Friday, April 25, 2014

CFL Draft 2014 Team Preview: Edmonton Eskimos

Picks: 5 picks, first selection is 3rd Overall

2013 Draft Assessment: It was a year of big potential but little that was tangible… at least in the short term. Their first pick was used on DL Stefan Charles who may yet be a stud Cdn DT but is currently on the active roster of the Buffalo Bills. LS Jorgen Hus was also drafted and also is still trying his luck in the NFL. They got good late value in DL Elie Ngoyi in my opinion and I would also keep my eye on OL Chris Mercer who they drafted in the 3rd round. He could develop into a pretty good OL.

Potential Pipeline: DL Stephan Charles (Buffalo), LS Jorgen Hus (Seattle), OL Austin Paztor (Jacksonville), K Shuan Suisham (Pittsburgh), LS LP Ladouceur (Dallas), DL Israel Idonije (Chigago)

Current Strengths: With Chambers, Coehoorn and Foster, they have a very strong group of Cdn receivers. The loss of Ted Laurent hurts but I still think Oramasionwu and Steele give them a decent enough pairing to start a Cdn DT.

Current Needs: O-line was an embarrassment last season (both on the field and Hervey’s off-field handling of the matter). They tried their best to address it in the offseason but the market was thin so the improvement was minimal. Priority #1 needs to be improving that line… otherwise all of Mike Reilly’s promise/talent may go to waste on the IR.

The Esks will also need to look at rejigging their ratio. They released starting safety Donovan Alexander and also lost DL Ted Laurent and Justin Capiciotti. If we assume they will go with 3 Cdn OL, 2 WR and 1 DT, they are still short one Cdn starter. One option is Hinds/Rwabukamba at CB but I really don’t see that with Joe Burnett and Pat Watkins on the roster. Other options include keeping safety Cdn, playing a Cdn OT or starting 2 Cdn DTs… all of which would require the Esks to bring in players to shore up the respective positions.

Prediction: As crazy as Ed Hervey is, I think he is smart enough to realize that taking an OL at #3 is the right call. Much like Stefan Charles last year, I think Hervey will be willing to risk NFL interest and take OL David Foucault. They don’t pick again until the 3rd were I think they will look to build depth either at OL or DL as that is the most likely place their 7th Cdn starter will come from.

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