The 2015 CFL Redraft
The 2015 CFL Draft was a break from tradition as an NCAA player was elected first overall for the first time since 2006 when Adam Braidwood of Washington State was taken by the Eskimos. As some things change, the more others stay the same though. Six offensive lineman would be taken in the first round surpassing the previous record of five from the 1987 CFL draft.
With that all in mind let’s take a shot at a re-draft based on players production, longevity and legacy over the last five CFL seasons.
1st to Ottawa - Calgary OL Sean McEwen (Previously 3rd to Toronto)
Sean McEwen is unquestionably the home run pick from the 2015 CFL Draft after becoming one of the most consistent and effective blockers in the CFL regardless of nationality over the past five seasons. This offseason he left Toronto for Calgary which should help to soothe the wounds of recent Stamps picks to retire quickly.
2nd to Winnipeg - UConn OL Alex Mateas (Previously 1st to Ottawa)
Mateas has done nothing wrong to force his one position drop in the re-draft, it’s more of a statement on how great McEwen has been. Alex has been a rock for the Redblacks starting more than 16 games every season. While becoming a Grey Cup champion along the way.
3rd to Toronto - Laurier LB Chris Ackie (Previously 4th to Montreal)
Ackie has been moved a couple times in trades or free agency but don’t mistake that as teams unhappy to have him. The length and power of Ackie has created a dynamic weak side linebacker after playing boundary corner in university.
4th to Montreal - Calgary OL Sukh Chungh (Previously 2nd to Winnipeg)
Chungh is a dynamic run blocker who earned a big free agent pay day with BC last February and would have been a perfect steamroller for William Stanback last season or - potentially - James Wilder Jr. in 2020. Filling a hole with Chungh here might have alleviated the need to spend in the supplemental draft on offensive line play down the road.
5th to BC - Manitoba REC Nic Demski (Previously 6th to Saskatchewan)
Demski has evolved into a unique Canadian pass catching and ball carrying combination. His effect when healthy in Paul LaPolice’s 2019 Bombers offence was undeniable and he deserves to be bumped up one selection.
6th to Saskatchewan - Alberta OL David Beard (Previously 16th to Edmonton)
Of all the lineman selected in the first two rounds only Beard can hold a candle to the work of McEwen, Mateas and Chungh. He’s been the pick Eskimos management of the time wishes Danny Groulx (selected 7th overall to Edmonton) would have been for the Eskimos and deserves to be selected higher.
7th to Edmonton - Richmond OL Jacob Ruby (Previously 8th to Montreal)
In Groulx’s spot Jacob Ruby gets a bump up the draft board as one of the top five offensive lineman of the 2015 draft as shown over the past five seasons.
8th to Montreal - McMaster LB Nick Shortill (Previously 13th to Montreal)
Montreal wanted and got Shortill at the 13th overall selection but if they had any idea how important he would become with Bear Woods injuries I doubt they would have waited around for him. Shortill begins play on his third East Division team this summer after signing in free agency with the Argos following a trade to Hamilton from Montreal previously.
9th to Calgary - Calgary LB Adam Konar (Previously 25th to Edmonton)
Konar has become much more than a special teams contributor. As a member of the Eskimos he displayed keen play recognition and tackling ability. The reality of him slipping past 20th overall is eye-opening in hind sight.
10th to Ottawa - Ottawa DL Ettore Lattanzio (Previously 38th to Winnipeg)
All Lattanzio has done since coming home from Winnipeg where he was asked to become a fullback is fill an important rotational role and plug up the middle with his elite strength despite possessing a smaller frame. All of this while becoming a staple of Ottawa Redblacks community initiatives.
11th to Winnipeg - Manitoba RB Kienan LaFrance (Previously 45th to Ottawa)
LaFrance had his one shining moment in Ottawa’s Grey Cup run of 2016 but he has been an effective, powerful runner for all of his CFL career. Perhaps a victim to the devaluation of the running back, both he and Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Sean-Thomas Erlington were criminally underrated in the draft process.
12th to Toronto - Laurier DL Ese Mrabure-Ajufo (Previously 5th to BC)
Three teams in five years with a career high in production coming four seasons ago while with the Riders, Ese is a special player in need of a bounce back campaign after making just two starts in 2019.
13th to Montreal - Laval RB Christophe Normand (Previously 33rd to Winnipeg)
A rock solid depth player for the Bombers since being drafted, Normand would have been a legitimate building block for the Alouettes and exactly the type of player now General Manager Danny Maciocia has openly discussed forming the new Alouettes roster with.
14th to BC - Simon Fraser REC Lemar Durant (Previously 18th to Calgary)
Durant has been effective beyond his 18th overall selection and clearly had a desire to return to the West coast after signing in free agency with BC while becoming an important support piece in Mike Reilly’s Vancouver passing attack.
15th to Winnipeg - Guelph DL Cameron Walker (Previously 21st to Toronto)
Walker has good natural size and strength which he’s cultivated into a productive CFL career on special teams and occasionally as a rotational defensive end.
16th to Edmonton - Laval OL Danny Groulx (Previously 7th to Edmonton)
He didn’t work out, but for two years of meaningful play the Eskimos second round pick would have been a more legitimate investment than where they originally selected Groulx.
17th to Hamilton - Idaho DL Maxx Forde (Previously 58th to BC)
In 2015 the Ticats only had the 17th pick in the first two rounds and spent it on Montreal linebacker Byron Archambault who suffered a knee injury before retiring to advance through the U Sports coaching ranks to take a job with the Alouettes this season. In Forde the Ticats could have taken a uniquely framed special teams body who added sustainable depth to a national pass rush.
18th to Calgary - Calgary REC Jake Harty (Previously 10th to Ottawa)
10th seems too high to me for Harty, but there is no denying when healthy he was an effective CFL pass catcher. Unfortunately before turning to coaching Harty suffered an ACL tear in 2018 which dramatically changed the trajectory of his active playing days.
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.