2014 CFL College Draft

Now that the season is finished I thought it might be a good time to discuss which CIS players the Lions are likely to pick in the first two rounds of the upcoming Canadian college draft. Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of September's top prospects, traded picks and order of picks, at the following URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_CFL_Draft#Trades There may be some changes near the bottom of the top 15 prospects when the December ratings come out.

BC's biggest issues in 2013 were along both lines and in the secondary, mostly due to injuries to Hameister Reis, Reed, Fabien and Julius Williams and IMHO inconsistent play by their halfbacks and safety. Look for Buono and Benevides to find an upgrade at safety, most likely through the trade route and help solidify their line play through the draft. Don't forget, BC lost NI OL prospect Matthew Albright to Ottawa along with practice roster NI DL Andrew Marshall. And they lost some guy named Demarco to the RedBlacks as well. Clearly Wally will be looking to replace the first two through the draft and find another QB who fits Kahari Jones's offensive philosophy, probably via their free agent camps in the US. With the loss of Chris Hart they'll probably start next year with Buck backing up Lulay.

BC picks fifth in the first round, where three of the top four prospects are offensive linemen. The best ones get picked early. That leaves BC with the next best prospect, as of the September rankings: Adam Thibault, DB, from Laval. BC moves up to pick third in the second round, 12th overall, obtained from Edmonton in the Mike Reilly trade. The only offensive lineman who might be available is Matthias Gooseen from SFU. Or they may select either Kit Hillis, WR, Saskatchewan or Josh Burns, DB, Windsor.

In rounds 3-7 BC gets the 23rd, 32nd, 41st, 50th and 59th picks. There may be a few decent prospects available for BC's 3rd round pick, but after that it is unlikely they'll get anyone who can help them win for two to three years down the road.

What do you guys think?

Happy 2014 everybody! Party hardy, but PLEASE stay off the roads if you've been drinking!

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

There were two rookie starting Canadian safeties in the CFL this season one was from the NCAA the other converted LB from the Dino's. The Argos also picked up a speedy back. HB/CB/SAM LB come in the form of imports So they need to get their ducks in a row on their neg list to grab another cord parks.
Former Junior steve Doege wil hopefully be ready to step into the rotation to go along with Westerman.
Not a big year for DTs according to the experts. Most of the top Canadian Olineman seem to head to the NFL first which has cramped some teams for a couple of seasons until they return, if they return.
If Lulay gets hurt again for a substancial period of time the Lions will be sunk unless they can find a experinced game manager. Pierce could be that but he will most likley be injured as well.
Demarco was forced into service way too early last season and it showed

I'm particularly interested in the defensive backs and linemen available in this year's college draft in May. Since the final rankings of draft eligible players have yet to be released, we have to use the September rankings as a barometer of who might help the Lions via the draft. There are always guys who don't pan out, have terrible attitudes, other guys selected late that overachieve and turn into solid pros. So at best its an educated guess as to whether draft picks could develop into starters or roster players. Team tend to prefer guys who grew up in their part of the country. Here are the top 15 prospects, courtesy of wikipedia:

1 Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Offensive lineman McGill
2 Devon Bailey Wide receiver, St. Francis Xavier
3 David Foucault Offensive lineman Montreal
4 Pierre Lavertu Offensive lineman Laval
5 Adam Thibault Defensive back Laval
6 Beau Landry Linebacker Western
7 Max Caron Linebacker Concordia
8 Andrew Lue Defensive back Queen's
9 Sam Sabourin Linebacker Queen's
10 Derek Wiggan Defensive lineman Queen's
11 Kris Bastien Wide Receiver Concordia
12 Casey Chin Linebacker Simon Fraser
13 Kit Hillis Wide Receiver Saskatchewan
14 Josh Burns Defensive back Windsor
15 Matthias Goossen Offensive lineman Simon Fraser

First the DBs. Banks, Marsh and Phillips are certainly past their best-before dates. Management may look to upgrade their safety, a problem position for them since Barron Miles retired. Either Wally starts re-tooling the secondary this year, or next. Banks and Marsh are excellent tacklers and seem to have a season or two left in them. I'm not so sure about Ryan Phillips. I'm sure they'll focus on finding another good import DB or two at the free agent camps scheduled for April/May. But I doubt Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal will pass those guys up. If that doesn't happen BC would probably use their first round pick to select the best player available: Adam Thibault, DB from Laval. The only NI DB likely to be available in the second round is Josh Burns (Josh Who?), Windsor, not exactly a powerhouse school.

Too often in 2013 BC's offensive line struggled to give Lulay enough time to find open receivers. Injuries to Hameister Reis, Reed, Baboulis and Fabien forced BC to play backups at guard (Kabongo and Valli) and move Norman from his natural guard position to center. Result? Too many guys blitzing up the A gaps, too many sacks and hurries, Lulay either looking up at the sky or running for his life. He got injured on just such a play, which cost us any real chance of getting anywhere in the post season.

