Quarterbacks – None. The Alouettes have four import quarterbacks on their roster, including sure-fire Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo. In our mock draft, Kyle Quinlan goes to the Alouettes, but whether that actually happens or not, who knows.
Running backs – Michael Giffin (Queen’s), Martin Bedard (Connecticut), Dahrran Diedrick (Nebraska), Kerry Carter (Stanford) – The Alouettes have always valued their Canadian special teams players, which is why they generally employ some at the skill positions. Giffin and Bedard are full-time special teams players for the Als, and between them have a combined one reception in their CFL careers. Carter and Diedrick have increased offensive touches for Giffin and Bedard, but they still do their share on special teams as well. Diedrick has carried the ball atleast 25 times in three of his last four seasons in Montreal, while Carter is more involved in the passing game with at least 20 receptions the past four years.
Receivers – Eric Deslauriers (Eastern Michigan) -Deslauriers is the only Canadian receiver on the Alouettes roster. Mainly due to the fact that their import receivers are extremely talented, however one Canadian is fairly rare to see on a CFL roster and you can’t help but think that they will draft here at least once on Thursday. How would a guy like Ismael Bamba or Simon Charbonneau-Campeau look added into the mix with imports SJ Green and Jamel Richardson. Pretty darn good.
Offensive line – Reed Alexander (Calgary), Scott Flory (Saskatchewan), Andrew Woodruff (Boise State), Luc Brodeur-Jourdain (Laval), Ryan Bomben (Guelph), John Hashem (Regina), Jeff Perrett (Tulsa), Josh Bourke (Grand Valley St), Kristian Matte (Concordia), Anthony Barrette (Concordia) – I think you get the picture. They have starters. They have depth. The Alouettes have always made it a point to have solid Canadian players along the offensive line and that will be no different in 2012. Their depth is so good that they went out and drafted Philip Blake in the 4th round last year. Blake was selected in the NFL Draft in 2012 and will likely never see the CFL, but that is the flexibility Montreal has. When everyone is healthy, they possess an All-Canadian starting offensive line anchored by 2011 Most Outstanding Lineman and Als left tackle Josh Bourke.
Defensive line – Luc Mullinder (Michigan State), Chima Ihekwoaba (Laurier), J.P. Bekasiak (Toledo) – Mullinder was traded to Montreal from Saskatchewan last season, but they cut him and he wound up in Hamilton and made some key plays in the East Final against Montreal. Low and behold, he’s back with the Alouettes after Hamilton let him go. Ihekwoaba was a 2010 draft pick of the Alouettes but he went to, and was released by the Detroit Lions in training camp. He played spot duty in 2011 with the Alouettes, but should find an increased role in 2012, whether that is on defence or special teams. Bekasiak missed some time last year due to injury, but bounced back and started the final 11 games of the season for the Alouettes. He enters his sixth season in the CFL in 2012.
Linebackers – Marc-Olivier Brouillette (Montreal), John Surla (Western), Shea Emry (UBC), Curtis Dublanko (North Dakota), Brian Ridgeway (Simon Fraser) – Brouillette is a converted quarterback to linebacker who saw an increased role in 2011 and surely will be relied upon to continue the pace that he set last season. After missing some time in 2010 due to a virus, Brouillette stepped up his game and was in on 21 tackles in 2011. Surla was an undrafted free agent in last year’s draft who first went to Winnipeg before coming to Montreal. Surla played in a couple of games for the Als before eventually being placed on the injured list. Shea Emry had an excellent 2010 season for the Alouettes, but missed several games last season due to injury. When healthy, he is one of the best Canadian linebackers in the CFL.
Defensive backs – Jeff Hecht (Saint Mary’s), Daryl Townsend (Windsor), Blaine Ruttan (Carson-Newman), Michael Carter (Maryland), Etienne Boulay (New Hampshire) – Hecht was an undrafted free agent signing last May and proved to be a big get for the Alouettes, as he took over the safety spot when fellow Canadian Etienne Boulay was injured. Boulay played only four games in the 2011 season and given Hecht’s experience at safety, it remains to be seen if either one moves to a defensive back spot to help aid the loss of Paul Woldu who went to Saskatchewan. Carter, Ruttan and Townsend were all eligible for the 2011 CFL Draft. Ruttan was taken by the Alouettes and went back to finish his education, while Carter was selected and released by BC. Townsend was a free agent signing and eventual cut of the Roughriders.
Special teams – Sean Whyte (K, Santa Monica) – Whyte was traded from the BC Lions to the Montreal Alouettes at this time last year. The Alouettes gave up their first round draft pick on Thursday for the kicker. It turned out to be a worthy get for the Als with Whyte completing 86.5% of his field goal attempts. Also given the fact that last year’s first round pick, kicker Brody McKnight signed in the NFL, the trade worked out for both the Alouettes and Whyte, who was stuck behind legendary placekicker Paul McCallum in BC.
Overall Analysis – The Alouettes are a rare breed in the CFL. Due to their strength along the offensive line, they have the ability to play more imports at other positions and not have to worry about Canadian depth. However, with more and more talented Canadian players coming along, I think you will start to see the Alouettes fill that depth a little bit better. Starting at receiver, it would be somewhat of a shock if the Als did not select a receiver in the draft, considering they only have one on the roster. With six picks in the draft and not a lot of needs, don’t be surprised if the Alouettes draft for futures once again. Perhaps a guy like Christo Bilukidi is a name to consider.
10 Potential Picks – Ismael Bamba (WR), Simon Charbonneau-Campeau (WR), Jahmeek Taylor (WR), Bogdan Raic (WR), Hasan Hazime (DL), Christo Bilukidi (DL), Arnaud Gascon-Nadon (DL), Sebastien Levesque (RB), Patrick Lavoie (RB), Tyrone Crawford (DL)