CFL to hold European draft in April

The Canadian Football League will hold a European lottery and draft the next step in the league’s determined effort to add international players to rosters as soon as the 2019 season as part of their CFL 2.0 strategy.

The first overall pick has been determined by lottery which was held on Thursday, April 4 followed by one round of picks on April 11 at 1 p.m.EST. Only prospects who attended the CFL combine in March are eligible to be selected.

European draft order:

  1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
  3. Montreal Alouettes
  4. Edmonton Eskimos
  5. Toronto Argonauts
  6. Saskatchewan Roughriders
  7. BC Lions
  8. Ottawa REDBLACKS
  9. Calgary Stampeders

As part of the 2.0 initiative, 18 global players were invited to the combine for evaluation by talent evaluators from around the league. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie wants two roster spots designated for “global players”, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Ambrosie spent parts of the off-season flying to various international cities – Mexico, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway – to sign partnership agreements with international football organizations.

Players from Germany, Finland, France, Denmark and Italy worked out in Toronto. The European players and affiliated organizations paid for their own flights, but the league covered the hotel rooms and food. And testing results were decidedly mixed.

In January, the CFL and its Mexican league partner held a combine and subsequent draft, which went three rounds.

CFL teams will have three separate 2019 draft classes: Mexicans, Europeans and Canadians.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.