Are you in? Or are you out?
Today is the last day for prospects to opt of the 2021 CFL draft. The option of deferring to 2022 was announced in early November along with a number of changes to the annual pickfest.
Over 75 players have already deferred to 2022, the majority of whom are from U Sports programs. One source indicated that the opt out list could grow beyond 100 players by the deadline at 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday.
That number might seem high, but it’s important to remember that CFL drafts have approximately 500 draft-eligible players each year.
Opting out provides players with the opportunity to gain more experience and film to potentially raise their draft stock. It also means playing another season under scholarship, which is advantageous for players looking to finish their degrees or start graduate programs.
The NCAA announced in August that no fall athletes would lose a year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This complicates the CFL draft.
NCAA players are not eligible for the CFL draft until the completion of their final college season. This means that players who choose not to defer now could still end up in the 2022 draft if they play a second senior season.
This means that U Sports athletes who do not defer as of today’s deadline are guaranteed to be in the 2021 CFL draft. NCAA athletes who do not defer as of today’s deadline could still be moved to 2022.
Based on my conversations with scouts, it is likely that between five and ten of the 25 players featured on the preliminary 3DownNation 2021 CFL draft rankings will opt out.