E-Camp this Weekend

Yeah Paolo, I'm with you. Was kind of wondering how things are going as well, especially with the QB's, but very little news so far. Here is an article in Slam Sports today:

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/2010/03/14/13224141-qmi.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 1-qmi.html[/url]

According to Ticat's beat reporter Drew Edward's, a VERY reliable source has told him that U of Calgary QB Erik Glavic is on the Ticat's neg. list.If true that's a big breakthrough for N/I QB's, maybe then we'll get some realistic program's in place for them so that they really can have a chance to be starter's in the CFL.

I suppose that this is the second annual E-Camp detailed report by yours truly. I was in attendance all day today at the University of Toronto Varsity Stadium, and have included my in-depth perceptions about the performance of the prospects. Feel free to link or re-post this report – just be sure to credit the original source!

National Invitational Combine

The NIC was held on Friday, which hosted approximately 70 draft eligible and 5th year prospects at Varsity Stadium. The turnout from the CFL teams was outstanding, with essentially all personnel in attendance for the E-Camp present all day. There were some great performances, although the talent level overall was second-tier to that at the E-Camp. It should be expected that 5+ of the players at this camp will be drafted or receive CFL contracts. Kudos to Matt Gough and Duane Forde for putting this together and hopefully starting a long-term trend.

I didn't have a chance to review many performances in depth. The best bench press performance was apparently 35 by Universitie de Montreal QB Marc-Olivier Brouillette. Combined with a good 40 time, a team may be interested in pursuing him as a FB/ST project.

Overall E-Camp Impressions

In a nutshell, it seems fairly clear to me that this group of prospects is a noticeably more athletic and talented group than the previous year. The level of ability seemed to be improved at all positions save OL and perhaps DB. Early indications suggest that next year's class may be even better.

Quarterbacks

Danny Brannagan – Im not a big Danny Brannagan fan from his collegiate work, as I thought his throwing style was awkward and he didnt have great footwork or mechanics either. However, he had an OUTSTANDING performance at the E-Camp today. It looks as though he has been working on his throwing motion, as he is not using his footwork to much greater effect and has elongated his arm motion. 95%+ of his throws were right on target, every one a perfect spiral with tremendous power. The receivers were having trouble handling some perfectly thrown balls simply because they were so fast. He can perform a seven-step drop as through hes been doing it on every play for the last four years, when in fact hes only done it sparingly in college. The only question are his height and whether the CFL game will move too quickly for him. There is no doubt that with the TC roster rule change, he will definitely be in someones camp in June – and its up to him to make the most of that opportunity.

Erik Glavic – Glavic, by contrast, was pretty awful. His balls were weakly thrown, wobbled all over the place and were generally pretty inaccurate. Perhaps 1 in 6 completely missed the open receiver. His footwork was second-rate compared to Brannagan. I don`t think he did himself any favours.

Justin Dunk – He was alright, he was clearly less talented that Brannagan. Maybe someone will bring him to camp, but I highly doubt he makes any team.

Offensive Line

The quality of the OL performance was likely affected by the fact that five top prospects in this year's draft class are redshirt juniors in the NCAA, and thus did not attend. While DL usually have the edge in the 1-on-1 drills, the OL in this year's class seemed to have more difficulty containing and delaying pass rushers than last year.

Joe Eppele – He's as big and athletic as advertised, with a solid bench press, great vertical and good 40 yard dash time. However, I think some major questions about his suitability as the number 1 overall pick were raised. He was serviceable at LT in the 1-on-1s, but was repeatedly burned at RT by all opposition, which would be the position he'd be expected to play at the CFL level. He seems like a project with tremendous natural talent that would need to learn the RT position before being able to start in the CFL.

Bart Archdekin – He's pretty slow, was serviceable at Guard but burned at Centre.

Ryan Bomben – Very good testing #s, but like most of the OL he struggled against the DL.

Michel Boudreault – Injured and did not participate.

Justin Glover – Nothing stood out.

