Grading every pick in the 2021 CFL Draft

Photo courtesy: UVA Athletics Media Relations

Welcome to my live grading of the 2021 CFL Draft.

Before we begin, I would like to clarify that I am grading picks, not prospects. The same player who garners an average grade in round three (C+) would be a steal in round six (A+) and a reach in round one (F). It’s about more than just talent — it’s about the depth of the class, team needs, and the risk of selecting players who have drawn NFL interest.

I normally ask that you take my grades with a grain of salt as it’s impossible to predict exactly how these players will develop over the coming years. This year, please take these grades with a pound of salt. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in all aspects of our lives and the CFL Draft is no exception.

The CFL Draft is a great event — enjoy it! If you’re new here, scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to a ton of resources including prospect rankings, betting information, and draft FAQs.

Editor’s note: this page does not automatically refresh; please refresh your browser intermittently to see the latest grades.


1 (1) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — FB Jake Burt, Boston College

3DownNation’s No. 20-ranked prospect.

A late addition to the draft who was born in Regina but moved to Massachusetts at the age of seven. Recorded 23 receptions for 307 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end in college and brings solid size at six-foot-three and 248 pounds.

He spent last season on the practice roster with the New England Patriots, which has helped raise his draft stock. He’s fought through injuries including a torn ACL (2016) and a broken collarbone (2019).

I think Burt could develop into a great H-back, though the Ticats already have a really good one on the roster in Nikola Kalinic. He should sign right away, which is an added bonus, though I feel Virginia receiver Terrell Jana would have been a better fit here.

The grade: B-

1 (2) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DB Nelson Lokombo, Saskatchewan

3DownNation’s No. 15-ranked prospect.

Made ten interceptions and 15 knockdowns in 30 career games with the Huskies, making him arguably the best ball hawk in the country. Won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2019 over 2020 draft selections Jack Cassar, Andrew Seinet-Spaulding, and Bailey Feltmate.

Could realistically play strong-side linebacker, halfback, cornerback or safety in the CFL. He’s versatile and has CFL bloodlines as the younger brother of veteran CFL linebacker/defensive back Boseko Lokombo.

The Riders will likely start two Canadian defensive backs after losing Cameron Judge in free agency. Lokombo should help make that a reality alongside veterans Mike Edem, Godfrey Onyeka, and Elie Bouka.

The grade: A-

1 (3) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — OL Liam Dobson, Texas State

3DownNation’s No. 12-ranked prospect.

Was a dominant blocker with Maine at guard and tackle and was named All-CAA First Team in 2019. Has remarkable athleticism at six-foot-three and 344 pounds, including the ability to dunk a basketball. Extremely physical. Would be even better if he lost weight.

Will have NFL aspirations following the 2021 season with the Bobcats, but should be an excellent offensive lineman in the CFL if he signs north of the border.

There’s risk with this pick, which has hurt Winnipeg’s grade somewhat. If they can get Dobson under contract for 2022, upgrade it to an A.

The grade: B

1 (4) B.C. Lions — DL Daniel Joseph, North Carolina State

3DownNation’s No. 11-ranked prospect.

Brampton, Ont. native who was originally at Penn State where he made 29 tackles and five sacks prior to a grad transfer in 2020. Made the most of his year with the Wolfpack, recording ten tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

Will return to school for a second senior season in 2021, which lowered his CFL Draft stock. Average quickness off the line but has a relentless motor. Makes good use of his long arms to fight off blocks.

He is the younger brother of former No. 1 2017 CFL Draft pick Faith Ekakitie and the cousin of CFL veteran Ese Mrabure-Ajufo. A nice fit for a Lions team that missed out on defensive tackle Michael Hoecht in last year’s draft.

The grade: B

1 (5) Edmonton Football Team — DL Cole Nelson, Alberta

Has impressive size at six-foot-six and 312 pounds. Posted some amazing testing numbers at the Virtual Combine, though some scouts were skeptical he would be able to replicate them in a traditional combine setting. Made only eight tackles in six games with the Golden Bears in 2019.

