Five players fell completely out of the final scouting bureau rankings before the CFL draft.
While that could mean that some players have seen their stock fall after the CFL combine in late March, there are other factors too. Let’s go through them.
David Brown, OL, Western
The reason for Brown falling off the list is purely injury: he suffered a torn ACL in the Vanier Cup in the first half, but finished the game. Brown is a highly regarded talent and if not for the knee setback he would be among the top tier of lineman in the draft. The London, ON native was a first-team All-Canadian tackle on a dominant Mustangs team that won the 2017 Vanier Cup. Western finished the 2017 regular season as the highest scoring team in the nation with an average of 48.3 points per game and put up over 65 points per contest in four playoff games, Brown was a stalwart and leader on a road-grading offensive line.
Brown was among the final names in the discussion to attend the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in Florida. That gives you an idea as to the type of talent Brown can be at the pro level. Whoever is willing to be patient with Brown rehabbing from injury is going to get a great value and steal in the draft. Teams should be asking what can Brown do for you?
Alex Taylor, RB, Western
Combine testing hurt Taylor’s standing among talent evaluators. The 5-foot-9, 202-pound running back ran a slower than expected laser-timed 40 (4.90). Just from a pure comparison standpoint, Dartmouth running back Ryder Stone just a little bit bigger than Taylor, less than an inch taller and two pounds heavier, was stronger, faster, quicker and more explosive in the testing events.
And then scouts went back to the tape and did some more homework, math in particular. Taylor has always been productive when on the field but as one scout pointed out the average yards gained per carry stayed relatively the same whether it was Taylor running the rock or another back at Western.
Taylor does flash open field ability, but the latest equation is not in his favour.
Christopher Amoah, RB, Laval
Physically, Amoah looks the part of a pro back. However, scouts are having a difficult time finding consistent examples where his athleticism transfers over to sustained production on the field. That was never going to change with one combine. The emergence of prospects meeting the pro standards from the testing numbers who have film to back it up is more the cause of Amoah sliding out the top 20.
Kene Onyeka, DL, Carleton
Onyeka’s film had evaluators raving before the combine and stating he was the best pass rusher in the draft at the time. The combine numbers were solid, especially considering the defensive lineman weighed in at 244 pounds. It’s the fact Onyeka is going back to university to finish an engineering degree that has him dropping down the board.
Nelkas Kwemo, LB, Queen’s
There seemed to be a decided split among personnel men on Kwemo headed into the CFL combine. One group saw Kwemo as a smooth-moving player that was athletic. The other felt he lacked suddenness, explosiveness and burst to play in the pros. Turns out the latter was proven correct as Kwemo posted the slowest times in the speed and agility drills among all the linebackers at the combine. That could be chalked up to the turf in Winnipeg.