I don’t think you truly realize how much talent is in this draft – not only on the offensive and defensive lines, but overall – until you actually put together a mock draft. Incredible.
1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats – DL Linden Gaydosh, Calgary – Assuming the Tiger-Cats do not trade out of this spot, Gaydosh makes the most sense. Even if they deal the pick I can’t see anybody going elsewhere with this pick. He’s the only guy left that isn’t connected to a NFL team at the moment, and he may be the best of those that are as it is.
2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers – DL Ben D’Aguilar, McMaster - Interesting spot for Joe Mack and the Blue Bombers. They will likely want a guy who can step in right away, which could signal Mike Edem out of Calgary. While D’Aguilar is linked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets, he is down south on a tryout basis only, having yet to sign a contract.
3. Montreal Alouettes – OL Matt Sewell, McMaster - Montreal is always a wildcard when it comes to the draft. There is so much talent in this draft that it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to go elsewhere and scoop up someone else with their other draft picks. Sewell is a mammoth along the offensive line, and for a team that starts five non-imports, I think they will go there with atleast one of their first three picks.
4. Saskatchewan Roughriders – LB Mike Edem, Calgary – General Manager Brendan Taman has stated that they would like to draft a guy who will be in training camp at the beginning of June. Of course circumstances can change, but assuming this holds true, Edem would be the most logical pick. Last year the team took another Calgary linebacker in Sam Hurl and with that having worked out well, they go with Edem who will have an impact on special teams immediately and can play back-up at linebacker or behind non-import safety Craig Butler.
5. Montreal Alouettes – WR Seydou Junior Haidara, Laval – Last year the Alouettes used the 11th overall pick to dip into the Laval talent pool, selecting FB Patrick Lavoie – a move that worked out very well for them. I have them going back to Laval and picking up the extremely versatile and talented receiver.
6. BC Lions – OL Corey Watman, Eastern Michigan – Watman’s performance in the one-on-one’s at the CFL Combine was fairly alarming. Then again, he really only looked extremely out-of-place against Linden Gaydosh, and quite frankly nearly everyone did. BC is a perfect fit for Watman who can be groomed as the successor to Angus Reid as the team’s centre.
7. Calgary Stampeders – DL Brent Urban, Virginia – They will wait on Urban, who will go back to Virginia for one more season this fall, but the Stamps really have no huge gap to fill with their draft picks. While they didn’t originally draft him, it is a similar situation to Brian Bulcke, who the team recently lost in free agency.
8. Toronto Argonauts – OL Nolan MacMillan, Iowa – Staying local, the Argos look to continue to build up their non-import depth along the offensive line. MacMillan has a bit of an injury history, but his potential may be the best of any lineman in this draft. He has one more year left at Iowa.
9. Ottawa – OL Brander Craighead, UTEP- The play starts with the offensive line, and so it makes more than enough sense for the Ottawa CFL Franchise to use their inaugural pick to select an offensive lineman. A local offensive lineman. Can play both tackle positions. Ottawa is only allowed to select NCAA underclassmen, so any pick they make, the player will be returning to school.
1. Edmonton Eskimos – OL Brett Jones, Regina – Again, several options at this pick for the Eskimos if they are selecting a player here. Rumours have had them linked to the number one overall pick. They are fairly loaded along the defensive line with Canadian talent. The most logical selection would be Mike Edem, but having already been selected, they step next door to Saskatchewan and grab Jones.
2. Winnipeg Blue Bombers – DL Andy Mulumba, Eastern Michigan – I have the Bombers going with D’Aguilar with their first pick and Mulumba here. I think D’Aguilar is more suited to being a linebacker, while Mulumba will play on the defensive line. He is currently with the Green Bay Packers and could be a late cut, but the wait will be worth it if he makes his way to Canada.
3. BC Lions – DL Elie Ngoyi, Bishop’s – A project pick. Ngoyi isn’t ready to make an impact playing on the defensive side of the ball, but his pure athleticism grades him out as a second-to-mid-round pick.
4. Calgary Stampeders – DL Stefan Charles, Regina – It was between Charles and Jesse Joseph for the Stamps at this pick. They will wait on both players, as Charles is currently with the Tennessee Titans while Joseph was awarded a medical redshirt and will return to UConn. Combine Urban with Charles, and the Stamps will find a talented player when either – or both – make their way to Calgary.
5. Montreal Alouettes – OL Hunter Steward, Liberty – After being recruited to play as a defensive lineman, Steward made 11 starts for Liberty at left tackle last season. He is a bit of a project, but the Alouettes can afford to give him the time to develop.
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats – OL Chris Mercer, Regina – After going with Gaydosh first overall, the Ti-Cats continue to build up their depth in the trenches by going with the lesser known product of the University of Regina in Mercer. While Brett Jones is the fronted player between the two, Mercer displayed his ability at the CFL Combine where he showed better than his teammate.
7. Calgary Stampeders – OL Matt Vonk, Waterloo – The Stamps aren’t shy on stocking offensive line depth and despite having a couple of guys in the works already, they go back to the well and take Vonk who had a strong showing at the CFL Combine.
8. Toronto Argonauts – DL Hosam Shahin, Rice – Shahin has the size that the Argos typically employ along the defensive line, and with the team severely lacking depth at the position, Shahin makes sense with this pick.
9. Ottawa – DL Connor Williams, Utah State – Staying local, Ottawa uses their second pick on the other side of the line, taking one of the best defensive players in the WAC. Again, Ottawa is limited in who they can select with their four picks. Other players who fit the spot could be Bo Lokombo, Natey Adjei, Jesse Joseph, and Kalonji Kashama.