Who are the 2020 AUS CFL Draft Picks?
Only four AUS players were selected in last week’s Canadian Draft, but here is a one-stop shop to get to know about each of them.
Acadia LB Bailey Feltmate - Hamilton Tiger-Cats (17th overall)
A two-time AUS Defensive Player of the Year, Feltmate is 5th all-time and 2nd in school history in tackles, and has the most by any player who has played only four years. He also knows a thing or two about playing in big games – his 14 tackles in the 2018 AUS Semifinal are the 3rd most in a single AUS game. Not just a great football player, but someone who excels off the field as well – his writeup for being the 2019 Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner is 300 words long.
Ticat fans can expect Feltmate to factor in on special teams right away – they love having Canadian linebackers on their specials – and he will also likely get involved in community outreach programs immediately. Feltmate joins Jake Thomas and Mike Miller (Winnipeg) as the only New Brunswickers currently on CFL rosters.
Highest Axemen drafted since: Brian Jones, 5th overall in 2016 Career Stats: 203 Tackles (5th all-time), 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries AUS Defensive Player of the Year: 2017, 2019 All-Star: 2017, 2018, 2019 All-Canadian: 2017, 2019
St. FX OL Jonathan Zamora - Calgary Stampeders (26th overall)
Zamora is a perennial All-Star playing one of the tougher positions in the conference at a high level over the past four seasons. A fierce run-blocker, Zamora is highly regarded as not only the best centre in the conference, but a great team leader. He has excelled at centre as a four-year starter, but has the body type and football IQ to shift to guard if need be. Why not hear directly from him, though?
Listen to his interview with Connor and Wade on the CFP podcast from April 24th here
Highest X-Men drafted since: Kaion Julien-Grant, WR, 13th overall in 2019 Career Stats: X-Men have rushed for 153 yards/game over Zamora’s 4 years as starter, and have allowed an average of 20 sacks per season. All-Star: 2017, 2018, 2019 All-Canadian: 2018
Acadia REC Cordell Hastings - BC Lions (43rd overall)
Hastings is a tall, lanky receiver who has solid breakaway speed. Most of the yards he accumulated with the Axemen came after the catch on hitch screens. Hastings has played primarily in the slot, but his body type is more than adequate for a wideout position.
His long frame and reach should fit in well with what Lions’ new head coach Rick Campbell might look for in a special teams player – however Hastings’ star receiver status at Acadia has meant his special teams time has been very limited. Wide Receivers coach Jason Tucker was one of the league’s best route runners during his career, so Hastings will hopefully be a quick study in running professional-calibre routes.
First Axemen WR drafted since: Brian Jones in 2016 Career Stats: 121 receptions, 2,047 yards, 17 TDs All-Star: 2017, 2018, 2019
St.FX P/K Keiran Burnham - Calgary Stampeders (61st overall)
With Rene Paredes still holding down the placekicking duties, I would expect Burnham to compete with FA signing Ronnie Pfeffer for the punting job. Burnham has led the AUS in punting average each of the last two seasons, and while he improved on his punting each of his four seasons at St FX, he only handled placekicking in 2018 and 2019, with a moderate percentage of 78%.
Most noteworthy is his ability to swing field position and pin teams deep, with 51 punts ending up inside the 20 in his career – almost 22% of his total punts. His game is more accuracy than distance, but Stamps special teams coordinator Mark Kilam will love that – accuracy was Rob Maver’s forte after all.
First AUS Kicker drafted since: Brett Lauther 53rd overall in 2013 Career Stats: 38.5 career punt average (42.8 in 2019), 29/37 FGs All-Star: 2016, 2018, 2019 (punter), 2018 (kicker) All-Canadian: 2019
Wray Perkin is a former staff member with the Mount Allison Mounties and Ottawa Redblacks, now Offensive Coordinator for the Tantramar High School Titans based in Sackville, NB.