The only offensive lineman who is likely to be available in round two is Matthias Goossen from SFU. Buono might try to trade a starter to move up in the draft, to get one of the three offensive linemen who are projected to go in the first four picks. Big Ben Archibald is also getting long in the tooth and so slow you can time him with a calender. Who knows if Reed's bad back heals, so he may be done. The Leos will look to Jovan Olafioye to take the left tackle spot, if his chronic bad back allows him to do so. So they'll go looking for an import right tackle in the free agent camps. My preference would be to have Jovan at left tackle Norman at left guard, no idea who'll play center, Fabien at right guard and a one-eye, 6 foot seven, 325 pound monster at right tackle who eats blitzing ends for lunch. Losing Matthew Albright to Ottawa in the expansion draft leaves a hole in BC's future at O-line.

BC is fairly deep at defensive lineman but lack that dominating stud at rush end. Thus their low sack totals last year. Westerman and Taylor look to be starters at tackle, backed up by Jermaine Reid an Adrian Awasom. Chris Wilson looks too old and slow to be a decent rush end. Jordan shows signs of improvement and should be back for 2104. Khreem Smith will probably be back at contain end, but he's over 30 so he'll only be around until we find someone better. Keron Williams wasn't much of a factor last year, but maybe Mark Washington will find ways to get him sacks and hurries where Stubler could not. A big maybe for a player also past his best- before date.

The only NI defensive lineman available in the top 15 is Derek Wiggen from Queens, who will probably be scooped up by Ottawa before BC gets to pick third in the second round. BC lost NI DL Andrew Marshall to Ottawa in the expansion draft, another hole in BC's future along the lines that Wally will be looking to fill with a good prospect.

Who knows whether the ageless Paul McCallum will be back, leaving us with an unproven Steven Shott. Ditto for Paris Jackson, , Ben Archibald and Angus Reed.

Finally, the loss of Demarco to Ottawa leaves BC with Lulay and his rebuilt right shoulder, backed up by Buck Pierce and Christ Hart. We're one bad hit to Lulay's shoulder from trying to compete in the west with a brittle backup and an unproven third stringer. It could be a long year if Travis goes down again.

There may be a free agent or two available come springtime, but usually they're either too old or cost too much to interest Buono. He releases guys BEFORE they start to lose the edge, not after. Interested parties can pour through this list of CFL free agents, as of Jan 6th 2014:

[url=http://www.bclions.com/article/syndicated/445943/market-bound-2014-potential-free-agents-list]http://www.bclions.com/article/syndicat ... gents-list[/url]

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

In the draft I do not think that BC will find anyone that can fill an immediate need. don't be surprised to see all three of the top Olineman in an NFL camp then to a PR. Another Canadian receiver to go with Gore and Ianuzzi will have to come from freeagency unless the kid from Laval is ready in his second season which is possible but usually not the case often Canadian receviers take till at least their 3rd season to make an impact especially coming out of the CIS.
defnitete upgrades in thwe D Backfield will be availble as sevaral NFL free agents have come in each of the past few seasons and have become instant All Stars.

On the Oline last season they had a chance to make a play for Montreals Canadian RT and now Josh Bourke is available if they want to improve their Oline make him the highest paid Olineman in the CFL and move Archibald to LG. Norman second year at center and Fabian helathy at RG but that may be out of reach but that would really secure the Oline.

If they want to go skill player in the draft Anthony Coombs is the guy. can return, catch, and run the ball. He played with another great RB at Manitoba but they moved him officially to slot back but Coombs definetley saw time in the slot in different formations.

In loking into the question about playing a young recently drafted safety The Lions did Draft Matt McGarva who played mostly specials las season but could be an option. Keynan prker former als draft pick and tranfer for DI Oregon state and played RB and DB at SFU. He has been worked out as a CB but a versitile player could make a move to safety.
Matt Walker another DB drafted out of UBC in the 6th round in 2013 but I beleive went back for his rth year at UBC.
Also Jason Arakgi who has been almost a special teams exclusive player for his first several years but saw some extended play on defense in 2012 and there was talk about him laying safety but never came to be. Entering his 7th season his knowledge and work after as wel as being a hard hitter maybe should be given a shot at actually starting at safety.
They also had a Junior guy who switched from WR to safety in his second year as a Junior excemption in Bobby Davis from the SUN. SO I think they havwe a nice mix of young talent McGarva, versatile athletes Parker and a veteran who may finally be given a shot at a starting spot at safety.
Going with Larosse last year was the safe last season but was a step backwards and have several interesting options already in the Roster that may just surprise someone. The knock on Muamba was he was not a hard hitter. Mc garva, parker who may be better offat safety and veteran Akagi all seem to have that hard hitting ability

JMO

Happy new year everybody!!!!!