Cody Husband – Average, beaten fairly often but held up defenders more than most.

Kristian Matte – Like Duane Forde reported, he's got very good interior lineman technique and fared better than most against the DL in 1-on-1s. Definitely a strong player who likely benefits from being a little older than most of the other players in this draft year.

Patrick Neufeld – Unimpressive.

Joel Reinders – His technique looked fairly sloppy in individual drills, but he was probably the best OL in 1-on-1s. Rarely beaten against the DL, he really used his size and arm length to good advantage to get leverage on his smaller opponents. His performance at OT likely made Eppele's look poorer by comparison, possibly affecting his draft stock.

Michael Warner – Quick and fast for a big man with pretty good technique and a better than average performance in the 1-on-1s. But at 6'0?, I can't help but think that he'd be hard pressed to make it in the CFL as a Guard.

Josh Buttrill – Unimpressive.

Defensive Line

Compared with last year, there is really an abundance of solid pass rushers available in this year's draft class (the E-Camp doesn't test run-stopping in a 1-on-1 situation, and teams must rely on game film for that). This position likely saw the largest improvement from last year's E-Camp.

Marc-Antoine Beaudoin-Cloutier – He didn't test all that well on Saturday, and in fact did not complete several of the tests. However, he put in a very good performance on Sunday. His 40-yard dash was sub-5.0, which was good for the class although not as fast as his larger former teammate Etienne Legare at last year's E-Camp. Beaudoin-Cloutier is very quick with great feet, and a real arsenal of crisp moves that confounded most of the offensive linemen he faced. He's got very good height, but is small for DE – thankfully he has a frame that can gain some weight.

Everton Black – He's strong, but he also carried on the Black family tradition by running a 40-yard dash over 5.0, which many probably saw as disappointing. Nevertheless, he has a great burst off the line and was more often than not past the tackle with little contact. I imagine that the DE/LB debate is not quite settled, as he didn't work out with the linebackers.

Christopher Greaves – Very good power and explosion for a big guy over 270 lbs, with the strength to drive back offensive lineman and blow past them to reach the QB. He was stoppable, as several of the offensive linemen were able to hold him up on occasion – especially the tackles Reinders and Eppele. Not surprising, since his natural position is DT.

Chima Ihekwoaba – Outstanding testing numbers on Saturday followed up by a terrific 40 and good work in the individual drills. He did not dress for the 1-on-1s, possibly due to nagging injuries from the season. He'll probably work out at the Wilfrid Laurier “NFL Pro Day? - he's got his heart set on the NFL.

Bruno Lapointe – Didn't dress for the individual or 1-on-1 drills. Disappointing, especially when combined with his lacklustre performance on Saturday.

Grant MacDonald – Clearly a step below the other defensive linemen in this prospect class. Several of the NIC prospects were probably more deserving of an invite based on performance at the combines alone.

Eddie Steele – He put the strength he displayed on Saturday to good use, as he dominated all OL he faced on the inside and handled many on the edge as well. This DT has very good explosion from the line of scrimmage and comes across as a future locker room leader, should a CFL opportunity pan out. All things considered, he probably leaves the E-Camp as the best of a very good group of defensive linemen.

Sebastien Tetreault – It certainly looked as though he was nursing the effects of a lingering lower body injury, as reflected in his 40-yard and shuttle times. He still managed to give a good performance in the 1-on-1s, undressing several of the offensive lineman. It's likely that his game film will make the difference between being drafted or not.

Running Backs

A good group of backs in this year's class, with much more variety and talent than last year, which was largely the “Jamall Lee Show?. A few of these players likely have the talent to fulfil a Calvin McCarty-type role as a situational running back on a regular basis. It's even possible that they could help justify more NI starting running backs.

Gabriel Ephard – Athletic and fast running back with good size. He's a very good blocker in the backfield, and capable of making very quick moves to get separation when playing as a downfield receiver, although he did have a few drops.

