3DownNation’s top 25 2023 CFL Draft prospects

Photo courtesy: Southern Utah Athletics

The 2023 CFL Draft is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET and 3DownNation will have you covered with all the best insight and analysis.

Justin Dunk and J.C. Abbott will be live on YouTube for all eight rounds for the fourth consecutive year, providing a viewing alternative to TSN with a greater focus on the prospects. For those seeking a text-based experience, John Hodge will once again be running the live blog and giving up-to-the-minute analysis on every single pick.

Over the last week, we’ve ranked the top prospects at every position group: running backs and fullbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, defensive backs, and specialists. Now, it’s time to see how they all stack up.

Without further ado, here are 3DownNation‘s top 25 available prospects in the 2023 CFL Draft.

Top 25

1. Matthew Bergeron, OL, Syracuse University (Victoriaville, Que.)

A second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons, Bergeron is seen as a potential starting tackle in the NFL. With his smooth feet and high ceiling as a run blocker, he’s unlikely to ever play in Canada.

2. Sydney Brown, DB, University of Illinois (London, Ont.)

Taken in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles, Brown was pegged by many as the top safety prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft thanks to his explosive movement skills. After being drafted that high, the likelihood he comes back north is low.

3. Sidy Sow, OL, Eastern Michigan University (Bromont, Que.)

A surprise fourth-round draftee, Sow was taken off the board much earlier than expected by the New England Patriots. That is a perfect fit for the fleet-footed run blocker and his CFL stock will take a tumble as a result.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

4. Chase Brown, RB, University of Illinois (London, Ont.)

One of the most prolific ball carriers in college football, Brown was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He’ll contribute for them as a rookie but running back longevity is often short-lived, leaving some potential CFL value as a futures pick.

5. Tavius Robinson, DL, University of Mississippi (Guelph, Ont.)

A six-foot-six, 257-pound pass rusher, Robinson was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He excelled after transferring from Guelph to the SEC, setting a precedent for how he’ll handle the jump in competition.

6. Jared Wayne, REC, University of Pittsburgh (Peterborough, Ont.)

Wayne is a thousand-yard receiver who makes up for a lack of speed with exceptional route-running, physicality over the middle, and short-area explosion. He’ll be buyer beware after signing with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent, but should still command a high pick as a futures prospect.

7. Jonathan Sutherland, DB, Penn State University (Ottawa, Ont.)

A hybrid safety at Penn State who projects as a CFL linebacker, Sutherland has tremendous natural instincts, impressive intangibles, and dominant special teams tape. He was the favourite to go first overall before signing a UDFA deal with the Seattle Seahawks and could still go early as a futures pick.

8. Francis Bemiy, DL, Southern Utah University (Montreal, Que.)

A long-armed pass rusher with great lateral quickness and bend, Bemiy is ready to contribute early as part of a defensive end rotation. Top-tier coaching could refine his technique and unlock another level of production from his prototypical frame.

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian

9. Dontae Bull, OL, Fresno State University (Victoria, B.C.)

A four-year starter in the NCAA, Bull’s imposing size at six-foot-six and 322 pounds makes him a mauler in the run game, though some question his foot speed in pass protection. His nearly 84-inch wing span gives him a chance to start at tackle in the CFL but he could struggle if forced inside to guard due to his stiffness and slim lower body.

10. Cole Tucker, REC, Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Ill.)

Canadian on his mother’s side, Tucker is a reliable possession receiver with the physicality to contribute as a blocker. With five years of solid production at NIU, he could be a day-one starter at field-side wideout as a rookie.

11. Lake Korte-Moore, DL, University of British Columbia (Ottawa, Ont.)

Best suited to play inside at the next level, Korte-Moore’s explosive power and short-area quickness could be a lethal combination. He has not yet peaked as a player and will be able to contribute on special teams while adding to his already impressive frame.

12. Siriman Harrison Bagayogo, DB, University of Guelph (Bois-des-Filion, Que.)

An elite press-man corner with special fluidity and length, Bagayogo surrendered just 16 catches in his entire college career. He will need the right situation to excel, as questions around his ability to translate to CFL Zone defences and his willingness as a tackler don’t make him a fit for everyone.

Courtesy: University of Montreal Athletics

13. Michael Brodrique, LB, Université de Montréal (Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Que.)

A prototypical CFL linebacker with sideline-to-sideline speed, elite lateral quickness, and natural instincts, Brodrique will make an immediate impact on special teams and could start down the line.

14. Lucas Cormier, DB, Mount Allison University (Sackville, N.B.)

Talented enough to overcome the AUS stigma, Cormier is a ballhawk at safety with great closing speed and a solid frame. There is growing chatter that he could be the first defensive back off the board on draft day.

15. Clark Barnes, REC, University of Guelph (Brampton, Ont.)

An explosive athlete whose college career was marred by injuries and poor quarterbacking, Barnes is the best separator among the receivers and has proven to be a dangerous kickoff returner. He’ll need to answer questions about his effort level and durability to excel as a pro.

16. Jaxon Ford, DB, University of Regina (Regina, Ssk.)

Ford is a polished safety prospect with a special-teams-ready build, great movement skills, and excellent mental processing. His depth of experience and dedication to film study could make him a future starter.

Photo courtesy: TCU Athletics

17. Lwal Uguak, DL, Texas Christian University (Edmonton, Alta.)

Uguak showed impressive twitch and length when playing defensive tackle for UConn, but struggled to see the field after transferring to TCU. After trimming down to 261 pounds for the pre-draft process, he’ll need to add weight back on to maximize his skill set inside.

18. Josh White, LB, University of Regina (Regina, Ssk.)

A criminally underrated weakside linebacker who diagnoses well against either run or pass, White has great instincts and the explosive burst to finish. He’ll be an instant contributor on special teams.

19. Jeremy Murphy, REC, Concordia University (Montreal, Que.)

Murphy is a sure-handed, contested catch specialist who appears to play larger than his frame. He hauls down everything thrown in his direction but is often forced into difficult situations due to his slow speed out of cuts, making separation difficult.

20. Anthony Bennett, DL, University of Regina (Weston, Fla.)

Undersized and older than most prospects at 26 years old, Bennett’s speed, relentless motor, and elite bend make up for those deficiencies. A football junkie, he’ll be a chase-down specialist on the teams early in his career.

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

21. Phillip Grohovac, OL, Western University (Victoria, B.C.)

A nasty road-grader in the run game, Grohovac could contribute right away for a team with a downhill rushing attack. There will be a learning curve in pass protection, however, where he needs to improve his ability to redirect and can get caught chasing his hands.

22. Evan Floren, OL, Queen’s University (Ancaster, Ont.)

The most naturally athletic offensive lineman available, Floren has great initial quickness and keeps his feet driving on contact. His pad level and finish could be improved, but the innate traits are there for success.

23. James Peter, LB, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ont.)

An undersized linebacker who stands at just five-foot-10, Peter’s violent finish as a tackler makes him seem like a giant. He’s got excellent short-area quickness but can struggle a bit in space, with his highest upside coming on special teams.

24. Dayton Black, OL, University of Saskatchewan (Brandon, Man.)

A converted quarterback with just a single year of starting experience at left tackle, Black has the highest ceiling of any offensive line prospect. He remains raw but has the length, smooth feet, and natural anchor to potentially stick at tackle, though speed will cause him issues.

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

Burton-Krahn is an elite long-snapping prospect with the special size, length and athletic ability to contribute in other ways on defence or special teams.

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.