Analyzing every pick in the 2023 CFL Draft

Photo courtesy: University of Regina Athletics

The 2023 CFL Draft is finally here and it’s time to analyze each of the 72 picks as they roll in over the course of Tuesday evening.

If you’re unfamiliar with how the CFL draft works, click here for my answers to a number of frequently asked questions about the most unique draft in all of professional sports.

3DownNation has ranked the talent available at each position group with the exception of quarterback as no passers are expected to be drafted this year. You can find them using the following links: running backsfullbacksreceiversoffensive linemendefensive linemenlinebackersdefensive backs, and specialists.

We have also ranked the top 25 prospects overall, which you can find by clicking here. Please also check out my latest mock draft to see which picks I got right and which picks I got wrong.

Seven of this year’s top-ranked prospects are expected to fall down CFL draft boards after securing NFL opportunities for the upcoming season.

Syracuse offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron, Illinois defensive back Sydney Brown, Eastern Michigan offensive lineman Sidy Sow, Ole Miss defensive lineman Tavius Robinson, and Illinois running back Chase Brown were all selected as part of a record-setting number of Canadian players taken in last week’s NFL draft. These players are expected to fall into the late rounds of the CFL draft given that most — and possibly all — will never play north of the border.

Pittsburgh receiver Jared Wayne and Penn State defensive back Jonathan Sutherland both signed NFL contracts as undrafted free agents, which means they will also fall down draft boards, albeit not anywhere close to the same extent.

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1 (1) Ottawa Redblacks — OL Dontae Bull, Fresno State

3DownNation‘s No. 9-ranked prospect.

The native of Victoria, B.C. started 33 games at offensive tackle during his tenure with the Bulldogs, though he missed the final six games of this past season due to a broken leg. Though he has yet to fully recover from the injury, Bull leapt a 25.5-inch vertical jump at Fresno State’s pro day, showing scouts that he isn’t far from returning to full health.

The six-foot-six, 322-pound blocker was the fourth-ranked run-blocker among offensive tackles in all of NCAA Division I football this past season according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). He’s got a top-heavy build but has the potential to be a ratio-breaking tackle in the CFL. If he were healthy, it’s likely that Bull would have at least garnered an invitation to an NFL rookie minicamp.

The Redblacks clearly consider rebuilding their offensive line to be a high priority as they invested their top two picks in last year’s draft at the position. I like this pick. Bull is only available because of his injury and should be a difference-maker for Ottawa in the relatively near future.

Check out Bull’s full draft profile here.

1 (2) Edmonton Elks — LB Michael Brodrique, Montreal

3DownNation‘s No. 13-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-two, 222-pound defender ran an impressive 4.59-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine, securing his stock as a consensus first-round pick. There was speculation that Brodrique could end up with his hometown Alouettes, though the Elks have taken him before Montreal got a chance to select him.

The two-time RSEQ all-star made 68.5 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, two pass knockdowns, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and one interception with the Carabins and was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian in 2021.

Brodrique projects as a starter at middle linebacker who should also be able to contribute at weak-side linebacker. He runs sideline to sideline well and makes sense for an Edmonton team that starts a veteran Canadian like Adam Konar in the linebacking corps.

Check out Brodrique’s full draft profile here.

1 (3) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DL Lake Korte-Moore, UBC

3DownNation‘s No. 11-ranked prospect.

The Ottawa native was a highly-competitive ski racer in his youth who participated in national and international competitions. Since then, Korte-Moore has become a top U Sports pass-rusher. He generally played coming off the edge at the collegiate level but is a good candidate to move inside in the CFL given his six-foot-four, 264-pound frame. He plays with more power than finesse.

Korte-Moore was named a Canada West all-star this past year after recording 22 total tackles, six tackles for loss, five sacks, and one pass knockdown. He’s a good fit for the Riders, a team that needs to get better along the line of scrimmage.

Fans in Saskatchewan might be disappointed that the team didn’t select an offensive lineman here, but this year’s group of offensive linemen is not nearly as strong as the defensive linemen. This is a good use of resources with the Riders potentially set to grab an offensive lineman in round two.

Check out Korte-Moore’s full draft profile here.

1 (4) Calgary Stampeders (via Hamilton) — REC Cole Tucker, Northern Illinois

3DownNation‘s No. 10-ranked prospect.