Nelson has a lot of good tools but has produced very little at the U Sports level. He’s a good positional and regional fit for Edmonton, but he would have been available in the fourth or fifth round. Frankly, there are far too many great players still on the board at No. 5 to legitimize this selection.

The grade: F

1 (6) Ottawa Redblacks — DE Deshawn Stevens, Maine

3DownNation’s No. 19-ranked prospect.

Played a mix of weak-side and middle linebacker with the Black Bears but projects as a CFL defensive end. Made 28 tackles in Maine’s four-game 2021 spring schedule as he worked back from a torn Achilles he suffered in September 2019.

An elite tackler with a solid burst off the line. Loves to bullrush. Registered four sacks and 15 hurries on just 118 career pass-rushing snaps. He is currently in the NCAA transfer portal but could potentially play in the CFL in 2021 if he decides to go pro.

Ottawa is a team that needs help virtually everywhere following a miserable 2019 season. Stevens is versatile, athletic, and makes plays. If you can sign him right away, this grade gets upgraded to an A+.

The grade: A-

1 (7) Toronto Argonauts — OL Peter Nicastro, Calgary

2019 Canada West all-star who moves smoothly and bends well. Has extensive experience at the centre and guard positions. Compensates for lack of elite size (six-foot-two, 306 pounds) with quickness in space. Tough, smart blocker with pro-ready traits.

The Argos are doing a good job of rebuilding an offensive line that was old and lacklustre in 2019. They’ll get Nicastro right away and he could push for playing time along a line that has a ton of new faces since the last time we saw CFL football.

The grade: B+

1 (8) Calgary Stampeders — LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, Oklahoma State

3DownNation’s No. 7-ranked prospect.

Raised in Calgary, the six-foot-one, 235-pound defender won the Cowboys’ Outstanding Special Teams Player Award as a sophomore and the Leslie O’Neal Award (Oklahoma State’s Defensive MVP) in 2019. Teammates voted him a team captain and was twice named All-Big 12 Football Second Team.

Projects as an all-star CFL linebacker if he ever signs north of the border. The younger brother of 2016 fifth-round draft pick Alex Ogbongbemiga. Signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after going unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

I love this pick. The Stamps have started a middle linebacker since Alex Singleton won the starting job in 2016, though Cory Greenwood is fast aging. If Ogbongbemiga signs with Calgary soon, this could be a Singleton-type steal.

The grade: A-

1 (9) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — LB Nick Cross, UBC

Was named the U Sports Rookie of the Year with Regina in 2017 but had the award stripped after testing positive for cannabis. Led Canada West in tackles in 2019 and was named a First-Team All-Canadian at strong-side linebacker.

Has had to fight through injuries including a torn Achilles in January 2018 and a torn ACL in June 2020. Cross could be the best “now” defensive back with Nelson Lokombo off the board, though this feel a little early for a player coming off a serious knee injury.

The grade: C+

2 (10) Montreal Alouettes — OL Pier-Olivier Lestage, Montreal

3DownNation’s No. 6-ranked prospect.

Played two years of tackle before switching to guard in 2019 where he was named a U Sports Second-Team All-Canadian. Participated in the 2021 East-West Shrine Bowl, which was conducted virtually. Moves very fluidly, gets to the second level with ease, and wins consistently one-on-one. Nasty. Plays right until the whistle.

He signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a priority free agent after going unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft and some scouts feel he has a good chance to make the team at guard or centre.

There’s a lot of risk here for the Alouettes, but Lestage is a remarkable talent and a perfect fit for Montreal. They got Marc-Antoine Dequoy under contract early last year, so I can understand why they’re rolling the dice again with Lestage.

The grade: B

2 (11) Calgary Stampeders — OL Bryce Bell, Wilfrid Laurier

3DownNation’s No. 23-ranked prospect.

Spent the past two years at right tackle on a Golden Hawks offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the OUA. Good quickness in space, strong balance, and good footwork. Still has some room to continue filling out his lower body. Expected to move inside to guard at the professional level.

