CFL Mock Draft 1.0
It’s been a weird and difficult last couple of weeks for everyone as we continue to adjust our daily lives to the temporary normalcy of isolation. In that quiet darkness elite collegiate football players continue to find creative ways to prepare hoping their CFL dreams will be answered.
Without a CFL combine to work off of this year is all about film and how each teams football operations staff will value players abilities on tape. It’s made for a more difficult mock draft process than ever but here are some names to know and possible landing spots for the 2020 CFL Draft class.
37) WPG - SMU FB Liam O’Brien
A converted quarterback, O’Brien can add to Winnipeg’s specials right away and learn from Mike Miller on how to contribute in the CFL game.
36) HAM - Western K Marc Liegghio
Mustang kicker out, mustang kicker in? It’s possible for the Ticats to invest in the multiple award winner.
35) SSK - Western DB Bleska Kambamba
An OUA first team all-star, Kambamba is a solid depth pick with above average ball skills.
34) CGY - Fort Hays State K Dante Brown
Brampton native Rob Maver is out in Calgary. After his retirement Mississauga’s Dante Brown could make sense at this value.
33) MTL - Western RB Jonathan Femi-Cole
Despite not fitting into Western’s scheme as well as some Mustang football fans assumed, this on and off power runner has the frame to make a living in the CFL and lists current Montreal Alouette James Wilder Jr. as the player who inspired him to become a professional football player. Match made in French football heaven?
32) EDM - Acadia LB Bailey Feltmate
A tackling machine from the AUS who adds immediate quality to the Esks national linebacking group.
31) CGY - Calgary QB Adam Sinagra
Every year I give Calgary the Canadian quarterback because I know Dave Dickenson believes in them. Every year I’m wrong, until now?
Sinagra is my last chance to test that theory successfully for a while.
30) SSK - Guelph OL Coulter Woodmansey
With Jason Maas as Offensive Coordinator the Riders might not pound the rock as violently as they did with Stephen McAdoo, but when they do with William Powell, Woodmansey would be a great fit.
29) OTT - Manitoba REC Macho Bockru
At 6’2, 195 Bockru isn't the most imposing of receivers but his intermediate route running is a plus and his feel for the game shows in most reps.
28) TOR - Manitoba DL Brock Gowanlock
Gowanlock caught my eye at last years East-West Bowl with his high energy and talkative approach. The last player with his makeup from Manitoba was also drafted by Toronto when Evan Foster went 19th overall in 2017.
27) HAM - York RB Kayden Johnson
A physical freak with size and top end track speed. The Ticats have invested at national running back and Johnson could re-unite on specials and maybe even in the backfield with 2019 Ticats draft pick Nicola Kalinic whom he played with at York.
26) CGY - UBC DB Stavros Katsantonis
A year after having a top notch performance at the CFL National combine Katsantonis served his one year CFL ban for a positive doping test and is ready to play again. His teammate Malcom Lee fell to the same fate last year but stayed in the draft and was taken by Calgary 46th overall. Could the Stamps pick up both?
25) MTL - McGill DL Andrew Seinet-Spaulding
Danny Maciocia wants the best French players to stay and excel in Quebec.
This year Seinet-Spaulding was named an RSEQ All-Star, the RSEQ Defensive Player of the Year, RSEQ Lineman of the Year, U Sports first- team All-Canadian and the U SPORTS Down Lineman of the Year (J. P. Metras Trophy).
Enough said. He should go earlier, but will he and how early would Montreal take him?
24) EDM - Calgary DB Treshaun Abrahams-Webster
Quickness to the receiver break and a natural ability to get in on the football without taking penalties define this Dinos defensive back as he potentially makes his way North to Edmonton.
23) BC - McMaster OL Jakub Szott
BC needs more flexibility and national depth across their offensive line. Szott can be more than serviceable at both guard and centre in a time of need.
22) MTL - SFU REC Rysen John
Rysen John is every bit of 6’7, 220.
