CFL free agent positional rankings

We spent the week leading up to free agency ranking every pending free agent by position and nationality.

With free agency now upon us, use this list as a resource to see which players are the top talents at their respective positions.

To see our list of the top 50 players available, click here.

Quarterbacks

Americans




Photo by Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo by Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Antonio Pipkin, Free Agent

Pipkin entered the 2019 season as Montreal’s starting pivot but lost the job to Vernon Adams Jr. after suffering an injury in the team’s first regular season game.

2) Jonathon Jennings, Free Agent

The 27-year-old has regressed since a 5,000-yard season in 2016, tossing for 1,154 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions last year in Ottawa.

3) Dakota Prukop, Toronto Argonauts

The Oregon product has seen limited action through three seasons in Toronto but tossed for three touchdowns on just 18 attempts in 2019.

Best of the rest: Montell Cozart, Calgary Stampeders

Nationals

1) Brandon Bridge, B.C. Lions

The 27-year-old wasn’t signed until late in 2019, passing for 194 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Running backs

Americans

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Don Jackson, Calgary Stampeders

The 26-year-old’s rushing numbers dipped in 2019, but he remains one of the league’s best receivers out of the backfield.

2) C.J. Gable, Edmonton Eskimos

The eight-year veteran is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Edmonton, though his age (32) will limit his options.

3) Cameron Marshall, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The 28-year-old played in just four games last season, but made the most of those appearances by averaging 6.1 yards per carry.

4) Jeremiah Johnson, Montreal Alouettes

The power-rusher ran for a career-high of six yards-per-carry in eleven games in 2019, though he will soon turn 33.

5) Tyrell Sutton, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The eight-year veteran ran for more than 80 yards in three of his six games with Hamilton, including the Grey Cup.

Best of the rest: Terry Williams, Calgary Stampeders; Mossis Madu, Ottawa Redblacks; Martese Jackson, Edmonton Eskimos; Romar Morris, Calgary Stampeders

Nationals

1) Anthony Coombs, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The former first-round draft pick recorded 314 yards from scrimmage on 57 touches in 2019, also scoring two touchdowns.

2) Greg Morris, Free Agent

The 27-year-old had 25 offensive touches for 155 yards with Ottawa last season, though he has since been released.

Fullbacks

Americans

None.

Nationals

1) Calvin McCarty, Edmonton Eskimos

The 13-year veteran continues to perform consistently, though his age (35) will limit his interest on the open market.

Receivers

Americans

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Derel Walker, Toronto Argonauts

The 28-year-old went underused in 2019 but still managed 65 receptions for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns. When healthy — and used properly — Walker is arguably the best receiver in the CFL.

2) DaVaris Daniels, Edmonton Eskimos

The 27-year-old has averaged 63.5 receiving yards per game over the course of his career — he just needs to find a way to stay healthy.

3) DeVier Posey, Free Agent

Cut recently by Montreal to avoid an off-season roster bonus, Posey remains one of the league’s top deep threats.

4) Dominique Rhymes, Ottawa Redblacks

The six-foot-four target was Ottawa’s most productive offensive player last season, making 65 receptions for 1,056 yards and five touchdowns.

5) Luke Tasker, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The seven-year veteran is coming off a down year during which he made only 36 receptions in nine games; still only 29 years of age.

6) Armanti Edwards, Toronto Argonauts

The consistent veteran quietly posted 1,014 yards with the Argos in 2019, though he will turn 32 in March.

7) Naaman Roosevelt, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The 32-year-old had a bounce-back year in 2019, making 77 catches for 946 yards while starting all 18 regular season games.

8) Chris Matthews, Montreal Alouettes

The 30-year-old had a disappointing campaign in 2019, posting just 21 catches for 229 yards between Winnipeg and Montreal.

9) Duron Carter, Free Agent

The 28-year-old was cut by B.C. following the season after posting 67 catches for 614 yards and three touchdowns.

10) Rodney Smith, Toronto Argonauts

It’s hard to argue with six-foot-six, which is the size this Florida State product brings to the receiving corps.