Identified by many scouts as a sleeper pick who will punch above his weight class throughout his career. Calgary really needed to make an addition at the offensive line following the retirements of Shane Bergman and Brad Erdos and Bell fits the bill.

The grade: B+

2 (12) Toronto Argonauts — OL Sage Doxtater, New Mexico State

3DownNation’s No. 18-ranked prospect.

Was raised on the Oneida Settlement before moving to St Catharines, Ont. to attend Canada Prep Academy. Four-year starter at left tackle with spectacular size at six-foot-seven and 350 pounds.

Has heavy feet but a smooth kickstep. His foot speed should improve with some weight loss, which would be advisable if Doxtater makes the transition to the three-down game. Was originally a member of the 2020 CFL Draft class, but took a redshirt due to a nagging shoulder injury.

Doxtater is a futures pick, but I think he’s worth the risk at No. 12 overall. He grew up nearby and projects as a CFL tackle.

The grade: B+

2 (13) Ottawa Redblacks — DB Alonzo Addae, West Virginia

3DownNation’s No. 9-ranked prospect.

The Pickering, Ont. native was named All-Big 12 Football Second Team after a sensational 2020 season during which he made 66 total tackles and two interceptions. Some scouts feel Addae could be a day-one starter at safety in the CFL, but his plans to return to West Virginia in 2021 lowered his draft stock.

He has NFL talent but lacks an NFL frame at a little under five-foot-ten. I love this pick for Ottawa, though I’m stunned that they passed on Virginia receiver Terrell Jana twice.

The grade: A-

2 (14) Edmonton Football Team — LB Grant McDonald, Calgary

3DownNation’s No. 21-ranked prospect.

Dressed as a true freshman in nine games at Maine at tight end, recording seven tackles and one forced fumble on special teams. Transferred to Calgary in 2018 to play with his older brother, Jack, where he recorded 83 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception en route to a Vanier Cup in 2019.

Very athletic. Strong leadership skills. I really like this pick for Edmonton. He should sign right away and meets a huge area of need for the team at linebacker.

The grade: A

2 (15) B.C. Lions — OL Alaric Jackson, Iowa

3DownNation’s No. 5-ranked prospect.

Four-year starter at left tackle where he played opposite Tristan Wirfs, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Was moved to guard at the Senior Bowl where he drew mixed reviews. Considered an average athlete who didn’t progress as much as scouts were hoping he would over five years at Iowa.

Was once viewed as a possible high-round NFL Draft pick, but went unselected in this year’s event. Signed with the Los Angeles Rams as priority free agent, which means this selection comes with some risk for the Lions.

It’s no secret that B.C. needed to upgrade its offensive line, so I like this pick. I was surprised that the Lions took a pass on local linebacker Ben Hladik, who I think is a really great player.

The grade: B

2 (16) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DB Redha Kramdi, Montreal

Played strong-side linebacker with the Carabins, but could have played halfback, cornerback or safety. Tenacious, physical student of the game who plays bigger than his five-foot-eleven, 198-pound frame.

This is a need pick for the Blue Bombers, who needed immediate national help in the secondary. Kramdi fits the bill and will contribute on special teams as he competes for a starting role at safety.

The grade: B-

2 (17) Saskatchewan Roughriders — REC Terrell Jana, Virginia

3DownNation’s No. 14-ranked prospect.

Burnaby native who joined the Cavaliers as a three-star recruit. Started over 2020 CFL draft No. 2 overall pick Dejon Brissett in 2019. Finished his career with 123 receptions for 1,481 yards and five touchdowns in 49 games.

He doesn’t have elite size or speed, but runs excellent routes and accelerates well in space. Reminds some scouts of 2019 first-round CFL draft pick Hergy Mayala, who enjoyed a great rookie season with the Calgary Stampeders.

The Riders have a lot of young Canadian receivers on the roster, but Jana is too good to pass up here considering he was in the mix at No. 2. Excellent selection.

The grade: A+

2 (18) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DB Deane Leonard, Ole Miss

3DownNation’s No. 13-ranked prospect.

