3DownNation top 100 CFL players: No. 65 REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Looking back at the recent history of the CFL draft, there are few players who experienced larger draft day slides than Lemar Durant.

That’s not to say the six-foot-two, 225-pound slotback was a late-round selection. Durant was the eighteenth overall pick in 2015, taken by Calgary after three other receivers — Nic Demski, Jake Harty, and Addison Richards — were already off the board.

Considering his size, talent, testing numbers, and production, Durant had no business falling out of the first round of the draft. He was the best receiver available in 2015 and is considered by many to be the best Canadian receiver in the CFL today.

Durant’s college career started at Nevada where he practiced alongside Colin Kaepernick in 2010. He missed most of the season due to injury and transferred to Simon Fraser so he could play in his home province, joining the team in 2012.

It was then that Durant enjoyed one of the best freshman seasons in the history of NCAA Division II football. He made 91 receptions for 1,318 yards and 17 touchdowns, including a 228-yard performance Dixie State during which he scored four times.

The Vancouver native missed most of the following year due to injury before posting 55 catches for 685 yards and four touchdowns in 2014. He declared for the NFL and CFL drafts at the end of the season, finishing his college career with an average of 104 receiving yards per game.

Durant remains No. 13 all-time in DII history with 7.6 receptions per contest. Players ahead of him include long-time NFLers Eddie Bell and Byron Chamberlain as well as former B.C. Lions’ target Clarence Coleman.

Durant was brought along slowly by the Stampeders as part of a deep receiving corps, making twelve receptions as a rookie. His role grew over four seasons with the team, finishing his tenure with 102 receptions for 1,280 yards and eight touchdowns.

His numbers would have been more impressive had it not been for the torn ACL he suffered in 2017, limiting him to seven games. The slotback’s best moment with Calgary came in the 2018 Grey Cup, during which he was named the game’s Most Valuable Canadian after recording 52 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.

Durant signed with his hometown Lions in 2019 and quickly became a feature piece in Mike Reilly’s arsenal. He posted new career-highs across the board, making 57 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games.

No receiver taken in the 2015 CFL draft has more production than Durant’s 159 receptions for 2,090 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s overcome injuries throughout his career and remains one of the CFL’s best slotbacks regardless of nationality.

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.

66. OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
67. OL SirVincent Rogers, Ottawa Redblacks
68. QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Free Agent
69. DB/RET Frankie Williams, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
70. DB T.J. Lee, B.C. Lions
71. QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
72. SAM Anthony Cioffi, Free Agent
73. DB Shaquille Richardson, Toronto Argonauts
74. REC Kamar Jorden, Calgary Stampeders
75. OL Darius Ciraco, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
76. REC Jalen Saunders, Free Agent
77. QB Dane Evans, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
78. REC Brad Sinopoli, Ottawa Redblacks
79. RET Janarion Grant, Free Agent
80. DE Avery Ellis, Ottawa Redblacks
81. DE Cordarro Law, Calgary Stampeders
82. DB Brandon Alexander, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
83. OL Jermarcus Hardrick, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
84. DB Branden Dozier, Free Agent
85. SAM Otha Foster, Saskatchewan Roughriders
86. DB Antoine Pruneau, Ottawa Redblacks
87. RB John White, B.C. Lions
88. LB Avery Williams, Ottawa Redblacks
89. LB Jovan Santos-Knox, Free Agent
90. DB Richard Leonard, Calgary Stampeders
91. REC Armanti Edwards, Edmonton Football Team
92. RB C.J. Gable, Free Agent
93. DT Mike Rose, Calgary Stampeders
94. REC S.J. Green, Free Agent
95. DB Mike Edem, Saskatchewan Roughriders
96. DE 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

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.