Comprehensive guide to Canadians and former CFL players in NFL training camps in 2022

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

NFL training camps are opening across the United States with Tuesday being the final day for veteran players to report to their respective teams.

Full-contact practices won’t begin until Saturday, July 30. Let’s take a look at all 49 Canadians and former CFL players that will be participating in NFL training camps this year along with a number of key free agents.

Players are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Please note that ‘N’ denotes nationals (ie. Canadians), ‘A’ denotes Americans, and ‘G’ denotes Globals.

DB DeAundre Alford (A) — Atlanta Falcons

CFL rights holder: None

The 24-year-old was named a CFL all-star at cornerback in 2021, his first with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He received a large signing bonus to join his hometown Falcons and is expected to make the final 53-man roster as a member of the secondary.

DL Eli Ankou (N) — Buffalo Bills

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The Ottawa native was a member of four different teams in 2021 but seems to have found a home with the Bills. He played five games with the team in a rotational role last season, recording nine total tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack. He has dressed for 33 career games over five NFL seasons.

Photo: AP/Justin Rex

TE Antony Auclair (N) — Houston Texans

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The five-year veteran caught his first career touchdown pass last season and almost doubled his money on a new contract that will pay him $1.9 million in 2022. Auclair has now dressed for 56 career NFL games with 33 starts since completing his U Sports career with Laval.

DL Brandin Bryant (A) — Buffalo Bills

CFL rights holder: None

The former Blue Bomber and Alouette is entering his third season with the Bills, though he has spent most of that time on the practice roster. He dressed for two games in 2021, making two total tackles with one quarterback hit.

DB Tevaughn Campbell (N) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: None

The Regina product and native of Scarborough, Ont. started a career-high seven games last season, recording 40 total tackles, four knockdowns, two fumble recoveries, and one fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Photo courtesy: Caitlyn Epes/Pittsburgh Steelers

REC Chase Claypool (N) — Pittsburgh Steelers

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The former second-round pick’s production declined slightly this past year but he still managed to record 59 receptions for 860 yards and two touchdowns. Claypool’s production is expected to improve in 2022 following the free agent departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster, though he’ll have to develop quick chemistry with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett.

DL Christian Covington (N) – Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The son of all-time CFL sack leader Grover Covington enters his eighth NFL season as one of six Canadian players on L.A.’s roster. He dressed for 16 games with the team last year, making three starts while recording 52 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble.

DB Brandin Dandridge (A) — Kansas City Chiefs

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The five-foot-eleven, 183-pound cover man dressed for only 12 games over two seasons with the Redblacks but clearly put enough on tape to impress NFL scouts. He made 12 total tackles and four interceptions at boundary cornerback with Ottawa in 2021 to earn his first-ever shot at the NFL.

DL Jamal Davis (A) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: Montreal Alouettes

The 26-year-old made nine starts this past season, recording 17 tackles and four sacks as a CFL rookie. He signed with the Chargers during the NFL window in January, which means the Alouettes hold his CFL rights through the 2022 season. He was previously a member of five different NFL teams, dressing for three games with the Miami Dolphins in 2019.

Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky

KR DeVonte Dedmon (A) — Miami Dolphins

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The CFL’s reigning Most Outstanding Special Teams Player recorded five career return touchdowns over 16 games with the Redblacks. Diontae Spencer used his tenure in Ottawa as a springboard to the NFL in 2019 and Dedmon did the same thing three years later, earning a shot with the Dolphins.

OL Drew Desjarlais (N) — New England Patriots

CFL rights holder: None

The native of Belle River, Ont. was named a West Division all-star in 2021 and won his second Grey Cup ring in as many seasons. The 25-year-old fits New England’s scheme perfectly as an athletic blocker capable making an impact in the run game.

OL Sage Doxtater (N) — New Orleans Saints

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

The six-foot-seven, 350-pound blocker went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft but signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent. He was a second-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft by the Argonauts and projects as a potential ratio-breaker at offensive tackle north of the border.

OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (N) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: Montreal Alouettes

The eight-year veteran has 64 career starts to his name as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, earning $25.5 million USD over his NFL career. His CFL rights were recently traded from Calgary to Montreal, though there has yet to be any indication that he will sign with the team.

