Receivers were one of the most common Global positions in 2019 but there weren’t any passes thrown their way in year one of the CFL 2.0 experiment.
The 2021 Global Draft features an even deeper pool of talent, but how will the position be valued? A legitimate Global receiver would be exactly what the CFL wants for marketing purposes, but teams will likely prioritize special teams value over pass catching prowess. That makes this ranking particularly challenging.
For the purpose of this list — and because they have limited CFL value — tight ends will be considered receivers, though we’ll actually eliminate two from the list before we begin.
Chile’s Sammis Reyes put up a freakish pro day and has a good chance to get drafted out of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. If not, he’s virtually guaranteed himself a practice roster spot. IPP alum and former Atlanta Falcon Alex Gray couldn’t be reached for comment, but I’ll assume his British rugby contract will supersede the CFL as well.
The rest of the list has some of the world’s most exciting offensive weapons and might just contain the first ever Global touchdown scorer.
1. Anthony Mahoungou, France, Frankfurt Universe
688 yards receiving and eight touchdowns his senior year at Purdue earned Mahoungou a shot with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 and Edmonton later signed him as an American before the Global program came about. The Frenchman would be the safest bet in the draft, were it not for the fact he recently informed the league an unexpected personal issue could keep him from coming to Canada this year. Mahoungou couldn’t be reached for clarification and therefore stays at the top of my list, but he may fall out of the draft all together.
2. Yoshihito Omi, Japan, IBM Big Blue
Incredibly sudden and quick off the line, Omi showed he could cook some American DBs when Team Japan played The Spring League. The national team captain passes the eyeball test with ease.
3. Antoni Podgorski, Poland, Warsaw Mets
No NFL teams took a shot on Podgorski as part of the NFL International Pathway Program last year, but CFL teams have plenty of interest in developing this deceptively quick 23-year old.
4. Kevin Kaya, France, Montreal
A second team All-Canadian with the Carabins, Kaya earned the nickname ‘Superman’ for his ability to go up and get the football. His long speed is average but he’ll have a titan in his corner in Alouettes GM Danny Maciocia.
5. Sebastien Sagne, Finland, Helsinki Wolverines
Reported 4.53 speed and a 10-foot-five and 3/8 inch broad jump shows he has all the physical tools to excel, Sagne just needs a little more decisiveness and polish.
6. Riki Matsui, Japan, Fujitsu Frontiers
At six-foot-two, Matsui is practically a giant among Japanese receivers and has become one of the X Leagues finest at just 24 with sharp route running and surprising physicality.
7. Timothy Knuettel, Germany, Potsdam Royals
A former starter for Division II Seton Hill, Knuettel is a contested catch specialist with some juice in space. At 28, he’s on the older side and needs to create better separation as a route runner.
8. Aymeric Nicault, Finland, Wasa Royals
Solidly built at over 200 pounds with versatility as a blocker, Nicault has the special teams upside teams may crave later in the draft. Though he did not receive an invite, Nicault’s athletic numbers match up well with Virtual Combine attendees.
9. Jean-Claude Madin Cerezo, Spain, Hamburg Huskies
A Spaniard raised in Germany who played college football in Mexico before becoming a special teams ace at Northern Colorado, Madin Cerezo is the definition of Global. He’d be a stout addition on specials but didn’t submit Virtual Combine numbers, so the 28-year old may have moved on.
10. Bernhard Seikovits, Austria, Vienna Vikings
An awkward fit here because tight end doesn’t really exist in the CFL, Seikovits could be a big slot but has a good chance at an NFL practice roster spot in this years IPP class.
11. Rustum Todd, Australia, UNSW Raiders
With 4.60 speed, Todd barely broke a sweat as a dynamic return specialist in Australia but the rest of his game is raw and teams may not see value in it.
12. Yannick Mayr, Austria, Vienna Vikings
A personal favourite, Mayr has a second gear that is downright fun to watch but would need to get physically stronger to make the jump.
13. Aruto Nishimura, Japan, Obic Seagulls
This pint-sized speedster has been dominant for the X League champs but his five-foot-seven, 177-pound frame and underwhelming explosiveness limit his pro prospects.
14. Klaus Pais, Brazil, Moura Lacerda Challengers
With a combine time of 4.57, Pais is one of the fastest players in the whole draft but the project to develop him may not be worth the effort at nearly 29 years old.
15. Muneyuki Kinoshita, Japan, Panasonic Impulses
Kinoshita has the same size limitations as Nishimura and isn’t quite the same receiver, but adds serious return ability while throwing around more weight than any other pass catcher.