Thursday, April 30, 2015

CFL Draft 2015 Team Preview: Montreal Alouettes

Picks: 6 picks, first selection is 4th Overall

2014 Draft Assessment: Took a calculated risk on OL David Foucault at #5 that didn’t pan out as he stuck with the Carolina Panthers. Like many OL Montreal drafts, the short term gain isn’t there but it may pay off in time. They did manage to get Andrew Lue in the 2nd round and he ended the year tied for 2nd in special team tackles. The real value pick may be FB JC Beaulieu who they got in the 6th round and became a valuable Cdn role player.

Potential Pipeline: DL Hosam Shahin (may be done with football), DL Jesse Joseph (?? had an NFL tryout but not sure what came after that), DL Vaughn Martin (Kansas City), DL Tyrone Crawford (Dallas… assuming the Als still have him on their neg list)

Current Strengths:
Talk of Canadians on the Als always starts with their trusty all-Canadian O-line anchored by tackles Jeff Perrett and Josh Bourke. They also add 2011 pick Phillip Blake to the OL stable after spending time in the NFL. On defense they have Marc-Olivier Brouillette and Mike Edem as well as the emerging Lue. Side Note: I'm curious what happened to Mike Edem in 2014? He was electric in his rookie season but was barely noticeable in 2014. Maybe he will bounce back. Rounding out the notable talent are kicker Sean Whyte who can fill all 3 kicking roles and the newly acquired Sam Guigere.
Current Needs:
The thing about starting an all-Canadian line is it puts even more pressure on you to build solid depth at OL. The addition of Blake helps but OL will always be a need. You even have to start considering that Bourke and Perrett are closer to the end of their careers than the start. D-line is another area to look at. The Als tend to play an all American DL so its not a pressing need but with only 2 Cdn DL under contract its certainly an area with looking at (unless they think magically all their pipeline DL's are gonna report). The sudden retirement of 2013 first rounder Steven Lumbala leaves another offensive hole they may need to look to fill.

Montreal is always tough to predict. In my time following the draft I have seen them use first rounders on O-linemen, running backs, DBs and kickers. Popp is a guy who is not afraid to pull the trigger on guys he likes. If they wanted, they are well positioned to take a receiver like Durant or Demski and I think that would make a lot of sense. But historically Popp has avoided draft receivers like the plague for some reason and with the offseason addition of Guigere I don't see that changing. That leaves DL Daryl Waud as one option or an O-lineman who could be groomed at tackle like Jacob Rudy as more likely options. Given that Popp is not afraid to make risky picks there is even a chance he takes Brett Boyko betting that the once likely NFL options don't pan out as planned for the UNLV product. Who knows, Popp may even target another UNLV product and nab RB Shaquille-Murray Lawrence to replace Lumbala. I see a lineman as the most liekly scenario though.

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