The native of DeKalb, Ill. was a late addition to this year’s draft class as he qualified for Canadian status through his mother, who was born in Brandon, Man. before earning a gymnastics scholarship to Northern Illinois.

Tucker made 155 catches for 2,030 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Huskies and ran a 4.67-second forty-yard dash at the school’s recent pro day. The six-foot-one, 193-pound target projects as a CFL slotback who will benefit from the waggle.

His father, Brett Tucker, was a walk-on at defensive back for Northern Illinois who was selected in the eighth round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. Tucker received an invitation to attend rookie minicamp with the Minnesota Vikings, which will give him an opportunity to earn an NFL contract for training camp.

This is a great pick for the Stampeders, who needed to add some firepower to their receiving corps. With Jalen Philpot emerging last year and Tucker in the mix alongside players like Rysen John and Luther Hakunavanhu, Calgary suddenly has one of the league’s best groups of young Canadian receivers.

Check out Tucker’s full draft profile here.

1 (5) Montreal Alouettes — DB Jonathan Sutherland, Penn State

3DownNation‘s No. 7-ranked prospect.

The four-time team captain hashed out a utility role over six years with the Nittany Lions, contributing at safety, linebacker, and on special teams. He showed impressive athleticism in testing, running a 4.58-second forty-yard dash at Penn State’s pro day along with a 37.5-inch vertical jump, and ten-foot, three-inch broad jump.

The five-foot-eleven, 202-pound defender signed with the Seattle Seahawks after going unselected in last week’s NFL draft, which means it’s likely that he’ll be down south for at least one year. Montreal has had success drafting players who are under contract in the NFL in recent years as Marc-Antoine Dequoy and Pier-Olivier Lestage have since reported to the team.

The Ottawa native projects as a CFL strong-side linebacker or safety who should excel on special teams. Had he not been under contract with the Seahawks, it’s possible that Sutherland would have been the overall first pick in the draft.

Check out Sutherland’s full draft profile here.

1 (6) Hamilton Tiger-Cats (via Calgary) — OL Dayton Black, Saskatchewan

3DownNation‘s No. 24-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-five, 298-pound blocker has started only 12 collegiate games but has arguably the highest ceiling out of any of the U Sports offensive linemen available in this year’s draft. He was a riser coming out of the CFL Combine, launching him to the status of a first-round pick.

Black excels in pass protection and could possibly remain at offensive tackle at the professional level. He is still relatively new to the position given that he was a record-setting quarterback while attending high school in his hometown of Brandon, Man.

Though there are higher-ranked players on the board, Hamilton needed to take an offensive lineman here. The Ticats don’t have another pick until the fourth round, by which time all of the top offensive linemen will be gone.

Check out Black’s full draft profile here.

1 (7) Montreal Alouettes (via B.C.) — DL Lwal Uguak, TCU

3DownNation‘s No. 17-ranked prospect.

The Edmonton native had a productive career at the University of Connecticut, starting 10 games as a true freshman in 2018. He transferred to Texas Christian University as a senior this past year but wasn’t nearly as productive as he’d been with the Huskies, recording nine total tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery.

Uguak has experience at defensive tackle and defensive end but has dropped weight since this past season ended, now measuring in at six-foot-four and 261 pounds. Uguak recently received an invitation to participate in the New York Giants’ rookie minicamp. He is also first cousins with former NBA all-star Luol Deng.

This is a surprising pick given that Montreal native Francis Bemiy is still on the board. Bemiy is a higher-ranked defensive lineman and grew up idolizing the Alouettes in his hometown. Even so, this was a position of need for the Als and Uguak should still have plenty of room for development.

Check out Uguak’s full draft profile here.

1 (8) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DL Anthony Bennett, Regina

3DownNation‘s No. 20-ranked prospect.

The 26-year-old is one of the oldest players in this year’s draft having spent five years at Florida Atlantic University before transferring to the Rams in 2021.

He was born in Weston, Fla. while his father, Charles, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though he was raised partially in Regina by his mother, Patricia. Bennett has deep football roots as his uncle, Tony, played seven years in the NFL while his cousin, Michael, was a Pro Bowl running back with the Minnesota Vikings.

He was named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian this past year after leading Canada West with eight sacks, though he measured in smaller than some teams were anticipating at the CFL Combine, checking in at six-foot-one and 229 pounds.

Check out Bennett’s full draft profile here.

