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Sunday, April 8, 2018

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: REFLECTING ON THE 2014 CFL DRAFT


By: RodPedersen.com Staff

Teams across the CFL are starting to announce training camp plans, and with a common Memorial Day weekend start across the country this means we are just weeks away from football!

Just two weeks before camp kicks off, the CFL draft will take place on May 3rd. There is a need on all teams for Canadian talent. Some teams are great at the draft, while others, not so much.

Last week we reflected on the 2013 draft with some gems (Brent Jones/Bo Kokombo) but many duds.

This week, we will head Out of the Tunnel with a look-back at the 2014 CFL Draft:

It was the first year that required NCAA and NAIA players complete their senior season of football before being drafted. This is why it featured only six players (five from Simon Fraser) from NCAA/NAIA teams and remained heavy on CIS players. Those numbers might lead one to think that this was a poor draft, but looking back, it was one that helped (some) teams bolster their Canadian talent for the next few seasons.

One other anomaly was the incredible amount of trades involving first round picks. Nine separate trades included first round picks, that is three more than then next three drafts combined.

Like last week, players listed will have total games played and games played with drafted team followed by a team synopsis and grade. The grade is a combination of impact to the team, if the player is a starter, games played with drafted club and total games in CFL.

Individual players won’t be graded, but the teams’ overall draft will receive a grade.

Quick notes:

CIS drafted – 59

NCAA/NAIA drafted – 6

Top CIS school – Laval (6 players)

Top NCAA school – Simon Fraser University (SFU) (five players)

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-12) Head coach – Mike O’Shea / G.M. – Kyle Walters

1(2) – Matthias Goossen (OL) SFU:               69 total games (46 starts) all with WPG.

2(17) – Jesse Briggs (LB) Montreal:               69 total games all with WPG.

4(29) – Derek Jones (DB) McGill:                   72 total games all with WPG.

6(47) – Quinn Everett (DE) Mt. Allison:         Practice Roster player.

7(56) – Aram Eisho (LB) McMaster:              Released 2014 training camp.

Total games played: 210

Games played with Hamilton: 201

Solid first draft for general manager Kyle Walters. A starting offensive lineman in Goossen and solid special teams players in Briggs and Jones. Great game value with their top three picks who are all still with the club.

Grade – B

Edmonton Eskimos (4-14) Head coach – Chris Jones / G.M. – Ed Hervey

1(6) – Devon Bailey (WR) St. F.X.:                 45 total games, 39 with EDM. Now with SSK.

2(15) – Aaron Milton (RB) Toronto:               17 total games, 14 with EDM. Retired.

4(30) – Raye Hartmann (DB) St. F.X.:            18 total games, 11 with EDM. Released by SSK.

6(48) – Zackary Medeiros (K) Montreal:        13 total games with OTT. Released in 2017.

7(57) – Michael Dadzie (DL) Regina:             Never played a down. Released 2015 by OTT.

Supp – Mike Dubuisson (DB) Windsor:          55 total games, 53 with EDM. Released by SSK.

Total games played: 148

Games played with Edmonton: 118

Not a great draft that didn’t bring in a starter on either side of the football. None of the picks are with the club and only one (Bailey) remains in the CFL.

Grade – D

Montreal Alouettes (8-10) Head coach – Tom Higgins / G.M. – Jim Popp

1(5) – David Foucault (OL) Montreal:            15 total games with BC. Spent 14-15 in NFL.

2(10) – Andrew Lue (DB) Queen’s:                32 total games, 22 with MTL. Now with OTT.

3(22) – Jeff Finley (DL) Guelph:                     31 total games, 20 with MTL. Now with TOR.

4(31) – James Tuck (DL) York:                                    40 total games, 15 with MTL. Now with EDM.

4(35) – Andrew Smith (WR) Manitoba:         No games played, practice roster.

5(53) – Nick Boyd (K) Manitoba:                    No games played, released before 2015 camp.

