Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Draft Reflections

Thank you to those of you brave enough to join us for Live Draft Day Blogging. Overall it went pretty well though I did learn a few lessons. #1 – Real-time blogging really exposes my weaknesses in the areas of spelling and grammar. Hopefully they develop a real-time spell checker in time for next year. #2 – Look into start times prior to deciding to do things. If it hasn’t become painfully obvious by now… me and mornings don’t work well together (especially when I have to do live blogging).

As for the draft itself, I’m proud to say my pre-draft predictions were actually fairly accurate. In addition to correctly calling the Riders’ first pick, I also correctly called half the first round selections. So if you ignore the fact that my projected #2 pick went in the late 5th round it was overall pretty good.

The day before the draft the Riders swung a deal with Hamilton, sending Yannick Carter and Brandon Myles to Hamilton for Sasha Glavic, and we also swapped 3rd round picks. Brandon Myles we didn’t know ye at all, and Yannick, well we knew ye only slightly more. We essentially just swapped one special teamer for another. While this Glavic fellow seems like a decent pick up, I just have a hard time believing in the toughness of a guy named Sasha… though I guess his rather communistic last name somewhat redeems him.

As for the Riders 2 picks, I think they did alright. Tamon George was a solid pick up given our decision to repatriate the wide side CB. As for Nick Hutchins, I’m so-so on the pick. Hutchins is young, big and was a Canada West All-star last year. More importantly he’s got experience at centre which is a bonus for any OL. So he’s definitely a decent prospect. There were probably better players still available at other positions but given that we had no immediate needs I guess I can live with Hutchins. In the grand scheme of things anyone we drafted by the 3rd round was competing for a practice roster spot at best so I guess taking a local with a year of CIS eligibility left isn’t a bad call. I’ll admit our recent “Buy Saskatchewan” mentality has me wondering if budget cuts have limited our scouts to only destinations that are within driving distance but at least the guys we are getting have some promise.

Here’s some random musings on how the other teams fared…
- BC as always did very well, though as history will teach you, drafting 3 highly touted prospects in the first round doesn’t always turn out as good as you’d expect.
- Edmonton drafted mostly on the defensive side of the ball which should come as no surprise given their new head coach… though they were smart enough to also draft another Canadian RB.
- Calgary got some solid talent in Fraser and Black, but in the 4th and 5th they were able to load up on some players who were ranked highly going into the draft. If they end up panning out like many scouts predicted, they could very well be the steals of the draft.
- Winnipeg was wise enough to draft 2 O-lineman, however given that they only started picking in the 3rd round of a weak draft it probably won’t help much.
- Montreal was lucky enough to land French guys with half of their picks… un grand succès pour certain.
- Toronto started out with 2 really good picks but then things kinda went downhill. The good news is the downward fall kicked in 2 picks later than normal for the Argos.

As for the Ti-Cats they started out making some really good moves. Rottier was a solid pick. Also, they were smart enough to squeeze an extra pick out of BC. Hamilton had no intentions of drafting Jamall Lee but Obillivich was able to force BC’s into trading up in order to guarantee that they got Lee. It was at this point however that things went from smart to questionable. While I have no doubt that Darcy Brown is an intriguing prospect, I highly doubt the Ti-Cats needed to expend a 1st rounder to get him. There must have been at least 7 other team who were interested in finding out just who exactly Darcy Brown was.

One final note that I just couldn’t resist passing along. The Corpus Christi Hammerheads, led by Michael Bishop, suffered their 3rd straight loss, 47-44 to the Odessa Roughnecks. Bishop went 17 for 36 with 2 INTs in a losing effort. To be fair though, while Bishop does suck, this one can’t be blamed entirely on him. Corpus Christi’s kicker missed 3 of his 4 FG goal attempts in addition to missing 3 convert attempts… word is the kicker has now been placed on the Blue Bombers’ negotiation list.

CFL Ins and Outs

In: OL Martin Bibla, OL Darren Marquez, RB Amos Allen, RB Damian Sims, RB Emmanuel Marc (free agent signing)
Looks like Roy Shivers’ annual shipment of running backs has arrived.

In: WR Dave Stala (free agent signing)
Out: QB Richie Williams, WR Chad Rempel, RB Andre Callender (cut)
Hamilton tried out both Dave Stala and Corey Grant and for reasons I can’t comprehend opted to sign the one who spent the better part of 2 years in a leg cast.

In: DB Nick Kordic, DB John Eubanks (free agent signing)
Out: WR Jamie Stoddard, DB Aric Williams (cut)
I wonder if that Eubanks fellow is of any relation to Kevin Eubanks.

In: DE Kevin Huntley (free agent signing)
I wonder if that Huntley fellow is of any relation to 100 Huntley Street.

In: FB Mathieu Bertrand (contract extension), OL Greg Wojt (2008 draft pick signing), QB Jared Zabransky (free agent signing)
Out: DL Clinton Wayne (retired)
Wayne no doubt opted to retire when he heard that the Esks drafted the mighty Dee Sterling (who has been arbitrarily endorsed by the Rider Prophet since early Saturday morning).

In: Dave Dickenson (hired as Offensive Assistant)
I sincerely hope Dickenson is up in the booth during games because if he’s on the sidelines I can pretty much guarantee he will somehow end up concussed again.

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