B.C. Lions’ defensive end Mathieu Betts worked out for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Canadian is coming off a breakout 2022 season in which he recorded 26 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, and seven sacks for a revitalized Lions’ defensive line. It marked a career resurgence for the once highly-touted prospect who had floundered amidst organizational struggles with the Edmonton Elks.
Betts was originally selected by Edmonton with the third overall pick in the 2019 CFL Draft, but signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent. He was released during training camp and headed north to join the Elks mid-season.
The Montreal native made one tackle, two sacks, and one forced fumble in six games as a CFL rookie, proving his dominance at the collegiate level was no fluke. He had a down year when he returned to the field in 2021, recording 12 tackles in 13 games without notching a sack.
Prior to turning pro, Betts won two Vanier Cups as a member of the Laval Rouge et Or. He won the J. P. Metras Trophy in three consecutive years (2016-18) as the best lineman in U Sports, becoming the first player ever to do so.
Betts remains under contract with the Lions through 2023 but is permitted to pursue opportunities south of the border via the league’s NFL window. Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive back Tyrell Ford also participated in the workout with Betts.