2018 CFL Draft Preview

cfldraftThe annual balancing act is back again as the CFL Draft brings the new generation of players into the league.

It is possibly the most unique draft in all of professional sports as this is the only draft that takes from a similar pool as a competitor.

Although Canadians are the only team eligible for the draft many Canadians are also eligible for the NFL Draft held a week earlier.

That leaves every CFL team in a strange spot as many of the top Canadian players already have a place to play next year.

That would make decisions in the CFL Draft pretty easy as the players would simply be off of the board and unavailable.

What makes things more difficult though is the fact that the players taken in the NFL Draft and signed as undrafted free agents does not guarantee them a spot in the NFL.

Canadian players are far from guaranteed their spots as they are often passed over by coaches for American players.

It can take them a lot longer to make their way in the NFL and often Canadians are cut before the NFL season starts.

That is where the balancing act comes in as CFL teams have to figure out how to get the best talent but also finding the best talent that can help them right now.

Teams will weight the talent with the ability to actually play in the CFL in the near future.

Taking one of the most talented players in the draft can often result in a wasted pick as they may never find their way to the CFL.

That is the constant balancing act that CFL GMs have to play with every year in the Draft but it is a blessing in disguise.

This has only really become a problem over the last ten years and that is a direct result of the CFL.

Football is never going to be the Canadian sport as Hockey is not very likely to be knocked off its perch.

It is still a growing sport throughout the country and that is evident in the number of players coming out of the country and to the NFL.

Although the CFL is a unique league there is little question that the NFL is home to the best talent in the world, if only because they have the most money.

They are beginning to look north of the border to find talent and that says something about the amount of talent in Canada.

It has a lot to do with the league as the CFL has helped to grow the game and continues to gain popularity.

They are a victim of their own success though as more kids are picking up aa football and that is leading to more of them heading for bigger paydays in the USA.

It leaves some of the best talent from Canada playing outside of the league that helped them fall in love with the sport.

Talent like Laurent Duvernay-Tardif don’t show any signs of entering the CFL after years starting for the Kansas City Chiefs.

So far though a lot of the talent heading south are all among the same group as linemen continue to be the popular picks.

These players are important pieces to any team but the CFL teams still have a host of talent to choose from.

Although they might not get the same attention in either draft there is always a need for those skill players in the draft.

Every CFL team would love to find that player that can play every down and make big plays while busting the ratio is important.

There aren’t a lot of them out there but they are extremely valuable as they can make a massive difference for a team.

More often than not the CFL Draft is full of lineman and for another year the linemen are among the top-ranked players available.football-sidebar

In the final rankings, six of the top 10 players were lineman giving plenty of options to the CFL teams.

That balancing act kicks in though as some of the top players are now under contract to NFL teams.

Top-ranked Ryan Hunter signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dakoda Shepley is headed to the Jets and David Knevel received camp invites from New Orleans and Oakland and Mark Korte was invited to New York for the Jets and Giants.

That leaves two of the top ten linemen available to likely start right away while teams weigh whether or not a potentially more talented player can make it in the NFL.

Linemen are always a popular pick because it is a spot that often finds the most value for Canadians.

They can deal with the ratio better by starting seven Canadian linemen giving them more freedom in other spots.

There are still some very talented players that play a bigger role in the offence and if they pan out it provides more options in balancing the team and dealing with that ratio.

These players are also rarely looked at by the NFL, largely because of the options they have from the USA, which means they can start right away.

The first to go this year will likely be Mark Chapman although he has accepted invites to the New York Giants mini-camp.

Rashaun Siminose is another top skill players that could go early to a team that wants that ratio breaker.

As always in the CFL draft will have a long debate about who the first Canadian quarterback taken will be and whether or not they have a shot.

Noah Picton is one of the top prospects to come into the draft in a couple of years and he is likely to go in the draft.

Whether he can make it will be up to a lot of questions that will need to be answered throughout the season.

The CFL draft is always full of stories and questions as it is by far the most unique draft in North American sports.

That tradition will continue this time around with that balancing act of finding the right guy that can play sooner rather than later.

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