Pascal Fils – Another athletic and fast running back that can also play a power game between the tackles. He was a fairly good blocker in the backfield, but struggled to consistently catch balls in the flat and down field. It must be noted that several of these passes were overthrown. He did make the highlight reel catch of the day with one hand, deep down field and off-balance.

Nick Fitzgibbon – Fast and agile back with decent hands, but seemed to have more of the Jesse Lumsden-esque upright running style. Not a bad blocker, likely a fullback prospect.

Sam Fournier – Not notable.

Matt Henry – Had a great day at the E-Camp. His 40 time was not lights out, but he's a quick and powerful runner with a low centre of gravity. He is an outstanding blocker in the backfield and had very good hands when slotted out as a receiver - difficult for the defensive prospects to cover.

Michael Montoya – We've all read about his outstanding strength, demonstrated by the 40 bench press reps on Saturday. He followed that up with a very good 40-yard dash time, and had great hands in the flat, consistently catching balls with his hands without juggling. At the camp however, he was probably the worst blocking back, undressed by all linebackers he faced.

Anthony Woodson – The question going in was whether he would be rusty after missing a season due to injury. It seems like he has returned to form, posting a great 40-yard dash time and demonstrating very good quickness. He was a better than average blocker, and had a strong ability to make quick cuts as a receiver to confuse defenders. He seems like a slot conversion at the next level.

Adam Dunk – didn`t work out.

Conor Elliott – Unimpressive.

Joash Gesse – Did not work out due to continuing recovery of a serious injury suffered during the season. Too bad, since the bench reps he put up on Saturday likely left the scouts hungry for more.

Cory Greenwood – Tested very well yesterday and today in all the numbers. A very good pass rusher with average but intelligent cover skills. Although not as quick as some of the running backs in the 1-on-1s, he was rarely fooled and never gave up a big play or was beaten deep. Deserving of his scouting rank.

Shomari Williams – He worked out with both the DL and the LB, and looked very good with both. A terrific pass rusher that was nearly unstoppable on the edge, he also demonstrated good cover skills with at least 2 pass break-ups. He made a real case this weekend to be the top pick in the draft.

Christian Houle – Another great pass rusher who also played very aggressive man-to-man coverage. No play against him was ever easy, and he brought total effort on every drill and play. Likely improved his potential draft stock in the eyes of many coaches and scouts.

Giancarlo Rapanaro – Nothing stood out.

Steve Reading – Unimpressive.

Christopher Smith – Probably the best pure coverage linebacker today, but his pass rush was not up to the same level as that of some of the other linebackers. Good performance overall.

Wide Receivers

This years receiver group was overall leaps and bounds ahead of what we saw last year. There are a few very talented guys in this years class, and a few others that are really good medium-term projects. They generally looked much better than the defensive backs they faced.

Cyril Adjeitey – Overall an average performance – average speed and his catch percentage was about 50%.

Nate Binder – Hurt his hamstring after the 40-yard dash and shuttle, and thus did not work out in the field drills.

Josh Bishop – Good quickness and separation, but dropped a lot of balls throughout the drills.

Kevin D`Hollander – Probably the least impressive performance, lots of drops.

Akeem Foster – Fast and with great height and separation ability, he still seems somewhat raw as he dropped several easy passes.

Shawn Gore – Very good performance, with great hands, consistency and speed.

Stephen Hughes – Started off with a fair number of drops, but got better as the session proceeded, demonstrating his outstanding hands and crisp catches.

Charles-Antoine Sinotte – Very quick and capable of making great catches on a consistent basis, but lacks strength and height that are likely necessary at the next level.

Jordan Sisco – The most consistent receiver, who routinely made textbook catches with ease in 1-on-1s and in speed drills. He also ran a much better 40-time than many likely expected from him.

Steven Turner – The story of the E-Camp in many ways, consistently excelling in all aspects of testing. He worked out as a RB and a WR and was among the best performers at both positions. He has firmly placed himself on the radar of all teams, and perhaps only his game film and height are holding him back from a sure-fire NFL shot.