1 (9) B.C. Lions (via Toronto) — DL Francis Bemiy, Southern Utah

3DownNation‘s No. 8-ranked prospect.

Bemiy’s fall stops here as the Lions take him with the final pick of the first round. This is a great value selection for B.C., who took five (yes, five) defensive linemen in last year’s draft.

Bemiy was the most impressive defensive lineman at the CFL Combine where he dominated the one-on-ones. He played 49 games at Southern Utah where he made 163 total tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one knockdown.

The six-foot-three, 257-pound edge rusher was born and raised in Montreal where he grew up a fan of the Alouettes, who passed on him at fifth and seventh overall. He will provide depth behind both of B.C.’s projected Canadian starters along the defensive line: Nathan Cherry and Mathieu Betts.

Check out Bemiy’s full draft profile here.

2 (10) Ottawa Redblacks — DB Lucas Cormier, Mount Allison

3DownNation‘s No. 14-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-one, 205-pound defender was one of the biggest risers following the CFL Combine where he participated in borrowed gear since his equipment never arrived in Edmonton.

The three-time AUS all-star has impressive speed and cover skills and could develop into a starting safety in the CFL. He made nine interceptions at the collegiate level, which is the most of any defensive back available in this year’s draft.

This pick is somewhat of a surprise given how loaded the Redblacks are at defensive back with Alonzo Addae, Justin Howell, Ty Cranston, and Danny Valente under contract but you can’t argue with adding a player like Cormier. This is good value in the second round.

Check out Cormier’s full draft profile here.

2 (11) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DB Jaxon Ford, Regina

3DownNation‘s No. 16-ranked prospect.

The local product was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian and Canada West all-star at safety this past season, making 25.5 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three knockdowns, one interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Ford is fast and physical. His arm came out of its socket when he collided with Manitoba Bisons’ running Breydon Stubbs this past season but he didn’t miss any time, returning to the field on the next series.

The six-foot, 199-pound defender is the grandson of legendary Saskatchewan Roughriders’ player and general manager Al Ford. He is a perfect positional fit for the Riders, who didn’t re-sign veteran defensive back Mike Edem for the 2023 season.

Check out Ford’s full draft profile here.

2 (12) Ottawa Redblacks (via Edmonton and Hamilton) — LB James Peter, Ottawa

3DownNation‘s No. 23-ranked prospect.

The local product made more collegiate tackles than any other player available in this year’s draft, recording 122.5 total tackles along with 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery with the Gee-Gees.

Peter lacks optimal size at five-foot-ten and 214 pounds but has great instincts and quickness to the ball. The first-team U Sports All-Canadian projects as a strong contributor on special teams at the CFL level who could also chip in at linebacker, potentially even as a spot starter.

Check out Peter’s full draft profile here.

2 (13) Montreal Alouettes — FB David Dallaire, Laval

The two-time RSEQ all-star rushed for five touchdowns with the Rouge et Or and made 21 receptions for 327 yards and two touchdowns, making him easily the most productive fullback available in this year’s draft.

The six-foot-three, 220-pound blocker tested adequately at the CFL Combine but not as well as some hoped as he ran a 4.94-second forty-yard dash. Montreal had a need at fullback and Dallaire fills it perfectly. He also has experience holding on field goals.

2 (14) B.C. Lions — DB Siriman Harrison Bagayogo, Guelph

3DownNation‘s No. 12-ranked prospect.

The two-time first-team U Sports All-Canadian is arguably the best coverage cornerback prospect to come out of U Sports in a decade. He ran a 4.57-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine and has impressive length at six-foot-one and 192 pounds, a combination he used to blanket opponents in the OUA.

His value in the draft was diminished because CFL teams often play Canadian defensive backs at safety, not cornerback. With suspect tackling ability, Bagayogo may not be the best candidate to make a position change. If Bagayogo is given the opportunity to compete at cornerback, he should flourish.

He also received an invitation to the Kansas City Chiefs’ upcoming rookie minicamp, which will give him a chance to earn an NFL contract.

Check out Bagayogo’s full draft profile here.

2 (15) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DB Jake Kelly, Bishop’s

The native of Markham, Ont. tested brilliantly at the CFL Combine, leaping 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and leading all defensive backs with a 4.56-second forty-yard dash. It’ll be up to Winnipeg’s coaching staff to ensure that Kelly’s raw athleticism translates to the field.

