Draft boards are coming together across the country and that makes it a good time for a mock draft.
Scouts have reviewed the CFL combine in detail and are either completing or have finished final grades on the 2018 class.
Pro day and combine performances have shuffled the deck for round one. The last – and trickiest – piece to the puzzle is forecasting how the NFL draft will affect the elite Canadian prospects. Let’s take a shot at what might shake out based on the information obtained to date.
1) Alouettes – Mark Chapman, REC, Central Michigan
After looking uncoverable in Winnipeg, Chapman seems like a surefire bet to start and produce as a rookie. Mike Sherman is an American offensive mind and scouts are calling Chapman an international player who happens to be Canadian.
2) Ticats – Dakoda Shepley, OL, UBC
There are talent evaluators that believe Shepley is the most athletic and possesses the greatest potential among the linemen available. Comparisons have been made to Jason Lauzon-Seguin who started at tackle as a rookie for Ottawa after going seventh overall in 2016.
3) Lions – Peter Godber, OL, Rice
Godber has started many games at a well respected NCAA Division I program. Battle tested, tough and strong stick out. Six of the nine CFL teams attended his pro day, plenty of interest.
4) Redblacks – Trey Rutherford, OL, UConn
Rutherford’s strong senior season and University of Connecticut pro day surged him up the board – big and fluid athlete. Ottawa tends to select players who are near the nation’s capital and Markham, ON is close enough.
5) Riders – David Knevel, OL, Nebraska
Chris Jones covets many traits and aspects Knevel has on his resume: NCAA Division I pedigree, big and long among others. Knevel could have the chance to play tackle in the CFL.
6) Eskimos – Jackson Bennett, DB, Ottawa
Bennett could be the future at safety for the Eskimos. Versatile defender that should be a demon on special teams instantly. Smooth-moving athlete.
7) Bombers – Ryan Hunter, OL, Bowling Green
Winnipeg can afford to be patient if Hunter gets an NFL opportunity and that’s the only thing pushing him down the board. If he ends up coming north, the value will be worth it: landing the best offensive lineman in the class at number seven.
8) Stampeders – Mark Korte, OL, Alberta
There are a few people around the league worried about Korte’s arms being shorter than ideal length but ask Brett Jones about that. It’s possible to play well and Korte has a deep resume to support the first round choice.
9) Argos – Godfrey Onyeka, DB, Laurier
Onyeka could be used at multiple spots on defence, but it depends on the evaluator or coach: safety, corner or linebacker. Special teams depth and defensive potential make Onyeka an intriguing pick.