Since my last post the December rankings were announced by the CFL Scouting Bureau. Compare the latest rankings below with those in my first post above. You'll see significant player movement, which will undoubtedly affect BC's draft strategy:

Winter Scouting Bureau Ranking

Rank Name Position School
1 (1)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif OL McGill
2 (4)
Pierre Lavertu OL Laval
3 (3)
David Foucault OL Montreal
4 (2)
Devon Bailey WR St. Francis Xavier
5 (15)
Matthias Goossen OL Simon Fraser
6 (--)
Evan Gill DL Manitoba
7 (6)
Beau Landry LB Western
8 (8)
Andrew Lue DB Queen's
9 (--)
Anthony Coombs RB Manitoba
10 (7)
Max Caron LB Concordia
11 (12)
Casey Chin LB Simon Fraser
12 (9)
Sam Sabourin LB Queen's
13 (5)
Adam Thibault DB Laval
14 (10)
Derek Wiggan DL Queen's
15 (--)
Dylan Ainsworth DL Western

BC picks fifth, 12th and 27th in the first, second and third rounds respectively. The biggest differences are:

  • Matthias Goossen. He jumped 10 spots and would perfectly suit the Lions as their first round pick from a BC school
  • Evan Gill. He rose from out of the top fifteen, all the way up to sixth
  • Derek Wiggan. He gained four spots.
  • Sam Sabourin. He gained three spots

Adam Thibault seems to be the biggest loser in these revised rankings, sliding all the way from fifth to 13th. I believe there are still final rankings to be announced later this winter. We'll see where that leaves the likely BC picks. Dooger out.

-Dooger in Surrey

Some excellent responses from cflsteve, interesting options at safety and along the offensive line. Doesn't anyone else out there have an interest in the CFL college draft?

Excuse the digression. I'd just like to offer a tip of the cap to the recently retired Anthony Calvillo, who just recently after suffering a bad concussion in the middle of the 2013 season. He was a class act, on and off the field. he holds every passer record worth mentioning, fifth all-time in any league in yards, a lock for induction into the CFL Hall of Fame at the first opportunity. Guys like him come along once a generation and I'm happy to say I watched his entire career, bu for a few of his games in Vegas early on.

I wish him and his family the best of health and happiness as he begins the next phase of his career, in or out of football. :thup:

Dooger in Surrey

Well I did not get it right for the 3rd Canadian receiiver exactly. Instead of free agency they made a trade but Poblah has the experience now to find his niche as a starter or 3rd Candian like many of the FA’s.
Wihtout the first round pick pressure on Poblah from Winnipeg along with a much better QB he could take Ianuzzi role as starter and move Ianuzzi back to the 3rd spot which will allow the Lions have him go all out on special teams which he is great at and Poblaj is not

Everyone knew about the top 4 Olineman in the Draft, do the their CFL rankings and playing in Canada.
However Duane Ford had ranked the kid from an NCAA DI FCS school tchissakid at number 5 and in the same breathe as the top 4.
Problem was he was buried in anynaomity in one of the many NCAA smaller FCS schools.
He was a three year starter and the level of play was of that higher than the DII Goosen and three CIS schools. SO traing away their first pick for Glenn knowing they would be likely to get an off the radar steal guy like this in the seconds round.

Although I am never thrilled about trading first round picks for 35-year old imports, the Lions redeemed themselves thereafter.

A couple of head scratchers in there - for example, why would they take the 5'8" receiver Alexander Fox when the local boy Torre Corrado was available- and they're always preaching about drafting local as they're more likely to stick around on the PR. And why would they draft the FB Pascal Lochard when Rolly Lumbala is good for several more years....and he seldom sees the ball anyway!

Still, they wound up with Duane Forde's #4, 7, and 8 overall ranked players (Chin, Player, and Menard respectively). :thup:

At first look the Lions trading away there first pick may look bad but if you look a bit deeper as mentioned above they will be bringing in 4 rookies that will fit in somewhere within the team for this season, the 3 mentioned above and last years first rounder Hunter Steward. Instantly adding two rookie Olineman that could work there way onto the roster and into the starting lineup the second part of the season.
Casey Chin dropping that far down in the draft kind of a surprise. Certainly do not see him as a LB in the CFL but a safety oh yes I can see that in his future.
Yes it is good to draft local but a lot of talent is coming out of Quebec so you can deny that. Interesting is taking a Laval RB who had the 2nd fastest 40 at the combine for RBs. A psoition where Laval goes so deep it is hard to find playing time but you know he is a well coached football player first and foremost and having a fast young guy hungry to play could result in a good teams players now