This feels like a bit of a reach based on positional need, though defensive back is arguably the deepest position in this year’s draft. Winnipeg has lost a ton of Canadian defensive backs to serious injuries over the past year, including Malcolm Thompson, Patrice Rene, and Noah Hallett.

2 (16) Toronto Argonauts — REC Jared Wayne, Pittsburgh

3DownNation‘s No. 6-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-three, 210-pound target had a much-anticipated breakout season this past year, making 60 receptions for 1,063 yards and five touchdowns with the Panthers and was named second-team All-ACC.

The native of Peterborough, Ont. runs great routes, isn’t afraid to make catches over the middle of the field, and showed elite explosiveness at Pittsburgh’s pro day, leaping a 41.5-inch vertical jump and a ten-foot, seven-inch broad jump.

Wayne signed with the Houston Texans after going unselected in last week’s NFL draft and reportedly earned over $200,000 in guaranteed money, which means he should be down south for at least one year. His father, Patrick Wayne, played eight seasons at linebacker in the CFL, primarily as a member of the Ottawa Rough Riders.

This is a risky pick for the Argos given that Wayne might never play in the CFL, though the team is well-situated to roll the dice having maneuvered the draft well in recent years.

2 (17) Ottawa Redblacks (territorial) — REC Daniel Oladejo, Ottawa

The local product was named a second-team OUA all-star and the Gee-Gees’ Most Outstanding Offensive Player this past year after catching 32 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns. He put up 20 reps on the bench press at the CFL Combine, leading all receivers.

This selection had to be used on a player from Ottawa’s territory and Oladejo is the best one on the board.

2 (18) Edmonton Elks (territorial) — LB Jake Taylor, Alberta

The six-foot-two, 216-pound cover man is arguably the best athlete in the entire draft, recording a ten-foot, eleven-inch broad jump at the CFL Combine along with a 38-inch vertical jump and 6.95-second three-cone drill. The question is whether or not Taylor has a position at the professional level as he struggles in coverage and might not be physical enough to play in the box.

The Beaumont, Alta. native is somewhat reminiscent of Jacob Dearborn, a testing monster who went undrafted in 2019 out of Carleton and played 22 games with the Riders before making the transition to bobsledding.

3 (19) Ottawa Redblacks — DL Aidan John, Saint Mary’s

The Halifax native has played only 15 career U Sports games but crushed the testing at the CFL Combine, recording a 35-inch vertical jump at six-foot-four and 248 pounds. He’s got a raw set of skills but with some time and the right coaching staff, John could be one of the steals of this year’s draft.

John told 3DownNation that he wants to prove that the Maritimes has top-end talent that will produce at the CFL level.

3 (20) Edmonton Elks — OL Phillip Grohovac, Western

3DownNation‘s No. 21-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-four, 314-pound blocker is a road grader who excelled in the Mustangs’ run-heavy scheme, earning first-team U Sports All-Canadian honours at guard this past season. He struggled in the one-on-ones at the CFL Combine but tested better than some scouts expected, running a 5.39-second forty-yard dash.

The native of Victoria, B.C. doesn’t have the highest ceiling of all the offensive linemen in this year’s draft but he’s got a very high floor and should be able to contribute at the professional level right away.

Check out Grohovac’s full draft profile here.

3 (21) Saskatchewan Roughriders — LB Matt Dean, York

The native of Oshawa, Ont. didn’t test as well as some scouts were hoping to see at the CFL Combine but still ran a solid 4.72-second forty-yard dash at six-foot-one and 227 pounds. Dean was named a second-team OUA all-star this past season after leading the Lions with 47.5 total tackles.

The Riders needed to add depth behind starting Canadian linebacker Micah Teitz and Dean fits the bill, though it was a little surprising to see Saskatchewan pass on local linebacker Josh White.

3 (22) Calgary Stampeders — DL Kwadwo Boahen, Alberta

The six-foot-one, 278-pound interior defender was rumoured to be a potential top-tester at the CFL Combine but failed to produce eye-popping results. He’s got a solid motor but needs to develop his body and his pass-rushing skills in order to make an impact at the CFL level.

This pick makes perfect positional sense for the Stampeders, who needed to add depth behind starting defensive tackle Derek Wiggan.

3 (23) Edmonton Elks — LS Luke Burton-Krahn, UBC

3DownNation‘s No. 25-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-one, 237-pound native of Victoria, B.C. is athletic enough to be considered a legitimate prospect at linebacker. The fact that he’s also a top-tier long snapper is just an added bonus.