Cory Watson – The best-ranked receiver coming into E-Camp, he largely met expectations on Sunday. He had a strong 40-time, and demonstrated the separation skills and quickness that scouts had anticipated. He did miss a few catchable balls, and also incorrectly ran one route.

Defensive Backs

As a group, they generally struggled in coverage against the strong group of wide receivers. Teams looking for non-import field corners are likely not going to find a bevy of them from this group. Ludovic Kashindi, invited but unable to attend due to an Achilles injury, was in attendance today on crutches.

Taurean Allen – As expected, he was clearly the best DB in this year`s prospect class. His man-to-man coverage was generally very good, and he broke up several passes and made an interception. Also plays with a bit of a nasty disposition, trying to get into the heads of his opponents without dirty play.

Derek Batchelor – Unimpressive.

Nicholas Poloniato – Below average, although better than many.

Nick Riva – Nothing stood out.

Grant Shaw – Not a great performance.

Chayce Elliott – Demonstrated very good pursuit speed, but this was largely a result of being turned around by so many of the receivers.

Hamid Mahmoudi – Didnt participate in Sundays drills.

Jon Krahenbil – Struggled in man coverage, which likely cements the fact that he is naturally a safety rather than a corner. He was able to get an interception on a hard-fought play.

Cauchy Muamba – Aggressive and athletic, but struggled to successfully handle receivers in man-to-man coverage. He needs to work on his ball awareness to improve his ability to manage balls in the air.

My Top 5 by Position

OL – Reinders, Eppele, Matte, Husband, Warner
DL – Steele, Ihekwoaba, Beaudoin-Cloutier, Greaves, Black
RB – Henry, Montoya, Ephard, Woodson, Fils
LB – Greenwood, Williams, Houle, Gesse, Smith
WR – Sisco, Gore, Watson, Turner, Foster
DB – Allen, Krahenbil, Muamba, Poloniato, Elliot
QB – Brannagan, Dunk, Glavic

Very nice job gogogo's.Thorough evaluation and insite into how the player's did.Some of the player's did not impress, but that could be due to either intimidation or just the fact that they can't cut it at the pro level.That's the job of the GM's to figure it out and they usually do a great job of it.Example, Simeon Rottier absolutely sucked at last year's E-camp and probably put out the worst OL performance.Yet, Obie selected him 1st overall anyways and when he got a couple start's during the '09 season, he was very dominant and proved he could be a star in this league.I can't wait for this year's draft, such a talented group :slight_smile:

NOTE - Adam Dunk is the beginning of the linebackers section in the above post.

As for Rottier, I wouldn't say he was the worst last year, but it was a sub-standard performance based on the hype coming in. Nevertheless, he had the game film to back his play up.

High applause gogogos that's one of the best posts I've ever read on this forum if not the best.

Three questions and comments here, and thanks for simplifying this E-Camp for the rest of us including me for the first time seeing Canadian prospects in action as a relatively new fan.

Eppele - If he performed well at left tackle/the blind side but not at RT, why not play him at LT until he can develop?

Down here normally the better tackles play on the blind side because the other tackles have issues on that side with footwork and agility to keep the defencive "power" end and blitz linebackers to the outside.

Montoya - Blocking skills can come with time I would think unlike his other skills for which he has high physical talent and/or ability beyond the skills.

Why would a team not just use him in play-action sets with him running in the flat as an extra receiver for screen passes?

Ihekwoaba -- I'd say he would project better as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 set at the NFL level, as 255 is small for a DE with the norm for feature prospects at least 270 pounds nowadays.

He could be an NFL defencive end if a team drafting him thought he could add 15-20 pounds of muscle without losing speed and agility. As you might know at DE in the NFL the norm is going up against a guy playing as a feature tackle who weighs in nowadays at 320 or more.

