I was going to save my thoughts on our #1 pick until we got closer to the draft but after reports surfaced lastweek that Taman was listening to offers on the #1 pick I decided I should probably comment on the scenario. Word is we are shopping the pick for another high pick and Canadian player and barring that are leaning towards keeping the pick and drafting either Ben Heenan or Shamawd Chambers.
First of all the fact that Taman is shopping a first rounder should come as a surprise to no-one. Taman is as synonymous with trading draft picks as Charlie Sheen is with cocaine. Crazy thing is though this time I’m not vehemently opposed to the idea… provided it is done correctly. And on that point I have minimal faith in Taman.
Here are the only 3 scenarios that make sense:
1 – Keep the #1 pick and draft Chambers
2 – Keep the #1 pick, Trade Chris Best for a package including a Canadian and another high pick and draft Heenan
3 – Trade down a few spots in the draft in order to get more picks (or a pick and an established Canadian) then draft whoever is available be it Heenan, another receiver, a tackle or the best player available.
Fact is we already have 2 starting guards in Labatte and Best and capable back-ups in Hutchins and Groh. We don’t need another guard and we especially don’t need to use a #1 overall pick on one. For a team with as little Canadian depth as us and as few draft picks (3 to be except) we cannot afford to waste the top pick on a #4 guard. We need to get an impact player for that #1 spot and that means a Chmabers. It was a different story back before we traded the #8 pick to the Bombers since we could have had Heenan at 1 and a capable receiver like Ismael Bamba or Simon Charbonneau-Campeau at 8. But we no longer have that luxury.
By contrast, if Heenan is really the “can’t miss”, “perennial all-star”, “we’d be stupid not to draft him” prospect some seem to think then we have no use for both him and Chris Best. If we need Heenan then it means Best has to go. It’s that simple.
My vote is on drafting Chambers but any of the 3 options I mentioned would be acceptable. Then again we’re talking about a GM that was responsible for a franchise going almost a decade without a first round selection so who knows? We may trade our first round pick for the rights to have Ryan Leaf serve his jail sentence in Regina and get day parole for home games.