3 (24) Calgary Stampeders — REC Clark Barnes, Guelph

3DownNation‘s No. 15-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-one, 198-pound target originally committed to the University of Maine before returning home to his home province to play at the University of Guelph. Though he has a bit of a smaller frame, Barnes has drawn comparisons to Kian Schaffer-Baker from playing at Guelph as well as his explosiveness.

He ran a 4.53-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine, which was on full display when he returned kicks for touchdowns in each of his first three career U Sports games. The concern with Barnes is his durability as he played only 17 contests at the collegiate level.

This is a really nice addition for the Stamps, who have now added two blue-chip receivers in the same draft.

Check out Barnes’ full draft profile here.

3 (25) Ottawa Redblacks — LB Josh White, Regina

3DownNation‘s No. 18-ranked prospect.

The local product has good instincts and shows impressive physicality, particularly in the run game. He ran a 4.78-second forty-yard dash at six-foot-one and 222 pounds, which is borderline for a potential starter but plenty fast enough to contribute on special teams.

White made a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage for the Rams, including 19.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

3 (26) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — REC Jeremy Murphy, Concordia

3DownNation‘s No. 19-ranked prospect.

The native of St-Bruno, Que. has risen steadily over the past year as he caught 29 passes for 589 yards and two touchdowns during the 2022 season as he was named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian. The six-foot-one, 190-pound target is solid route-runner who ran a sub-4.60 forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine.

Check out Murphy’s full draft profile here.

3 (27) Toronto Argonauts — LS Adam Guillemette, Holy Cross

The native of Cambridge, Ont. is a polished long snapper who is a perfect fit for the Argos, who were in need of a new long snapper heading into 2023.

4 (28) Edmonton Elks — DL Noah Curtis, Keiser

The native of Riviera Beach, Fla. was a late addition to this year’s draft after qualifying for Canadian citizenship through his mother. He played four seasons at Florida Atlantic and made 106 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, and three sacks over that span, earning an honourable mention All-Conference USA selection at defensive end in 2018.

He sat out the 2021 season before returning this past year at Keiser, where he made 37 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. He currently weighs 279 pounds but played most of his collegiate career closer to 250. At his current size, he projects as a CFL defensive tackle.

4 (29) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DB Patrick Burke Jr., Wilfrid Laurier

The six-foot-one, 200-pound cover man was named an OUA all-star at halfback this past season. He might not have enough speed to take a lot of reps at defensive back in the CFL but should be able to make an impact on special teams as he isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty.

Check out Burke’s full draft profile here.

4 (30) Saskatchewan Roughriders — RB Thomas Bertrand-Hudon, Delaware State

The native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que. ran for a career-high 508 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2019 before seeing his production fall due in part to a pandemic-shortened season in 2020 and a knee injury he suffered in 2021.

The six-foot, 227-pound ball-carrier tested well at the CFL Combine, leaping 36.5 inches in the vertical jump and running a 6.94-second three-cone drill. This is a nice pick for the Riders as a potential heir apparent to Kienan LaFrance.

Check out Bertrand-Hudon’s full draft profile here.

4 (31) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DL Reece Martin, Mount Allison

The native of Moncton, N.B. was cut up at the CFL Combine, featuring a long, powerful build at six-foot-three and 278 pounds. His testing numbers at the CFL Combine were disappointing since he regressed in a number of areas from the East-West Bowl in 2022, including in the forty-yard dash, three-cone drill, and short shuttle.

Martin was productive in the AUS but not as dominant as scouts were hoping he’d be in that conference. If he can reach his potential, Martin will be one of the steals on this year’s draft. This is a nice pick for a team that appears to be preparing for what could be Ted Laurent’s final season in 2023.

4 (32) Montreal Alouettes — OL Theo Grant, Queen’s

The Halifax native was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian at guard this past year as part of a Queen’s rushing attack that was dominant at times. He needs to add weight to his 280-pound frame, making him a strong candidate to send back to school where he can hopefully add size in the gym and the cafeteria.

4 (33) Calgary Stampeders — OL Alexandre Marcoux, McGill

A four-year starter who projects as a centre at the CFL level. The six-foot-two, 296-pound blocker is worth developing, though he’ll have to show improvement quickly as he is already 25. This was a much-needed addition for Calgary, as the club only has five Canadian offensive linemen under contract at the moment.

