No team is complete without a great defensive line. Stopping the run, collapsing the pocket, and disrupting the passer are all crucial elements to having a great defence.
This year’s free agent class of defensive linemen is a little old, but there’s still plenty of elite talent available. Several future Hall of Fame players are set to hit the open market and will be looking to prove there’s still some gas left in the tank.
1) Micah Johnson, B.C. Lions
The big man had a down year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2019, but could be primed for a bounce-back season.
Justin Dunk reported that the 32-year-old could end up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he would play alongside Willie Jefferson and Jackson Jeffcoat.
2) Almondo Sewell, Edmonton Football Team
The future Hall of Fame inductee has already bid farewell to Edmonton, acknowledging that he’ll be heading to the free agent market.
The six-time CFL all-star might be 34, but he’ll look to prove he can still make an impact in 2021.
3) Ryan Brown, B.C. Lions
The Mississippi State product was one of B.C.’s big acquisitions in last year’s free agent frenzy, though he never dressed with the team.
Brown had 29 tackles, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles in 31 games with the Als, bringing impressive size at six-foot-six and 270 pounds.
4) Woody Baron, Montreal Alouettes
The 27-year-old has put up 55 tackles and five sacks in two CFL seasons and is seen by some talent evaluators as a potential breakout player.
The six-foot-one, 270-pounder will bring upside wherever he plays next season.
5) Michael Wakefield, Ottawa Redblacks
The three-year veteran has developed into a solid starter, making 54 tackles, seven sacks, and one interception in Ottawa.
Though not flashy, Wakefield is a consistent interior player who can help collapse the pocket.
6) Claudell Louis, B.C. Lions
The 30-year-old appeared in nine games with the Lions in 2019, making twelve tackles and one forced fumble.
1) Stefan Charles, Edmonton Football Team
The Regina product finally signed with Edmonton in 2019 after a seven-year stint in the NFL.
Now 32, Charles could be an impact player if healthy and at a CFL-friendly weight.
2) Ettore Lattanzio, Ottawa Redblacks
He’s far too small to be an every-down player but the Ottawa native has been productive over his five-year CFL career, making 70 tackles, eight sacks, and one forced fumble.
1) Nick Usher, Free Agent
The 26-year-old was an effective rotational pass rusher with Edmonton in 2019, recording 36 tackles, six sacks, and three forced fumbles.
He’s now a free agent after a brief stint with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.
2) Craig Roh, Toronto Argonauts
The 30-year-old isn’t flashy coming off the edge, but he’s been remarkably consistent over the course of his five-year career.
Roh has made 34 sacks in 74 career games, never finishing with fewer than six in a season.
3) John Bowman, Montreal Alouettes
The future Hall of Fame inductee sits sixth all-time in CFL sacks with 134. He’s an all-time great.
The problem? He’s 38. Bowman was good in 2019, but after an entire year away from football it’s tough for a team commit to a player who turns 39 in July.
4) Alex Bazzie, Toronto Argonauts
The 30-year-old is coming off a down year in 2019, but has put together excellent pass-rushing seasons in the past.
Bazzie could be a nice depth addition for a team looking for rotational help along the defensive line.
5) Jonathan Newsome, B.C. Lions
The Ball State product did little to start the 2019 season with the Redblacks, but finished the year strong with B.C.
The 30-year-old is probably not viewed as a starter anymore, but every team needs depth.
6) Adrian Tracy, Montreal Alouettes
The soon-to-be 34-year-old has had some great seasons, but may have reached the end of the line.
7) Mat Boesen, B.C. Lions
The six-foot-four, 240-pounder made eleven tackles in six games as a rookie in 2019.
1) Cameron Walker, B.C. Lions
The five-year veteran has played predominantly on special teams throughout his career, making 28 tackles on cover units.
Click the link below for our previous positional installment and come back tomorrow for our linebacker rankings.