B.C. Lions’ negotiation list players: Who are they?

CFL teams have unveiled the latest list of 10 players on their super-secret negotiation lists.

It’s only a small fraction of the ever-changing 45 player lists that each team compiles, but the players that teams choose to reveal is a matter of great interest. Some players are revealed for the positive publicity that a big name will attract, but for others this is a direct message from the club.

Most players aren’t aware that they are on a CFL neg list until they are actively seeking employment in the league, so making a public announcement about a certain player is a way for teams to notify a player of his options north of the border. This would indicate that the team suspects that player’s NFL opportunity may be coming to an end and would like to actively pursue signing them.

So, who are the players on the B.C. Lions’ neg list and what are their CFL chances? I’ve looked into each of the 10 players that B.C. revealed and assessed them below. A special shout-out to fellow 3Down contributor Joel Gasson for inspiring this piece with his own similar write-up on the Riders’ list.

Name: Christian Campbell

Position: Cornerback

Height/Weight: 6’1” / 195 lbs

School: Penn State

Current Situation: Free agent (injured and waived by the New Orleans Saints on July 30)

Scouting report: Originally a 2018 sixth round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, Campbell was a productive one-year starter for a big-time program. He’s extremely long and possesses tremendous reach, which he uses effectively to break up passes. He’s an explosive athlete, he jumped out of the gym with a 41-inch vertical and 11-foot-3-inch broad at his pro day, but he looks clunky in coverage and doesn’t pass the NFL eye test. Campbell works best in off coverage where he can use his reaction skills to break on the ball and doesn’t have to run with smooth-moving receivers.

CFL chances: I’d expect to see Campbell brought in sooner rather than later. After two training camps for two different teams without making a roster, Campbell’s NFL opportunities will be extremely limited. He has a skillset that is well-suited for a CFL defensive backfield and the Lions should be looking to bring him in for depth once healthy.

Name: Kahzin Daniels

Position: Defensive end

Height/Weight: 6’4” / 240 lbs

School: Charleston

Current Situation: In training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Scouting report: Daniels jumps off the screen with his explosive pass rush skills, lightning quick first step and ability to bend the edge. He gets blockers hands off him quickly with decisive moves but also possesses the physicality to hold space in the run game. Daniels has traditional NFL “tweener” size, but a skillset that far exceeds that label. Over his four years at Charleston, Daniels recorded 161 tackles and 34.5 sacks, impressive numbers made all the more extraordinary by the fact he is completely blind in his right eye. This disability seems to have a negligible impact on the field, though that revelation and his small school pedigree may have contributed to his undrafted status.

CFL chances: You’ll have to wait a while for this one. Daniels may be a prototypical CFL player, but he has NFL skills and is currently favoured to win a spot on the Bucs depth chart due to their lack of edge rushers. While a recent knee injury may have put a bit of a wrench into things, I expect Daniels will be in the NFL for at least a couple of years, if not more.

Name: Kyle Dugger

Position: Safety

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 217 lbs

School: Lenoir-Rhyne College

Current Situation: Entering his NCAA senior season

Scouting report: Despite playing at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne University, Dugger recently came in at No. 19 on Bruce Feldman’s annual college football “Freaks List” and it is easy to see why. Watching him on film is almost comical, Dugger is simply bigger, stronger and faster than everyone else on the field. He easily jogs sideline to sideline to track down sprinting runners and looks like a man amongst boys. He’s a heavy hitter but also fleet of foot, with the ability to be a lethal punt returner. Dugger reportedly ran a 4.41-second 40 at the end of his junior year, to go along with a 40-inch vertical, 11-foot broad jump, 20 bench reps and a 6.70-second 3-cone. Those are elite athletic numbers.

CFL chances: Don’t hold out hope here. Dugger would be an incredible CFL addition but players of his athletic skillset don’t slip through the NFL cracks, regardless of where they play. He could end up being a mid-round NFL pick and contending for a starting role down the line.

Name: Koa Farmer

Position: Linebacker

Height/Weight: 6’1” / 230 lbs

School: Penn State

Current Situation: In training camp with the Oakland Raiders

Scouting report: Farmer has been a player without a position for his entire career at Penn State. Part safety and part linebacker, his versatility kept him on the field consistently but cost him his starting role his senior year, causing him to go undrafted. Farmer isn’t quite athletic enough to be a true NFL safety, though he does have 4.48 speed, and isn’t as physical as needed to play linebacker. He has the mobility to cover the whole field however and the ability to contribute in coverage better than most true backers, with enough explosiveness to be a threat as a blitzer. That is a skillset tailor made for the CFL.

CFL chances: There is a good chance you’ll see Farmer up north at some point soon. He seems to be a long shot to make the Raiders and is far more suited to be a CFL linebacker, similar to Calgary’s Nate Holley.

Name: Thomas Ives

Position: Receiver

Height/Weight: 6’4” / 218 lbs

School: Colgate

Current Situation: In training camp with the Chicago Bears

Scouting report: Ives was a two-time second team All-Patriot League receiver despite only recording 53 career receptions for 865 yards and nine touchdowns, which says two things. Firstly, Colgate is not a great passing offence and secondly, opposing coaches have a ton of respect for Ives. He is a big body with a ridiculous set of hands, routinely making one-handed catches with ease. Ives is exceptionally fast for his size as well, running a 4.48-second 40 at his pro day. Like most young receivers from smaller schools, Ives needs to polish his route running but he has all the tools to be a legitimate receiving threat if given the chance.