4 (34) B.C. Lions — LB Markcus Jean-Loescher, Saint Mary’s

The son of former CFL defensive end Nautyn McKay-Loescher lacks top-end speed but showed impressive quickness at the CFL Combine, leading all linebackers with a 7.02-second three-cone drill. He projects as a CFL special teamer.

Check out Jean-Loescher’s full draft profile here.

4 (35) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DL Tanner Schmekel, Regina

There’s nothing complicated about the six-foot-one, 290-pound defender’s game: he finds his gap and he plugs it. The first-team U Sports All-Canadian doesn’t have the highest ceiling due to middling raw athleticism but should contribute as a run-stopper who can help collapse the pocket on passing downs.

4 (36) Toronto Argonauts — FB Spencer Nichols, Western

The six-foot-two, 226-pound blocker was an offensive lineman in high school who moved to H-back as he leaned out. He ran a solid 4.85-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine and will make his living at the professional level running around on special teams.

5 (37) Ottawa Redblacks — REC Daniel Perry, Saskatchewan

The six-foot, 196-pound target ran a 4.58-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine while showing off solid hands. He was named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian and a Canada West all-star this past season after making 41 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns.

5 (38) Edmonton Elks — RB Bertrand Terancy Beaulieu, Montreal

The local product was a two-time RSEQ all-star with the Carabins, rushing for 1,114 yards and four touchdowns over his U Sports career. He measured in at six-foot-one and 237 pounds at the CFL Combine, though he didn’t participate in most of the testing events.

5 (39) Montreal Alouettes — FB Jacob Mason, McMaster

The six-foot, 222-pound blocker is as nasty and physical as they come. There’s not a lot of upside to his game in terms of running and catching the ball but that doesn’t matter: at the professional level, Mason’s job will be to block and make tackles on special teams.

5 (40) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DB Robert Panabaker, Western

The five-foot-eleven, 188-pound cover man was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian this past season and ran a 4.71-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine. The Ticats clearly identified defensive back as a position of need as they’ve selected cover men with back-to-back picks.

5 (41) Montreal Alouettes — REC Shedler Fervius, Saint Mary’s

The six-foot, 199-pound target made 19 receptions for 142 yards during a shortened 2021 campaign but didn’t play this past year after being deemed academically ineligible. The native of Scarborough, Ont. put up some eye-popping testing numbers at the East-West Bowl two years ago, leaping a 37.5-inch vertical jump and ten-foot, five-inch broad jump.

5 (42) Calgary Stampeders — DL Ryan Leder, McMaster

The Hamilton native put up 58.5 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, five pass knockdowns, four fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles over 27 career games with the Marauders. He projects as a special teams player at the CFL level.

5 (43) B.C. Lions — DB Charlie Ringland, Saskatchewan

The Winnipeg native was one of the top testers at the CFL Combine, running a 4.59-second forty-yard dash and leaping a 40-inch vertical jump at six-foot-one and 200 pounds. Unfortunately, the second-team U Sports All-Canadian also suffered a torn ACL, which means he will miss the entire season rehabilitating the injury.

In the meantime, B.C. has the Canadian depth to wait a year for Ringland to heal.

Check out Ringland’s full draft profile here.

5 (44) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DL Collin Kornelson, Manitoba

The Winnipeg native has built his frame to 288 pounds after first reporting to the Bisons at 240. He tested better than some scouts expected at the CFL Combine and could make an impact at defensive tackle behind veterans Jake Thomas and Cameron Lawson.

5 (45) Toronto Argonauts — OL Edouard Paradis, Houston Christian

The six-foot-three, 307-pound blocker had a lacklustre performance at the CFL Combine, finishing dead-last among offensive linemen in a number of speed and quickness testing events. He wasn’t a full-time starter at the college level, starting only three games with the Huskies.

6 (46) Ottawa Redblacks — DL Quintin Seguin, Charleston Southern

The six-foot-two, 271-pound defender transferred to the Buccaneers following a four-year stint at North Dakota, recording 118 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks over 49 career collegiate games. His performance at the CFL Combine was underwhelming but he still projects as a solid run-stopping CFL defensive tackle.

