3DownNation top 100 CFL players: No. 36 DB Aaron Grymes, B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

A torn ACL can’t stop some players from reaching the CFL’s top 100 players’ list.

Aaron Grymes remains one of the most impactful defensive backs in Idaho football history. He made 248 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 16 knockdowns, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries with the Vandals, though he failed to secure an NFL contract after his senior year.

That led the six-foot, 185-pounder to sign with the Edmonton Football Team in 2013. He played nine games as a rookie and quickly grew into one of the CFL’s best defensive halfbacks. He made 105 totals tackles, eight interceptions, and one sack over three seasons with the team, being named a CFL all-star and winning a Grey Cup in 2015.

Grymes then made the jump to the NFL, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in February 2016. He was released at the end of training camp but was added to the practice roster seven weeks later and dressed for one regular season game in November. He was placed back on the practice roster and remained with the team through 2017, though he was again cut following training camp.

The Seattle native then rejoined Edmonton where he played another 23 games. He made 94 total tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles before signing a big-money deal with the B.C. Lions as a free agent in February 2019.

Reunited with former Edmonton general manager Ed Hervey and childhood best friend T.J. Lee, Grymes recorded 54 tackles and one interception in 16 games. He suffered a torn ACL near the end of the season, which may have caused him to miss part of the 2020 CFL season had it not been cancelled.

Grymes signed an extension with the Lions in January 2020, which means he’s expected to be back this upcoming season. He will presumably again slot-in at boundary halfback, arguably the most important position in the defensive secondary.

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.

37. LB Larry Dean, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
38. OL Ucambre Williams, Calgary Stampeders
39. DB Ciante Evans, Montreal Alouettes
40. K/P Justin Medlock, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
41. REC DaVaris Daniels, Toronto Argonauts
42. DT Micah Johnson, B.C. Lions
43. OL Shane Bergman, Calgary Stampeders
44. SAM Don Unamba, Ottawa Redblacks
45. DB Ed Gainey, Saskatchewan Roughriders
46. DB Tommie Campbell, Toronto Argonauts
47. LB Adam Bighill, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
48. REC DeVier Posey, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
49. DT Cleyon Laing, Ottawa Redblacks
50. OL Matt O’Donnell, Edmonton Football Team
51. REC Kyran Moore, Saskatchewan Roughriders
52. SAM Kenny Ladler, Free Agent
53. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
54. SAM Dexter McCoil, Free Agent
55. OL Sean McEwen, Calgary Stampeders
56. REC Eugene Lewis, Montreal Alouettes
57. DB Greg Reid, Montreal Alouettes
58. DT Mike Moore, Edmonton Football Team
59. OL Ryker Mathews, B.C. Lions
60. DB Tunde Adeleke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
61. LB Jameer Thurman, Free Agent
62. QB Matt Nichols, Toronto Argonauts
63. DB Jamar Wall, Calgary Stampeders
64. DB Loucheiz Purifoy, Saskatchewan Roughriders
65. REC Lemar Durant, B.C. Lions
66. OL Brendon LaBatte, Saskatchewan Roughriders
67. OL SirVincent Rogers, Edmonton Football Team
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.