LB Samuel Eguavoen (A) — Miami Dolphins

CFL rights holder: None

The former Saskatchewan Roughrider has dressed for 49 games over the past three seasons in Miami, recording 67 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, two knockdowns, and two fumble recoveries. He signed back with the Dolphins in March on a one-year deal that will pay him $1.69 million in 2022.

Photo: AP/Ron Jenkins

DL Neville Gallimore (N) — Dallas Cowboys

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The former third-round pick missed most of the 2021 season due to a dislocated elbow, dressing for only five regular season games. He made 13 total tackles, three tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in those contests and projects as a starter in Dallas this season.

K/P Lirim Hajrullahu (N) — Dallas Cowboys

CFL rights holder: None

The Western University product was a member of three different NFL teams in 2021, going four-for-five on field goals, eight-for-eight on converts, and posting a 64.7-yard average on kickoffs. Hajrullahu will compete for the kicking job with rookie undrafted free agent Jonathan Garibay.

DB Erik Harris (A) — Atlanta Falcons

CFL rights holder: None

The six-foot-two, 220-pound defender started 12 games for the Falcons last year, recording 64 total tackles, three tackles for loss, eight knockdowns, and 0.5 sacks. He will earn $1.27 million this upcoming season, which will be his seventh in the NFL.

REC N’Keal Harry (N) — Chicago Bears

CFL rights holder: None

The Toronto native has never lived up to the hype following his selection in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, making just 57 receptions for 598 yards and four touchdowns over 33 career games. He was traded to Chicago in July, giving him a fresh start to potentially reignite his career.

DL Michael Hoecht (N) — Los Angeles Rams

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The native of Oakville, Ont. made the active roster in L.A. this past season after spending his entire rookie year on the practice roster in 2020. He made seven total tackles over 17 games in a rotational role, helping the Rams capture Super Bowl LVI over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Photo: AP/Matt Durisko

DB Jevon Holland (N) — Miami Dolphins

CFL rights holder: None

The native of Coquitlam, B.C. was a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and had an excellent rookie year, recording 69 total tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, ten knockdowns, two interceptions, and three fumble recoveries. He was almost named to the Pro Bowl last season, so don’t surprised if it happens this year.

RB Chuba Hubbard (N) — Carolina Panthers

CFL rights holder: Calgary Stampeders

The former Heisman Trophy candidate was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and started ten games as a rookie, rushing for 612 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll look to improve on a lacklustre 3.6-yards-per-carry average heading into his second year.

OL Ryan Hunter (N) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

The native of North Bay, Ont. has spent the past two years on the practice roster in L.A. after dressing for three games with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. He was a first-round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft out of Bowling Green.

OL Alaric Jackson (N) — Los Angeles Rams

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The Windsor, Ont. native spent most of last season on the practice roster but ended up dressing for four games late in the year. Future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller raved about Jackson during Super Bowl week, calling him a “young star” who will soon be a starter in the NFL.

TE Rysen John (N) — Chicago Bears

CFL rights holder: Calgary Stampeders

The Vancouver native was claimed off waivers from the New York Giants in May after spending two years on the practice roster and injured reserve. John made six catches for 72 yards during the preseason in 2021, though he has yet to make his regular season NFL debut.

Photo: AP/David Zalubowski

OL Brett Jones (N) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The native of Weyburn, Sask. completed his seventh NFL season in 2021 as a member of the Denver Broncos, though he spent the entire year on injured reserve. He has dressed for 61 career games with 19 starts but remains unsigned after becoming a free agent in March.

DL Daniel Joseph (N) — Buffalo Bills

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The Brampton native made 83 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles over 22 games at North Carolina State before signing the Bills as an undrafted free agent. He was a first-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft, going fourth overall to B.C.

P Jake Julien (N) — New England Patriots

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The native of Barrie, Ont. punted 221 times for an average of 44 yards over five seasons at Eastern Michigan and signed with the Pats as an undrafted free agent in April. He was a fourth-round pick of the Redblacks in the 2021 CFL Draft.

TE Nikola Kalinic (N) — Indianapolis Colts

CFL rights holder: None

The former second-round CFL draft pick spent two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, recording 23 receptions for 192 yards and one touchdown along with 11 special teams tackles. He has the right combination of size, speed, and strength to make an impact at the NFL level.

