Bombers sign 2021 CFL Draft pick, Canadian corner Patrice Rene

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The 2022 CFL Draft has just ended, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still reaping the rewards of last year’s selections. The team has signed 2021 third-round pick Patrice Rene to a contract, according to a report from team writer Ed Tait.

The six-foot-two, 208-pound cornerback went to Episcopal High School in Virginia and was regarded as the top Canadian recruit in the 2016 class, committing to the University of North Carolina.

Rene made an instant impact for the Tar Heels, playing 44 games over five seasons. He made 103 total tackles, defended 14 passes, recorded four tackles for loss, two interceptions, forced one fumble, and recovered another.

Two games into the 2019 season, Rene tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He missed the rest of that year and received a medical redshirt from the NCAA. The injury happened during UNC’s 28-25 victory over the University of Miami, causing him to be in and out of the starting lineup when he returned in 2020.

The Bombers selected the Ottawa native 21st overall last year, but Rene chose to return to school for a final season in order to recapture the NFL attention he had lost after returning from injury. He transferred to Rutgers University, but played just five games in 2021, recording eight tackles.

If he can stay healthy, Rene has the potential to be a ratio-breaking player in the secondary for Winnipeg.

The Bombers have also signed American defensive end Inoke Moala.

The six-foot-four, 250-pound pass rusher was an impact player for Indiana State last season, recording 39 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles as a senior. Moala finished his college career with 35.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks.