The B.C. Lions put an emphasis on the trenches in the 2022 Canadian Football League Draft, selecting a total of nine prospects. The Leos added a total of five conference all-stars from U Sports programs and also took a big swing for the fences in the later rounds.
A complete recap of all the picks:
Round one, third overall — DL Nathan Cherry, Saskatchewan
Cherry suited up in 30 games over the last three seasons with the Saskatchewan Huskies, racking up 37.5 total tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks. The six-foot-three, 245-pound Cherry earned U Sports first-team All-Canadian and Canada West all-star honours in 2021 while also helping the Huskies win both the Hardy Cup and Uteck Bowl last season.
Cherry suited up in the 2021 Vanier Cup where Saskatchewan fell 27-21 to the Western Mustangs. Cherry is the first Huskies defensive lineman to be selected in round one of the CFL Draft.
Round two, 12th overall — OL Noah Zerr, Saskatchewan
A teammate of Cherry’s at Saskatchewan, the hulking six-foot-seven, 330-pound offensive lineman recently accepted a mini-camp invitation from the NFL’s New York Giants. Zerr appeared in 30 games over four seasons with the Huskies, starting all but one of those at left tackle.
Accolades in 2021 included being named a U Sports first-team All-Canadian and Canada West all-star en route to helping the offence pound their way to wins in the Hardy Cup and Uteck Bowl. Zerr was also voted the Huskies’ lineman of the year.
Round three, 23rd overall — DL Joshua Archibald, McGill
A two-time Quebec conference all-star selection, the Montreal native recorded 66 combined tackles, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries in 28 games with McGill from 2017-2021.
Archibald was also selected to play in the East-West Bowl in 2021 and won the Vic Obeck Trophy as McGill’s most improved player.
Round three, 29th overall — LB Ryder Varga, Regina
The versatile linebacker appeared in 21 contests over four seasons with the Regina Rams. Along with racking up 91 combined tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries, the Regina native was a 2021 Canada West all-star and also earned an invitation to the College Gridiron Showcase early this year. Varga also earned Academic All-Canadian honours four straight years.
Round four, 32nd overall — DB Adrian Greene, St. Mary’s
Greene attended St. Mary’s from 2018-2021 and registered 37 combined tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in 20 total appearances. Voted to the 2021 East-West Bowl, Greene also served as a defensive captain for the Huskies.
Round five, 41st overall — DL Riley Pickett, Saskatchewan
Pickett was named Defensive MVP of the 2021 Uteck Bowl where the Saskatchewan Huskies upset the Montreal Carabins. Pickett appeared in 21 contests with Saskatchewan from 2018-2021, racking up 58.5 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, seven pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Pickett was also a Canada West all-star last season, along with fellow Lions picks Nathan Cherry and Noah Zerr.
Round six, 50th overall — DL Frednick Eveillard, Ottawa
After switching from receiver to defensive line, the Gatineau, Quebec native registered 10 combined tackles, three tackles for a loss, two-and-a-half sacks and one forced fumble in six contests with the Ottawa Gee-Gees last season.
Round seven, 59th overall — REC John Metchie III, Alabama
A two-time Jon Cornish Trophy winner as the best Canadian player in the NCAA, Metchie III helped the Crimson Tide win the College Football National Championship at the end of the 2020 season.
Metchie emerged as Alabama’s top receiver in 2021 and recorded 155 receptions in 39 contests over three seasons, good for seventh-best in school history. Metchie III also earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference accolades in 2021 and was selected in the second round (44th overall) by the Houston Texans in the most recent NFL Draft.
Round eight, 68th overall — DL Adam Wallace, Ottawa
Wallace appeared in 15 games over three seasons with the Gee-Gees, racking up eight-and-a-half total tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss and two-and-a-half sacks.