6 (47) Toronto Argonauts — REC Richard Burton, Queen’s

The second-team U Sports All-Canadian and first-team OUA all-star made 29 catches for 557 yards and one touchdown this past season, almost doubling the production of the Golden Gaels’ second-ranked receiver. He ran a 4.67-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine after measuring in at five-foot-eleven and 189 pounds.

6 (48) Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan

3DownNation‘s No. 3-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-five, 323-pound blocker saw his CFL draft stock plummet after a stellar performance at the NFL Combine. He was one of the best testers among interior offensive linemen at the event, recording a 5.07-second forty-yard dash, 32-inch vertical jump, and nine-foot, three-inch broad jump.

Sow set a school record by starting 54 of 56 career games at Eastern Michigan and was named first-team All-MAC in each of the past two seasons at guard. Sow was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of last week’s NFL draft, which makes it unlikely that he will ever play north of the border.

6 (49) Calgary Stampeders — TE Sebastian Howard, Saint Mary’s

The Calgary native was one of the most pleasant surprises of the CFL Invitational Combine, running a 4.71-second forty-yard dash at six-foot-five and 219 pounds. Howard overcame homelessness as a teenager and a transfer from UBC after losing his academic eligibility.

He doesn’t have a lot of offensive production from his tenure with the Huskies but Howard has one of the most intriguing combinations of size and athleticism of any player in this draft.

Check out Howard’s full draft profile here.

6 (50) Edmonton Elks — OL Spencer Masterson, Saint Mary’s

The six-foot-five, 300-pound blocker was named a second-team OUA all-star in 2021. He has played mostly left tackle with the Gryphons but Masterson projects as a centre or guard in the CFL.

6 (51) Calgary Stampeders — K Campbell Fair, Ottawa

The native of Carrying Place, Ont. only made 70.6 percent of his collegiate field goals but nailed a 55-yard game winner with the Gee-Gees this past season, which tied for the third-longest field goal in U Sports history. His career punting average is 37.7 yards, so he will likely be viewed as more of a placekicker than a punter at the CFL level.

6 (52) B.C. Lions — DB Jassin States-McClean, Saint Mary’s

The cornerback will have to convert to safety at the professional level but has all the physical tools to do so, running a 4.67-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine. He’s got a stocky build at five-foot-eleven and 198 pounds and doesn’t shy away from contact.

6 (53) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — DB Breton MacDougall, Windsor

The native of LaSalle, Ont. ran a solid 4.65-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine and has good size at six-foot-two and 208 pounds. He’s a little stiff in coverage but should excel on special teams where he packs a physical punch.

6 (54) Toronto Argonauts — LB Ife Onyemenam, Wilfrid Laurier

The Toronto native was named a first-team OUA all-star after leading the Golden Hawks with 36.5 total tackles this past season. He’s undersized at six-foot and 214 pounds, which means he will likely be viewed exclusively as a special teams player at the CFL level.

7 (55) Ottawa Redblacks — DL Alex Fedchun, St. FX

The six-foot-four, 226-pound defender virtually lived in the opposition’s backfield at St. FX, making 31.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks in 30 career games. The three-time AUS all-star projects as a CFL special teams player who could potentially contribute as a pass rusher in a rotational role.

7 (56) Edmonton Elks — DL Bruno Lagacé, Montreal

The five-foot-eleven, 207-pound cover man ran a 4.87-second forty-yard dash at the CFL Combine, which should limit him to special teams at the professional level.

7 (57) Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Evan Floren, Queen’s

3DownNation‘s No. 22-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-four, 303-pound blocker has to continue building his frame but has the potential to become an every-down starter at the professional level. The native of Ancaster, Ont. was a second-team U Sports All-Canadian this past year at guard, helping the Golden Gaels continue to become an OUA powerhouse.

I’m shocked that Floren fell this far in the draft. For a team that needed to add depth along the offensive line, getting Floren this late is great value for the Riders.

Check out Floren’s full draft profile here.

7 (58) Ottawa Redblacks — RB Amlicar Polk, Ottawa

The Hamilton native didn’t get a lot of carries with the Gee-Gees as he was buried on the depth chart behind Jean-Paul Cimankinda, though he carved out a strong niche on special teams with 22 career tackles.

He lacks prototypical size but Polk projects as a player similar to Nic Cross or Stavros Katsantonis, albeit without value on defence: scrappy, undersized players who make a big difference on special teams.

