Favourite Selections of the 2020 CFL Draft
Many of you who have probably already scanned the list and thrown shade at it in your minds (“He only picked early round players,” followed by eyes rolling in disgust). Yes, admittedly the list consists of mainly early draft selections. However, these players were selected early for a reason – THEY’RE ALL VERY GOOD! Each player on this brings unique flair and electricity to their games. Every one of these players would have me jumping out of my seat in excitement had my team been the one to draft them. So, for those of you who haven’t yet skipped this intro paragraph, I give you, my favourite selections for each team from the 2020 CFL Draft.
Nathan Rourke - QB - Ohio (Round 2 – Pick 15)
There was a lot to like about the BC Lions draft class this year. I could have easily gone with picks like Jordan Williams here, but to me the Nathan Rourke selections was just as exciting. Especially when taking into consideration that the Victoria native has the potential to be the face of the CFL for years to come. In his time with the university of Ohio Bobcats, Rourke accumulated 7457 passing yards and 60 passing touchdowns with 525 career completions. When watching Rourke’s tape, the level of talent is evident, and the ability to play at the professional level is clear. In addition to a pro-ready skill set, Rourke will get to hone his skills under the tutelage of current BC starting Quarterback, Mike Reilly – a two-time Grey Cup Champion and the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2017. Such a learning experience should bode well for the young signal caller.
Isaac Adeyemi Berglund - EDGE - SE Louisiana (Round 1 – Pick 3)
Despite trading the number one overall pick, Calgary drafted well, very well. With that being said, my favourite section for the Stampeders is undoubtedly South Eastern Louisiana EDGE, Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund. The Nova Scotia product finished his 2019 campaign with 61 total tackles, 16.0 for loss, 7.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. While the Stamps passed on the opportunity to draft Jordan Williams, Adeyemi-Berglund provides the Stampeders with the clear-cut number one EDGE rusher in the 2020 draft class. Adeyemi-Berglund is a day one impact player, who will often be found in opposing backfield for years to come.
Tomas Jack-Kurdyla - OL - Buffalo (Round 1 – Pick 4)
With the fourth overall selection in the draft, the Edmonton Eskimos picked not only one of the best offensive linemen available, but one of the best available players overall. In his time at the University of Buffalo, Jack-Kurdyla has been a starter on the Bulls offensive line in his freshman season in 2016. Jack-Kurdyla is a tenacious run blocker, assisting UB to a school record of 3,256 rushing yards this past season. The Bulls product spent his Senior season playing Right Guard along the Buffalo offensive line. Equally as impressive in pass sets, Jack-Kurdyla stay patient and doesn’t often give up his positioning. Jack-Kurdyla’s advantage outside of his skill set, is his size. Standing at 6-4, 300 pounds, Jack-Kurdyla has the ability to play either Guard or Tackle. Tomas Jack-Kurdyla is sure to be an impressive, developable player from day one.
Mason Bennett - EDGE - North Dakota (Round 1 – Pick 8)
With the eighth overall selection and their second of the first round, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may have gotten the steal of the first round. Mason Bennett is a 6-4, 260-pound game-wrecking monster. This past season Bennett tallied 5.5 sacks, 39 tackles, and 6.5 tackles for loss. Bennett comes with good strength and speed, combined with raw power and a good bend coming off the edge. One of the most tenacious pass rushers in the 2020 CFL draft, he will surely be found in opposing backfields for years to come. Mason Bennett provides the Tiger-Cats with an electric young pass rusher that could provide a splash right away for the Black and Gold.
