DUNK: Ten players to know from CFL neg lists

While there are a number of well-known pro and college stars on CFL neg lists – Baker MayfieldColin KaepernickLamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III to name a few – there were a number of intriguing rising names included in Wednesday’s release of 10 players from each team.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 10 best from west to east: one from each team and a wild card player.

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B.C. Lions
Shea Patterson, QB
Current status: Junior at the University of Michigan

Patterson led the Wolverines to a 10-2 record and the Peach Bowl during 2018 throwing for 2,364 yards, 21 touchdowns against five interceptions with a 65 per cent completion rate while rushing 66 times for 268 yards and two touchdowns in Jim Harbaugh’s balanced offence.

Harbaugh, who has been a head coach in the NFL, believes Patterson will shine in the pros as it’s expected he will declare as an underclassman for the draft.

Edmonton Eskimos
Ameer Abdullah, RB
Current status: Playing for the Minnesota Vikings

Abdullah was a standout for the University of Nebraska which got him selected in the second round, 54th overall of the 2015 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. The Lions waived the 25-year-old in November and he was claimed by the Vikings.

Over four NFL seasons, Abdullah has amassed 1,251 rushing yards, 420 receiving yards, 1,363 return yards and nine total touchdowns. With a versatile skillset, Abdullah would fit the CFL game well.

Calgary Stampeders
Jaelen Strong, REC
Current status: Free agent

Strong recorded 2,287 yards and 17 touchdowns during two seasons at Arizona State University and the NFL took notice: the Houston Texans selected Strong in the third round, 70th overall in the 2015 NFL draft. During three seasons with the Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, Strong caught 31 balls for 330 yards and four touchdowns. But a torn ACL in December 2017 led to his release last April by the Jags and Strong has been a free agent ever since.

Strong’s size (six-foot-two, 217 pounds) and measurables (4.40 speed and 42-inch vertical) are excellent.

Saskatchewan Roughriders
Ian Book, QB
Current status: Junior at the University Notre Dame

Book took over the Irish’s starting QB job in the fourth game of the 2018 season, helping them to a perfect 12-0 regular schedule and into the college football playoff for a shot at the national championship. He has passed for 2,468 yards, 19 touchdowns against six interceptions and rushing 78 times for 250 yards and four touchdowns.

The six-foot, 203-pound pivot could be an appealing talent fo CFL purposes.

Winnipeg Bombers
Eric Barriere, QB
Current status: Redshirt sophomore at Eastern Washington University

The dual-threat quarterback assumed the Eagles No. 1 job four games into the 2018 season, leading the Eagles to an 11-2 record while twice scoring 70 or more points in a game and securing an FCS playoff berth. Barriere has 2,450 total offensive yards and 24 touchdowns while starting just eight games.

Barriere’s inclusion is noteworthy because he plays at the same school that produced star CFL quarterbacks Matt Nichols and Bo Levi Mitchell.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Tua Tagovailoa, QB
Current status: Sophomore at the University of Alabama

Tagovailoa came off the bench to lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory in the 2018 NCAA national championship game, earning the starting quarterback job as a true sophomore. This season, he’s thrown for 3,353 yards, 37 touchdowns against four interceptions while guiding Bama to a 13-0 record and No. 1 spot in the college football playoff.

The 20-year-old is highly regarded by NFL scouts for the 2020 draft.

Toronto Argonauts
Charcandrick West, RB
Current status: Playing for the Kansas City Chiefs

West went unselected in the 2014 NFL draft from Abilene Christian University, but he carved out a role in the pros down south. West’s pure speed (4.27 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (41-inch vertical) are the main reasons why. The 27-year-old is in his fifth season with the Chiefs accumulating 1,551 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns.

Putting those measurables to use on a CFL field could be fun to watch.

Ottawa Redblacks
Chase Litton, QB
Current status: Kansas City Chiefs practice roster

Litton was a prolific NCAA quarterback at Marshall University throwing for 8,332 yards and 72 touchdowns. Despite going unselected in the 2018 NFL draft, the six-foot-six, 232-pound pivot made the Kansas City practice roster after training camp.

Prototypical pocket passers can have success in the CFL if very accurate.

Montreal Alouettes
Knile Davis, RB
Current status: Free agent

Davis has a 1,000-yard rushing season on his collegiate resume at the University of Arkansas in the SEC. The 27-year-old was selected in the third round, 96th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 NFL draft and spent three seasons in KC before bouncing around to the Packers, Jets, Steelers and Bears. He was released by Chicago after 2018 training camp and is currently a free agent. Davis has 1,076 offensive yards and 12 touchdowns with another 1,960 return yards and two kick return touchdowns.

There are multiple ways Davis could be productive in the three-down brand of football.

Wildcard
Montreal Alouettes
Braxton Miller, QB-REC

Current status: Philadelphia Eagles practice roster

While starring at Ohio State University, Miller passed for 5,295 yards, 52 touchdowns against 17 interceptions adding 3,314 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns on 603 carries (5.4 yards per carry average) and 26 catches for 341 yards and three touchdowns.

Miller was selected in the third round, 85th overall by the Houston Texans in the 2016 NFL draft as a receiver. The 26-year-old made 34 grabs for 261 yards and two touchdowns in Houston until being released after 2018 training camp. Nine days later the Eagles put Miller on their practice squad.

Miller would be a tantalizing addition to any CFL roster as a versatile playmaker.

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