Getting around such a massive double-wide load on a pass rush is one thing after ripping or swimming or spinning, but an NFL DE also has to be able to bounce off regularly from contact in the course of the game without being humbled and stumbled due to the strength and size disparity.

Also relatively speaking by NFL Combine and Pro Day standards, his mere 23 reps for even a linebacker at the NFL level would leave much to be desired let alone be highly unimpressive for a lineman. Those are feature running back and tight end numbers at the NFL combine.

As you wrote he'll have his show on 26 March, and no doubt whatever NFL scouts are attending will have interest because the relative inventory of quality free agent and prospect NFL defensive ends and outside linebackers is thinner than it is for the inside positions of the same. There are only so many guys that tall and big with that sort of speed and athleticism, and in Ihekwoaba's case great drill skills, after all. Also more teams now that it seems ever are going to a 3-4 defencive set.

Paolo X; looking forward to more of your posts as you have a true football knowledge of NFL/CFL and or football in general. Glad to see this. :rockin:

In the CFL, the LT is usually reserved for an import player. Much like QBs, American offensive tackles are often better to Canadian ones. A team likely feels that they can get a better OT to play at LT, and use the RT spot to meet their NI ratio because it's not as important for most quarterbacks to be as well protected on that side. Eppele did not demonstrate skills indicative of being a starting LT in the CFL. Whoever drafts him must consider him a work in progress that will get primarily situational play in his first season.

I agree completely about Montoya. There was nothing about his performance that will result in him not being selected at a high point in the draft. However, to be a fullback in the CFL, you've got to be able to block to get any real playing time - especially with the zone reads that so many teams are now using. Fullbacks often spend several seconds as pass blockers before they break out into the flat as an outlet. Montoya was really bad at that at E-Camp, he was getting speed- and bull-rushed repeatedly.

Ihekwoaba is a workout warrior. He may have his heart set on an NFL shot, and he may very well get it, but he may not stick or be little more than PR material. It's not like he has the gamefilm of an Israel Idonije coming out of college.

Now will have to wait till draft day. Thanks gogogos for answering my question on Eppele. :smiley:

Another story from E-Camp on Slam Sports. Sounds like a good group of players this year.

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/2010/03/14/13226836-cp.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 36-cp.html[/url]

Outstanding thread. It's great to see some solid inside knowledge shared with us here. I'm looking forward to see how the predictions pan out! :rockin:

Gogogos thanks for the clarification indeed.

I read this article posted initially below by Yukoner that mentions surprisingly a guy named John Bender, a Canadian OL apparently seeking to play in the NFL. Why wasn't he at CFL camp and what's the story with him? Why wouldn't he play his ambition both ways? What would that have hurt? Note that he was not at the NFL combine either.

FYI the NFL draft is stacked huge with offencive line talent this year too. I count no less than 15 offencive lineman prospects with a solid shot to be starters within their first two seasons.

Note that the approximate prototype body sought by scouts amongst free agents and prospects for starting centers or guards is at least 6-3 and 300lbs nowadays. Starting tackles are typically at least 6-4 and 320! Most of those 15 guys I reference meet those spec's too.

If I am not mistaken, players like Bender who have a year of NCAA eligability left, attend an event like the e-camp, he will have to forfeit his last year of college eligability.

Danny Brannagan signs with Toronto thru the 2012 season. Jim Barker and staff see's something they like.

You are correct gilthethrill. NCAA players are drafted in their fourth year of eligibility, including their redshirt year. If a player attends any professional evaluation combine, they forfeit their final year of eligibility. Joe Eppele forfeited his final year to attend the E-Camp, while Bart Archdekin of Minot State was a four-year starter and thus was already a senior at this year's E-Camp.

Gogogos :thup:

Gogogos and others, the NFL has one of its many pro days scheduled tomorrow at Wilfrid Laurier with it appears at least one viable prospect for also the NFL there apparently.

Sometimes they update what happens on the NFL pro day tracking website below, but sometimes they don't, so if you hear anything post here or under the "My Mock Top 10" or "NFL Draft" post under "Other Leagues" please?