He has elite freaky size and plays the ball similarly to former Western Mustang George Johnson who Montreal has been patient in developing.
21) CGY - Carleton LB Jack Cassar
Every year Calgary somehow finds value in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.
This year they’ll do it when many others don’t find a fit or belief in this OUA standout. Cassar’s instincts and approach are second to none in this draft as a linebacker but his physicality will be tested once play kicks off. I believe he’ll answer the bell admirably as he did so many times in Ottawa.
20) TOR - Wilfrid Laurier DL Samuel Acheampong
The Argos front office have an embarrassing array of options for their territorial pick unlike Ottawa, a disparity that really underscores the pros and cons of the territorial draft pick process but Brampton’s Acheampong could join the plethora of Golden Hawks alumni wearing double blue in 2020.
19) OTT - Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore
Wasted pick right? Hear me out. It’s a territorial draft selection and their just aren't many players worthy of a second round pick from the Redblacks region which means they have two options.
Draft a player far too early as a throwaway OR draft a player they’ll likely never see like Gallimore and hope if he ever comes home the pick pays off.
As one CFL decision maker told me, “worst case scenario is they never see him but don’t have to carry another body or pay another second round value to someone who likely doesn’t qualify for it.
18) WPG - Saskatchewan DL Nicholas Dheilly
A 6’5, 230 pound CJFL transfer, this Canada West All-star is ready to put pads on and make a game day impact quickly after registering 16 unassisted tacklesand three assisted tackles including five sacks last fall.
17) HAM - Nevada REC Brendan O’Leary
Brendan’s dad Doyle Orange was an Argo and Ticat in the late 1970’s where he once rushed the ball 37 times for 175 yards. Now his son is ready to stay home in the GTA area after graduation from Canada Prep Academy and contributing to Nevada’s passing attack.
16) MTL - Montreal LB Brian Harelimana
Watch the Carabins playoff run in 2019 and there is no doubting how important this RSEQ all-star was to their success from sideline-to-sideline.
15) CGY - SE-LOU DL Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund
From Dartmouth high school, through CEGEP and now Southeastern Louisiana University. This 6’2, 250 pound pass rusher is a stat stuffer who feels like a Stampeders draft pick.
In 2019 Isaac played in 13 regular season games registering 25 unassisted tackles and 36 assisted tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. Oh and he also recorded three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four pass breakups. He does it all.
14) MTL - Laval DB Adam Auclair
No longer little brother to an NFL tight end, Adam Auclair can ball with the best in the RSEQ and would have been an interesting study at the national combine after starting thirty-two consecutive U Sports regular season games. There is no shortage of film on him to evaluate for Danny Maciocia who spent four years coaching against the Rouge Et Or ball hawk.
13) EDM - Queens DL Cam Lawson
It’s all about power for this interior rusher. Lawson has a smoothness to his game that can lose one on ones when he doesn’t play sudden enough off the snap but his leverage and hand placement is extremely fundamentally sound.
12) BC - Brown DL Michael Hoecht
I see a little piece of Brent Johnson in Hoecht’s game, but at a larger frame and weight he will be tasked with less edge rush and more ability to anchor. His pass interior pass rush moves are compact and powerful with a good array of options at his disposal. When he recognizes where the ball is headed and puts his head down Hoecht is an imposing player who might not go this early but someone will be very happy to add this Ivy leaguer to their roster.
11) TOR - ECU LB Jordan Williams
In a year without much in the way of combine numbers to evaluate Jordan Williams was able to make an impression in a single morning at the Ontario Regional combine before it was shut down and all other combines were cancelled.
He’s a highly productive three year NCAA starter who would pair well with former Queen’s LB Nelkas Kwemo in Toronto to develop.
10) OTT - McMaster DB Noah Hallett
Former McMaster Head Coach Greg Knox is now the defensive backs coach in Ottawa but that isn’t why I have Hallett this high. He put on a show at the 2019 East-West Bowl and likely would have blown up the CFL national combine if it went ahead as planned.