Marc-Antoine Dequoy - DB - Montreal (Round 2 – Pick 14)
Newly appointed Alouettes GM, Danny Macocia stayed true to his word and drafted a slew of RSEQ players. If you’ve listened to any episodes of the CFP Podcast, this pick should come as no surprise. I have been pounding the table all season long for Marc-Antoine Dequoy, a player I firmly believe was the best in this year’s 2020 CFL draft class. Deqouy’s CFL draft stock took a bit of a hit due Dqouy siging as priority free agent with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. What adds value to this pick is the fact that Macocia didn’t have to trade up for Dequoy, as many suspected he might have had to do. Instead, the Als GM held firm and was able to select his guy with the fourteenth overall selection. In 2019 Deqouy hulled in 3 interceptions – one of which he returned for a touchdown. Additionally, the Carabin’s defensive back finished fifth in the RSEQ with 37.5 tackles. Dequouy has the skill, size, and athleticism to transition flawlessly into the safety spot at the CFL level. Not to mention speed to burn, running a 4.35 second forty-yard dash at his pro-day. Should Deqouy not workout with the Green Bay Packers, he has the potential for a promising career in the CFL.
Adam Auclair - DB/LB - Laval (Round 1 – Pick 6)
The Ottawa Redblack were a team with a variety of needs coming into this year’s draft. The lack of offensive production in 2019 could suggest a receiver may have been in play for the Redblacks. However, the signing of Jalen Saunders just prior to the draft provided some marginal draft relief for the Redblacks. With the sixth overall pick in the 2020 CFL Draft, one of the most versatile defensive players in the class fell into the laps of Ottawa. Adam Auclair led the RSEQ this past season with 45 tackles. Auclair spent most of his season lining up from the Will linebacker position, though his role on the Rouge Et Or defence wasn’t limited to just the linebacker. Auclair spent time at halfback and safety, and has the coverage skills to run with nearly any receiver he’s tasked with covering. Adam Auclair is a player I could see developing nicely into the Antoine Pruneau role.
Kian Schaffer-Baker - REC – Guelph (Round 4 – Pick 30)
Those of who have watched OUA football are plenty familiar with Guelph Gryphon, Kian Schaffer-Baker. Schafer-Baker is one of the smoothest route runners in the entirety of USports football. Standing at 6-4, Schaffer-Baker is a reception magnet. The Gryphon wideout has an athletic frame that lends well to jump balls and red zone targets. Not to mention the fact that he jumped an impressive 40 inch vertical jump at the Ontario Regional Combine. Downfield receiving Schafer-Baker has good acceleration and fluid route-running that enables him to create downfield separation from defensive backs. Kian-Schafer-Baker is a player who I feel the Riders will be able to develop into a red zone target machine for years to come.
Dejon Brissett - REC - Virginia (Round 1 – Pick 2)
Much like the team mentioned above, the Toronto Argonauts were a team with an abundance of needs of their own approaching the draft. With the second overall pick the Argo’s selected the biggest offensive weapon in the 2020 draft, Virginia Cavalier, Dejon Brissett. Brissett is a versatile receiver that can play anywhere on the field. At Virginia, Brissett spent most of his time lined up out wide. However, a player with speed such as that of Brissett, could only benefit from taking reps at slot receiver. While Brissett provides an immediate boost to the Argo’s receiving corps, eh is equally intriguing from a special teams aspect as well. Brissett spent time returning at both Richmond and Virginia, with his longest return being a 94-yard kick-off return for a touchdown, while at Richmond. The Argo’s offence needed a spark and they caught fire with Dejon Brissett at pick number two.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Noah Hallett - DB – McMaster (Round 2 – Pick 18)
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had to wait two full rounds until they were finally able to make their first selection. Fortunately for Bombers fans, there team absolutely knocked the eighteenth overall selection out of the park, selecting, McMaster Marauder, Noah Hallett. The name may sound familiar to Bombers fans and it should. Current Blue Bomber, Nick Hallett is the elder brother of the newly selected Noah. Noah Hallett, was one of the leaders this year for the McMaster Marauders, who were undoubtedly one of the best defensive units in the OUA this past season. Hallett totaled 5 interceptions, including a huge interception this in this year’s Yates Cup final. Hallett provides the Bombers with a hard hitting, cerebral defensive back, with a tenacious special teams upside. When watching Hallett’s game, it’s clear he enjoys initiating contact, a young prospect Bombers fans should be excited for.