7 (59) Montreal Alouettes — RB Chase Brown, Illinois

3DownNation‘s No. 4-ranked prospect.

The native of London, Ont. ran for 3,558 yards and 18 touchdowns over a five-year college career that started at Western Michigan before transferring to join his twin brother at the Illinois.

He was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award this past year, which is awarded annually to the best running back in all of college football, as well as second-team All-Big Ten, a Senior Bowl All-American, and the winner of the Jon Cornish Trophy.

Brown was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of last week’s NFL draft, so the odds of him ever playing in the CFL seem questionable at best.

7 (60) Saskatchewan Roughriders — LB Nick Thomas, Manitoba

The native of Surrey, B.C. was named a first-team U Sports All-Canadian in 2021 but missed most of this past season due to injury. He’s undersized at five-foot-nine and 218 pounds and lacks elite speed, which means he will likely be viewed exclusively as a special teamer at the CFL level.

7 (61) B.C. Lions — LB Jack Hinsperger, Waterloo

The six-foot, 221-pound defender was named a first-team OUA all-star this past season after leading the Warriors with 49.5 total tackles. His 4.84-second forty-yard dash from the CFL Combine might disqualify him from playing linebacker at the CFL level but he should excel on special teams.

7 (62) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — RB/REC Jonathan Rosery, Alberta

The local product is a converted running back who makes defenders miss using a combination of power and a low centre of gravity. He ran for 1,166 yards and three touchdowns with the Golden Bears and caught 81 passes for 1,195 yards and six touchdowns.

7 (63) Toronto Argonauts — DB Brendan Murphy, Western

The six-foot, 223-pound transfer from Guelph made 103 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 pass knockdowns, 7.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery over 29 career U Sports games. He didn’t test at the Invitational Combine due to a torn ACL.

8 (64) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — DL Josh Hyer, Calgary

The native of Vernon, B.C. made 46 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, three knockdowns, and one forced fumble with the Dinos. Will likely have to add or lose weight to play along the defensive line at the next level as he currently weighs 258 pounds.

8 (65) Edmonton Elks — RB Derek Best, Langley Rams

The former Western Mustang ran the ball 43 times for 277 yards and three touchdowns over nine career CJFL games for the Rams.

8 (66) Saskatchewan Roughriders — DL Tavius Robinson, Ole Miss

3DownNation‘s No. 5-ranked prospect.

The six-foot-six, 257-pound edge rusher was named a second-team OUA all-star in 2019 at the University of Guelph before transferring to Ole Miss amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He dressed for 32 games with the Rebels, recording 89 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one knockdown.

He attended the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine where he ran a 4.66-second forty-yard dash and recorded a ten-foot broad jump. Robinson was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round of last week’s NFL draft, making it unlikely that he will ever play in the CFL.

8 (67) Hamilton Tiger-Cats — REC Caleb Morin, Saskatchewan

The native of Saskatoon, Sask. comprised one-third of the Huskies’ three-headed receiving monster that also included Daniel Perry and Rhett Vavra. He showed off his quickness in the three-cone drill at the CFL Combine, leading all receivers with a time of exactly seven seconds despite being the tallest member of a relatively small receiver class at six-foot-two.

8 (68) Montreal Alouettes — DB Maxym Lavallée, Laval

The five-foot-nine, 190-pound defender was a four-year starter for the Rouge et Or and was named an RSEQ all-star this past year. He’s very physical for his size.

8 (69) Calgary Stampeders — TE Lucas Robertson, UBC

The six-foot-four, 235-pound native of Edmonton has made 21 catches for 173 yards and one touchdown over 19 career games with the Thunderbirds.

8 (70) B.C. Lions — OL Troy Kowal, Minot State

The native of High River, Alta. was a two-year starter with the Beavers who performed 10 reps of 225 pounds at the CFL Invitational Combine.

8 (71) Winnipeg Blue Bombers — LB Max Charbonneau, Ottawa

The local product was often overshadowed by teammate James Peter but was still productive with the Gee-Gees, making 53.5 total tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery over 28 career games. He projects as a CFL special teamer.

8 (72) Toronto Argonauts — OL Anthony Vandal, Sherbrooke

The three-time RSEQ all-star played left tackle for the Vert et Or but will likely make the transition to guard at the professional level. He was named a second-team U Sports All-Canadian this past year but put up a disappointing 12 reps on the bench press at the CFL Combine.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.