Best of the rest: Ryan Lankford, B.C. Lions; Manny Arceneaux, Saskatchewan Roughriders; Caleb Holley, Ottawa Redblacks; Seth Coate, Free Agent

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Nationals

1) Juwan Brescacin, Calgary Stampeders

The six-foot-four target has the potential to dominate at slotback, but was limited to just four games in 2019 due to injury.

2) Mike Jones, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

His numbers were way down from the 841 yards he posted in 2018, but Jones remains one of the CFL’s best national deep threats.

3) Jimmy Ralph, Toronto Argonauts

The undrafted target flew under the radar with Toronto last year, making 38 catches for 366 yards and one score.

4) Nate Behar, Ottawa Redblacks

The Carleton product’s return home didn’t go as planned in 2019, making just 16 grabs for 169 yards.

Best of the rest: Rashaun Simonise, B.C. Lions; Jacob Scarfone, Ottawa Redblacks; Brian Jones, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; Justin Buren, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; Austin Hartley, Calgary Stampeders

Offensive line

Americans

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Ryker Mathews, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The 27-year-old plays left tackle at an all-star level and has helped secure the blindside of Hamilton’s quarterbacks over the past three seasons.

2) Derek Dennis, Calgary Stampeders

A former CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman who played through injury in 2019, starting 16 games at left and right tackle.

3) Justin Renfrow, B.C. Lions

The 30-year-old helped stabilize B.C.’s offensive line following a trade from Calgary, starting 11 games at right tackle.

4) Thaddeus Coleman, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The six-foot-eight, 320-pounder started all 18 games for the Riders at right tackle last season; he’s a solid blocker, but turns 35 in June.

Best of the rest: Travis Bond, Edmonton Eskimos; Antonio Johnson Sr., B.C. Lions

Nationals

1) Dariusz Bladek, Saskatchewan Roughriders

He started just eight games in 2019 due to a logjam along Saskatchewan’s offensive line, but the Bethune-Cookman product is capable of starting at guard or centre.

2) Ryan Bomben, Free Agent

Released by the Argonauts prior to receiving an off-season roster bonus, the four-time East Division all-star still has some gas left in the tank.

3) Philip Blake, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The 34-year-old started just eight games due to injury but remains a consistent starter at guard.

4) David Foucault, B.C. Lions

The soon-to-be 31-year-old is a serviceable blocker capable of starting at guard or sliding out to tackle in a pinch.

5) Spencer Wilson, Free Agent

Recently released by the Alouettes, the nine-year veteran is capable of filling in at all five spots along the offensive line.

6) Tyler Holmes, Toronto Argonauts

The former East Division all-star is coming off a down year with the Argos, but he may still be able to help a team.

7) Jean-Simon Roy, B.C. Lions

The Laval product would make a nice addition for any team looking to enhance their depth at centre.

8) Josiah St. John, Edmonton Eskimos

The former first-overall pick continues to search for a long-term home having split the 2019 season between practice rosters in B.C. and Edmonton.

Defensive tackles

Americans

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Micah Johnson, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The former CFL all-star is coming off a down year with the Riders during which he recorded 26 tackles and four sacks.

2) Drake Nevis, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The 300-pounder is one of the league’s best run-stoppers, putting up 24 tackles and three sacks in Winnipeg in 2019.

3) Davon Coleman, Toronto Argonauts

The 29-year-old has been a member of three teams over the past four seasons, yet has still posted 127 tackles and 17 sacks.

4) Ryan Brown, Montreal Alouettes

The six-foot-six lineman was relatively quiet in 12 starts in 2019, making 12 tackles and three sacks.

Best of the rest: Lavar Edwards, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Nationals

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Cleyon Laing, Toronto Argonauts

The 29-year-old is a four-time East Division all-star who continues to be one of the league’s best Canadian defensive players. Laing recorded 27 tackles and seven sacks in 15 starts in 2019.

2) Fabion Foote, Montreal Alouettes

The McMaster product made six starts for the Alouettes in 2019, making 15 tackles and one sack.

3) David Menard, B.C. Lions

He wasn’t under contract to begin this past season, but the Montreal product eventually made 12 tackles and two sacks in ten starts.

