BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF
The CFL Draft is month away (May 3rd) and to get you in the spirit of the draft, Out of the Tunnel will look back at past drafts beginning this week with the 2013 selection process and ending with the 2016 draft.
Individual players won’t be graded, but the teams’ overall draft will receive a grade.
The 2013 CFL Draft was the final one that saw players become eligible four years after attending their first year at a post-secondary institution. So, up until 2014, many players would return to school for one more season instead of reporting to camp.
Now NCAA and NAIA players must complete their senior season of football and USports players are eligible after finishing their third season of eligibility (they are allowed five).
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.
CIS drafted – 44
NCAA/NAIA drafted – 16
Top CIS school – St. Mary’s (6 players)
Top NCAA school – Eastern Michigan University (EMU) (3 players)
Hamilton Tiger Cats (6-12) Head coach – Kent Austin/G.M. – Kent Austin
1(1) – Linden Gaydosh (DL) Calgary: 21 total games played/10 with Hamilton
2(15) – Brent Urban (DE) Virginia: Spent career in NFL, all with Baltimore
3(19) – Carl-Olivier Prime (LB) Wagner: 80 total games, all with Hamilton
4(35) – Simon LeMarquand (WR) Ottawa: Cut in 2013 training camp/Cut by Ottawa in 2014
5(37) – Isaac Dell (FB) Wilfred Laurier: Practice roster in 2013, released in 2014
6(45) – Michael Daly (DB) McMaster: 51 games all with Hamilton/Injured most of 2017
7(53) – Brett Lauther (K/P) St. Mary’s: 4 games with Hamilton/Signed with SSK in Feb.
Total games played: 156
Games played with Hamilton: 145
Not a bad draft by the Hamilton staff. Linden Gaydosh gave the NFL a shot and then battled injuries for the majority of his career before finding a spot this season with Toronto. Brent Urban has carved out a spot in the NFL as a special teamer. Got some great value in Michael Daly in the 6th round. No starters from this draft.
Grade – C+
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1(2) – Andy Mulumba (DE) EMU: Spent career in NFL/possible CFL debut in 2018
2(11) – Kris Robertson (DB) Concordia: Oft injured/Never played a CFL game
3(20) – Carl Fitzgerald (WR) St. Mary’s: 43 total games/30 with Winnipeg
4(29) – Michael DeCroce (WR) McMaster: Released in 2014
6(46) – Stephen Alli (WR) Florida: Never reported to camp
7(54) – Billy Pavlopoulos (K) UBC: Signed to a couple Bomber training camps
Total games played: 43
Games played with Winnipeg: 30
The last draft in the Joe Mack era with the Blue Bombers and it was an awful one. He took a shot with defensive linemen Andy Mulumba, but it never worked out as he has spent his whole career in the NFL. There might be some light at the end of the tunnel because Mulumba was released by the L.A. Rams late in 2017 and has been in some tough negotiations with Winnipeg to make his debut in the CFL. Other than that, Carl Fitzgerald is the only one to see the field
Grade – F
Edmonton Eskimos (7-11) Head coach – Kavis Reed/G.M. – Ed Hervey
2(10) – Stefan Charles (DE) Regina: Spent career in NFL/Currently with K.C.
3(24) – Kyle Norris (LB) St. Mary’s: 25 total games/16 with Edmonton
3(26) – Christopher Mercer (OL) Regina: Practice roster player
4(31) – Jorgen Hus (LS) Regina: 45 total games, all with Saskatchewan
4(34) – Taylor Servais (OL) Ottawa: Cut in 2013 training camp
6(51) – Elie Ngoyi (WR) Bishop’s: 55 total games/53 with Edmonton
7(55) – Smith Wright (FB) Alberta: Cut in 2014 training camp
Total games played: 125
Games played with Edmonton: 69
Edmonton traded their first-round pick along with their fourth and a roster player to Montreal for kicker Brody McKnight. Combine that with taking a chance on Charles, Ed Hervey rolled the dice and it didn’t work out. Kyle Norris had a short career, Jorgen Hus is still with the Riders and Ngoyi was picked up for a couple of games with the Alouettes last season but is currently a free agent.
Grade – D
Saskatchewan Roughriders (8-10) Head coach – Corey Chamblin/G.M. – Brendan Taman
1(4) – Corey Watman (OL) EMU: 81 total games/49 with Saskatchewan
5(38) – Matt Vonk (OL) Waterloo: 36 total games/27 with Saskatchewan
5(39) – Alex Anthony (WR) Wilfred Laurier: 4 total games with Saskatchewan
5(40) – Levi Steinhauer (LS) Saskatchewan: 43 total games/30 with Saskatchewan
5(44) – Spencer Moore (FB) McMaster: 63 total games with Saskatchewan
6(49) – Thomas Spoletini (LB) Calgary: Cut in 2013 training camp
7(56) – Eric Armitage (OL) Western): Cut in 2013 training camp
Total games played: 227
Games played with Saskatchewan: 173
After a flurry of trades in 2012 and 2013, the Riders had just one pick until four in the third round. It turned out well for the Riders getting incredible value overall with four of their top five picks are currently in the CFL and Spencer Moore is still with the Green and White. No real impact players, but solid roster additions all around. Just think if they had picks in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds?