[url=http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000d5d816c887b&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true]http://www.nfl.com/draft/story?id=09000 ... nfirm=true[/url]
[url=http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=114208&draftyear=2010&genpos=WR]http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/ds ... &genpos=WR[/url]

Steven Turner of Bishops appears to be the only player at E-Camp, wrongly I think, that got NFL attention. I think he will sign in the CFL all the same, but no doubt the NFL scouts won't take their eyes off of him when you read the post by that scout.

Turner can thank in part DeSean Jackson here in Philadelphia who as an undersized below undersized receiver, with most NFL teams still except the wise and successful Bill Polian of Indianapolis and Bill Belichek of New England, searching for and willing to bet much of the farm at the next Michael Irvin and go for the prototype at 6-0 200 4.50 35" vertical.

All too often since Irvin even with a star like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Ocho Cinco teams end up with many a bust such as Charles Rogers and Mike Williams plus all the jerks with criminal convictions like Holmes (undersized) and Burress. DeSean Jackson beat the high odds against him with regard to previous undersized "burners" on offence and even our local homer media who had doubts about him due to his size as well.

By example amongst those of prototype build for the NFL thanks to Michael Irvin, I see Bryant, considered by most the top NFL prospect, as the next case of underperformer or bust instead of rookie feature player as expectations for a 1st round pick merit. It is noteworthy how infatuated so many remain with him even after all his screwups because his competition for sake of size is so thin this year. The best NFL WR prospect in my view is the overlooked Benn.

Notice how outstanding Turner's performance was relative to the best prospects south of the border at wide receiver in all NFL pro days and at the NFL combine, with the only and major knock of course his size for the NFL.

Right or wrong, even with undersized stars or feature receivers of the last decade like Santonio Holmes, Wes Welker, Laveraneus Coles, Santana Moss, Steve Smith (Carolina's not New York's), and even future Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (6-0 178!), the teams substantially are still going for the prototype players even when they are somewhat slower except for the very top prototype guys as athletic freaks all the same.

As evidenced in the case of Bryant and others with prototype build in this year's draft, the scouts seem to be rather forgiving for these prototypes for off-the-field screw-ups, injuries that prevented full pro day performances, and underwhelming pro day performances just to try to hit the jackpot with the next Michael Irvin.

Teams have a strong case in point for the bias however in the NFL due to the nature of the NFL end zone, where height and leaping ability carry a high premium compared to generally in the CFL. The fade and high-point catch is a common pattern resulting in passing TDs after all.

I argue that's all great of course but better to have more complete players who can get you also down the field into the red zone more reliably in the first place.

Can anybody shed any light on why Turner was "...rarely used at The Bishop's, catching only 11 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown"? Seems like a guy with level of athleticism and game-breaking quickness would have a few more balls thrown his way. There's no mention of injuries, and he did seem do very well as a kick returner.

Yes no kidding Rpaege, which makes one wonder if Turner is really receiver material at all or just a franchise talented kick returner, which seems to command relatively a bit more clout in Canada due to the nature of the game that encourages more returns as I wish could be done with some rule changes in the NFL.

However those kick return guys are a dime a dozen in college football and in the NFL with only about 10 such NFL guys or so per season commanding some premium or job stability for that skill alone in the NFL. A low percentage of such "burners" in the US have careers longer than 3 years on that basis alone if they do not have other high positional skills, for they are usually just replaced with younger and fresher legs just as fast or faster and/or not recovering from some injury.

Note for example the nearing bust case of undersized receiver Ted Ginn Jr. who is a solid return threat but was traded for a mere 5th round draft pick in his 4th season after being chosen 7th overall in 2007 to be a franchise receiver season one!

The other extreme is represented by undrafted free agent Josh Cribbs, the best return man in the NFL consistently as well, who now is commanding so much respect and more money that he will be used more on offence.

Any feedback on Turner as a receiving threat anyone?