CFL draft profile: linebacker Bailey Feltmate, Acadia

Photo courtesy: Axemen Athletics

Bailey Feltmate

Height: 6’2
Weight: 229
Hometown: Moncton, N.B.
Twitter: @BaileyFeltmate

Statistics: 31 games, 203 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries

Feltmate was a tackling machine with the Axemen, chasing down opposing ball carriers from well-selected angles of pursuit. His football career almost didn’t happen, however, with other sports taking priority during his childhood.

“I was big into hockey and volleyball growing up,” said Feltmate. “Hockey was my main sport. When I came into high school, I was still playing high-level provincial hockey and was hoping to go far in that.”

After starting grade nine at Moncton High School, the football coach approached Feltmate and asked him to join the team. The Kinesiology major joined as a member of the practice squad, unable to commit beyond that due to his busy hockey schedule.

Feltmate’s priorities changed the following year with hockey taking a backseat to football.

“In grade 10, I became a starter at linebacker. Ever since then it’s been the same — trying to grind through practice and make a starting position. I’ve loved it ever since.”

Feltmate was born and bred on the east coast, a place where U Sports football is sometimes overlooked. The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference hasn’t produced a Vanier Cup participant since 2007 with teams struggling to advance beyond the national semi-final round of playoffs. The Axemen went 8-0 in 2019 before losing 38-0 to the University de Montreal in the Uteck Bowl, Acadia’s first inter-conference opponent of the year.

“I originally was going to try and get out of the east coast. I wanted to broaden my horizons, so I visited some other schools. I enjoyed them a lot, but I got this gut feeling when I visited Acadia. I knew right away that this was going to be my new home. I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Credit: Axemen Athletics

Feltmate has seen just two live CFL games, both of which were held in Moncton as part of the league’s Touchdown Atlantic initiative. He’s looking forward to joining one of the league’s nine teams after draft day and believes his work ethic will set him apart.

“My true, honest, genuine self with complete effort. My effort is like no other. I think that I can outwork anybody on the field. I’m very confident in the effort that I put forth because of how I grew up, always wanting to be on top.”

CFL teams would be wise not to write-off Feltmate’s gaudy production based on where he went to school. He should contribute heavily on special teams as a rookie with the possibility of developing into a starter at the professional level. The 2019 Tony Proudfoot Trophy winner has the size to play middle linebacker in the CFL, but also has the athleticism to slot in at weak-side.

Feltmate is big, athletic, violent, and versatile. What more can you ask for in a linebacker?

Anonymous quote from a CFL scout: “I’m skeptical of guys who chew up tackles in the AUS but Feltmate looks the part. He’s got legit size and covers ground pretty well.”

Projected round: 2-3

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.