Former first-round pick Canadian DL Mathieu Betts signs with B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Canadian defensive end Mathieu Betts has signed with the B.C. Lions, per source.

The 26-year-old was a first-round pick of the Edmonton Elks in the 2019 CFL Draft of out Laval University. He signed with the Chicago Bears in April 2019 but was released by the team at the end of training camp before signing with the Elks the following month.

Betts made one tackle, two sacks, and one forced fumble in six games as a rookie, proving his dominance at the U Sports level was no fluke. He had a down year when he returned to the field in 2021, recording 12 tackles in 13 games.

The Montreal native won two Vanier Cups as a member of the Rouge et Or and won the J. P. Metras Trophy for three consecutive years (2016-18) as the best lineman in U Sports, becoming the first player ever to do so.

The B.C. Lions needed to upgrade their defensive line after finishing with a league-low 23 sacks in 2021 and Betts should help spark their pass-rush.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.