Potential first overall pick LB Joel Dublanko added to 2024 CFL Draft, will participate in Combine

Photo: AP/Brandon Wade

The 2024 CFL Draft class has added an elite prospect in linebacker Joel Dublanko, per sources. He will now be attending the CFL Combine in Winnipeg beginning March 19.

The six-foot-three, 240-pound defender recently qualified for Canadian citizenship through his father, who was born in Edmonton. He could realistically be chosen with the first overall pick in a draft that is already considered to be deeper than most.

Dublanko went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft before signing with the New Orleans Saints as a priority free agent. He was waived by the team the following month and joined the Seattle Seahawks for training camp, though he was cut upon its conclusion. He spent the 2023 season with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL, recording 27 total tackles and 0.5 sacks over seven games with four starts.

The native of Aberdeen, Wash. reportedly ran a 4.76-second forty-yard dash at his pro day in 2022 along with a 35-inch vertical, 115-inch broad jump, 4.40-second short shuttle, 7.22-second three-cone drill, and 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Dublanko played five seasons at the University of Cincinnati after redshirting in 2016. He finished his collegiate career with 233 total tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and one interception over 64 games, serving as a starter during his final two seasons.

The 26-year-old was named first-team All-AAC during his final season with the Bearcats in 2021 and served as a team captain, helping the team reach the College Football Playoff semifinal round against the University of Alabama.

Dublanko was originally a four-star recruit out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. and garnered offers from Mississippi State, Washington State, and Tennessee.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.