DL Jonathan Kongbo (N) — Denver Broncos

CFL rights holder: None

Raised in Surrey, B.C., Kongbo was a first-round pick in the 2019 CFL Draft who recorded 29 total tackles and four sacks over two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. This is his second NFL opportunity as he was in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers in 2020.

OL Pier-Olivier Lestage (N) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: Montreal Alouettes

The Université de Montréal product spent all of last season on the practice roster with the Seattle Seahawks after signing with the team as an undrafted NFL free agent. He was waived by the team in June and remains a free agent.

Photo courtesy: Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

REC Brayden Lenius (N) — Atlanta Falcons

CFL rights holder: None

The 25-year-old caught 37 passes for 471 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns in 2021, leading to his first NFL opportunity with Atlanta. At six-foot-five, Lenius could be used as a wideout, slotback or tight end with the Falcons.

DB Deane Leonard (N) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Calgary native was a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after showing an impressive combination of size and speed at Ole Miss’ pro day. Leonard was also a second-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft, though the Ticats will have to wait and see how things pan out with the Chargers.

K/P Ty Long (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The former B.C. Lions’ specialist dressed for 49 games with the L.A. Chargers over the past three seasons, punting 151 times for an average of 46.5 yards per attempt. He has been a free agent since his contract expired in March.

LB Jesse Luketa (N) — Arizona Cardinals

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

The six-foot-three, 255-pound defender was projected to be a mid-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft but ended up falling to Arizona in the seventh round. Luketa should excel on special teams, though he could also contribute in a number of depth roles defensively.

K/P Brett Maher (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The 32-year-old has been a member of six different NFL teams over the past four seasons, dressing for 37 games with the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. He has made 65-of-84 career field goal attempts for a success rate of 77.4 percent.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

REC John Metchie III (N) — Houston Texans

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The Alabama product was a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is impressive considering he’s still recovering from a torn ACL. He was potentially going to start for the Texans as a rookie but sadly announced that he has been diagnosed with leukemia, making it unlikely that he will play football this season.

REC Marken Michel (A) — Washington Commanders

CFL rights holder: None

The former Calgary Stampeder has bounced around the NFL for the past three years with the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Commanders. He rejoined Washington on a futures contract in January 2022 to give him another shot to crack their active roster this year.

K JJ Molson (N) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Montreal native spent all of last season on the practice squad with the Green Bay Packers but was released in May. He was a seventh-round pick of the Ticats in the 2020 CFL Draft out of UCLA.

OL Jordan Murray (A) — Indianapolis Colts

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The six-foot-nine, 330-pound blocker won Hamilton’s starting job at left tackle this past season after beginning the year on the practice roster. Murray left for the Colts by exercising the NFL option window, which means his CFL rights belong to the Ticats through 2022.

OL Carter O’Donnell (N) — Indianapolis Colts

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Elks

The University of Alberta product has spent the past two seasons on the practice roster in Indianapolis and will be looking to reach the active roster in 2022. His CFL rights were recently traded from Montreal to Edmonton as part of the deal that sent the first overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft to the Alouettes.

Photo courtesy: AP/Kyusung Gong

LB Amen Ogbongbemiga (N) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: Calgary Stampeders

Raised in Calgary, Ogbongbemiga went unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft despite being a standout at Oklahoma State. He ended up making L.A.’s roster and had a strong rookie season, recording 26 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack over 17 games with two starts.

DL David Onyemata (N) — New Orleans Saints

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The University of Manitoba product missed the first six games of the 2021 season after testing positive for a banned substance. He reentered the starting lineup in Week 8 had had another impactful season, recording 34 total tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, and one fumble recovery.

LB Ayo Oyelola (G) — Jacksonville Jaguars

CFL rights holder: None

The University of Nottingham product dressed for one game with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021 but didn’t register a statistic. He was allocated to the Jaguars through the NFL’s International Pathways Program in May.

REC Josh Palmer (N) — Los Angeles Chargers

CFL rights holder: None

The Brampton native was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Tennessee and had a solid rookie campaign, making 33 catches for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Palmer’s production should only increase as burgeoning superstar quarterback Justin Herbert continues to improve.

