Edmonton Elks release former first-round pick Cole Nelson, one other

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The Edmonton Elks have released Canadian defensive tackle Cole Nelson and linebacker Wesly Appolon.

Nelson was a surprise selection by the Elks in the 2021 CFL Draft, going fifth overall in the first round despite never being a full-time starter at the University of Alberta. In the three seasons since, the six-foot-six, 312-pound lineman has dressed for 20 games and recorded 13 defensive tackles.

The 26-year-old had the best season of his career in 2023, starting seven of the 10 games he played at defensive tackle and recording 10 tackles. He has also spent time as an offensive lineman, seeing action at tackle in the preseason.

Prior to arriving in the CFL, the native of Ponoka, Alta. played 17 career U Sports games for the Golden Bears and made 21 total tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery.

Appolon was drafted by the Elks in the fifth round of the 2022 CFL Draft. The native of Montreal, Que. appeared in one game in his rookie season before suffering an injury that would sideline him for the majority of the 2022 season and the entire 2023 season. His twin brother, Woodly, remains on the Elks’ roster.

The Elks also announced that a trio of Americans have been moved to the suspended list, including defensive backs Kyle Cass and James Wiggins Jr., as well as running back Sewo Olonilua.

The Elks will begin their preseason schedule on Saturday, May 25 when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.