CFL Mock Draft 4.0

So the mock draft I posted on Friday was supposed to be my final update, but Duane Ford of TSN has broken some rather outstanding news in the form of a pair of trades that directly affect the first round. Although the trade has not been confirmed, I’m going to assume for the purposes of this mock that it plays as it has been reported. So without getting into the details of the trade, which you can find on TSN (http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=320197), let’s see how the draft could now shake out.

Round 1

1. Saskatchewan. Shomari Williams, Queen’s, LB

Saskatchewan wanted Williams so bad that they felt they had to move up from the second pick to the first because Toronto might take the prized prospect. Saskatchewan could use a play maker and Williams fits the bill. After the CFL combine, Williams graded out as the top prospect available and it looks like he will be the first pick in the draft.  Teams usually have to be leery of players who rise quickly on draft boards after the season, but the Rider nation should have nothing to worry about with Williams. They have a tremendous offensive line already, so adding depth can be done later in the draft. Williams will be transitioning from defensive end so there will be a bit of learning curve, but he showed well at the combine working in coverage situations. 

2. Toronto. Joe Eppele, Washington State, OT

John Bender is an incredible talent, but comes with some risk. He has one more year of eligibility with Nevada and it’s been suggested that he could be selected in next year’s NFL draft. Eppele does not have the same upside as Bender, but he will be available for a roster spot this season. The Argos need to get help along the offensive line and can’t risk making a pick that they may not see on their roster for potentially two or three years. There is also the chance that Bender never plays in the CFL. Eppele is 6’8″ with the long arms and athleticism that is required for a successful tackle to keep his quarterback safe. He should be the selection the Argos make.

3. Toronto. Cory Greenwood, Concordia, LB

A couple of trades lands the Argos in the three spot, and it has been reported that they will take Cory Greenwood to solidify their linebacking core. He is an intense player that will help Toronto in their second line of defence and has been ranked as the top linebacker at various times throughout the year.

4. BC. Brian Bulcke, Stanford, DL

TSN’s Duane Ford thinks the Lions will take wide receiver Shawn Gore with this pick, but it looks like Gore is going to sign in the NFL. The Lions, under the watch of Wally Buono, have always had a strong defensive line with non-imports filling important roles.  Look for the Lions to add to their stable with the 6’4″, 280 lbs Bulcke. He won’t be available until 2011 while he completes his schooling, but the Lions can afford to be patient. If Buono decides that he wants someone on his roster immediately, he might decide to go with Eddie Steele. Buckle is the better prospect however, and Buono is secure enough in his position that he will look long term.

5. Calgary. Rob Maver, Guelph, K/P

The departure of Sandro DeAngelis to Hamilton leaves a hole that needs to be filled. I’ve had Maver going in the second round, but there is speculation that Hamilton would like to select the kicker, and they pick before Calgary in the second round. Maver fills the need and has first round talent so the Stamps get good value with their first selection.

6. Winnipeg. Eddie Steele, Manitoba, LB

With Greenwood off the board, the Blue Bombers will still look to improve their defence with the addition of Eddie Steele. The defensive tackle plays like a bull in a china shop and will only get better with good coaching. Great value and a nice consolation prize if Greenwood is off the board.

7. Montreal. Steven Turner, Bishop’s, WR

The diminutive combine standout is a playmaker and the Alouettes need to add depth to their Canadian receiving depth. The Alouettes have a knack for getting difference makers on their roster and will add the fastest player in the draft.

Round 2

8. Saskatchewan. Danny Watkins, Baylor, OT

With Saskatchewan moving down to number eight, it appears that they feel some of the more highly ranked offensive linemen with NFL prospects will fall on draft day. Although the Riders boast one of the better offensive lines in the CFL, some of their key cogs are getting up there in age and will one day need to be replaced. Watkins still has another year at Baylor and is currently projected as a seventh round/free agent prospect for next year’s NFL Draft, so the odds are that he will be added to the Saskatchewan roster sometime in the fall of 2011.

9. Edmonton. Taureen Allen, Wilfred Laurier, DB

Amid all the trades, Edmonton will patiently wait for their first selection. With the news that Adam Braidwood looks to have finally recovered from two seasons of injury, I believe that Taureen Allen is a pick that makes sense here. The Eskimos struggled in their secondary last year and finding some more depth by adding a non-import defensive back is the way to go. Allen is a shutdown corner with first round talent. A steal for the Green & Gold.

10. BC. Joash Gesse, Montreal, LB

BC could select wide receiver Shawn Gore with this pick, but I believe they will wait until the third round in light of Gore potentially signing with the Green Bay Packers. The Lions replace the departed Javier Glatt with another non-import linebacker in Gesse. A little undersized at 5’11″, 221 lbs, Geese is a playmaker that relies on his quickness and game smarts. The type of player Wally Buono loves to have on his roster. 

11. Toronto. Jon Bender, Nevada, OG

A rebuilding team needs to add talent to their lines. After picking up two players that can join them this year, now is the time to invest in a player that can join them in the future, even if it comes with a certain amount of risk. Bender is a special player and he could be drafted in the middle rounds of next year’s NFL Draft. If however Bender comes to Canada, the Argos will be pleased that they took the chance to add a quality player to their offensive line.

12. Hamilton. Jordan Sisco, Regina, WR

Hamilton is rumoured to want to trade up in the draft, but if they don’t they will select at the 12th spot. I was tempted to put either John Reindeers or Christian Matte in this position, but adding Jordan Sisco fills a need immediately for Hamilton. Sisco should be perfectly suited to manning the slot position and with the addition of import Maurice Mann from Edmonton, gives the Tiger-Cats quarterback more high quality targets.

13. Calgary. J’Michael Deane, Michigan State, OT

The retirement of longtime lineman Rich Pilon means that Calgary needs to find a long-term replacement in this year’s draft. Deane fills the need and is also the best available player on the board that comes with no NFL risk.

14. Montreal. Kristian Matte, Concordia, OL

After adding a playmaker in the first round, Montreal will look to replenish their offensive line by taking local talent Kristian Matte. Matte is good in pass protection which suits the Als game plan to a tee. He has signed a contract with the Houston Texans, but the Alouettes don’t need him in camp this year so can afford the risk of waiting.

15. Montreal. Bruno Lapoint, Buffalo, DE

Montreal adds an athletic defensive end in Bruno Lapointe. Although they already have a strong pass rush, adding talented Canadian depth at the position is an astute move to the future of arguably the most dominant team in the CFL.

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