Was a two-time U Sports First-Team All-Canadian at cornerback with Calgary before transferring to Ole Miss to play in 2020. Played 282 snaps with the Rebels and graded out decently considering how little time he had to make the transition to the SEC.

Has NFL size at six-foot-two and 195 pounds and will look to get drafted or signed by an NFL team in 2022 after a second senior season in 2021.

There’s risk associated with this pick because Leonard has started drawing the attention of NFL scouts. With that said, the Ticats are in a great position to roll the dice here given their depth and the number of picks they have.

The grade: B+

3 (19) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DL Mohamed Diallo, Central Michigan

3DownNation’s No. 10-ranked prospect.

Converted basketball player who (remarkably) didn’t play football until after high school. Was the No. 59-ranked JUCO player by 247Sports after his time at Arizona Western College and had offers from top programs before committing to Texas A&M, then Central Michigan.

Was named All-MAC First Team in 2020 after recording three sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in five games. He’s currently in the transfer portal looking to draw interest from a larger NCAA program, though there are rumours swirling that he’s ready to turn pro in 2021.

Some scouts were scared off by Diallo’s transience, but this is great value for the top of the third round. Diallo is easily the closest thing to Ted Laurent in this year’s draft class.

The grade: A-

3 (20) Saskatchewan Roughriders — TE Bruno Labelle, Cincinnati

3DownNation’s No. 8-ranked prospect.

Montreal native who some view as the best blocking fullback prospect since Rolly Lumbala. Only caught 20 passes in 46 games as a tight end with the Bearcats, but shows soft hands when given the opportunity to catch the ball.

Tested very well for his six-foot-four, 247-pound frame, running a 4.68 forty-yard dash and leaping a 36-inch vertical jump. Signed with the Arizona Cardinals as a priority free agent after going unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

There’s some risk here with Labelle under contract in the NFL, but he’s a great fit for a team that coveted Jake Burt at No. 1.

The grade: A-

3 (21) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DB Patrice Rene, Rutgers

3DownNation’s No. 16-ranked prospect.

Was originally part of the 2020 CFL Draft class, but took a medical redshirt after suffering a torn ACL early in 2019. Struggled to make a strong impact in his return from injury in 2020, leading to a transfer from North Carolina to Rutgers for 2021.

Has a great frame at six-foot-two and 208 pounds and runs well. Projects as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Rene projects as a ratio-breaking CFL cornerback if he ever comes north. Strong futures pick who’s worth the risk for Winnipeg at this stage of the draft.

The grade: A-

3 (22) B.C. Lions — LB Ben Hladik, UBC

3DownNation’s No. 17-ranked prospect.

Has the size (six-foot-four, 240 pounds) and versatility to play linebacker or defensive end at the CFL level. Made 189 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and one interception in 28 games with the Thunderbirds.

Should play all four special teams units as a rookie with the potential to develop into a starter on defence. This is a massive steal for the Lions. Hladik is local, versatile, big, and athletic. I’m shocked he was still on the board at No. 22.

The grade: A+

3 (23) Edmonton Football Team — RB Deonté Glover, Shepherd

3DownNation’s No. 25-ranked prospect.

A late addition to the draft who qualifies as a national through his mother’s citizenship, though he also spent five years in Canada as a child.

Received athletic and academic scholarships to Shepherd University in West Virginia where he dominated as a senior, recording 2,098 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns in 2019 as a ball carrier, receiver, and kick returner.

This is an interesting fit for a team that plans to start an American running back in 2021. Could a ratio change be in the plans in Edmonton?

The grade: B+

3 (24) Ottawa Redblacks — OL Connor Berglof, Saskatchewan

A 2019 U Sports First-Team All-Canadian with extensive experience at centre and guard. Some scouts feel Berglof is better than former Huskies teammate Mattland Riley, who was a first-round selection of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2020.

Tough with strong mobility. Can often be seen on film chasing star running back Adam Machart downfield on big gains. Had a back injury that limited his participation in testing, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

He’s currently nursing a back injury, which may have scared off some teams. With that said, Berglof is supposed to be healthy for training camp and I love his physicality.

