Thursday, May 1, 2008

CFL Draft 2008

Turns out my decision to arbitrarily stop blogging part way through the 2nd round yesterday may have been jumping the gun just a bit. Some very interesting things happened before it was all said and done so let’s bring you up to speed.

First, the Riders made a surprising trade part way through round 2, sending their 3rd round pick and their 1st round pick in ’09 to BC for their 2nd and 4th round pick. They then proceeded to draft Michael Stadnyk, a defensive end who’s a Regina native originally.

With their 4th Round pick the Riders chose offensive lineman Jean-Francois Morin-Roberge, who is in-fact 1 person, not 2 as his name(s) would imply (seriously are 4 names necessary?). In the 5th round we took defensive back Jeff Zelinski.

That 5th rounder was supposed to be our pick last but Tillman saved the biggest surprise for last. Tillman traded a neg list player to Hamilton for their 6th rounder and proceeded to draft… Teale Orban, the Regina Rams’ QB and two-time Hec Crighton trophy nominee.

To see the full draft results click here

Now that you’re caught up, let’s take a look at how we faired this year.

Keith Shologan, DT – Great pick. Drawing comparisons to Scott Schutlz. As long as he doesn’t stick in the NFL he will be a huge addition.
Jonathan St. Pierre, OL – Pegged as the successor to Jeremy O’Day at centre. Already a talented player and still has one more year of college to go.
Michael Stadnyk, DE – Coached by the same guy as John Chick. Can you see why Tillman was interested in him?
Jean-Francois Morin-Roberge, OL – At 6’6, 320 lbs he’s a big guy, which he’d have to be to fit a name like that on a jersey.
Jeff Zelinski, DB – strikes me as a Dustin Cherniawski-type special teamer.

You know you’re football team is in good shape when you can use your first 3 draft picks on guys you don’t expect to get until next year at the earliest.

Right now you’re saying “But Prophet… you forgot about one of our draft picks.” Firstly stop talking to your computer screen (I can’t actually hear you and the people around you are starting to stare). Secondly, I haven’t forgotten about Mr. Orban.

Teale Orban, QB – Well I was partially right. I did say Orban wouldn’t go before the 5th or 6th round. Problem is I proceeded to guarantee it wouldn’t be the Riders who drafted him (I swear Eric Tillman makes moves just to spite me). I’m still very surprised by the move. We already have 3 QBs under the age of 25 so I really didn’t see us adding a 4th. ET apparently had other plans. After having some time to think about it though, I don’t mind this pick. Orban’s a talented athlete and despite being only 22 has been a starter for the past 4 years.

Allow me address some misguided speculation I’ve been hearing about the drafting of Teale Orban…

#1: This was just a PR move.
Do you seriously think that a GM who traded away the League MVP for 2 unknown players, traded the team’s defensive MVP for a back-up QB and released 2 very popular veterans all in the same offseason would make a move purely for good PR??

#2: Orban likely won’t develop into an elite player.
… And of course the other 6th round draft picks have perennial all-star written all over them. He’s consistently been one of the top QBs in the CIS so I’d say he has as good a chance as any late round draft pick of developing into a starter.

#3: We shouldn’t have traded anything to get Orban when we could have just signed him as a free agent after the draft.
Tillman is the kind of guy who traded away the league MVP rather than give him a raise. He’s not the kind of guy to spend needlessly. Obviously, he thought that Orban wouldn’t be around come the end of the draft or he wouldn’t have traded away a roll of tape let alone the rights to a player he’s been scouting. Besides, what’s the harm in trading the rights to a prospect player who may never even come to the CFL for the rights to a prospect player who is guaranteed to come to the CFL?

Orban will be in camp but in all likelihood will end up playing out his last year of CIS eligibility to continue developing. At the end of the day, Orban, like all our draft picks, is just a player with potential who may or may not develop into a contributing member of the Riders.

It’s tough to say for certain at this point whether we made good picks or duds. They all sound look good on paper and address some future needs but there’s so much uncertainty with draft picks that we won’t know the true value of our picks until 1-2 years from now. Calling this draft a success at this point is kinda like saying that your new girlfriend will be your future wife. Sure she looks good and you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent with her so far. There’s a chance this could be the one. But there’s also slight a chance that she could turn out to be a psychopathic cheating whore. You never really know for sure until it happens…

I’ll end with some other random thoughts on the draft…
- I was shocked that Edmonton didn’t draft a kicker 2nd overall again this year. Especially since they released Hayden Epstein last week
- I can’t believe Winnipeg actually made a first round pick. Take it in sports fans this is the sporting equivalent of seeing a solar eclipse (it won’t happen again for years).
- Congrats to Regina product Paul Woldu who was drafted by the Alouettes in the 5th round.
- Now that the draft is over I’m predicting a sever shortage on CFL news until training camp opens. So if you have any ideas for topics please send them my way or there’s no telling what kind of mindless filler I may be reduced to posting.

3 comments:

reed's black said...

side note on Orban he is also a highly touted canadian baseball pitcher who has played with baseball canada so the arm is there.

Bill said...

typo - it's Jeff Zelinski

Rider Prophet said...

Good catch Bill... change has been made.