Friday, April 27, 2012

CFL Draft Preview: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

This is the last of the pre-draft team previews. Next week draft coverage will kick into high gear. I’ll have breakdown of the effects of the NFL Draft and post-draft free agent signings on the CFL Draft. I’ll take a stab at a full 6 round mock draft (yeah this should be interesting) and it will culminate on Thursday with my 5th Annual Live Draft Day Blogging.

Also don’t forget to get your picks in for the 1st Annual Rider Prophet CFL Draft Contest. Details can befound here and you have until 10:30am on Thursday (Draft Day) to get your picks in to be eligible for the prizes.

Now on with the Blue Bombers preview...

Canadians Under Contract: 26

One Word Description of Current Canadians: Developing

Early Round Track Record: Since 2001 they have only drafted in the first round twice… TWICE!! In 7 other drafts, their first selection was in the 3rd round or later. They got Labatte and Muamba those rare times they did decided to show up before the draft was half over but the sample size is too small to get a good conclusion.

First Pick: 2nd Round 8th Overall

Number of Picks: 6

Strengths: Their recent commitment to upgrading at WR has paid off as they now boast a stable consisting of Watson, Poblah and Etienne. Kicking game is solid with both Palardy and Renaud returning. They have a fairly solid special teams base with the like of Muamba, Labbe, Browne, and a plethora of Cdn RBs.

Potential Pipeline: N/A

Needs: Up until this week. D-line was likely to be their primary focus given the retirement of Doug Brown and the loss of Don Oramasionwu. However, the retirement of Obby Khan changed all that and bumped O-line to the top of the priority list as well. The loss of Labatte meant they likely needed to look at drafting an OL but now they are down 2 starting OL and those 2 just happen to be the only guys to play centre for them in a long time. Wouldn’t hurt for them to look at adding a LB (in case they ever decide they want to make Henoc Muamba a starter) and a DB (since the 3 they have are all right around the 30 year old mark). Overall though they will focus their drafting along the O-line and D-line.
Bold Prediction: After being burned by Labatte, the Bombers will refuse to draft anyone who attended school in Saskatchewan based purely on principle.

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