Edmonton Elks release three, including receiver and returner Charles Nelson

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Edmonton Elks have released American receivers Charles Nelson and Hakeem Butler as well as Canadian defensive back Ethan Makonzo.

Nelson made two receptions for 18 yards, returned 14 punts for 85 yards, and returned 27 kickoffs for 503 yards for the team this season. He also started one game at safety, though he did not record any statistics.

The five-foot-eight, 170-pound speedster played four seasons at the University of Oregon, catching 124 passes for 1,555 yards and 14 touchdowns. Nelson also had 2,424 kick return yards and two kick return touchdowns during his time with the Ducks.

Butler joined the Elks after participating in training camp with the B.C. Lions. He dressed for one game with Edmonton and made one catch for five yards. He was a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 CFL Draft out of Iowa State.

Makonzo dressed for four games this season in a depth role and did not make the stat sheet. He is the older brother of Enock Makonzo, who the Elks selected fourth overall in the 2022 CFL Draft, and was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft.

The Elks have also signed American linebacker Mark McLaurin to the practice roster.

He played four seasons at Mississippi State where he made 224 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries with the Bulldogs. He tied the team’s single-season record for interceptions as a junior in 2017, becoming the first Bulldog since 2009 to tally six picks in a season.

McLaurin attended training camp with the New York Giants in 2019 where he suffered a broken foot early in camp and spent the entire season on injured reserve. He was released in August 2020.