3DownNation top 100 CFL players: No. 95 DB Mike Edem, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Mike Edem has been an all-star in the CFL’s East and West Divisions and today he’s made our list of the top 100 CFL players.

The versatile defender led the Canada West conference with 55 tackles in 2012 as a key part of the Calgary Dinos Hardy Cup-winning team that year. He earned defensive player of the year honours and boosted his CFL draft stock in the process.

After posting strong testing results at the CFL combine, Montreal selected Edem with the third overall pick in 2013. He started 15 games at safety for the Alouettes in his rookie season, recording 47 tackles, nine special teams stops, five sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Edem was one of two rookies to make the East Division all-star team alongside C.J. Gable.

Following one-year stints in Hamilton and B.C., Edem found a permanent home in Saskatchewan. The six-foot-one, 210-pound defensive back flourished in green and white, gaining the trust of then-head coach Chris Jones.

Jones covets versatile players on defence and Edem fits that criteria. Using his 4.56 40-yard speed and 38.5-inch vertical, the native of Brampton, Ont. can cover ground from the deep middle of the field, fly downhill for run support or burst off the edge on the blitz.

If you want to play for Jones, man coverage is a must and Edem provides a variety of different looks for opposing quarterbacks. He can move late to cover down on a slot receiver, ending up as a strong-side linebacker, halfback or linebacker matching up against a running back out of the backfield.

The last two years on the field, Edem has used his unique traits to stack back-to-back career-high tackling seasons. In 2019, he registered 69 tackles, seven special teams takedowns, three sacks and one forced fumble. The voters recognized his talent and importance to Saskatchewan’s secondary by making him the West Division all-star safety.

Even though his birth certificate shows he’s 31 years old, Edem’s been playing at a high level and displayed the juice to keep up with younger play-makers. Blessed with an innate sense for playing football, Edem combines his smarts and quick reaction to be a reliable last line of defence for the best unit in the West from a season ago.

Saskatchewan allowed 386 points — the least in the West — and finished the season No. 1 in the division with a 13-5 mark. Edem was an underrated reason why Saskatchewan’s defence was stingy and his recent performance puts him among the league’s best.

3DownNation is unveiling its list of the top 100 active CFL players, a project that will run through December 31, 2020. To read the criteria for player eligibility, click here. The list to date can be found below.

96. DL John Bowman, Montreal Alouettes
97. DB Taylor Loffler, Montreal Alouettes
98. QB Nick Arbuckle, Ottawa Redblacks
99. ST Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
100. DE Chris Casher, B.C. Lions

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.