The grade: A-

3 (25) Toronto Argonauts — DL Luiji Vilain, Wake Forest

Was once a four-star recruit coming out of high school but took just career 156 snaps over four years at Michigan, making nine tackles as he fought through injuries. Transferred to Wake Forest for 2021 where he hopes to start and generate some production.

Has a nice long frame at six-foot-four and 255 pounds but has to prove he can stay on the field and make an impact.

Vilain hasn’t come close to living up to the hype that accompanied him coming out of high school, but this is a fairly low-risk spot of the draft for the Argos. Solid choice and a good positional fit given that Toronto drafted Robbie Smith in 2019.

The grade: B

3 (26) Calgary Stampeders — LB Charlie Moore, Calgary

Six-foot-three, 220-pound linebacker who showed well at the College Gridiron Showcase. Made 11.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles in 17 career games with the Dinos en route to a Vanier Cup title in 2019.

Strong local selection for the Stamps who grabbed a “future” linebacker in round one and get a “now” linebacker in round three.

The grade: B+

3 (27) Montreal Alouettes — OL Christopher Fournier, Lehigh

Has received offers from Toledo and Connecticut after making 25 starts over three seasons at the Division II level. Moves well and should improve playing against improved NCAA competition in 2021.

Has experience playing all along the offensive line, but best projects as a CFL guard or centre. If he plays in the CFL in 2021 — which he might — I really like this pick for the Alouettes.

The grade: A-

4 (28) Montreal Alouettes — OL Patrick Davis, Syracuse

Six-foot-five, 310-pound blocker who was a three-time CEGEP Divison I all-star. Played very few snaps and did not start a game throughout his college career despite Syracuse having arguably the worst offensive line in Division I football.

Davis has a great frame but needs playing time. He’s planning to go back to school in 2021, which could help with his development.

The grade: C

4 (29) Calgary Stampeders — LB Elliot Graham, UBC

Six-foot-three, 244-pounder who tested relatively well but had little production with the Thunderbirds in 2019. His best season came in 2017 when he recorded 60 total tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble.

This pick really illustrates how badly the Stamps needed special teams bodies, adding Graham one round after adding Moore. Graham’s ability to play some defensive end is an added bonus consider Calgary has Connor McGough and Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund on the roster.

The grade: B-

4 (30) Toronto Argonauts — REC Tommy Nield, McMaster

Possession-style receiver with enough size at six-foot-three and 210 pounds to contribute on special teams. Had one of the best receiving games in OUA history against the University of Toronto in 2018, catching ten passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Recorded 102 career receptions for 1,618 yards and ten touchdowns in 28 games.

The Argos don’t need help at Canadian receiver considering their depth, but Nield remains a solid addition.

The grade: B

4 (31) Ottawa Redblacks — P Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan

Barrie, Ont. native who averaged 43.3 yards per punt on 154 attempts, placing 50 inside the 20-yard line. Arrived as a walk-on, but soon earned a scholarship. Finished first in the MAC in gross punt average and second in net punt average in 2020.

This pick is a bit of a surprise considering how many teams plan to field global punters, but this could be an indication that Ottawa will be looking to play a Canadian there in 2022. Julien is heading back to school in 2021, so he won’t sign for at least a year.

The grade: B-

4 (32) Edmonton Football Team — REC Dominic Johnson, Buffalo

Attended Catholic Central High School in Windsor before redshirting with Buffalo as a quarterback in 2016. Converted to receiver in 2019, though he’s caught only 11 career passes. Joined Buffalo’s basketball team as a walk-on and got a little playing time.

He’s got great size at six-foot-five, 225 pounds, which makes Johnson an intriguing developmental selection for Edmonton.

The grade: B+

4 (33) Toronto Argonauts — LB Trevor Hoyte, Carleton

Strong tackler who will show well on special teams. Has a solid frame at six-foot-two and 218 pounds and could be a candidate to play some safety.

The grade: B+

4 (34) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — LB Robbie Lowes, Regina

Recorded 41 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception in eight games at strong-side linebacker in 2019. Was unable to test for the combine after contracting COVID-19, but sent film to teams last week that was well-received.