Grade – B
Montreal Alouettes (11-7) Head coach – Dan Hawkins/G.M. – Jim Popp
1(3) – Mike Edem (LB) Calgary: 75 total games/39 with Montreal
1(5) – Steven Lumbala (RB) Calgary: 15 total games with Montreal
2(14) – Hosam Shahin (DT) Rice: Never played a pro football down
3(23) – Jesse Joseph (DE) Connecticut: 43 total games with Montreal
4(30) – Nicolas Boulay (LB) Sherbrooke: 87 total games with Montreal
4(32) – Michael Klassen (DL) Calgary: 62 total games/54 with Montreal
5(41) – Jake Piotrowski (OL) Guelph: 49 total games with Montreal
6(47) – Simon Legare (OL) Montreal: Practice roster/Released by Ottawa in 2015
7(57) – Damone Blackman (WR) St. Mary’s: Never played a pro football down
Total games played: 331
Games played with Montreal: 280
With nine picks, the Montreal Alouettes thought this draft had incredible value. The two first round picks didn’t produce a long-time starter for the Als with Mike Edem bouncing around the league and is now with Saskatchewan and Steven Lumbala retiring in 2015. The middle rounds were another story. Joseph and Boulay are still with Montreal while Klassen is toiling with Calgary. Piotrowski retired in 2017 after a short three-year CFL career. Hosam Shahin was a bust after a solid college career.
Grade – B
B.C. Lions (13-5) Head Coach – Mike Benevides/G.M. Wally Buono
1(6) – Hunter Steward (OL) Liberty: 45 total games with B.C.
2(12) – S.J. Haidara (WR) Laval: 70 total games/34 with B.C.
3(21) – Bo Lokombo (LB) Oregon: 43 total games with B.C./Now in NFL (49ers)
4(33) – Matt McGarva (DB) Windsor: 8 total games with BC
5(42) – Matt Albright (OL) St. Mary’s: 53 total games/18 with B.C.
6(50) – Matt Walker (DB) UBC: Knee injury in 2013 training camp, never returned
Total games played: 219
Games played with B.C.: 140
Wall Buono had a great 2013 draft. Hunter Steward is an anchor of the Lions offensive line, while Bo Lokombo was a CFL West Division all-star in 2015 before heading to the NFL. Matt Albright has spent the majority of his career with the Redblacks and is currently a free agent and S.J. Haidara has bounced around the CFL, but re-signed with the Alouettes for the 2018 season.
Grade – B
Calgary Stampeders (12-6) Head Coach – John Hufnagel/G.M. John Hufnagel
Lost 2012 Grey Cup
1(7) – Brander Craighead (OL) UTEP: 7 total games with Calgary
2(13) – Ben D’Aguilar (DE) McMaster: 60 total games/54 with Calgary
2(16) – Brett Jones (OL) Regina: 36 total games with Calgary/Now in NFL (Giants)
3(25) – Yannick Morin Plante (WR) Laval: Participated in 2013 training camp
4(28) – Charlie Power (WR) Saskatchewan: 51 total games with Calgary
6(48) – Shane Bergman (OL) Western: 58 total games with Calgary
7(59) – Dumitru Ionita (K) Concordia: Attended 2014 training camp
Total games played: 212
Games played with Calgary: 206
If it wasn’t for a career ending concussion to Brander Craighead, this would have been a grade-a draft for the Stampeders. Craighead retired after the 2015 season after an injury riddled career topped by concussions. Ben D’Aguilar spent last season with the Hamilton Ticats. Calgary hit the jackpot with Brent Jones. He started all 36 of his CFL games and was the rookie of the year in 2013, the CFL’s top lineman in 2014. He played so well, he has turned it into a solid NFL career with the New York Giants. Power and Bergman have been solid roster regulars with the Stampeders
Grade – B+
Toronto Argonauts (9-9) Head Coach – Scott Milanovich/G.M. – Jim Barker
Won 2012 Grey Cup
1(8) – Matt Sewell (OL) McMaster: 35 total games with Toronto
2(17) – Jermaine Gabriel (DB) Bishop’s: 72 total games with Toronto
3(22) – Natey Adjei (WR) Buffalo: 62 total games/32 with Toronto
6(52) – Mike DiDominico (OL) Tarleton St: Participated in 2013 training camp
7(60) – Paul Spencer (LB) Concordia: Participated in 2013 training camp
Total games played: 169
Games played with Toronto: 139
Jim Barker had to hit big with only five picks. Jermaine Gabriel was the star of the group, starting 42 games with the Argos and will return in 2018. Matt Sewell was traded to the Riders in the Shawn Lemon deal in 2016 and never played a down with Saskatchewan. Adjei will be one of only a handful of Canadian receivers on the Eskimos roster heading into 2018.
Grade – B-
Ottawa Redblacks (Expansion team) General Manager – Marcel Desjardins
1(9) – Nolan MacMillan (OL) Iowa: 53 total games with Ottawa
2(18) – Connor Williams (DT) Utah State: 34 total games with Ottawa
3(27) – Kalonji Kashama (DE) EMU: 33 total games/26 with Ottawa
4(36) – Tyler Digby (TE) Robert Morris: Plays pro lacrosse
Total games played: 120
Games played with Ottawa: 113
The Redblacks first draft a year before they would hit the field for their inaugural season in 2014. Nolan MacMillan has been an anchor of the Redblack offensive line starting 53 or 54 games but saw the injury bug hit him in 2017. Connor Williams has also seen the injury bug hit him multiple times in his career. Both MacMillan and Williams will return to the Redblacks in 2018. Kashama has bounced around the CFL and is currently with Edmonton. Digby took the pro lacrosse route.
Grade – B