Off-Season Depth Chart: Edmonton Elks

CFL.ca presents ‘Off-Season Depth Chart’, a series of articles reviewing every team’s depth chart at is stands to date. Note that these are not official team-issued depth charts, but projections based on insight and analysis from around the league, and don’t include 2022 CFL Draft picks.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/05/07/off-season-depth-chart-edmonton-elks/

Nowhere to go but up, right? Chris Jones really can't lose in this situation & I think he'll have EE back as a playoff contender this season. Last year Elazondo seemed to lose his grip on this team, I doubt Jones would let that happen one way or another. Last years vets should be glad to see a fresh body at the coach's bench & newcomers should stand behind the guy who's giving them a shot at the team. If they're in last place at the halfway mark of the season I'll be a little shocked (only a little, Porky's seem some really weird stuff in his day).

I don't think he ever had the room last year at any point. The players won what they won despite him.

I can't say how much I like the "play for a job" mentality. No golden boy, no this is our guy, just if you are good at what you do you can make the team. Like it should be.

...and the author missed the fact the Elks just drafted a long snapper to replace the one we released.

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Looking at that depth chart and my prediction is that at best that Jones gets this team to double their 3 win total of last year .

Early prognostication for the EE's....a 6 - 12 finish in 2022 .

I do not know if anyone else believes in this, but teams that change logos and names tend to do horrible for years afterwards. (I am not addressing why they have done so, just that they have.). It is like the psyche of the team is disrupted, and generally the fan base is unhappy.

Edmonton stuck antlers on an Eskimo and went immediately down in flames. It is embarrassing to watch them now.

Not quite. Teams who change names but not cities often succeed.

Tennessee Oilers changed to Titans 1999. Went from 8-8 Oiler team to 13-3 next 2 seasons as Titans.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks changed to Ducks 2006. Went from 3rd as Mighty Ducks to 1st next year as Ducks & 2nd following 2 years.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays to Rays 2008. Went from 5th as Devil Rays to 1st twice in next 3 seasons as Rays.

New Orleans Hornets to Pelicans 2013. Went from 14th as Hornets to 12th & then playoffs next 2 years as Pelicans.

Charlotte Bobcats last season as Bobcats were 7th. Under Hornets banner were back to 6th in 2 years.

There were a lot of reasons to hit bottom as this team had been on a downward trajectory for awhile & it all came to a head. The name change was the least of the problems in Edmonton IMO.

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Nice analysis – pantsonfire – of the name change misnomer. The Eskimo/Elks experienced a slow steady decline starting in 2018:

2016 (10 – 8); 2017 (12 – 6) – Decent Competitive Team
2018 (9 - 9), 2019 (8 – 10), 2020 (COVID), 2021 (3 – 11) – Steady decline

The overall football operations structure started to lose their way, they drafted poorly, didn’t develop their players, and the Canadian talent was mediocre. This off-season, they wasted no time cleaning out the front office and football operations.

Given where the roster sat at the end of the season (2021), and with the hiring of team president Victor Cui, GM/Head Coach Chris Jones, followed by Geroy Simon as Assistant GM, the rebuild of the organization and football operations has been steady and thorough across the roster. The winds of change are blowing in Edmonton because they are NOT mired in the past, they are moving forward!

One last point - The new team president Victor Cui has wasted no time reconnecting with the Edmonton community. A graduate of the University of Alberta, he brings a wealth of global sports experience having been involved in high profile sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games, Sydney Olympics, Canadian PGA/LPGA Open Championships, X Games Asia, the World Series of Pool, World Futsal and the creation of ESPN’s Martial Combat. The guy knows what he is doing!

You said it all JB. In fact you had done a good review of the decline some time ago & I fully agree.

What is clear to me is you can see the Jones blueprint. Get veterans in who know his system & will lead in drilling this down to the rest - check. Improve ST's - hello Konar, Milanovic-Litre, Antigha, Reaves, Lacey (nice bonuses for ST's Deon). Bulk up on OL - check. Find a Jordan Lynch/Pat White - come on up Tre Ford for that & more.

I expect we'll see quite a few new faces on Defence. How it all works out this year, I don't know. But arrows definitely pointing up. Whatever happens Elk fans will get entertainment for the dollar IMO. :sunglasses:

Elks fans are the most optimistic in the league at this point about having a good season. Give them an honest effort and they will be happy. Make them proud and watch out.

I have them top two with Calgary and a lot riding on those head to head games.

Well I do have the Stamps on top. I'm not sure where the Elks end up. I want to see their QB situation cleared up. BUT, for me, if Arbuckle stays & you keep Cornelius & get Ford, I'd be optimistic.

Look, I never really understood the McAdoo stuff in Regina.. No coach got more out of James Franklin or Bridge than McAdoo. Reilly became a CFL star, GC winner & GC MVP under Stephen McAdoo. Fajardo reached star status & West MOP under McAdoo. Even Bridge did better with McAdoo than anyone else. Why not Arbuckle or Cornelius?

You can talk about Maas all you want. But he earned his rep as OC with Burris, then Reilly, then Harris - all proven guys when he got them. His 1st year with Fajardo, Cody took a step back. IMO Maas is a good coordinator but there's pressure there.

...because the team last year was capable and talented and should have contended.

The coach wasn't qualified in any way to coach professionally.

I see the same to some degree. It's Fajardo's arm I worry about. That whole business with "50/50" long balls would concern me. If most of your long balls are only 50/50 that doesn't seem like odds I would want, especially with the takeaway defence Winnipeg has and Edmonton is building.

Yeah, I agree. I have mentioned concerns about Fajardo's balls as well. As Lancaster used to say - if you put the ball up for grabs, 2 of the 3 possible outcomes are bad. With the Cup in Regina, how much is the pressure going to get to him? His public criticism of his receivers last year tells me he doesn't let things go. Same with Jones' comments. He has his fair share of critics in Regina.

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There's no such thing as an Elks.

Jones has critics for being a little double dealer that can't be trusted to fulfill a contract. And then the Elk are stupid enough to rehire him. Lancaster is not the one responsible for that old saying either.