CFL chances: Ives probably makes his way north at some point. He is in tough to make the Bears roster flush with playmakers but seems to be impressing enough with his local franchise to potentially earn a practice roster opportunity. If that doesn’t materialize, heading to B.C. seems like a logical step especially given their need at receiver. Putting Ives in the CFL slot could create a matchup nightmare for defences.

Name: Shea Patterson

Position: Quarterback

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 202 lbs

School: Michigan

Current Situation: Entering his NCAA senior season

Scouting report: Ranked the 13th best pivot in the NCAA by Pro Football Focus, Patterson is a mobile quarterback that excels at making plays outside the pocket. His arm will never be confused for a cannon, but he throws an accurate football and limits turnover-worthy plays better than most quarterbacks. His skillset is not that of a traditional NFL pocket passer that can dissect a defence from the pocket, but his accuracy and athleticism are good fits for new age systems.

CFL chances: It will be awhile for Patterson, if it happens at all. His play style is much better suited to the CFL game than the American one, but Patterson takes care of the football and has enough connections through Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to be in contention for a Day 2 or early Day 3 NFL pick. Players like that generally last at least a couple seasons down south. He may have made enough money by the time his opportunities wear out to not even consider making the trek north.

Name: Brett Rypien

Position: Quarterback

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 202 lbs

School: Boise State

Current Situation: In training camp with the Denver Broncos

Scouting report: A four-year starter for Boise State, Rypien does most of his playing between his ears. A below average athlete with sub-par arm strength, he has learned to pick apart defences with timing, accuracy and pre-snap reads. Rypien is lethal when finding the open man on short and intermediate routes and his intelligence made him one of the most prolific passers in all of college football. He was surprisingly undrafted in 2019, largely due to concern that his arm strength would prevent him from making tight throws at the next level and make him overly reliant on scheme.

CFL chances: This is a bit complicated. Though he seems to be making a strong push to stick around as the Broncos third stringer this season, Rypien faces an uphill battle to become an NFL regular as an undrafted quarterback. His brand of intelligent reads and accuracy is textbook CFL quarterback material and I see him likely coming north in the next couple years, though probably not with the Lions. This is because Rypien is the nephew of Canadian quarterback Mark Rypien and the son of a Canadian citizen, making him eligible for citizenship himself. If he ever chooses to come north, he would need simply to finish the citizenship paperwork to be entered in to the next CFL Draft. That would override the Lions’ rights on him and make him available to be selected by all nine teams, likely with a high pick.

Name: Nick Tiano

Position: Quarterback

Height/Weight: 6’5” / 240 lbs

School: Tennessee-Chattanooga

Current Situation: Entering his NCAA senior season

Scouting report: With only one season as a starter in the FCS (NCAA Div. 1-AA), Tiano is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He is a prototypical passer with size and an absolutely ridiculous arm. Tiano commands the pocket with authority and can make every throw on the field. The ball comes out of his hand with force and threads through any window he wants it to. Keep an eye on Tiano to have a breakout senior year for the Mocs.

CFL chances: Honestly, I think this is a pipe dream. Nobody is talking about Tiano right now because he plays at the lower level of NCAA football, but he is a legitimate professional quarterback and I would not be shocked if he had a meteoric rise that similar big-bodied, strong-armed, small school quarterbacks have experienced in recent years. I simply don’t see a player of his calibre slipping through the cracks, and if by some miracle he does, the CFL as a whole will be thanking their lucky stars.

Name: Jamarius Way

Position: Receiver

Height/Weight: 6’3” / 215 lbs

School: South Alabama

Current Situation: Free agent (waived by the Denver Broncos on August 5)

Scouting report: Way is a fighter both literally and figuratively. He is a physical player who is a load to bring down but also tends to lose his temper on the field, resulting in penalties. He is bull strong, excels at contested catches, but struggles to separate on longer routes. He needs some time to get up to full speed, but when he does, he is tough to wrap up and just might run through your face before you get the chance to.

CFL chances: I would expect him to make his way north very soon. Having been released before even starting training camp, Way will find it very difficult to catch on with another team without fresh tape. The Lions are a natural fit given their need at receiver and Way will benefit greatly from using the waggle to get up to speed.

Name: Daniel Wise

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6’3” / 285 lbs

School: Kansas

Current Situation: In training camp with the Dallas Cowboys

Scouting report: Quick, slippery and disruptive, Wise went undrafted largely because he is small for an NFL three-technique defensive tackle. While he may struggle a little bit anchoring against bigger guards, he does the most important part of his job extremely effectively: getting up field and wreaking havoc in the backfield. Wise is a low rusher who is a leverage nightmare for blockers and an athletic handful who never stops moving.

CFL chances: Patience may pay off here. Wise is impressing the Cowboys by all accounts, but the Dallas defensive line is so deep that he is hard pressed to get more than a practice roster spot on the team. It takes only a couple of years of practice roster relegation to be forgotten about in the NFL, and if Wise doesn’t get a lucky break, he could be unemployed based solely on the level of talent around him. The Lions should be waiting with open arms if that happens. His size and disruptive pass rushing ability are perfect for the CFL and Wise will be aware of this option as his father, Deatrich Wise Sr., briefly played for B.C. in the early 1990s.

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