6(49) – J.C. Beaulieu (FB) Sherbrooke:          56 total games with MTL. Now with OTT.

7(58) – Mackenzie Sarro (WR) Calgary:         Invited to a couple training camps.

Total games played: 174

Games played with Montreal: 113


This is the type of draft-class a team needs to fill out their Canadian talent. Too bad this draft filled out other teams’ Canadian talent. Five of the eight picks are still in the league. Foucault was sent to BC in a trade that brought Jovan Olafioye to Montreal and both starters. Lue, Finley and Tuck are much travelled players that all find themselves in a spot for a job in 2018. Beaulieu was a strong special teamer for the Als, but just recently signed with the Redblacks.

Grade – C+

Ottawa Redblacks (Expansion) Head Coach – Rick Campbell / G.M. – Marcel Desjardins

1(4) – Antoine Pruneau (DB) Montreal:         70 total games all with OTT. 2017 East all-star.

2(13) – Scott MacDonnell (WR) Queen’s:      51 total games all with OTT. Released 2017 camp.

3(23) – Nigel Romick (DL) St. Mary’s:                        49 total games all with OTT.

4(28) – Aaron Wheaton (OL) Toronto:           Cut in 2014 training camp.

5(37) – Hugo Desmarais (OL) Laval:              Practice roster in 2014. Released after season.

6(46) – Stephon Miller (DL) Windsor:                        Cut in 2014 training camp.

7(55) – Vincent Desloges (DL) Laval:             7 total games all with OTT. Cut in 2015.

8(65) – Alexandre Bernard (LB) McGill:         Cut in 2014 training camp.

8(65) – Kevin Malcolm (LS) McMaster:         30 total games, 29 with OTT. On HAM roster.

Total games played: 207

Games played with Ottawa: 206

When you nab a Canadian starter that ends up with an all-star season that makes any CFL draft a success. Antoine Pruneau has spent his whole career with the Redblacks and garnered East Division all-star honours in 2017. Nigel Romick is still a solid special teams player and fill-in on the defensive line. Other than that, MacDonnell spent three seasons with the club before being released and long-snapper Kevin Malcolm was signed late last season by Hamilton.

Grade – B+

B.C. Lions (11-7) Head coach – Mike Benevides / G.M. – Wally Buono

2(12) – T-Dre Player (OL) NW State:             18 total games all with BC. Released 2016 camp.

2(14) – Pascal Lochard (RB) Laval:                 62 total games, 32 with BC. Now with EDM.

3(27) – Casey Chin (LB) SFU:                          29 total games, 20 with BC. Cut 2017 EDM camp.

4(32) – Alexander Fox (WR) Bishop’s:                       Cut in 2014 training camp.

6(50) – Dylan Rober (DL) SFU:                                   Cut in 2014 training camp.

7(59) – Guillame Bourassa (RB) Laval:          Cut in 2015 training camp.

Total games played: 109

Games played with BC: 70

Awful draft for the Lions. Lochard is the only remaining player in the CFL and is currently with Edmonton. Player bounced around after getting cut in 2016 and Chin was cut in Eskimos camp last season.

Grade – D

Toronto Argonauts (11-7) Head coach – Scott Milanovich / G.M. – Jim Barker

1(3) – Anthony Coombs (RB) Manitoba:        51 total games all with TOR.

3(21) – Jaskaran Dhillon (DL) UBC:                9 total games all with BC. Converted to OL.

4(33) – Thomas Miles (LB) Manitoba:                       58 total games, 40 with TOR. Now with WPG.

4(36) – Alexandre Dupius (FB) Montreal:      66 total games, 50 with TOR. Now with EDM.

5(38) – Eric Black (OL) St. Mary’s:                 3 total games with TOR. Released in 2015.

5(42) – Evan Pszczonak (WR) Windsor:         1 game with WPG.

6(51) – Tore Corrado (WR) SFU:                    Cut in 2014 training camp.

