It’s that time again — time to grade, analyze, and re-select a CFL draft.

Assessing any draft fairly takes time. The number of factors in determining the quality of a draft class — player development, playing time, coaching, trades, free agency, roster depth, injuries, etc. — is huge. Still, given that the 2014 CFL draft is now five seasons in the past, I feel it is fair to assign each selection a grade.

This is the fourth annual installment of my CFL re-draft series. Click the following links for the 2011, 2012 or 2013 editions.

Keeping with the grading scheme of previous re-drafts, the following scale will be used to rate player selections. Feel free to follow along with the whole draft here.

5 = Perennial all-star

4 = Consistent starter

3 = Situational starter, strong depth player

2 = Special teamer and/or distant depth player

1 = Minimal contributor, has been released

0 = Never appeared in a CFL regular season game

It should be noted that draft grades are only a reflection of the impact each player had with the team by whom he was originally drafted. For example, if John Smith is cut by Team A before ever appearing in a regular season game, Team A would receive a zero for drafting him even if he goes on to become a perennial all-star with Team B.

B.C. Lions

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
2 12 OL Tchissakid Player Northwestern State  1
2 14 RB Pascal Lochard Laval  2
3 27 LB Casey Chin Simon Fraser  1
4 32 DL David Menard Montreal  3
5 41 WR Alexander Fox Bishop’s  0
6 50 DL Dylan Roper Simon Fraser  0
7 59 RB Guillaume Bourassa Laval  0

Tchissakid ‘T-Dre’ Player spent two seasons with B.C., appearing in 21 games and recording one touchdown reception (yes, a touchdown reception) before being released in June of 2016. After brief stints with Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, and Ottawa that same season, Player has spent the last two years out of football.

Lochard appeared in 32 games as the primary back-up to Andrew Harris before leaving via free agency in February of 2016. He carried the ball just three times with the Lions, but made an impact on special teams with sixteen tackles. Lochard spent the 2016 season in Winnipeg (where he served once again as Harris’ back-up) followed by two years in Edmonton where he has recorded 104 rushing yards on 14 carries.

Chin made the Lions’ 46-man roster as a rookie and went on to record eight special teams tackles in 2014. After spending most of the 2015 season on B.C.’s practice roster, Chin joined the Eskimos as a long snapper in 2016 and appeared in nine games. The B.C. native and Simon Fraser product has been out of football for the past two years.

Menard has appeared in 84 of a possible 90 games with the Lions since he was drafted in 2014, appearing as a rotational pass rusher and occasional starter. With 39 tackles, fifteen sacks, and three forced fumbles, Menard has had the best career of any of the defensive ends selected in the 2014 CFL draft.

Fox, Roper, and Bourassa were all cut during training camp and are now out of football. Shoutout to Fox who, in addition to having a very good performance at the combine, donned this outstanding hairstyle for the event.

Edmonton Eskimos

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 6 WR Devon Bailey St. Francis Xavier  2
2 15 RB Aaron Milton Toronto  1
4 30 DB Raye Hartmann St. Francis Xavier  1
6 48 K/P Zach Medeiros Montreal  0
7 57 DL Michael Dadzie Regina  0

Bailey saw his playing time and offensive production gradually decline over his three seasons with the Eskimos (2014-2016). The 6-foot-5 pass catcher signed with Montreal as a free agent in April of 2017, but was released after training camp. Bailey was later added by Saskatchewan where he has appeared in 19 games, catching 15 passes and recording two touchdowns.

Milton appeared in just fourteen games with Edmonton from 2014 to 2016, recording one rushing attempt and two special teams tackles. Milton signed with Saskatchewan in February of 2017 before announcing his retirement just prior to training camp. The Whitby, Ontario native later came out of retirement to join Saskatchewan’s practice roster in August and eventually got into three games as a linebacker (yes, a linebacker), recording two tackles. He did not play in 2018.

