The CFL scouting bureau is a fickle thing.
In my years covering the draft, I’ve come to learn how teams can manipulate the list to artificially raise or lower a player’s stock. Doing this potentially allows teams an advantage on draft day as they target specific prospects in certain rounds.
This was clearly the case with Kwaku Boateng.
The six-foot-one, 235-pound defender lacked the optimal length teams covet in their edge rushers. He was the No. 2 rated prospect in the first set of the 2017 CFL scouting bureau rankings and fell to No. 12 by the final set.
The Wilfrid Laurier University product ended up being the No. 41 selection on draft day, going to the Edmonton Football Team in the fifth round.
It’s clear that nobody truly saw Boateng as a top prospect — had a team truly coveted him, he’d have gone far sooner. He was listed by the scouting bureau as a decoy — someone who an under-prepared team could be fooled into selecting early.
Nine defensive linemen were selected ahead of Boateng in the 2017 CFL draft: Faith Ekakitie, No. 1; Connor McGough, No. 4; Randy Colling, No. 6; Junior Luke, No. 7; Fabion Foote, No. 12; Evan Foster, No. 19; Kay Okafor, No. 21; Eli Ankou, No. 26; and Justin Vaughn, No. 38.
Ekakitie and Colling flamed out of the CFL quickly and were released after one season with their respective teams. Foster and Vaughn are also no longer in the league, while Ankou has remained under contract in the NFL with Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Dallas.
McGough, Luke, and Foote are still active players but none have developed into consistent starters and all have changed teams. Okafor remains with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats but was converted to the offensive line as a rookie.
That leaves Kwaku Boateng as easily the most impactful defensive lineman selected in the 2017 CFL draft. He was the tenth one off the board, but that hasn’t stopped him from achieving greatness.
The 25-year-old has recorded 68 total tackles, 21 sacks, and one forced fumble through three seasons with Edmonton. He signed a two-year rookie contract before tripling his income on the two-year extension he signed in February 2019.
Boateng was slated to become a free agent again in February 2021, but Edmonton paid over $200,000 to retain his services. The made Boateng the highest-paid national pass rusher in the CFL and cemented his status as a legitimate ratio-breaker.
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.
34. QB Vernon Adams Jr., Montreal Alouettes
35. DB Nick Marshall, Saskatchewan Roughriders
36. DB Aaron Grymes, B.C. Lions
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