4) Junior Luke, B.C. Lions

The former first-round pick was relatively quiet in 2019, making nine tackles, one sack, and one interception in four starts.

5) Junior Turner, Free Agent

The 31-year-old is a starter when healthy but has appeared in just 31 games over the past four seasons due to a slew of knee injuries.

Best of the rest: Ettore Lattanzio, Ottawa Redblacks; Mark Mackie, Edmonton Eskimos; Ese Mrabure-Ajufo, Calgary Stampeders; Jabar Westerman, Free Agent

Defensive ends

Americans

1) Chris Casher, Calgary Stampeders

The 26-year-old won a starting job early in the year and went on to record 34 tackles and seven sacks.

2) Shawn Lemon, B.C. Lions

The nine-year veteran continues to get after the passer, making nine sacks between Toronto and B.C. last season.

3) J.R. Tavai, Ottawa Redblacks

The 26-year-old had a quietly productive season with the Redblacks in 2019, making seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

4) Odell Willis, B.C. Lions

The 35-year-old is coming off a down year that he played partly at defensive tackle, making just four sacks.

Best of the rest: Adrian Tracy, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; Tobi Antigha, Toronto Argonauts; Alex Bazzie, Edmonton Eskimos; Ivan McLennan, Calgary Stampeders; Gabe Knapton, Montreal Alouettes

Nationals

1) Connor McGough, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The former first-round pick lacks elite production — he has 47 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one sack in three seasons — but remains just 24 years of age.

2) Jamaal Westerman, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The soon-to-be 35-year-old missed the entire 2019 season due to injury, but has played at an all-star level in the past.

3) Jesse Joseph, Edmonton Eskimos

A five-year veteran with seven sacks over the past two seasons.

4) Bo Banner, Montreal Alouettes

The 24-year-old is a solid contributor on special teams while also serving as a rotational pass rusher.

Best of the rest: Andrew Marshall, Edmonton Eskimos; Cam Walker, Free Agent; Edward Godin, B.C. Lions; Jordan Reaves, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Linebackers

Americans

1) Larry Dean, Edmonton Eskimos

The East Division’s former Most Outstanding Defensive Player had a solid first season in Edmonton, recording 86 tackles and one sack in 18 starts.

2) Justin Tuggle, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The converted defensive lineman put up an impressive 80 tackles, one sack, and one interceptions in 2019 at middle linebacker in the Hammer.

3) Maleki Harris, B.C. Lions

The 27-year-old is coming off a quietly productive season in Vancouver during which he made 67 tackles and one interception despite starting just seven games.

4) Micah Awe, Toronto Argonauts

One of the league’s hardest hitters is coming off a 44-tackle season with the Boatmen during which he also added a sack, interception, and forced fumble.

Best of the rest: Eric Striker, Toronto Argonauts; DyShawn Davis, Saskatchewan Roughriders; Glenn Love, Montreal Alouettes; Marcus Ball, Calgary Stampeders; Korey Jones, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; Ian Wild, Toronto Argonauts

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Nationals

1) Chris Ackie, Free Agent

The athletic 28-year-old made ten starts at weak-side linebacker in 2019, recording 38 defensive tackles.

2) Nick Shortill, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

An underrated veteran who made 36 total tackles and one sack in 16 games with the Ticats in 2019. Shortill is considered a starting-calibre player at weak-side linebacker.

3) Alexandre Gagne, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The third-year man made 19 special teams tackles in 2019 — almost as many as the 23 he put up the year before.

4) Cory Greenwood, Calgary Stampeders

The Kingston native was excellent in 13 starts last season in Cowtown, but he’ll be 35 by the time the season kicks off in June.

5) Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga, Edmonton Eskimos

The Maine product put up only ten special teams tackles in 2019 but has proven he can be a capable contributor on defence in the past.

6) Justin Herdman-Reed, Toronto Argonauts

The 25-year-old started six games in 2019, recording 42 total tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles.

7) Thomas Miles, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The local product dressed for all 18 regular season games with the Blue Bombers, making twelve total tackles.