QB Brett Rypien (N) — Denver Broncos

The nephew of Calgary native and Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien has spent the past three seasons with the Broncos primarily on the practice roster. He has dressed for four career games with one start, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions.

OL Dakoda Shepley (N) — Seattle Seahawks

CFL rights holder: None

The native of Windsor, Ont. dressed for eight games with the Seahawks in 2021 after being claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers. The former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ guard has now dressed for nine NFL games after departing the club via the CFL’s opt-out clause in August 2020.

DL Nathan Shepherd (N) — New York Jets

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Ajax, Ont. native is coming off his fourth season with the Jets in which he recorded 28 total tackles over 17 games. He signed a one-year extension with New York in March that will pay him $1.09 million in 2022.

Photo: AP/David Zalubowski

LB Alex Singleton (N) — Denver Broncos

CFL rights holder: None

The former Calgary Stampeder signed a one-year contract with the Broncos in March that will pay him $1.12 million. He is coming off a strong season with the Philadelphia Eagles during which he made a career-high 137 total tackles along with four tackles for loss, four knockdowns, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

REC Diontae Spencer (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The 30-year-old wasn’t retained by the Broncos when he became a free agent in March. He returned 68 punts for 667 yards and a touchdown and 47 kickoff returns for 1,008 yards over 42 career games with the team.

DB Benjamin St-Juste (N) — Washington Commanders

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

The Montreal native was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and played nine games as a rookie with three starts, recording 26 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and three knockdowns. His impressive combination of speed and length gives him a very high ceiling in the NFL.

QB Chris Streveler (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The dual-threat quarterback was waived by the Arizona Cardinals in November and has had subsequent stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. Given that he’s been a free agent for the past two months, Streveler appears committed to exhausting all NFL opportunities before seriously considering a return to the CFL.

DB Channing Stribling (A) — Washington Commanders

CFL rights holder: None

The 27-year-old played four games as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2021, recording six tackles. He signed with the Commanders on July 14 following a standout season with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL during which he recorded seven interceptions and 11 knockdowns.

DL Brent Urban (N) — Baltimore Ravens

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Mississauga native is back where it all began after signing with the team that drafted him way back in 2014. Urban has played 76 career games with the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, and Dallas Cowboys, recording 107 total tackles, ten tackles for loss, nine knockdowns, and six sacks.

OL Greg Van Roten (A) — Buffalo Bills

CFL rights holder: None

The former Toronto Argonaut continues to enjoy success south of the border, entering his ninth NFL season. He has dressed for 77 games with 50 starts as a member of the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and New York Jets.

Photo: AP/Michael Ainsworth

DL James Vaughters (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The 29-year-old was released by the Atlanta Falcons in May following one year with the team. Vaughters has recorded 33 total tackles, two tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble over 27 career NFL games since departing the Calgary Stampeders.

DL Kendal Vickers (A) — Las Vegas Raiders

CFL rights holder: None

The six-foot-three, 295-pound defender has made ten total tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks since departing the Edmonton Football Team following the 2018 season. He has dressed for 17 games over the past two seasons in Las Vegas with two starts.

DL Luiji Vilain (N) — Minnesota Vikings

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto native made the most of his transfer to Wake Forest in 2021, recording 34 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft but got $227,000 in guaranteed money to sign with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent.

DL Jonathan Woodard (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The 28-year-old recorded 22 total tackles, 10 sacks, and two forced fumbles in his first CFL season in 2021, leading him to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs in February. He was waived by the team in May and remains a free agent, though the Riders have had discussions with him regarding a possible return.

DL Justin Zimmer (A) — Free Agent

CFL rights holder: None

The six-foot-three, 305-pound defender wasn’t retained by the Bills after suffering a season-ending knee injury in November 2021. He recorded 34 total tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble with three NFL teams following his stint with the Montreal Alouettes.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/John Bazemore

REC Brandon Zylstra (A) — Carolina Panthers

CFL rights holder: None

The 29-year-old is coming off his best NFL season during which he made 18 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown. Zylstra started three games at receiver but also plays a valuable role in other facets of the game, taking part in 55 percent of Carolina’s plays on special teams.