10. DE Charleston Hughes, Saskatchewan Roughriders
There aren’t many pass rushers who remain dominant in their late-thirties, but most players aren’t Charleston Hughes.
The six-time CFL all-star has led the league in sacks five times, including each of the past four seasons. He won two Grey Cups with the Calgary Stampeders before being traded away in February 2018, ending up with Saskatchewan.
Hughes has remained an elite talent since, posting 85 tackles, 31 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and two touchdowns in 34 regular season games.
The Michigan native remains a pending free agent and is set to hit the market on February 9 with him and the Riders still far apart in contract negotiations.
9. LB Simoni Lawrence, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
When all is said and done, Simoni Lawrence will go down as one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the Ticats. He is one of the franchise’s most recognizable faces and will earn the status of an all-time legend if he is able to bring a Grey Cup to Hamilton.
The four-time East Division all-star currently sits second all-time in team history in tackles behind Rob Hitchcock (607). If the CFL plays a full season in 2021, it is likely that Lawrence will surpass Hitch.
Now 31, Lawrence is coming off his best season during which he recorded 98 tackles, four sacks, and three interceptions. He even set a new single-game CFL record when he made 17 tackles in a victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on September 27.
8. QB Trevor Harris, Edmonton Football Team
A change of scenery didn’t derail Harris’ production in 2019 as he passed for 4,027 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions in his first year with Edmonton. He was on pace for the CFL’s first 6,000-yard passing season since 2004, but missed five games due to injury late in the year.
The former East Division all-star will turn 35 before the 2021 season gets underway, but his mileage remains relatively low. He’s only taken a substantial number of starting reps for five CFL seasons and takes few hits thanks to his fast decision-making and quick release.
Though he is currently without a head coach and offensive coordinator, it’s a safe bet that Harris will be among the league’s passing leaders again in 2021.
7. RB Andrew Harris, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
You don’t become the CFL’s leading rusher three years in a row by accident, which is exactly what Harris managed accomplish from 2017-2019.
The Winnipeg native has been dominant since joining his hometown team in 2016, rushing for 4,779 yards and 22 touchdowns while making 306 receptions for 2,468 yards and ten scores. He became the CFL’s all-time leading rusher among Canadian players in 2019 and is only 962 yards away from reaching 10,000 on his career.
He will be 34 by the time the 2021 CFL season gets underway, but Harris has yet to show signs of aging. His yards-per-carry average has increased every year since 2015, a trend the Blue Bombers hope will carry into the upcoming season.
6. REC Bryan Burnham, B.C. Lions
Nobody makes more spectacular catches than Bryan Burnham, which is why the Tulsa product has been named a CFL all-star in three consecutive seasons.
The six-foot-two, 210-pound target has 368 receptions for 5,651 yards and 33 touchdowns since joining the Lions in 2014.
The 30-year-old is coming off his best CFL season during which he made 100 receptions for 1,492 yards and eleven touchdowns. He remains a pending free agent, however, with contract negotiations not going well.
3DownNation is unveiling its list of the top 100 active CFL players. To read the criteria for player eligibility, click here. The list to date can be found below.
12. REC Derel Walker, Edmonton Football Team
13. DT Dylan Wynn, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
14. REC Shaq Evans, Saskatchewan Roughriders
15. QB Jeremiah Masoli, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
16. RB William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes
17. QB Mike Reilly, B.C. Lions
18. LB Henoc Muamba, Montreal Alouettes
19. OL Brandon Revenberg, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
20. REC Greg Ellingson, Edmonton Football Team
21. OL Chris Van Zeyl, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
27. QB Cody Fajardo, Saskatchewan Roughriders
28. REC Eric Rogers, Calgary Stampeders
29. DT Almondo Sewell, Edmonton Football Team
30. SAM Patrick Levels, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
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