COAST TO COAST TEAMS PREPARE FOR DRAFT
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 06:44PM
Heading into Wednesdayâ€™s Dispersal Draft, general managers, coaches and player personnel will be looking to improve their clubsâ€™ current rosters in two likely ways:
The first option would be to select the best player available, despite the strengths and weaknesses of the clubsâ€™ current roster. All-star caliber players are attractive, and when put in the right situation they can carry a team to the next level.
The second option could also carry the same result as the first, however it would focus more on a clubsâ€™ specific needs, filling gaps in the lineup and improving the teamsâ€™ roster â€˜soft-spotsâ€™.
The interesting aspect of this draft is that it could allow a team to address their specific needs AND acquire an all-star in the same draft selection. Early in the draft, this could very well be the case.
In order to get a better grasp of how active teams may be in Wednesdayâ€™s draft, CFL.ca takes a look across the League from east to west.
MONTREAL ALOUETTES (7th Selection)
After failing to finish with the best record in the East Division for the first time since 2001, the Alsâ€™ will look to regain their East Division supremacy in 2006. In order to achieve that goal the Alouettes may look to improve their defensive front, solidifying a defence that is already anchored by a secondary that includes CFL All-Star safety Richard Karikari. In 2005, Montreal finished the season with 39 quarterback sacks, third fewest in the League. Anthony Collier, the third-year CFLer who ranked third in the League with 12 sacks could be a solid acquisition.
TORONTO ARGONAUTS (5th Selection)
The Argos could also be in the running for a defensive lineman, as they suffered a few injuries last season in the trenches and only registered 36 sacks. With a solid secondary and an offensive unit that has remained intact over the past couple years, look for the Argos to build around their current nucleus, adding depth in certain positions, possibly even at quarterback.
HAMILTON TIGER-CATS (1st Selection)
Despite the fact that the Tiger-Cats finished with the fewest punt return yards in the League last season and lack a true number once receiver, temptations of Kerry Josephâ€™s trade-stock could force them to look past the speedy receiver in Jason Armstead. Hamilton has already addressed many of their weaknesses this off-season, but could look to shore-up a secondary that struggled most of last season.
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (2nd Selection)
Similar to the Tabbies, the Bombers signed and re-signed a couple of key players this winter and find themselves in a pretty position to benefit from a second overall selection in the draft. With that selection the Blue Bombers could possibly add to their offensive line, strengthening the explosiveness of running back Charles Roberts. Offensive lineman Ibrahim Khan should be available and could be a great addition to the Blue & Gold.
SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS (3rd Selection)
The Roughriders finished as a mediocre team in 2005 and will look to address a couple areas in tomorrowâ€™s draft. With a dominating running game in place with Kenton Keith and Corey Holmes, complimented by a solid offensive line, look for the â€˜Riders to add an offensive weapon to the lineup at the receiver position or even at quarterback. Keep in mind that Saskatchewan had six players named all-stars last season (the most in the League). The addition of a big-play position player could really bring this club to the next level.
CALGARY STAMPEDERS (4th Selection)
After leading the team to a second-place finish in the West, head coach Tom Higgins and his staff seem content with their roster heading into training camp and may not be big players in tomorrowâ€™s draft. Adding depth to a young secondary that played well last season could be the route the Stamps decide to take.
EDMONTON ESKIMOS (8th Selection)
The Grey Cup champions appear to be ready to defend their title in 2006 and surely recognize areas in which they will need to improve in order to repeat. A young offensive lineman, if available late in the draft, could be a solid addition for the Eskimos. Likewise, if a backup quarterback is available, that could also be an alternative.
BC LIONS (6th Selection)
The Lions would definitely like to do a better job of protecting quarterback Dave Dickenson, especially after the departure of Casey Printers to the NFLâ€™s Kansas City Chiefs, after allowing a League-worst 74 sacks. If no solid offensive linemen are available, the Lions could also protect Dickenson with the addition of former Heisman runner-up Brad Banks.
