Draft is about 6 weeks away...thought I would start a Rider thread
I am a little concerned that with the trade for Willis that the Riders now have lost their 2nd, 4th and 5th round picks. They are now left with 1st, 3rd and 6th. I personally was really hoping Bryce McCall or Simon Charbonneau-Campeau where around for their second pick. McCall looks to be a solid BD prospect while Campeau is a big framed NI WR that the Riders now lack.
OL - They have young Canadian depth at OL, so perhaps Heenan won't be the pick in combination with the fact he is being looked at in combination with the NFL clubs that have scouted him, but gut still says he should be the 1st pickpick.
RB/FB - After letting a couple NIs go and a retirement in the last year they are left with only 2 NI on the roster. This is concerning. One og their picks should be a RB or FB unless they have their eyes on someone unsigned. Even if it is a ST or PR spot, they need another NI available.
WR/SB - Geztlaff and Bagg are the only 2 proven NI on the roster...this is why the loss of Andy was so huge. Bagg has not played in a year, and what if one of these guys goes down? Like I said, Campeau would have been a nice pickup with their 8th overall pick (round 2, as the Bombers forfeit their 1st round pick). Perhaps Sisco will step up...I don't know enough about Solomon to say if he can, but McHenry does not appear to be the answer. Any injuries to Bagg or Getzlaff could spell disaster for the Riders.
DBs - Butler is proving he deserves that starting job NI or not. Woldu was brought in for relief if needed and can play when called upon. Newman will likely be a teams guy this year.
DL/LB - McCullough, Williams and Shologan are the proven guys, with Boulay looking like a solid asset on the DL, and Huclack is a teams guy.
K/P - Of course the club now has Canadians doing both of these jobs...a nice bonus.
So right now the club has 24 NI on the Roster with 20 openings. They have 43 imports (48, but 5 QBs, and assuming 3 will be kept on) and 20 vacancies...plus practice roster.
Of all of the NI guys these are the potential starters IMO:
DT - Keith Shologan
K/P - Chris Milo
DB - Craig Butler
WR - Rob Bagg
SB - Chris Getzlaff
OL - Nick Hutchins
OG - Chris Best
OG - Brendon Labatte
OL - Patrick Neufeld
OL - Dan Clark
OC- Dominic Picard
DE - Shomari Williams...I would think this is borderline with the prospects brought in.
WR - Jordan Sisco...If Bagg is a no go they need him to step up.
LB - Mike McCullough - I still think he is a potential starter.
Really limited starter pool outside of the OL. Remember, the magic number is 7, and you can't start 6 OL (7 with Heenan)
Perhaps the club should be trading one of their OL prospects, especially if they intend on landing Heenan.
I think that we draft Heenan, then try to trade Best if Heenan proves he can start right away. Right now for NI started I see it looking something like this:
Offense: Min 5 starters, max I can see is 6
OL: Best(Heenan), Picard, Labatte, outside chance of Neufeld being RT
WR/SB: Bagg, Getzlaf, with outside chance of Sisco proving he can play
FB: Neal Huges, or Grahm Bell
Defense: Min 2, Max 3
DB: Butler, outside chance of Woldu being wide side corner spot
LB: No one can start, but there has been talk of moving Shomari back there, and Mike can see spot duty.
Total of 7 or 8, 8 would be a huge bonus.
I ope they draft Heenan. He is a long term investment. He'd be a practice roster guy in the NFL, right?
With Foord now out, I wouldn't mind bringing Kyle Exume back in for another TC look. The dude is a specimen and has quite a motor for ST. His college highlight reels are all over Youtube. I was a bit disappointed that he didn't make it last year, but they had 3 solid FBs already.
Butler is not much more than another Canadian who can hit but not cover. A bit too small to play LB so has to use up the safety spot. He's just another Wes Lysack or Scott Gordon. At least with Patrick at safety,even if he's an import, he will get lots of picks. Patrick can't really cover either, so he can only really play safety. Putting Patrick at LB last year was a disaster as well. Don't do that again just to get Butler on the field.
Graig Newman will never be a DB in this league in my opinion. He will be an STer at best and I think that there are better options for ST.
Totally agree that McCullough is starter calibre. He is probably the most underrated LB in the league.
I don't think Shomari will start, but he is a very good STer and has an excellent attitude. Definitely worth having around for a long time.
Receivers usually show something that says they can play right away. Sisco has been around a couple years now and shown nothing. He's pretty much a bust in my books.
Could not agree more that an olineman should be traded. They are super deep there, and were already deep before Labtte and Picard were brought in. Trade down the 1st pick, or maybe a guy like Hudson (need to know more on his health). I MIGHT even think about moving Best (although I'd rather not) if i thought I could get a quality DB in return.
Bryce McCall.......won't play for the green. He's too slow for DB in CFL............he's too small and too slow to play LB. I predict he'll be third round pick or lower. He won't crack the top 24.
Sisco.........nobody is talking about this kid and that is great. Let's not forget he had a tryout with Indy Colts 2 seasons ago. The bummer for Sisco is he was starting to get more playing time and then he broke his wrist - last season.
We have O-lineman to trade away.............yes? But who and what can we get.
The Bombers had the Riders by the nuts in the Odell trade. They knew the roughies could not go without a proven DE sackman. They held out and got the picks they wanted. I hate the fact we gave up the 8th pick, along with 2 others but we got a really good player for it? Winnipeg lost Cdn. talent in FA and they need to address this. Both sides got what they wanted.
I think we'll stick with Heenan 1st overall. Chambers is top talent and has the body size to match Andy's........but Heenan seems to be a sure thing CFL.............maybe too much of a sure thing and is getting NFL attention?
I like Heenan and all but the NFL factor scares me a fair bit, also the fact that we have quite a few young prospects in the waiting that they'd be burried on the depth chart. I like Chambers he seems like an X factor also with him the NFL factor does worry me, out side of those two I really don't know where we'd go if we were not to select those players...
a lot more will be told after this weekend's NFL draft. Expect to see the prospect list turned upside down this year.