The CFL Draft went this morning and while I'm sure the lack of my live draft day blogging left a gap in the coverage we all seem to have survived.
Many people have been asking me me thoughts on the Riders' draft day and to be honest I thought it was bad. About the only way the Riders could have managed to screw up the first round was by taking another interior lineman and that's exactly what they did. It was probably for the best I was on a cell phone at the time as it did not contain an emoticon that accurately captured my anger. Don't get me wrong Cory Watman is a great prospect (one of the top OL in this class) but we already have 3 quality guards and an established centre... drafting another interior OL didn't even crack the top 3 in terms of need especially when quality players were available at other positions: DL, safety, offensive tackle... you know the places where we currently don't have depth. Adding to what is currently our only real area of strength in terms of Canadian depth was a poor use of a top pick. 2nd or 3rd round, fine but not 4th overall especially when we didn't have a second rounder to address the other needs.
I was also not a fan of trading our 3rd round for three 5th rounders as we then did. Given that we had relatively few picks and our Canadian depth is not all that abundant, I get the idea of trading for more picks. The problem is that in doing so we were left with 1 pick in the top 37. You can't expect to build quality Canadian talent like that (the Bombers tried that for years under Taman unsuccessfully). It's choosing quantity over quality. Plus I bet half those 5th rounders don't even make the team so the net gain will be minimal at best. A better use of the 3rd round pick would have been to draft Chris Mercer. Not just because he is a local kid but because he is a quality prospect at OT... something we actually need.
Even more maddening was that we used our first of four picks in round 5 on.... you guessed it, an interior OL!! Matt Vonk is another prospect I like but on this team we already have so many interior OL I don't see what we do with him... unless Cortez has developed a new offensive play that requires 2 centres and 4 guards. We just seem so intent on drafting guards and could are less about actual needs. I don't get it.
Here are some random thoughts on the other draftees:
WR Alex Anthony - As a 5th rounder i actually like this pick. Well regarded receiver that will hopefully push for a spot.
DL Levi Steinhauer - I know nothing about him other than he comes from the U of S, I somehow doubt he will provide the depth along the DL that we need.
TE Spencer Moore - Another one I don't know much about but is well regarded as a special teams player.
LB Thomas Spoletini - This was a weak year over for LBs so forgive me for not expecting much from one taken this late. Think Kevin Regimbald-Gagne from last year.
OL Eric Armitage - This one is actually a tackle so on the basis of actually fulfilling a need I like it. As a 7th rounder my expectations are low but you never know.