AFTER A SECOND GLANCE
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - 09:00AM
With most of the spotlight being shed on the all-star caliber players in todayâ€™s draft, CFL.ca takes a look at the players who are not garnering as much attention, but could have a very positive impact on a clubâ€™s destiny in 2006.
CORY HATHAWAY â€“ Non-Import
After being drafted 28th overall in the 2005 Canadian Draft, Hathaway had a solid rookie year, scoring three touchdowns. The 6â€™4 fullback / tight end is a multi-purpose player who can block, catch and get you those hard-earned yards up the middle.
KAI ELLIS - Import
Entering his fourth season in the CFL, the 6â€™4 defensive lineman could bring added depth to an attacking defensive front. Last season with the Renegades, Ellis finished third on the team in tackles with 56 and recorded a respectable four sacks.
CAM YEOW â€“ Non-Import
Also drafted in the 2005 Canadian Draft (2nd overall), Yeow is a young Canadian linebacker with heaps of potential. Although the majority of his time was spent on special teams last season, where he recorded eight special teams tackles, Yeow demonstrated that when he is healthy he can compete at this level.
Dâ€™WAYNE TAYLOR - Import
Taylor is an exceptional athlete who can cover a large terrain in the secondary. After coming over last season from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Taylor was dependable, playing in 17 games for the â€˜Gades and ranked second on the team in defensive stops with 59. The agile linebacker could be complimentary to a blitzing defence.
VAL ST.GERMAIN, MIKE SUTHERLAND â€“ Non-Imports
Experienced offensive linemen in the CFL are attractive for any club. Either of these veterans could be a positive addition for a club on the field and in the dressing room.
MARKUS HOWELL - Non-Import
Howell spent one season with the Renegades after spending his first five CFL-years playing in his hometown of Winnipeg. The 5â€™11 veteran receiver brings speed and can be used effectively as a downfield threat or on the tail-end of a reverse. He has also spent time at defensive back, adding depth to any secondary.
CAM LEGAULT & MARC PILON Non-Imports
Both of these players bring experience and hard work upfront. The former BC Lions linemen combined for 46 tackles and five sacks last season for the Renegades.
JASON KRALT Non-Import
The native of Ottawa has played seven seasons in the big leagues, and could add depth to any team at linebacker and special teams. Last season with the Renegades, Kralt registered 25 tackles and added another five on special teams.
OTTAWA'S TOP EIGHT WHO RATE
Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:15AM
Expected top picks in tomorow's CFL dispersal draft.
By: Mike Beamish
The Vancouver Sun
Ex-Ottawa Renegades who are expected to be the top picks in the CFL dispersal draft on Wednesday:
(Hamilton) Kerry Joseph, QB -- Joseph is a superbly conditioned athlete who could disrupt the balance of power if Ticats trade him to a quarterback-needy team.
(Winnipeg) Jason Armstead, WR-KR -- Dynamic and all-purpose, the one-man highlight package produced 3,353 yards last season, second in the CFL.
(Saskatchewan) Korey Banks, CB -- Led CFL secondaries in interceptions (10) and return yardage (190 yards) but Roughriders would like to trade up for Joseph.
(Calgary) Kyries Hebert, OLB -- Stampeders would love him to fill a need, though an aggravated assault charge pending from a domestic quarrel complicates things.
(Toronto) Brad Banks, QB -- With Damon Allen back for another year, Argos could look to the future with a former Heisman Trophy candidate with a big upside.
(B.C.) Ibrahim (Obie) Khan, OL -- Lions will thank their lucky stars if the versatile lineman from SFU is still here, but there's a good chance he'll be gone.
(Montreal) Crance Clemons, DB -- The league's worst pass defence could use an upgrade but the preferred candidate -- Korey Banks -- won't last this long.
(Edmonton) Cam Yeow, LB -- Lions will pick Yeow if Khan is gone, so Eskimos may have to settle for OL Val St. Germain, an old warhorse who adds depth.
OK, that what they think, now what do you guys say?
BTW, depending on who gets Joseph (WPG or SSK), whoever loses out I think will sign Kahari Jones, or KJ will go to the EE if they are looking for a back up, surly KJ would be a better back up than the guy in Ottawa.