2016 CFL Draft Preview


CFL GMs often get a lot of the blame if a team falters and especially if they continue to struggle through a number of years.

After all, they are the ones who build the team and if they can’t add the pieces the team needs to compete they are the first ones out the door.

The job of CFL GM is not an easy one though as there are far more hurdles to jump than in any other professional league.

There is the Canadian ratio to deal with as they need to ensure they have the right number of Canadians on the roster.

Not only the right number on the roster but Canadians good enough to play full-time so the starter ratio is filled properly.

They get most of these players through the draft but even the draft is far from a simple task anymore.

The CFL Draft is a battle in itself as not every top talent available in the draft will play in the CFL.

Football in Canada has continued to grow into a big sport and as a result, more talented people are picking up the sport.

That has created more talent in the Canadian system and those talented players are being recognised south of the border.

There are more Canadians playing in the NCAA than ever before and as a result, the NFL is drafting more Canadians than in the past.

They are having a greater impact in the NFL and with a league willing and able to pay more Canadians are looking for their chance by going south.

That leaves GMs in the CFL with an even tougher decision as they would prefer to take the top talent available but don’t get that option.

Instead, they have to weigh the options of taking a top talent and the risk of they find a place in the NFL.

That is the decision that GMs are up against and it is only getting tougher every year with the best Canadians getting their chances in the NFL.

When prospect rankings come out it is pretty common to look past the first few players and to the second level of players.

Those are the players that will be available to CFL teams this year and will have the best chance at making an immediate impact.

After many teams find their first few picks they then move to the top of the rankings and essentially start drafting for rights.

Those picks are betting that a player won’t stick in the NFL and after a few years will come to the CFL and begin making an impact.football-sidebar

That is the job of the GM in the CFL as they have to not only try to find the best player available but the best player available to make an impact right now.

They then also have to find a player that might have an impact later while not wasting a pick on someone who will never step foot on a CFL field.

The GM job is a tough one but for another year, there will be nine of them looking to make those decisions and take a step toward the Grey Cup in Toronto.

After free agency, this could be the next step in creating a championship team. Finding the right player to contribute right this season could change a team from missing the playoffs to winning the Grey Cup.

Every year a new crop of Canadian talent gets their chance to make an impact and teams looking to find that one player to fit into their team.

This year there are some interesting prospects with very talented players that might not see the CFL field.

Players like David Onyemata and Tevaun Smith are headed to the NFL with Onyemata being drafted and Smith receiving a contract offer after the NFL draft.

Both of these players could change a CFL team but neither seems likely to enter the CFL this year.

Along with a few other players the top ranked talent in the CFL draft might not be available and so they go to the next level.

Just like many other years that level is full of big talented offensive lineman which fits plenty of needs in the CFL.

Teams throughout the league are always looking for Canadian lineman that can fill out the ratio of starters on their team.

There are plenty of talented lineman in the draft this year and they will be the popular pick as usual but there is sure to be some interesting decisions.

Such is the case in the CFL Draft where GMs truly show what their worth as another season is just around the corner.


Round 1 Mock Draft

ssk-roughriders.fw wpg-blue-bombers

Charles Vaillancourt, OL (Laval)

Pick Forfeited

If the Riders stay here they will go for a lineman that is sure to come in immediately and compete for a spot on a line that needs to protect Darian Durant for the Riders to be successful this season

After selecting Garrett Wagoner in the supplemental draft the Bombers forfeited their first round pick this year

mtl-alouettes bc-lions

Josiah St. John, OL (Boston College)

Philippe Gagnon, OL (Laval)

The Alouettes have always had a big Canadian presence on the line and with a few losses they will restock with St. John who might be able to start immediately

The Lions need help inside and they will get some with the strongest lineman in the draft as Gagnon tied a record on the bench press and can move wherever the Lions need him

tor-argonauts ham-tiger-cats

Tevaun Smith, WR (Iowa)

Michael Couture, OL (Simon Fraser)

It is a risky pick as he seems likely to sign with an NFL team but the Argos seem willing to take that risk and draft a true difference maker if he plays in the CFL

The line has been an issue in the past few seasons and with Couture’s stock rising fast heading into the draft the Ti-Cats continue the run on lineman in the first round

cgy-stampeders ott-redblacks.fw

Mercer Timmis, RB (Calgary)

Mehdi Abdesmad, DL (Boston College)

The Stamps need someone behind Jerome Messam and with the local boy still available there is little doubt that they go for Timmis who will serve as a great backup

With Justin Capicciotti gone the REDBLACKS will look to replace him immediately and save their ratio as they take the best defensive lineman that can play right away


Arjen Colquhoun, DB (MSU)

As the Champions there aren’t many massive glaring needs and with their biggest need lacking talent at this time in the draft they go for the best player available in Colquhoun


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