9) TOR - Virginia REC Dejon Brissett
With two first round picks the Argos can play around with the ninth overall pick a bit if they want. They were recently in on TJ Jones. If he doesn’t end up coming to Toronto speedster Dejon Brissett could make waves and add to the Argonauts push at national receiver in the same way Hergy Mayala did for Calgary in 2019.
8) HAM - Carleton OL Jesse Lawson
Maybe a bit too high BUT good lower body explosion and all of 6’5, 285. The Ticats have invested nationally at tackle with Kay Okafor and Chris Van Zeyl which might open the door to add depth in a player capable of flexing across the line.
7) SSK - North Dakota DL Mason Bennett
North Dakota's Division I leader in career sacks added All-American to his resume in 2019. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native was limited to just 10 games last year due to injury, but still managed to lead the Fighting Hawks in sacks (5.5) and quarterback hurries (5) while finishing tied for second on the team in tackles for loss (6.5). Bennett is a former Winnipeg high school all-star offensive tackle who could spend Labour Days and Banjo Bowls chasing after blue and gold passers for the Riders.
6) OTT - Western OL Dylan Giffen
Marcel Desjardins allegiance to first round offensive line picks is well known.. Dylan Giffen is 6’8, 324 Vanier Cup and multiple Yates Cup champion. He’ll need to refine as a pro but no doubt his raw skill set makes him a first round pick.
5) HAM - Buffalo OL Tomas Jack Kurdyla
Hamilton could look to replace former 4th overall pick Conor McGough who went home to Calgary in free agency but in an offseason where it was difficult to see players test in person he made his numbers known at the Buffalo Bulls pro day.
The Montreal native started in forty games at guard. He was a key part of Buffalo’s first-ever 10-win season in 2018 and the Bulls first bowl victory in the 2019 Bahamas Bowl.
After being ranked fifth in the December scouting bureau I believe he could land right here.
4) EDM - Saskatchewan OL Mattland Riley
From Melfort Saskatchewan, Riley impressed at the 2019 East-West Bowl amongst U Sports best. This year he started eight games at left guard for the Saskatchewan Huskies and was named a first team all-Canadian. He just feels like a solid top end offensive line pick capable of developing into a really solid piece.
3) BC - Montreal DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy
BC’s main concern is offensive line and protecting Mike Reilly, but are they wanting to invest and develop through the draft or find the quick fix through other venues?
There is an argument to be made that this long lanky Carabins defender with freaky athleticism is worthy of a first round pick and I could see the Lions taking a shot at Dequoy in hopes of drafting a game changer for special teams and returns just like Laval alumni Marco Dubois did for the Ottawa Redblacks.
2) TOR - Laval OL Ketel Asse
Ketel Asse started every game for Laval over the past three seasons en route to being named an all Canadian and Vanier Cup champion in 2018. He is quite different from departed CFL all-star Sean McEwen but has all the skills required with his 6’7 300 frame to pair and develop alongside last years #1 overall pick Shane Richards.
1) CGY - Alberta OL Carter O'Donnell
For the sixth time in the last nine years an offensive lineman goes first overall.
This feels like a natural homerun for the Stampeders who were able to turn a backup quarterback into the first overall pick knowing that the player waiting for them calls Alberta home and could be a long tenured Stampeder to help protect the rest of Bo Levi Mitchell’s Calgary career.
O’Donnell says he tries to model his game after current Indianapolis Colt Quenton Nelson, which makes sense if you’ve seen the mean streak he plays with. At 6’6, 290 Calgary can pair O’Donnell with last years selection from Manitoba Zack Williams and see their pass protection future develop.
Marshall Ferguson is a former U SPORTS Quarterback, now serving as TSN 1150 Hamilton morning show host, voice of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and CFL.ca analyst.