Hartmann spent the entire 2014 season on Edmonton’s practice roster before joining the Esks’ active roster in August of 2015. He played in eleven games, recording two special teams tackles. Hartmann would later join the Roughriders in June of 2016, appearing in seven games in recording one special teams tackle.

Medeiros and Dadzie were both cut by the Esks during training camp, though both later found work in Ottawa. Dadzie spent the final two months of the 2014 season on Ottawa’s practice roster, while Medeiros appeared in thirteen games with the Redblacks in 2016 with whom he became a Grey Cup champion.

Calgary Stampeders

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 1 OL Pierre Lavertu Laval  4
1 7 DL Quinn Smith Concordia  2
2 16 LB Max Caron Concordia  1
3 19 OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif McGill  0
3 24 DB Adam Thibault Laval  2
4 34 DL Derek Wiggan Queen’s  3
5 40 K/P Tyler Crapigna McMaster  0
7 61 WR Brian Marshall Western  0

Lavertu learned the ropes from an NFL-bound Brett Jones in 2014 before taking over as Calgary’s starting centre in 2015. An impressive sophomore season earned Lavertu a West Division all-star nod, but that’s when the Laval product’s career took a turn for the worse. Lavertu appeared in just eight games in 2016 due to injury before missing the entire 2017 season due to lingering health issues. He retired prior to the 2018 season at just 28 years of age.

Smith made an immediate impact as a rookie in Calgary, recording seven tackles and a career-high four sacks in just eleven games. The Stampeders announced that Smith would be changing positions following the 2016 season following several successful in-game swaps to the offensive line. Doping infractions and injuries have limited Smith since then, however, with the Concordia product appearing in just 12 games over the past three years.

Caron suffered a torn Achilles in his first training camp in Calgary before suffering the same injury early the following year. Caron finally got into CFL action for two games in 2016, but retired following that season.

Duvernay-Tardif has quickly become one of the most decorated Canadian-born NFL players of all-time. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft by Kansas City, ‘Larry the Canadian’ entered the Chiefs’ starting line-up in just his second season down south. He has since become a full-time starter at right guard and signed a five-year, $41.5 million contract extension in February of 2017. It is safe to assume that Duvernay-Tardif, who is also a certified medical doctor, is never going to play a down in the CFL.

Thibault has been a reliable special teamer for the Stamps since 2014, appearing in 57 games and recording 47 special teams tackles. The Laval product has also seen spot duty at cornerback, recording four defensive tackles.

Wiggan returned to Queen’s for his senior season before re-joining the Stamps in February of 2015. He has since become a key depth piece for a Stampeders’ team that has had veteran defensive tackle Junior Turner out of the line-up for long stints due to injury. Wiggan has 54 tackles and right sacks in 60 career CFL games and is under contract with Calgary through 2019.

Crapigna never dressed for the Stamps, meaning his selection receives a score of zero. The McMaster product was traded at the deadline in 2015 to Saskatchewan along with a third round pick in exchange for all-star running back Jerome Messam and a fifth round pick. Crapigna has successfully booted 76 of 88 career field goal attempts with the Riders but missed the 2018 season due to injury.

Walker never dressed for a CFL game and is now out of football.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
2 11 DL Dylan Ainsworth Western  2
2 18 WR Alex Pierzchalski Toronto  1
3 20 K/P Johnny Mark Calgary  0
3 26 WR Kristopher Bastien Concordia  0
5 39 DB Matt Webster Queen’s  3
5 45 OL Kyle Paterson Regina  0
6 54 LB Travis Bent Concordia  0
7 63 OL Terry Hart St. Francis Xavier  0

Ainsworth was a solid special teamer during his first two seasons in Saskatchewan, recording 29 special teams tackles in 35 contests. The Delta, B.C. native missed the entire 2016 season due to a neck injury before being cut by Saskatchewan in January of 2017. Ainsworth quickly signed with his hometown Lions but never dressed for the team and is now out of football.

