2023 CFL Draft position rankings: specialists

Photo courtesy: Rich Lam/UBC Athletics Photo

The 2023 CFL Draft is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET and, as always, 3DownNation has you covered with all the in-depth analysis.

Over the past week, we’ve been unveiling our top prospects at every position group, culminating in our pre-draft top 25 ranking. We already revealed our list of the top running backs and fullbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs. Today, we’ll wrap everything up with the specialists.

Global punters may have taken over on special teams, but there is still a place in the CFL for elite Canadians in the kicking game — particularly if you prove capable of doing multiple jobs. Those players are few and far between, but elite long snappers are suddenly in abundance in this draft.

Long snappers

1. Luke Burton-Krahn, University of British Columbia (Victoria, B.C.)

A burgeoning threat off the edge for the Thunderbirds, Burton-Krahn’s six-foot-one, 237-pound frame, 34-inch arms, and impressive athletic testing would merit drafting as a defender. Those traits, coupled with his elite snapping ability, make him unique and he will be a day-one contributor, with the versatility to add value for teams that don’t have an immediate need at the position.

Photo courtesy: Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

2. Adam Guillemette, College of the Holy Cross (Cambridge, Ont.)

A true long-snapper with a solid six-foot, 222-pound frame, Guillemette has the polished skill set that you would expect from someone who specialized at an early age and played in the NCAA. Accurate with his delivery and quick into his blocks, he can start for a team as a rookie.

3. Pierre-Gabriel Germain, Université de Montréal (Montreal, Que.)

A contributor at linebacker and on various other special teams in addition to his work as a snapper, Germain isn’t afraid to get physical. His limitation is size, standing at just five-foot-nine and 192 pounds.

Kickers and punters

Photo courtesy: Marisa Settimi/McMaster Athletics

1. Campbell Fair, University of Ottawa (Carrying Place, Ont.)

Likely the only kicker with a chance to get drafted, Fair’s 55-yard game-winner against Laurier this year tied him for the third-longest field goal in U Sports history. He has a career field goal accuracy of 70.6 percent but has improved each year and hasn’t missed a point-after since he was a freshman, with a 37.7-yard average as a punter to go with it.

2. Louis Tardif, Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec City, Quebec)

Listed at just five-foot-six, Tardif has made accuracy his trademark with the Vert et Or. He’s 78.1 percent for his career on field goals and has never missed an extra point, though his career-long is just 48 yards.

3. Ben George, Acadia University (Moncton, N.B.)

Though he’s not an elite athlete at five-foot-10 and 188 pounds, George has started at cornerback for the Axemen and boasts three career interceptions. He has also served as an inconsistently accurate kicker but his true prowess is as a punter with a 39.6-yard career average and 29 punts pinned inside his opponent’s 20-yard line.

4. Kieran Flannery-Fleck, University of British Columbia (Ottawa, Ont.)

A transfer from Carleton, Flannery Fleck has averaged 36 yards per punt since arriving in Point Grey. He also went 8-for-15 on field goals last season, with a long of 47 yards.

5. Douglas Pollard, Olivet College (Monroe, Mich.)

A late addition to the draft class, Pollard last saw game action in 2018 and hit on 17-of-22 career field goal attempts with a long of 46 yards. The 27-year-old originally played at the University of Toledo in 2015, before transferring to the Division III level.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.