Saturday, May 6, 2017
JONES ON THE DRAFT, AND FINES
Regarding the draft - in which the Riders hold nine picks including #2 overall - Jones said his personnel department has conducted 20-25 mock draft scenarios and they feel prepared going into the weekend.
Regarding having nine picks, Jones said he'd always prefer to load up on picks every year because based on sheer numbers, the more picks you have, the better the chances are of some panning out.
Regarding the state of the club's Canadian talent depth right now, Jones said the Riders are in a much better position now than they were a year ago.
The U of R Rams have two players hoping/expecting to hear their name called on Sunday: offensive lineman Jeremy Zver and receiver Mitchell Picton. Jones said he'd prefer to go local with their selections if those players are dead-even in talent level with other players available from across the country at the spot the Riders are picking.
At this point, Jones said they feel they know who they'll take with the #2 selection but obviously wasn't interested in showing his hand. They're also receiving several "good offers" from other teams interested in making a trade for the selection.
Jones also said the larger amount of Canadians getting NFL opportunities has made the CFL Draft very tricky to conduct, and predict what will happen year-to-year in the draft.
He feels the reason for the Canadian influx into the NFL is twofold: 1) Players are training year-round either indoors or moving to the Southern U.S. in the winter to conduct their workouts and 2) Canadians have had success in the NFL which has caused NFL teams to increase their efforts into scouting Canadian university football.
Regarding the fines the Riders were hit with by the CFL last Friday, Jones said that's history now.
"Unfortunately we ended up on the wrong side (of the rules)," Jones shrugged. "We accept where we are and we're going to move forward. I'm not going to sit here and bash the CFL. They've got a job to do. They deemed what we did was illegal and we paid the price for it. We'll move forward."
Jones was asked if these fines will affect how the Riders do business in 2017.
"Some rules are black and white and others are gray, and always have been gray," Jones explained. "I know that ours are black and white now. There's not going to be any leeway or thinking that we're judged the same as everyone else. We're going to be judged at the highest level and that's what we're going to hold ourselves to."
The Roughriders also officially announced 2017 Training Camp will be held at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.