Today I launch a two part series looking at projecting the Rider 46 man roster for 2015. I realize that important events such as the Florida mini-camp and CFL Draft have yet to occur and that they will undoubtedly have a significant impact on things but it's April and I'm desperate for some Rider talk. Also, until the NHL playoffs start there is a massive sporting hole in my life and if I don't find something to fill it with I may have to resort to yard work and all that other stuff Mrs. Prophet has been nagging me about.
Generally speaking the Riders' 46 man roster is made up of 22 offensive players, 21 defensive and 3 special teams so that is the breakdown I will be using for this analysis. This week we will start with the offensive players and next week move on to defensive and special teams.
Roster Spots: 3
Probable Players: Durant, Glenn and Sunseri
Things to Watch: Once again Durant is the starter, no questions asked. It continues a longstanding string of consistency at QB that we would have killed for over most of the 90s and early 2000s. To be fair Nealon Green was consistently the starter for a large period in there but he barely counts a as QB. Glenn will be the #2/most popular man in Saskatchewan. The only real battle will be between Sunseri, Doege and Brett Smith for #3. Doege will be in the toughest in my opinion as he's only on our team because he won a pretty weak QB competition last year.
Roster Spots: 7
Probable Players: Fulton, LaBatte, Watman, Best, Adcock (starters) Clark and whichever OL we pick first in the upcoming draft (back-ups)
Things to watch: All eyes will be on the centre. Anyone thinking Picard will be easy to replace just remember that we suffered through Parenteau before he got here. I see this as Watman's position to lose. We drafted him 4th overall in 2013 to be our future centre. At the time Taman said he was "the most pro ready lineman in the draft". Well 3 years later let's hope our assessment has some truth to it. His opponent will be Dan Clark. I'm curious to see if Clark's lone start at centre (which was very good) was just dumb luck or if he's just better suited for C than G.
Roster Spots: 5
Probable Players: Anthony Allen, Steve Miller (aka the Space Cowboy), Jerome Messam at RB. Scott McHenry and Spencer Moore at FB.
Things to watch: Anyone concerned with Allen returning as our lead RB should remind themselves he had over 1100 yards and 8 TDs last year. I expect us to bring people to challenge him but if he ends up as the guy again it'll be ok. I'm assuming a couple bright prospects from the Florida camp will make this battle more interesting.
Roster Spots: 7
Probable Players: Taj Smith, Weston Dressler, Chris Getzlaf, Cory Watson, Rob Bagg (starters), Alex Pierzchalski, Greg Hardin (back-ups)
Things to watch: This battle be very interesting to watch because my projected players do not include Korey Williams (who I am a big fan of) or Jamel Richardson (who if healthy completely changes things). Smith will have to prove the gong-show that was 2014 is behind him and he can return to his productive '13 version. For as much talk as there has been about Keenan MacDougall being the new Cdn starter to replace Heenan, I think plan A is for that guy to be Watson (though back-up plans are needed because the guy is a bandaid). Last year we started the year with Eron Riley, Chaz Schillens and Brett Swain... things can only go up from there right?