The B.C. Lions added seven Canadian prospects in Thursday’s CFL draft.
It all began when general manager Ed Hervey traded for the top choice with the Calgary Stampeders to land the first overall pick, selecting linebacker Jordan Williams out of East Carolina University.
Williams enjoyed a remarkable four years with the Pirates, recording 252 total tackles, four pass breakups, three pass knockdowns plus a fumble recovery. The native of Fayetteville, North Carolina attended a 2019 CFL free agent camp with the Ottawa Redblacks where he learned about the potential to become a Canadian citizen and enter the draft.
“It’s an honour for me to not only go number one, but to be selected by such a great organization. The chance to play with such a talented group of linebackers will further help my transition to the pros,” Williams said.
“To be able to get the number one player on our board was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Hervey said. “He checks all the boxes. He’s fast, he’s physical and he has the ability to impact the position right away.”
With their second round selection, 15th overall, B.C. selected Ohio University quarterback Nathan Rourke. The native of Oakville, Ontario established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in school history, throwing for 7,457 yards and 60 touchdowns in three seasons while rushing for 2,639 yards and a remarkable 49 touchdowns.
He capped off his college career by leading the Bobcats to a third straight Bowl game victory as they took down Nevada in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Rourke also tied Jesse Palmer as the highest drafted Canadian quarterback in CFL history.
The Lions then turned to the defensive line in round three, nabbing Court Hammond with the 23rd pick. Hammond appeared in 26 games over four seasons at Western Oregon and racked up 40 total tackles to go along with four sacks.
With their two fifth round picks, the club selected offensive lineman Matt Guevremont at 40th overall and followed it up by taking Acadia receiver Cordell Hastings with the 43rd pick.
Guevremont spent his final college season at Indiana of PA and suited up in all 11 games. Hastings caught 121 passes for 2,047 yards and 17 touchdowns in 32 games with the Axemen.
In round seven, they focused on the ground game by taking York running back Kayden Johnson with the 57th selection. In 25 games with the Lions, Johnson rushed for 1,182 yards and six touchdowns while adding 34 receptions for 390 yards and one touchdown catch.
They rounded out the evening with the selection of York linebacker Damian Jamieson. He appeared in 29 games with the Lions, recording 99 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.