Best of the rest: Paul Kozachuk, Montreal Alouettes; Frederic Chagnon, B.C. Lions; Nicolas Boulay, Free Agent; Frederic Plesius, Montreal Alouettes; Brandyn Bartlett, Saskatchewan Roughriders; Terrell Davis, B.C. Lions

Defensive backs

Americans

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

1) Patrick Levels, Montreal Alouettes

The East Division all-star played all 18 games at strong-side linebacker last season, recording 86 tackles, five sacks, and two forced fumbles. The 25-year-old covers well and plays well above his weight as a run stopper and pass rusher.

2) Ciante Evans, Montreal Alouettes

The fifth-year man locked things down at field-side halfback for the Alouettes in 2019, making 29 tackles and three interceptions.

3) Anthony Cioffi, Ottawa Redblacks

The 25-year-old was one of few bright spots for Ottawa in 2019, recording 61 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble at strong-side linebacker.

4) Don Unamba, Edmonton Eskimos

The soon-to-be 31-year-old fought through injuries in 2019, but still managed 43 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

5) Monshadrik ‘Money’ Hunter, Edmonton Eskimos

The 24-year-old spent time at safety and boundary halfback in 2019, making 59 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack.

6) Branden Dozier, B.C. Lions

Capable of starting virtually anywhere in the secondary, the physical 26-year-old put up 77 total tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble in 16 games.

7) Richard Leonard, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The 28-year-old started 18 games for the Ticats at field-side halfback, recording 55 tackles, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

8) Josh Johnson, Edmonton Eskimos

The 29-year-old had a bounce-back year in Edmonton, making 43 tackles, two interceptions, and one sack in starts at boundary cornerback, field-side halfback, and field-side cornerback.

Best of the rest: Jonathan Rose, Ottawa Redblacks; Trumaine Washington, Toronto Argonauts; Abdul Kanneh, Toronto Argonauts; Tyquwan Glass, Edmonton Eskimos; Kevin Fogg, Toronto Argonauts; Crezdon Butler, B.C. Lions; Maurice McKnight, Edmonton Eskimos; Chandler Fenner, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; Chris Randle, Ottawa Redblacks

Nationals

1) Arjen Colquhoun, Edmonton Eskimos

He’s struggled to stay healthy over the past three seasons, but the Michigan State product is arguably the best Canadian cornerback in the CFL.

2) Jermaine Gabriel, Toronto Argonauts

The seven-year veteran recorded 39 tackles and two sacks in 12 games last season at safety and strong-side linebacker.

3) Anthony Thompson, B.C. Lions

The 29-year-old is coming off a down year, but he remains one of the league’s few Canadians who can start at cornerback or safety.

4) Courtney Stephen, Calgary Stampeders

The 30-year-old was relegated to backup duty behind Royce Metchie in 2019 but still posted 20 total tackles.

5) Derek Jones, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The six-year veteran had a strong return following an injury-riddled 2018 campaign, recording 21 total tackles and a forced fumble.

Best of the rest: Jay Langa, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; Jeff Hecht, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; Josh Woodman, B.C. Lions; Kevin Francis, Ottawa Redblacks

Kickers/Punters

Americans

None.

Nationals

1) Zack Medeiros, Toronto Argonauts

The 29-year-old posted a decent 32.6 net yards per punt in Toronto and is also capable of contributing as a placekicker.

2) Josh Bartel, B.C. Lions

The 34-year-old posted a 33.4 net-yard average on 73 punts in 2019.

Returners

Americans

1) Terry Williams, Calgary Stampeders

The 27-year-old finished second in the CFL in combined yards (2,147) while also performing spot duty in Calgary’s backfield.

2) Shakeir Ryan, Montreal Alouettes

The 24-year-old only appeared in seven games last season but managed to break a few big plays, including a 101-yard punt return against Saskatchewan.

Nationals

None.

Long snappers

Americans

None.

Nationals

1) Martin Bédard, free agent

Montreal signed free agent long snapper Mike Benson this past week, likely ending the 35-year-old’s eleven-year run with the team.

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