Wednesday, May 3, 2017
DUANE FORDE ON RIDERS' DRAFT POSITION
CFL on TSN colour commentator and draft analyst Duane Forde spoke on a conference call this week about the 2017 Draft, and how beneficial it is for Saskatchewan to have so many picks.
"Obviously it's going to be valuable for them," Forde said from Toronto. "We recognize that last year was a year where overall Canadian talent and depth is an area that needs to be addressed. It wasn't an area of strength for them last year so the hope certainly is to beef that up.
"At the same time I think there's depth in this draft however there's probably a question at some key positions at how many players there are that'll emerge as starters in the Canadian Football League. It's not necessarily a great draft for the offensive line or receiver which are your typical Canadian positions.
"Chris Jones is the kind of guy though that I think can take advantage of that. He's shown a creativity in the way that he'll use his Canadians and it may vary from week-to-week. He's a guy who may be able to capitalilize on that a little bit and get some some specific parts that he can play around with on that Rider roster."
WHAT POSITIONS WILL THE RIDERS TARGET IN THE DRAFT?
"With Saskatchewan, I don't know if I'd label one position specifically because of the way Chris Jones uses his Canadians," Forde offered. "Again, that may be a question of not necessarily having clear-cut starters at certain positions as to why it changed week-to-week last year. If you have a chance to get one of the top O-linemen out of this class, maybe you'd do that because that's a position every team feels comfortable knowing they can trot some guys out there.
"Saskatchewan's a team that's lost some guys over the last few years in terms of their Canadian offensive line depth. There's some pretty good defensive linemen in this draft so there's an opportunity for a team who has multiple picks, that's a position to add some bodies as well."
WAS LAST YEAR'S #1 OVERALL PICK JOSAIH ST. JOHN A BUST?
"It's too early to say that," Forde countered. "I think what happened last year was there wasn't a clear #1 pick and Saskatchewan was a team who tried to trade the pick but because there wasn't a clear #1 guy, there wasn't a market for teams trying to move up. They took a shot on a guy who, in terms of potential, you hope may develop was a guy who has at least a chance to play tackle, or at least play inside. But they drafted a guy who had a good ceiling. It's early and you hope that Josaih will develop.
"It's a little early to label him as a bust but you take a bit of a hit when you look at the performance of some of the other guys who were drafted. Alex Singleton went in the first round last year and was an impact player who would've helped any team."