The grade: A-

4 (35) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DL Alain Cimankinda, Carleton

2019 OUA Second-Team All-Star who transferred from the New Mexico Military Institute to Guelph in 2017. He recorded 16.5 sacks over three seasons, finishing only 2.5 sacks shy of Mike O’Shea’s all-time team record.

Has taken extensive reps at defensive end and defensive tackle. Transferred to Carleton but never played due to the cancellation of the 2020 U Sports season.

I love Cimankinda and his versatility. He’s a perfect fit for a team that needed to add depth behind Makana Henry and Charbel Dabire.

The grade: A

4 (36) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — LB Jarek Richards, Saint Mary’s

Montreal native who made 103 total tackles over the past two seasons with the Huskies. Career special teamer who may be able to take reps at safety given his size at five-foot-ten and 190 pounds.

The grade: B

5 (37) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — FB Félix Garand-Gauthier, Laval

2019 Second-Team All-Canadian. Lacks elite speed but blocks well. Will contribute on special teams and can catch the occasional pass. Classic RSEQ fullback. Stock was helped by the fact that no pure fullbacks were drafted in 2020.

The grade: B+

5 (38) Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Logan Bandy, Calgary

3DownNation’s No. 22-ranked prospect.

Two-time U Sports Second-Team All-Canadian at left tackle. Participated in the 2021 East-West Shrine Bowl, which was conducted virtually. Moves well and has a smooth kickstep. Doesn’t dominate opponents, but very consistent in pass protection.

Finishes moderately in the run game. Now weighs in at 295 pounds, which is up ten pounds from the 2019 season.

Getting Bandy in the fifth round is great value for Saskatchewan considering he was once viewed as a potential first-round pick.

The grade: A+

5 (39) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — RB Kyle Borsa, Regina

3DownNation’s No. 24-ranked prospect.

Six-foot, 200-pound ball carrier with true 4.40 speed. Appeared in only 16 U Sports games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, but still recorded over 2,000 career all-purpose yards. Could realistically contribute as a ball carrier, receiver out of the backfield, and return specialist.

A great fit for the Bombers considering they start Andrew Harris at running back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Borsa get some work at receiver following the departure of Daniel Petermann via free agency.

The grade: A

5 (40) B.C. Lions — DL Alfred Green, Wilfrid Laurier

Not as productive as former Golden Hawk stars Kwaku Boateng and Robbie Smith with just four sacks in 22 games, but still comes from the OUA’s defensive line factory. A good fit for a Lions team that needs to continue revamping its defensive line.

The grade: B+

5 (41) Edmonton Football Team — OL Peter Kourtis, Saint Mary’s

Six-foot-four, 306-pound blocker who put up 21 reps on the bench press in the Virtual Combine. He lack elite athleticism, but he’s a developmental blocker worth a lock.

The grade: B-

5 (42) Ottawa Redblacks — LS Keegan Markgraf, Utah

An excellent long-snapper who is returning to school in 2021. If the Redblacks can sign him in 2022, this native of Hamilton is a great pick.

The grade: B+

5 (43) Calgary Stampeders (via Toronto) — RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

3DownNation’s No. 4-ranked prospect.

Track star from Sherwood Park, Alta. who received offers from top programs such as Alabama, Georgia, USC, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting as a redshirt sophomore in 2019 after leading the entire NCAA with 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.

Fought through injuries in 2020 and his production plummetted, though he was still a fourth-round NFL Draft pick of the Carolina Panthers. Ran a 4.48 forty-yard dash, which proves he has home run potential. Lacks optimal NFL size at six-foot, 208 pounds, so there’s a sense that he could end up in the CFL if he gets hurt early in his career down south.

This is a great pick considering Hubbard’s talent level and how late he was still on the board.

The grade: A

5 (44) Calgary Stampeders — REC Luther Hakunavanhu, York

Edmonton native with a big frame (six-foot-four, 200 pounds) and decent production — 68 receptions for 939 yards and five touchdowns over three seasons. A very raw receiver with upside.

