3Down Power Rankings: Eskimos take top spot

With CFL training camps set to open on Sunday, it’s time for the final off-season edition of 3DownNation Power Rankings.

We did our last edition in mid-March after some of the dust had settled from the CFL free agency period but before the draft and a bunch of other player and coaching moves. And while there’s likely to be some jockeying over the next few days, rosters are coming into focus across the league.

We do our power rankings by having 3Down contributors rank the teams from No. 1 to No. 9. The team with the fewest “points” gets the top ranking, the second fewest is No. 2 and so on.

While our No. 1 team remains unchanged – the Edmonton Eskimos – there has been some shuffling of the deck in the middle of the pack while B.C. and Montreal are still at the bottom and will likely stay there until they prove otherwise.

1. Edmonton Eskimos (Previous ranking: 1)

After squeaking into the top spot in March, Edmonton solidified their hold on the No. 1 ranking this time around. They had a solid draft, locked up their coach and GM to long-term contracts – and they have Mike Reilly at quarterback.

2. Toronto Argonauts (Previous ranking: 3)

The Argos move up on the strength of a solid off-season and the fact that Calgary, who held the No. 2 spot in March, has suffered some unexpected losses in the interim.

3. Calgary Stampeders (Previous ranking: 2)

After losing some big names in free agency, the Stamps must now deal with the unexpected retirement of back up quarterback Andrew Buckley and the legal issues surrounding star return man Roy Finch.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Previous ranking: 5)

The Bombers followed a strong performance in free agency with another solid draft under general manager Kyle Walters. But a big question looms: who backs up quarterback Matt Nichols?

5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Previous ranking: 4)

The Riders nipped the Bombers for the fourth spot in the last edition of the rankings but drop a spot after a draft that included taking offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley, who has a contract with the New York Jets, in the first round despite some questions surrounding their Canadian depth.

6. Ottawa Redblacks (Previous ranking: 7)

The Redblacks had a terrific draft, getting some offensive line depth as well as help at receiver and defensive back.

7. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Previous ranking: 6)

The Ticats drop a spot after dealing away an all-star Canadian offensive lineman and turning their established offensive line into a question mark.

8. B.C. Lions (Previous ranking: 8)

After a disappointing 2017, the Lions will have to show improvement under new general manager Ed Hervey before climbing up the rankings.

9. Montreal Alouettes (Previous ranking: 9)

Despite a solid draft, Kahlil Carter’s sudden departure as defensive coordinator only added to question marks surrounding Montreal. Plus, they still don’t have a proven quarterback…