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Monday, May 6, 2019

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: ANALYZING THE 2019 CFL DRAFT

Photo: Esks.com
BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

The 2019 CFL Draft is in the books. CFL teams should now be well-stocked heading into training camp which is just three weeks away.

As per usual, there was a run on offensive linemen and receivers. But as the overall quality of Canadian talent improves, we are seeing more defensive backs, running backs (think more Andrew Harris, less Kienan LaFrance) and even a quarterback picked in the top half of the draft.

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Much of this can be attributed to the increasing numbers of Canadians playing in the best training ground in the world: the NCAA.

The 21 selections are the most since 2012 when 21 were also taken and the second-most since 2006 when 24 were picked. The number of players receiving their training south of the border is slowly increasing. The NCAA is making a concerted effort in recruiting international players; not just from Canada but from around the world.

Here is a quick breakdown of the 2019 CFL Draft:

-       52 players selected from USports.
-       The OUA led the way with 21 selections with Canada West next with 18, RSEQ with nine and AUS with four.
-       21 NCAA players were selected.
-       13 from FBS, six from FCS and two from Division II.
-       The top USports team was Manitoba with seven players selected.
-       Missouri was the top NCAA team with two players selected.
-       Defensive linemen led the way with 20 selections while offensive line and receivers were tied with 19 apiece.
-       36 offensive players, 35 defensive players and one long snapper were selected.

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders had six selections and went with four players from the NCAA and two from USports.

They desperately needed to fill their cupboard with quality Canadian receivers and they went with a pair of pass catchers for their first two picks.

Justin McInnis is a big-bodied deep threat that will stretch the field with his speed while also using his size to out muscle defenders to make the big catch.

His best game at Arkansas State was during a November 2017 Red Wolves victory over the University of Louisiana-Monroe. McInnis caught nine passes for 211 yards.

McInnis went the American junior college route playing a season with Dodge City Community College in 2015. He helped the Conquistadors to their first Jayhawk League title in over 30 years. If one wants a taste of what that football is like watch season three of Last Chance U. The focus of that season was the 2017 Independence Community College Pirates of the Jayhawk League.

The Riders went back-to-back big receivers by selecting Brayden Lenius-Dickey from New Mexico in the second round.

Lenius-Dickey is a huge receiver (6’5”, 245 lbs.) who would instantly be in the rotation with Patrick Lavoie as the fullback/tight end/inside receiver spot with the Riders.

It has been a road less-travelled for Lenius-Dickey. He was a solid contributor with the Washington Huskies as a sophomore in 2015. As a reserve receiver, Lenius-Dickey caught 26 passes for 307 yards.

He then redshirted in 2016 before seeing limited action in 2017 with the Huskies. Lenius was a grad transfer to New Mexico State where he put on some weight and played tight end for the Aggies.

This is a great chapter in his story as he is the son of former Roughrider Troy Dickey (who passed away in 2017) and was raised in Regina.

Both of these players have rookie mini-camp invites (Lenius with San Francisco and McInnis with Indianapolis and Tennessee) and depending on how these camps go, these two players have a chance to make an immediate impact with the Roughriders.

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The next pick for the Riders came in the fourth round where they selected linebacker Jacob Janke from the York Yeoman.

He will be entering his fourth season with York after finally playing a full season in 2018. Janke began his career with the Yeoman in 2015 as a receiver before missing all of the 2016 season because of injury.

2017 saw Janke take the field as a defensive back for the first time but played just three games before having his season end with another injury.

Finally, in 2018 Janke was able to play a full OUA season with York. Played his high school football in Kalispell, Montana at Glacier High School.

Look for Janke to attend camp and then spend another season of college football at York.

The Riders finished the draft by selecting offensive lineman Vincent Roy out of Sherbrooke and Chris Judge, the brother of current Rider linebacker Cameron Judge.

This, like almost any other CFL draft, isn’t make or break in the last rounds but if you miss in the first three, then you will have to continue to tread water with your Canadians.

With only two picks in the first three rounds last season the Riders received a little bit of help from linebacker Micah Teitz before getting hurt. They may still win in the end with Dakoda Shepley signing with the Green and White in the off-season.

2017 saw Cameron Judge and Dariusz Bladek come into the fold. Both improved immensely last season but the Riders will need to see more from both.

As for 2016, the duo of Josiah St. John and Quinn Van Glyswyk is gone from the roster without registering barely a blip.

For the Jeremy O’Day/Craig Dickenson era to succeed, one of the many places that has to improve is with their scouting and drafting of Canadian talent. Let’s hope it begins with this 2019 draft.

(RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question for CFL Head Office, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie !

If Canadian Football League teams are drafting Canadian player talent from the best training ground in the world: NCAA, why the hell is the Canadian Football League wasting every team's time and money drafting European/Mexican who won't make a opening day roster any day soon? There's got to be a better way to grow the Canadian game with its long withstanding storied history.

Rock Baer

joe bunyawk said...

You forgot one pick...DL Charbel Debire in the 5th Round...6'1 300 out of Wagner

GardenGnome said...

RB. It's not just about putting European/Mexican players on a CFL roster. It's about TV contracts & revenue outside of Canada. It's about opening doors for a lot of USports players who may not have considered those options. It's about expanding the reach of the CFL. The NFL has copied a lot of CFL ideas in recent years & they have the past month opened a training camp spot for a European player on each team. What are the chances of one of them making a final roster? They would like to put some future franchises in Europe where soccer is king. You have to look beyond the obvious. How is drafting a European or Mexican hurting the league exactly?

Anonymous said...

I count my pennies hard down to the last cent. "The poor man of pro sports CFL" needs to do likewise. "Needless waste of team resources, time, expenditures" participating Euro/Mexican player drafts who have 99% chance of legit roster spots unless the league is dictating of such not conducive of worth. Agreed, the CFL needs to expand its identity for all to see, though at what cost to the future Canadian player waiting in the wings or the unique Canadian game itself? Current Canadian roster spots now being mentioned as down to 5 in new ongoing CBA news. Forseeable projection, the Canadian in CFL going by the wayside in the not so distant future if current direction advanced without considerable due diligence. This Canadian Football League needs to get it's current/long term business table in order before it can begin Randy Ambrosie's outside projected world tour ventures.

Rock Baer

Anonymous said...

9 Canadians/team. The rest all fall under the international category

Anonymous said...

The Europeans & Mexicans aren't taking roster spots from Canadians. As for the Rider draft, some of these players have to be good enough to take spots from the aging veterans. We have more on the OL in the over 30 crowd than almost anyone. Surely Watson at 35 can be pushed into a backup role. If not, that tells you all you need to know about our depth. JSJ was a #1 pick & he hasn't exactly had offers flying around.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping Lady Ga Ga will play Regina at the football stadium. We'll pay top dollar for show tickets to see her. 1 show, 2 show 3 show, 4, no problem. Forget all lame country acts at the stadium to future shows, get your hoe-down on at Craven if that's your preference.

Chimazee Sutton & pals.

Anonymous said...

Correction to 2nd comment

... who don't have a 99% chance of a roster spot ...

Anonymous said...

Corey Watson was mentioned above. What is it about him that makes him a better choice than Rob Bagg at the same age =+/- ?

Anonymous said...

Corey Watson is a speed demon, has the speed to burn. He got the wheels, the jets to make things happen. Who's Bagg?

Anonymous said...

The anon response to the query re Watson and Bagg must be facetious when asking "who's Bagg". Injury held him back but his stats are better than Watson's and he was always a Rider. Watson is 35 and Bagg is 34.