CFL Rookie Report
** UP **
73rd overall to the Calgary Stampeders - York Lions REC Colton Hunchak
It’s not hard to be trending upwards when you were Mr.Irrelevant in the 2019 CFL Draft but did Colton Hunchak ever look great in the Labour Day rematch between the Stampeders and Eskimos?!
Hunchak had five catches on five targets for 53 yards including a sideline toe tapping performance worthy of the CFL’s best. Oh by the way, all that in just his first career start.
9th overall to the Toronto Argonauts - Wilfrid Laurier Holden Hawks DL Robbie Smith
In a rough season for the boatmen Robbie Smith has taken a ton of snaps and outside of the odd penalty or giving up the edge he’s held his ground extremely well as a rookie and one of the nicest guys in the draft process from 2019.
4th overall to Winnipeg Blue Bombers - Windsor Lancer OL Drew Desjarlais
He was a stud coming out and after getting his chance early in the season due to retirements and injuries Desjarlais has looked every bit the part in his first CFL season with a Bombers offensive line which I believe to be easily the best constructed through the draft for the next 5-10 years with Desjarlais and Geoff Gray serving as the anchors.
** DOWN **
14th overall to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers - North Dakota RB Brady Oliveira
It’s never fair to drop someone due to injury, especially one as awful as the ankle injury suffered by the Bombers young backup but I wish we could have seen him play through the Andrew Harris suspension to get a taste of what Oliveira might become when Harris is done in Winnipeg as the new lead man.
15th overall to the Saskatchewan Roughriders - New Mexico REC Brayden Lenius
He has the size, the speed and the drive, but he just hasn’t gotten much of a chance to shine for the Riders this season. Here’s hoping Lenius gets some more touches down the home stretch of the regular season and can help the Riders make some noise in the playoffs.
11th overall to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats - Idaho REC David Ungerer
At 11th overall and paired with June Jones as a shifty slotback I was excited to watch Ungerer the second he stepped on the practice field in training camp. Hampered by an early season lower body injury David took his time coming back and is working his way into the lineup as a field side wide receiver behind Mike Jones.
In limited action Ungerer has shown the trademark burst that shot him up the draft boards late last spring thanks to a breakout final season at Idaho.
** STABLE **
31st overall to the Calgary Stampeders - Western Mustangs LB Fraser Sopik
I mean, we all knew this was going to happen didn’t we?
When one of the best defensive players in U Sports gets taken by the reigning champs at a depth selection he’s destined to contribute in a positive way and that’s just what has happened with Fraser Sopik this season.
** SNEAKY GOOD **
51st overall to the BC Lions - Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks FB Mario Villamizar
This was a tough category to pick someone from as few late round picks have been silently contributing to their drafted roster by Laurier’s Mario Villamizar has dressed several times this year and been around the football a ton on special teams.
** LET HIM PLAY **
20th overall to the Toronto Argonauts - UBC Thunderbirds QB Michael O’Connor
Cmon, please? The Argos aren’t making the playoffs and I’m not sure what there is to gain from watching the same two man band run out there and rack up a ton of yardage which at the end of the season will essentially become nothing more than a memory in time.
The Argos have to look different next year, so why keep trotting out the same lineup this year. If you drafted him at 20th overall let him play in a legitimate CFL game - not week 21 against and with backups - and let’s see what O’Connor can do.
3rd overall to the Edmonton Eskimos - Laval Rouge Et Or DE Mathieu Betts
I know, they haven’t even had a chance to let him play as of yet but I’d love to see Mathieu Betts on the field in green and gold quickly following his release from the Chicago Bears.
I can’t wait to see if he matches the production of Laurier’s Kwaku Boateng on that defensive line after Boateng unjustly fell, and fell, and fell some more in his CFL Draft year unlike Betts who went in the top three.
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