The grade: B+

5 (45) Montreal Alouettes — K/P David Côté, Laval

2018 U Sports Second-Team All-Canadian at placekicker. Made 78-of-91 career field goals (85.7 percent) with a long of 46 yards. Also averaged 37 yards on punts and 54 yards on kickoffs.

The grade: A-

6 (46) Montreal Alouettes — DB Ethan Makonzo, Montreal

A 210-pound free safety who can hit and runs relatively well. His younger brother, Enock, could be a top prospect in next year’s draft out of Coastal Carolina.

The grade: B+

6 (47) Toronto Argonauts (via Calgary) — DB Joshua Hagerty, Saskatchewan

Brings great size at six-foot-four and 210 pounds and covers space deceptively well. Depth safety who should shine on special teams.

The grade: B+

6 (48) Winnipeg Blue Bombers (via Toronto) — DB Shae Weekes, Bemidji State

Native of St. Adolphe, Man. who was a 2019 Canada West all-star at halfback at the University of Manitoba. Transferred for 2020 but did not see action due to a cancelled season. Drew a reputation as a ballhawk with the Bisons, recording seven interceptions over his final two years.

The grade: B

6 (49) Ottawa Redblacks — OL Matthew Derks, Delaware State

Brantford, Ont. native who was a part-time starter with the Hornets at guard. Thick build with nice power in the run game. Not sure he moves well enough to be productive at the professional level.

The grade: B-

6 (50) Edmonton Football Team — DB Kenan Clarke, Cornell

Five-foot-eleven, 185-pound native of Pickering, Ont. who rotated at cornerback for the Big Red. Should have some special teams value.

The grade: B

6 (51) B.C. Lions — OL Tyler Packer, Calgary

Was named the Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2017 at tackle, though he’ll likely move to guard at the professional level. Has lost almost 40 pounds since the 2019 season, which will greatly improve his mobility. Anchors well. Good developmental blocker for the Lions.

The grade: A

6 (52) Toronto Argonauts — DB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota

3DownNation’s No. 3-ranked prospect.

Has an exceptional frame six-foot-three and 205 pounds and puts it to good use at cornerback. Transferred to Michigan (2017-18) after a year at Cegep du Vieux (2016) before finishing his career with the Golden Gophers (2019-20). Was named All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2019 after recording 45 total tackles and ten pass knockdowns.

Drew rave reviews in the Senior Bowl, grading out No. 1 in the one-on-ones and the full-team sessions. Runs a 4.51 forty-yard dash and was a third-round selection of the Washington Football Team in the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s extremely unlikely that St-Juste will play in the CFL, but you can’t go wrong selecting a future this late in the draft.

The grade: A-

6 (53) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DB Matt Watson, Mount Allison

He’ll have to overcome the AUS stigma, but the Brampton, Ont. native runs well at five-foot-eleven and 195 pounds. Put up three picks in 2019.

The grade: A-

6 (54) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — LB Myles Manalo, Western

Burlington, Ont. native with good size who put up 38 career total tackles with the Mustangs. Projects as a pure special teamer.

The grade: B+


If you’re new to the CFL Draft, click here for my answers to a bunch of frequently-asked questions about the most fun (and unique) draft in sports.

If you’re looking to bet on this year’s CFL Draft, here’s some advice on how you can (hopefully) make some money.

A number of top-ranked Canadian players were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, including safety Jevon Holland, cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, receiver Josh Palmer, and running back Chuba Hubbard. They remain the top-ranked players in the draft, though they may go unselected by CFL teams because they’re unlikely to play north of the border.

Four players signed NFL contracts as undrafted free agents, including tight end Bruno Labelle, offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage, offensive lineman Alaric Jackson, and linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga. Each will have fallen down CFL draft boards as a result, though they should still receive early to mid-round consideration.

3DownNation has already ranked each positional group using insight, analysis and sourcing from JC Abbott, Justin Dunk, and myself. You can find them using the following links: quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.

We have also ranked the top 25 prospects overall, which you can find by clicking here.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.