7(60) – Kirby Fletcher (DL) Acadia:                Cut in 2014 training camp.

Total games played: 188

Games played with Toronto: 153

Anthony Coombs is a starter at receiver for the Argos and won a Grey Cup with the club in 2017. Miles and Dupuis are still in the CFL and solid special teamers.

Grade – B

Calgary Stampeders (14-4) Head coach/G.M. – John Hufnagel

1(1) – Pierre Lavertu (OL) Laval:                    41 total games all with CGY. West all-star 2015.

1(7) – Quinn Smith (DL) Concordia:               40 total games all with CGY Flipped to OL in 2017.

2(15) – Max Caron (LB) Concordia:                2 games played. Retired in 2016.

3(19) – Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (OL) Laval: 6th round pick for Kansas City. Started 38 games.

3(24) – Adam Thibault (DB) Laval:                 49 total games all with CGY.

3(25) – Joe Circelli (OL) Western:                  2 games played with TOR. Cut in 2016.

4(34) – Derek Wiggan (DL) Queen’s:             46 total games all with CGY. Started 11 in 2017.

5(40) – Tyler Crapigna (K) McMaster:                        36 total games all with SSK.

7(61) – Brian Marshall (WR) Western:          Cut in 2015.

Total games played: 216

Games played with Calgary: 178

Another solid draft by the Stampeders (a trend you will continue to see) that garnered a couple of starters and an all-star. Lavertu was an all-star in 2015, but injuries have hampered his career of late. Wiggan starred 11 games with the Stampeders in 2017 and Thibault is a contributor on special teams. They took a shot with a mid-third rounder on Duvernay-Tardiff, but he has become a solid starter with the Kansas City Chiefs. Four players are still with the team while a fifth (Crapigna) is on a CFL roster.

Grade – A-

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10-8) Head coach/G.M. – Kent Austin

Lost 2013 Grey Cup

1(8) – Beau Landry (LB) Western:                  36 total games, 35 with HAM. Cut by SSK in 2017.

1(9) – Evan Gill (DL) Manitoba:                      5 total games with HAM, 1 in 2017. Free agent.

5(44) – Chris Johnson (LB) Toronto:               2 total games with HAM.

6(52) – Mathieu Girard (DL) Montreal:          35 total games all with HAM. Retired in 2017.

6(53) – Stephen Mawa (DL) UBC:                  Practice roster. Released in 2016.

7(62) – Martin Pesek (DL) Acadia:                 Released after 2016 training camp.

Total games played: 71

Games played with Hamilton: 70

Awful draft. Not a single player remains in the CFL and only a handful of games played overall. Not having picks in rounds two, three and four hampered the club. Not to  connect on either of their first rounder’s is a bust.

Grade – F

Saskatchewan Roughriders (11-7) Head coach – Corey Chamblin / G.M. – Brendan Taman

2(11) – Dylan Ainsworth (DL) Western:         35 games all with SSK. Released by BC in 2017.

2(18) – Alex Pierzchalski (WR) Toronto:        36 total games, 13 with SSK. Retired in 2018.

3(20) – John Mark (K) Calgary:                       1 game played in 2016.

3(26) – Kris Bastien (WR) Concordia:            12 total games with WPG. Released by SSK 2016.

5(39) – Matt Webster (DB) Queen’s:                         54 total games, 36 with SSK. Now with TOR.

5(45) – Kyle Patterson (OL) Regina:               Cut in 2015 training camp.

6(54) – Travis Bent (LB) Concordia:               Cut in 2014.

7(62) – Terry Hart (OL) St. F.X.                       Cut in 2015.

Total games played: 138

Games played with Saskatchewan: 86

If you were wondering why the current version of the Roughriders has a few holes when it comes to their Canadian talent -- well look to this draft (and the two that follow) to explain why.

Matt Webster is a solid special teamer with Toronto while the rest never played a full season with the club.

Grade – D -

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good article but "Memorial Day Weekend"
Where do you live?