Every CFL team’s best draft pick since 2015

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Nailing a top draft pick or finding a late-round gem can completely change the complexion of a CFL team for years to come.

With so many moving pieces — NFL opportunities, positional depth, and level of postsecondary competition to name a few — the CFL draft is one of the least predictable in professional sports. It’s easy to miss on top picks and there are talented players who will always inevitably fall to later rounds of the draft.

We’ve already taken a look at every CFL team’s worst draft pick since 2015, so here is every team’s best draft pick since 2015.

B.C. Lions — LB Jordan Williams, East Carolina

Draft spot: round 1, pick 1 — 2020 CFL Draft

This pick came with some risk given that Williams had been out for football for two years before draft day. It ended up being an excellent selection with the six-foot, 232-pound defender racking up 97 total tackles, one sack, and one interception in 2021 en route to being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie.

Calgary Stampeders — DB Tunde Adeleke, Carleton

Draft spot: round 3, pick 25 — 2017 CFL Draft

The Stampeders got the best player in the draft late in the third round, selecting Adeleke as a versatile cover man and return specialist. He only played in Calgary for two seasons before signing with Hamilton but the two-time East Division all-star has made 162 career total tackles, four sacks, four interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

Edmonton Elks — DL Kwaku Boateng, Wilfrid Laurier

Draft spot: round 5, pick 41 — 2017 CFL Draft

The six-foot-two, 257-pound pass-rusher overcame a draft day slide to become a ratio-breaking defensive end who recorded 82 tackles, 25 sacks, and two forced fumbles over four seasons in Edmonton. Now a member of the Redblacks, Boateng will look to continue making life miserable for opposing quarterbacks in the nation’s capital.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders — REC Kian Schaffer-Baker, Guelph

Draft spot: round 4, pick 30 — 2020 CFL Draft

The Guelph product had a sensational rookie season in 2021 during which he made 47 receptions for 563 yards and two touchdowns in just nine starts. It stands to reason that Schaffer-Baker will take on an even larger role in Saskatchewan’s offence in 2022, particularly following the departure of Canadian slotback Brayden Lenius to the NFL.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DB Taylor Loffler, UBC

Draft spot: round 3, pick 19 — 2016 CFL Draft

The six-foot-four, 220-pound defender was named a CFL all-star in each of his three seasons in Winnipeg, recording 185 defensive tackles, 12 special teams tackles, eight interceptions, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one sack. He was forced to retire early due to knee problems, but Loffler was the most-feared safety in the CFL for a number of years.

Photo courtesy: Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Arthur Ward

Hamilton Tiger-Cats — RB Sean Thomas-Erlington, Montreal

Draft spot: round 8, pick 66 — 2017 CFL Draft

The five-foot-nine, 217-pound ball carrier has started 14 games for the Ticats, which is pretty remarkable considering he was one of the last players taken in a weak draft class. He has 1,587 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns over four seasons in Hamilton and will look to continue building on that in a depth role in 2022.

Toronto Argonauts — REC Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Wilfrid Laurier

Draft spot: round 3, pick 23 — 2019 CFL Draft

The Ottawa native is coming off a breakout season during which he made 50 catches for 605 yards and four touchdowns despite playing primarily at field-side wide receiver. He was the sixth receiver taken in his draft class but had a better 2021 season than any of the receivers taken ahead of him.

Ottawa Redblacks — RB Kienan LaFrance, Manitoba

Draft spot: round 6, pick 45 — 2015 CFL Draft

The Winnipeg-born ball carrier was productive over two seasons with the Redblacks and is best remembered for rushing 25 times for 157 yards and a touchdown in the 2016 East Final. He has 1,272 all-purpose yards, six touchdowns, and 36 special teams tackles over his six-year CFL career with Ottawa, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg.

Montreal Alouettes — OL Sean Jamieson, Western

Draft spot: round 3, pick 20 — 2016 CFL Draft

The six-foot-seven, 317-pound blocker became a full-time starter in his second season and has made an impact at centre, guard, and tackle in La Belle Province. Jamieson is athletic, stout, and versatile — everything a team could want in a Canadian offensive lineman.