Pierzchalski dressed for thirteen games as a rookie, recording one reception for twelve yards. He was offered a spot on Saskatchewan’s practice roster the following season, but declined the offer in favour of joining Ottawa’s active roster. After two unproductive seasons with the Redblacks, Pierzchalski joined the Alouettes with whom he recorded five receptions for 46 yards in five games before announcing his retirement in January of 2017.

Mark was sent back to Calgary for his senior year of U Sports eligibility before seeing his rights traded to Ottawa in February of 2015. Cut by Ottawa, Mark rejoined Saskatchewan for a single game in 2016. He did not register a statistic.

Bastien never dressed for Saskatchewan prior to being traded to Winnipeg as part of the Cory Watson deal. Recording ten receptions for 116 yards with the Bombers in 2015, Bastien was cut the following season in training camp. Bastien would later sign with Saskatchewan and Montreal, though he never recorded another CFL reception.

Webster appeared in 36 games with Saskatchewan — starting many — from 2014 to 2016, recording 32 defensive tackles and 21 special teams tackles. Webster signed with Toronto as a free agent in February of 2017 where he has recorded 16 tackles, 16 special teams tackles, and one forced fumble in 32 games.

Paterson, Bent, and Hart never cracked Saskatchewan’s regular season roster.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 2 OL Matthias Goossen Simon Fraser  5
2 17 LB Jesse Briggs McGill  2
4 29 DB Derek Jones Simon Fraser  3
6 47 OL Quinn Everett Mount Allison  0
7 56 LB Aram Eisho McMaster  0

Goossen, just 21 at the time of his selection, spent his rookie season primarily as the Bombers’ sixth offensive lineman. The Richmond, B.C. native became the club’s starting centre midway through the 2015 season and has yet to miss a game since joining the starting line-up. Goossen was voted by his peers as a CFLPA all-star in 2017 and was a CFL all-star in 2018. He is currently slated to become a free agent in February.

Briggs has appeared in 86 of a possible 90 games with Winnipeg since he was drafted in 2014, recording 18 defensive tackles and 55 special teams tackles. He recently signed a contract extension with the Bombers through 2020.

Jones has appeared in 75 career CFL games, recording eighteen tackles and a sack in spot duty at both cornerback and safety. The Simon Fraser product has also been solid on special teams, recording 42 special teams tackles and six blocked punts (tied for seventh-most all-time).

Everett was moved to the offensive line after joining the Bombers and was sent back to Mount Allison for his senior season in 2014. He was released by the club in 2015 and has since left football in favour of competitive weight-lifting.

Eisho was released in his first training camp with Winnipeg.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 8 LB Beau Landry Western  2
1 9 DL Evan Gill Manitoba  1
5 44 LB Christopher Johnson Toronto  1
6 52 DL Mathieu Girard Montreal  3
6 53 DL Stephen Mawa UBC  0
7 62 DL Martin Pesek Acadia  0

Landry appeared in 36 games with the Ticats, recording 28 special teams tackles and two forced fumbles in Hamilton. Struggling with head injuries, Landry later joined Calgary and Saskatchewan for the 2017 season but appeared in just one game. Landry has since retired from professional football.

Gill’s career has been marred by injuries. Joining the Ticats in 2015, Gill missed his entire rookie season due to injury. Eventually getting into five games between 2016 (four) and 2017 (one), Gill recorded four career tackles before becoming a free agent in February of 2018. Gill was in Toronto’s training camp in 2018 as an offensive lineman but failed to earn a roster spot.

Johnson spent most of the 2014 season on Hamilton’s practice roster, getting into two games and recording two special teams tackles. Out of football for the 2016 season, Johnson signed with Montreal late in 2017. He did not sign a CFL contract for the 2018 season.

Girard was moved to the offensive line after joining the Ticats in 2015. Appearing in eighteen games as a rookie, Girard would eventually start five games at centre in 2016 in place of an injured Mike Filer. Girard retired in April of 2017 at the age of 25 but returned to the Ticats in 2018. He did not see game action.

