3DownNation contributors choose award winners for first third of CFL season

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The first third of the 2022 CFL season is in the books, which means it’s time to project who could be taking home hardware at the end of the year.

These selections were made by soliciting nominations from 3DownNation contributors and using them to create a ballot with five candidates for each award. The contributors completed the ballots by selecting a winner in each category as well as one alternate, which generated the results you see below.

We have listed runners-up for each award in order of how many votes they received from most to fewest. Unlike the CFL’s year-end award qualification process, divisions were not taken into account.

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Most Outstanding Rookie — REC Dalton Schoen, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The six-foot-one, 218-pound target is the third-leading receiver in the CFL, sitting ahead of stars such as Kenny Lawler, Eugene Lewis, Duke Williams, and Reggie Begelton. He has made 28 receptions for 503 yards and four touchdowns this year, putting him on pace for almost 1,300 yards and ten touchdowns on the season.

Runners-up: SAM Titus Wall, Calgary Stampeders; SAM Donald Rutledge Jr., Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman — LT Stanley Bryant, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The six-time CFL all-star appears to be the favourite to win his fourth Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award this year, though the vote was tight. Winnipeg’s offensive line hasn’t looked as dominant as it has in past years, allowing 1.7 sacks per game (third-best league-wide) and helping generate 3.8 yards per rush (worst league-wide).

Runners-up: RT Julian Good-Jones, Calgary Stampeders; LT Derek Dennis, Calgary Stampeders; RT Kent Perkins, B.C. Lions; LT Ucambre Williams, Ottawa Redblacks.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Most Outstanding Special Teams Player — KR Chandler Worthy, Montreal Alouettes

The 28-year-old has been the most dangerous return specialist in the CFL this year, bringing back two kickoffs for touchdowns. He ranks third league-wide in punt return yards and kickoff return yards despite playing only five games this season. It seems reasonable to assume that the Toronto Argonauts probably regret releasing him after training camp.

Runners-up: K Rene Paredes, Calgary Stampeders; KR Lawrence Woods III, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; P Richie Leone, Ottawa Redblacks.

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

Most Outstanding Canadian — QB Nathan Rourke, B.C. Lions

The native of Victoria, B.C. was a unanimous selection for this award, which isn’t a surprise considering how he’s taken the CFL by storm. He’s completed 78.8 percent of his passes for 1,605 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions and rushed 19 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Lions to a 4-1 start.

Runners-up: REC Kian Schaffer-Baker, Saskatchewan Roughriders; DB Tunde Adeleke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; RB Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts.

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Most Outstanding Defensive Player — LB Adam Bighill, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The six-time CFL all-star continues to make plays all over the field, contributing as a pass-rusher, a traditional linebacker, and in the secondary. He has made 28 tackles and two sacks this season and leads a Blue Bombers defence that has allowed 16.3 points per game (best league-wide) and generated 20 takeaways (second-best league-wide).

Runners-up: DL Pete Robertson, Saskatchewan Roughriders; LB Larry Dean, Saskatchewan Roughriders; LB Wynton McManis, Toronto Argonauts.

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/BC Lions

Most Outstanding Player — QB Nathan Rourke, B.C. Lions

The 24-year-old leads the CFL in touchdown passes, passing yards per start, quarterback rating (min. 25 completions), completion percentage (min. 25 attempts), and rushing yards by a quarterback. The last time a Canadian player won M.O.P. was in 2013 when Jon Cornish ran for 1,813 yards and 12 touchdowns as a member of the Calgary Stampeders.

Runners-up: QB Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers; RB Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders; REC Greg Ellingson, Winnipeg Blue Bombers.