps.

REC
No. Name School Record Catch Drop
80 Mark Chapman Central Michigan 7-1-2 4 0
86 Rashaun Simonise Okanagan Sun 3-2-5 2 2
81 Justin Buren Simon Fraser 3-0-3 4 0
84 Daniel Petermann McMaster 3-0-3 4 1
83 Étienne Moisan Laval 3-2-1 3 0
88 Marco Dubois Laval 3-1-2 2 0
82 Archelaus Jack Saint Mary’s 2-5-2 2 0
3 William Watson UBC 2-2-2 3 1
32 Atlee Simon Regina 2-2-2 1 0
87 Harry McMaster Western 1-0-4 2 0
34 Alex Taylor Western 0-1-2 1 0

Godfrey Onyeka, the six-foot-two, 208-pound defensive back from Wilfrid Laurier was the most popular defensive back, registering a whopping 13 reps and performed reasonably well with a winning record and an interception. There’s a reason he was ranked at No. 6 among all prospects coming in.

DB
No. Name School Record KD INT
25 Godfrey Onyeka Wilfrid Laurier 6-5-2 1 1
24 Royce Metchie Guelph 3-3-2 1 FF 1
21 Isaiah Guzylak-Messam Wilfrid Laurier 2-4-5 2 0
26 Jordan Beaulieu Western 2-4-3 1 0
20 Jackson Bennett Ottawa 1-1-3 2 0
23 Dagogo Maxwell UBC 1-3-3 0 0
27 Justin Howell Carleton 1-4-2 1 0
28 Jacob Firlotte Queen’s 0-2-5 1 0
22 Brandon Jennings Acadia 0-3-1 0 0

Yes, this drill favours the offensive player but that doesn’t fully explain the dominance by the running backs over the linebackers. Atlee Simon and Alex Taylor were both spectacular.

RB
No. Name School Record Catch Drop
32 Atlee Simon Regina 8-0-0 2 0
34 Alex Taylor Western 6-0-1 4 1
33 Ryder Stone Dartmouth 4-3-0 4 0
30 Chris Amoah Laval 2-2-3 4 0
4 Tanner Green Concordia 0-1-3 2 1

But this group of linebackers, with the exception of Jean-Gabriel Poulin, also underachieved. This class of LBs is not thought of as a particularly strong one and the combine showed us one of the reasons why.

LB
No. Name School Record INT KD
43 Jean-Gabriel Poulin Western 2-0-1 0 0
20 Jackson Bennett Ottawa 2-3-0 0 1
46 Eric Mezzalira McMaster 1-1-1 0 1
40 Sean Harrington Michigan State 1-2-0 0 0
7 Paul Kozachuk Toronto 0-0-3 0 0
44 Boston Rowe Calgary 0-1-1 0 0
47 Khadim Mbaye Ottata 0-2-0 0 0
40 Mickael Cote Concordia 0-3-0 0 0
 42 Nelkas Kwemo  Queen’s 0-4-0 0 0