Mawa and Pesek never dressed for a CFL regular season game.

Toronto Argonauts

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 3 RB Anthony Coombs Manitoba  4
3 21 OL Jaskaran Dhillon UBC  0
4 33 LB Thomas Miles Manitoba  3
4 36 FB Alexandre Dupuis Montreal  2
5 38 DB Eric Black Saint Mary’s  1
5 42 WR Evan Pszczonak Windsor  0
6 51 WR Tore Corrado Simon Fraser  0
7 60 DL Kirby Fletcher Acadia  0

When healthy, Coombs is one of the CFL’s best national skill position players. Recording 997 receiving yards as a slotback over his first 41 career games (2014-2016), Coombs was primed for a breakout season under Marc Trestman in 2017 (49 receptions for 457 yards in ten games) before undergoing shoulder surgery in August. Coombs missed all but two games in 2018, recording 87 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown.

Dhillon spent the 2014 season on Toronto’s practice roster before being released the following June. Dhillon joined the Lions in October of 2015 and went on to play nine games in B.C. from 2016 to 2017. Dhillon is now out of football.

Miles played 40 games for the Argonauts over three seasons with the club, recording 58 defensive tackles, 16 special teams tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Cut following the 2016 season, Miles has spent the past two years in Winnipeg where he’s recorded nine tackles and 26 special teams tackles in 36 games.

Dupuis appeared in 50 games for Toronto from 2014 to 2016, recording 20 receptions, 213 receiving yards, and nine special teams tackles. Dupuis went on to sign with Edmonton where he’s played in 25 games over the past two years.

Black appeared in a handful of games for the Argos as a rookie, but has been out of football since his release in August of 2015.

Pszczonak, Corrado, and Fletcher never appeared in a CFL regular season game.

Ottawa Redblacks

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 4 DB Antoine Pruneau Montreal  4
2 13 WR Scott MacDonell Queen’s  2
3 23 DL Nigel Romick Saint Mary’s  2
4 28 OL Aaron Wheaton Toronto  0
5 37 OL Hugo Desmarais Laval  0
6 46 DL Stephon Miller Windsor  0
7 55 DL Vincent Desloges Laval  1
7 64 LB Alexandre Bernard McGill  0
7 65 LS Kevin Malcolm McMaster  2

Pruneau entered Ottawa’s starting line-up at the strong-side linebacker position immediately after being selected by the expansion Redblacks. Having since taken over Ottawa’s safety spot, Pruneau has been a model of consistency over the past five years. Missing just six games due to injury, Pruneau has recorded 351 combined tackles, eight interceptions, four sacks, three forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown in 84 games with Ottawa. Pruneau was named an East Division all-star in 2017.

MacDonell appeared in 51 games with Ottawa over three seasons with the club, recording fifteen receptions for 221 yards and one touchdown. The Queen’s product spent time with Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and Ottawa in 2017, though he didn’t see action during the regular season. MacDonell did not sign a contract in 2018.

Romick has appeared in 72 contests with Ottawa since his draft year, recording 65 special teams tackles. Romick recently signed a contract extension with the club following the best season of his career (21 special teams tackles in 18 games).

Malcolm appeared in 29 games with Ottawa during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, serving as the team’s long snapper. Released in August of 2017, Malcolm has since appeared in two games with the Ticats.

Desloges appeared in seven games with Ottawa in 2015, recording five combined tackles. He is now out of football.

Desmarais spent the 2014 season on Ottawa’s practice roster, but was released in June of 2015 and has since retired. He is remembered for his outstanding dance moves.

Wheaton, Miller, and Bernard didn’t make it out of their initial training camp in Ottawa.

