Stampeders ink six draft picks, including first-round OL Christy Nkanu

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Young Kwak

The Calgary Stampeders have signed six members of their 2024 CFL Draft class ahead of the opening of rookie camp on Wednesday, including first-round pick Christy Nkanu.

The Stamps executed a trade to move back into the first round and select the offensive lineman from Washington State with the eighth overall pick. The six-foot-two, 309-pound blocker from Montreal appeared in just four games last year for the Cougars but logged 16 starts at four different positions while at Southern Utah University. He began his collegiate career as a defensive tackle with the Thunderbirds, before switching over in 2019.

Also signed were defensive linemen George Idoko and Jason Janvier-Messier, fullback Paul-Antoine Ouellette, and defensive backs Jackson Sombach and Kaylyn St-Cyr.

Idoko was selected in the third round, 28th overall, out of the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Calgary, he saw action in 40 games over four seasons with the Huskies and registered 43 tackles, four tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and one pass deflection. He was named a second-team All-Canadian in 2023.

Janvier-Messier was taken 33rd overall in the fourth round out of York University, where he was named an OUA all-star in 2022. In just 15 games for the Lions due to injury, the native of Beloeil, Que. collected 47 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and four pass deflections.

Ouellette went in the fifth round, 42nd overall, after playing tight end and occasionally long snapping for the Université de Montréal. He suited up in 24 games over four seasons, making six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, but missed the first half of the 2023 season with appendicitis.

Sombach was selected 60th overall in the seventh round out of the University of Regina, where he was a Canada West all-star in 2022. In 27 career games for the Rams, he recorded 103 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and 15 passes defended.

St-Cyr went in the eighth round, 69th overall, after an outstanding career at the Université de Montréal that included three RSEQ all-star selections and two All-Canadian nominations. In 2023, he made 15 tackles and added one interception, four pass breakups and five passes defended in six games. St-Cyr had 2.5 tackles in the Carabins’ Vanier Cup victory over UBC.

The Stampeders are scheduled to begin rookie camp on May 8, though first-round pick Ben Labrosse will not be in attendance due to an NFL rookie mini-camp invite from the New York Giants. They open the 2024 regular season on Friday, June 7 when they host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium.