Elks select 10 in CFL Draft, including 2021 Hec Crighton winner Tre Ford

Photo courtesy: Christian Bender/Waterloo Warriors

The Edmonton Elks made 10 selections in the Canadian Football League Draft, including two in the first round.

Edmonton selected Enock Makonzo fourth overall with their initial first round selection. The Coastal Carolina product was the Elks’ prime target after trading out of the top pick earlier in the day in a deal with the Montreal Alouettes. The Swiss Army Knife defensive back played 216 snaps as an edge defender, 267 as a box linebacker, and added another 193 as a slot corner. In 13 games with the Chanticleers in 2021, the five-foot-11 Lachine, Quebec native made 71 tackles including 10 for a loss, forced three fumbles and had one fumble recovery, and allowed only 108 passing yards on 30 targets.

Makonzo was a two-time All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention in 2020 and 2021. He was named to the Pro Football Focus College Football All-Sun Belt first team in 2021 and the Phil Steele Sun Belt All-Conference third team in 2020. Over three seasons with the Chanticleers, Makonzo appeared in 27 games, totalling 150 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and five forced fumbles.

Prior to enrolling at Coastal Carolina, Makonzo attended New Mexico Military Institute, where he played two seasons for the Broncos in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, recording 105 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss over 18 career games.

Makonzo was the top-ranked defensive back, and eighth player overall, on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final rankings issued in April.

The Green and Gold used their second first round pick on 2021 Hec Crighton Trophy winning quarterback Tre Ford out of Waterloo. Edmonton was able to land Ford after trading for the 8th overall pick with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday night.

Ford swept university football’s top honours last season, winning both the U Sports and Ontario University Athletic conference’s most outstanding player awards in 2021 while also being named an All-Canadian and first-team OUA all-star. In six games, the Waterloo quarterback completed 63.4 per cent of his passes for 1465 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions, while adding 629 rushing yards and three scores on the ground.

Ford was the only quarterback included on the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final rankings at No. 4 and becomes the highest quarterback taken in the first round since 1980, when Sheldon Paris went seventh overall to the Calgary Stampeders.

The Elks next selected University of Calgary defensive lineman Jacob Plamondon with the 19th overall pick. In four seasons with the Calgary Dinos from 2017 to 2021, Plamondon played in 27 games and recorded 39 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks and one forced fumble.

The Red Deer, Alberta native was part of Calgary’s 2019 Vanier Cup championship team, which claimed the U Sports national championship with a 27-13 win over the Montreal Carabins.

With the 21st overall pick the Elks selected Marc-David Bien-Aimé. Bein-Amié is returning to football after having his collegiate career at Fresno State cut short by a meniscus injury.

The Montreal product, who graduated with a sociology degree in 2021, appeared in just one game for the Bulldogs as a true freshman in 2018. He previously played two seasons as a defensive tackle for Montmorency College in Laval, Quebec.

With the 28th overall pick the Elks snagged Queen’s long snapper Peter Adjey. Adjey played nine games for the Gaels last season and was the lone long snapper selected in the 2022 CFL Draft.

Manitoba receiver Gavin Cobb was next selected with the 30th overall pick. In 2021, Cobb had 27 receptions for 340 yards and five touchdowns with the Bisons. The Victoria, B.C., native also had a punt return touchdown and combined for 322 yard on returns and was a Canada West all-star as a returner.

Cobb shared the win in the vertical jump at the 2022 CFL Combine with a leap of 40.5 inches, building on his strong performance at the CFL West Regional Combine held in Edmonton a week earlier.

With the 39th pick the Elks drafted Tuskegee University linebacker Wesly Appolon. At Tuskegee, Appolon recorded 61 total tackles, one sack and two deflected passes in 11 games.

The Montreal product was selected one pick before his twin brother Woodly, who went 40th overall to the Ottawa RedBlacks.

With the 48th pick the Elks selected University of Charleston defensive back Jeremie Dominique. Dominique racked up 40 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks and three pass deflections on his way to second-team all-conference honours at safety last season.

He was ranked as the 17th best recruit in the nation by Canada Football Chat in 2017.

With the 57th pick the Elks selected Ottawa Gee-Gee running back Jean-Paul Cimankinda. In 2021, Cimankinda ​ rushed for 426 yards in six games. Prior to joining Ottawa, Cimankinda played at Guelph (2018), where his top performance was a 256-yard effort against the Waterloo Warriors, while adding eight touchdowns that season.

With their final selection, 66th overall, the Elks snagged McMaster linebacker Nate Edwards. Edwards, who joined McMaster in 2017, played in six games last season for the Marauders, registering 33 total tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.

The Ancaster, Ont. product enjoyed his best season in 2019 when he recorded a total of 77 tackles, six-and-a-half sacks, five pass breakups, and an interception. ​