Montreal Alouettes

Round Pick Position Player Name College Grade
1 5 OL David Foucault Montreal  0
2 10 DB Andrew Lue Queen’s  2
3 22 DL Jeff Finley Guelph  2
4 31 DL James Tuck York  2
4 35 WR Andrew Smith Manitoba  0
5 43 K/P Nick Boyd Manitoba  0
6 49 FB Jean-Christophe Beaulieu Sherbrooke  2
7 58 WR Mackenzie Sarro Calgary  0

Foucault was signed by the Carolina Panthers shortly after the CFL draft and ended up cracking the club’s 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie. Spending two years with the Panthers (2014-2015), Foucault eventually turned his attention to the CFL ahead of the 2017 season. Unable to hammer out a contract with Montreal, Foucault’s rights were traded to B.C. as part of the deal that sent perennial all-star tackle Jovan Olafioye to the Alouettes. Foucault became a regular starter with the Lions in 2018 at guard as part of an improved offensive line.

Lue enjoyed a stellar rookie season in Montreal, recording 23 special teams tackles in 17 games. The Queen’s product then fell out of favour in Montreal, appearing in just five games over the next two seasons before being traded to Saskatchewan in October of 2016. Lue appeared in seven games with Edmonton in 2017 and six games with Ottawa in 2018.

Finley appeared in twenty games with Montreal from 2014 to 2016, contributing ten combined tackles as an Alouette. Signing with Toronto in February of 2017, Finley has recorded 20 tackles, four special teams tackles, and four sacks in 20 games with the double blue.

Drafted as an undersized defensive lineman, Tuck was converted into a fullback in Montreal and appeared in fifteen games with the club as a pure special teamer. After posting eight special teams tackles as an Alouette, Tuck went on to record 22 special teams tackles between Winnipeg (2016), Toronto (2017), and Edmonton (2017). He did not play in 2018.

Beaulieu appeared in 58 games over four seasons with the Alouettes, recording 306 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns, and ten special teams tackles. Traded to Ottawa in January of 2018 for Patrick LaVoie, Beaulieu had a career year in 2018 with 22 receptions for 285 yards and a touchdown.

Smith appeared in a handful of games for Montreal though he never registered a CFL statistic. Boyd and Sarro never appeared in a regular season CFL game.

Final Grades

Team Total Grade Average Grade per Pick Picks still with Team
1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10 2.00 3
2 Calgary Stampeders 12 1.50 3
3 Toronto Argonauts 10 1.25 1
4 Ottawa Redblacks 11 1.22 2
5 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 1.17 1
6 B.C. Lions 7 1.00 1
7 Montreal Alouettes 8 1.00 0
8 Edmonton Eskimos 4 0.80 0
9 Saskatchewan Roughriders 6 0.75 0

As we can see, the overall quality of the 2014 CFL draft class was significantly lower than previous editions of the national pick-fest. It should be noted that the class of 2014 suffered from the discontinued inclusion of redshirt juniors following the 2013 draft. This means that some the players who would have been high picks in 2014 — offensive linemen Nolan MacMillan, Hunter Steward, and Brander Craighead chiefly among them — had already been selected the year prior.

Winnipeg gets the top spot in the standings because they managed to get the most bang for their buck, retaining three of the five players they selected in 2014. Matthias Goossen is the lone two-time all-star in the class, while Derek Jones and Jesse Briggs are solid contributors as well.

Calgary would have finished in first place had Pierre Lavertu’s career not been cut short due to injury. Lavertu was named an all-star two years prior to Goossen’s first nod and it’s likely that he would have earned that recognition again in his career.

Montreal, Hamilton, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan have zero remaining players to show for their 2014 draft classes. Saskatchewan benefited in the trade market from the acquisition of Tyler Crapigna though, as explained in the introduction above, that doesn’t affect his draft grade.

Re-Draft

Knowing what we know now about player development, NFL opportunities, and injuries, here are how the first two rounds of the 2014 CFL draft could have looked.

Round 1, Pick 1: OL Matthias Goossen, Simon Fraser – Calgary Stampeders

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 2 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary is able to wait on Goossen developing behind Brett Jones before seeing him grow into one of the CFL’s best centres.

Round 1, Pick 2: DB Antoine Pruneau, Montreal – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 4 – Ottawa Redblacks

The Bombers desperately need to address their offensive line, but Pruneau is easily the best player still on the board.

Round 1, Pick 3: RB Anthony Coombs, Manitoba – Toronto Argonauts

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 3 – Toronto Argonauts

No need to change a pick that’s worked out well.

Round 1, Pick 4: OL Pierre Lavertu, Laval – Ottawa Redblacks

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 1 – Calgary Stampeders

Even with Lavertu eventually struggling through injuries, Ottawa needs a player who can step into the starting line-up right away.

Round 1, Pick 5: OL David Foucault, Montreal – Montreal Alouettes

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 5 – Montreal Alouettes

This pick may have worked out had the two sides hashed out a deal. Foucault’s a local product and the best player still on the board.

Round 1, Pick 6: DL Derek Wiggan, Queen’s – Edmonton Eskimos

Original draft: Round 4, Pick 34 – Calgary Stampeders

Wiggan provides the Eskimos with a solid rotational player capable of starting at defensive tackle.

Round 1, Pick 7: LB Thomas Miles, Manitoba – Calgary Stampeders

Original draft: Round 4, Pick 33 – Toronto Argonauts

The Stamps get the draft’s top linebacker who doesn’t look out of place at weak-side or in the middle.

Round 1, Pick 8: DL David Menard, Montreal – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Original draft: Round 4, Pick 32 – B.C. Lions

The Ticats grab the best pass rusher in the draft who can also help out on special teams.

Round 1, Pick 9: DB Derek Jones, Simon Fraser – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Original draft: Round 4, Pick 29 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Hamilton gets a well-rounded defensive back with a knack for blocking punts.

Round 2, Pick 10: DL Mathieu Girard, Montreal – Montreal Alouettes

Original draft: Round 6, Pick 52 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Alouettes grab a local product who they can develop following a switch to the offensive line.

Round 2, Pick 11: DB Matt Webster, Queen’s – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Original draft: Round 5, Pick 39 – Saskatchewan

Webster still ends up in Riderville, but does so as a second round pick.

Round 2, Pick 12: DB Andrew Lue, Queen’s – B.C. Lions

Original draft: Round 2, Pick 10 – Montreal Alouettes

The Lions grab Lue for some much-needed depth at safety.

Round 2, Pick 13: WR Devon Bailey, St. Francis Xavier – Ottawa Redblacks

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 6 – Edmonton Eskimos

Bailey falls into the second round where he joins the receiver-needy Redblacks for their inaugural campaign.

Round 2, Pick 14: DL Jeff Finley, Guelph – B.C. Lions

Original draft: Round 3, Pick 22 – Montreal Alouettes

The Leos add an underrated player who helps round out the club’s national depth along the defensive line.

Round 2, Pick 15: FB J.C. Beaulieu, Sherbrooke – Edmonton Eskimos

Original draft: Round 6, Pick 49 – Montreal Alouettes

The Esks snag the best fullback in the class who becomes the highest riser (34 spots) in our re-draft.

Round 2, Pick 16: DL Quinn Smith, Concordia – Calgary Stampeders

Original draft: Round 1, Pick 7 – Calgary Stampeders

Smith still ends up in Calgary, but the Stamps are able to select him nine picks later.

Round 2, Pick 17: DB Adam Thibault, Laval – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Original draft: Round 3, Pick 24 – Calgary Stampeders

With Derek Jones in Hamilton, the Bombers grab Thibault for help on special teams.

Round 2, Pick 18: LB Jesse Briggs, McGill – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Original draft: Round 2, Pick 17 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Saskatchewan completes our re-draft by selecting an athletic special teamer and solid locker room guy.

Comments

John Hodge is a lifelong follower of the CFL who has been writing about the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist of the Jon Gott lookalike contest.