Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

I was asked to submit a ballot for TSN’s top 50 CFL players’ list, which was released last night. Here it is.

  1. QB Mike Reilly, B.C.
  2. QB Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY
  3. DT Micah Johnson, SSK
  4. RB Andrew Harris, WPG
  5. DE Willie Jefferson, WPG
  6. MLB Adam Bighill, WPG
  7. WR Derel Walker, TOR
  8. CB Delvin Breaux, HAM
  9. T Stanley Bryant, WPG
  10. WR Brandon Banks, HAM
  11. C Sean McEwen, TOR
  12. SB Eric Rogers, CGY
  13. HB T.J. Lee, B.C.
  14. DE Ja’Gared Davis, CGY
  15. SB Bryan Burnham, B.C.
  16. G Shane Bergman, CGY
  17. MLB Larry Dean, EDM
  18. DT Ted Laurent, HAM
  19. QB Jeremiah Masoli, HAM
  20. DE Charleston Hughes, SSK
  21. CB Nick Marshall, SSK
  22. T SirVincent Rogers, EDM
  23. SLB Don Unamba, EDM
  24. DT Davon Coleman, B.C.
  25. SB Greg Ellingson, EDM
  26. T Jermarcus Hardrick, WPG
  27. HB Aaron Grymes, B.C.
  28. DT Cleyon Laing, TOR
  29. SB Kamar Jorden, CGY
  30. T Chris Van Zeyl, HAM
  31. HB Ed Gainey, SSK
  32. DE Odell Willis, B.C.
  33. G/C Brendon LaBatte, SSK
  34. SB Brad Sinopoli, OTT
  35. S Taylor Loffler, MTL
  36. WLB Jovan Santos-Knox, EDM
  37. RB William Powell, SSK
  38. MLB Henoc Muamba, MTL
  39. K/P Justin Medlock, WPG
  40. RB Don Jackson, CGY

Below are player totals by team.

B.C., Saskatchewan, Winnipeg & Hamilton — 6
Edmonton & Calgary — 5
Toronto — 3
Montreal — 2
Ottawa — 1

The ballot from TSN requires voters to submit a list of 40 (not 50) names, each of which is assigned a point total. A first-place vote is worth 50 points with each subsequent spot worth fewer points.

There are also positional minimums for each ballot. Voters are required to list a minimum of: five offensive linemen; four defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs; three running backs; two receivers; and one quarterback and kicker.

I found it difficult to meet the minimum threshold for running backs and linebackers. Had I not been required to list four linebackers and three running backs, I would have opted to add an extra defensive lineman and receiver (or two).

Some other thoughts…

I felt strongly about including players who represent every “true” position. My ballot includes: slotbacks and wideouts among receivers; tackles, guards, and a centre among offensive linemen; defensive ends and defensive tackles among defensive linemen; middle, weak-side, and strong-side specialists among linebackers; and cornerbacks, halfbacks, and a safety among defensive backs.

My list includes Kamar Jorden and SirVincent Rogers, both of whom will start the season on the six-game injured list. I don’t care that they’re hurt — they’re two of the league’s best players.

Nick Marshall is entering just his second CFL season but I felt he was worth a spot on this list. He’s the league’s second-best shutdown cornerback — Delvin Breaux has a firm grip on the top spot — and contributes as a quarterback in short yardage situations. That’s value.

Players who would have appeared on my ballot had they not left for the NFL this past winter include: Diontae Spencer, receiver; Duke Williams, receiver; Samuel Eguavoen, linebacker; and Alex Singleton, linebacker.

Among my final “cuts” were: QB Trevor Harris, Edmonton; WR Darvin Adams, Winnipeg; WR Duron Carter, B.C.; SB B.J. Cunningham, Montreal; SB Chris Matthews, Winnipeg; SB Luke Tasker, Hamilton; G Brandon Revenberg, Hamilton; T Joel Figueroa, B.C.; DT Zack Evans, Saskatchewan; DT Almondo Sewell, Edmonton; and S Antoine Pruneau, Ottawa.

Sean McEwen (11), Shane Bergman (16), Jermarcus Hardrick (26), Cleyon Laing (28), Chris Van Zeyl (30), Jovan Santos-Knox (36), and Justin Medlock (39) were the seven players on my ballot who did not make the final list.

What do you think of my ballot? Who’s too high? Who’s too low? Leave me a comment below to provide your feedback.

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John Hodge
John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist in the Jon Gott lookalike contest.