Friday, May 8, 2015

CFL Draft 2015 Team Preview: Calgary Stampeders

We conclude our team previews with the Stamps. Not surprisingly the reigning champs manage their Canadian depth better than pretty much any team out there. 
Picks: 8 picks, first selection is 9th Overall

2014 Draft Assessment: The rich got richer. They entered the draft with arguably the best Canadian content and were able to further build on that with 3 picks in the top 16 and 6 in the top 25. Trading for the #1 pick to grab Pierre Lavertu looks like a stroke of genius now that Brett Jones left.They also ignored the steroid issues of Quinn Smith a nabbed him in round 1 (he got 4 sacks in his rookie campaign). Add in DB Adam Thibault who is raw but has high potnential and you have a pretty successful draft class even before factoring in the rights to OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff and the other players they got.

Potential Pipeline: OL Laurent-Duvernay-Tardif (Kansas City)

Current Strengths: The most impressive thing about the Stamps is that they always have talent waiting in the wings to step up and take the place of someone who departs or goes down to injury. The CFL’s top linemen in Brett Jones jumps to the NFL, they have Pierre Lavertu ready to take his place. Lose Keenan MacDougall to the Riders, Adam Thibault the next man up. Brad Sinopli heads to Ottawa, no worries because Anthony Parker and Simon Charboneau-Campeau are stepping up their game. Hufnagel always seems to be one step ahead it’s a big reason why the Stamps are always among the best teams in the League. One thing I bet not many noticed during the Stamps 15-3 season was the fact that of their Canadian starters, Brett Jones was the only one to start all 18 games.
Current Needs: They have enviable depth at virtually every position so it’s hard to say they have any real needs. They have the luxury of drafting the best player available regardless of position. They are likely to be looking for a WR, OL and DB/LB given the departures of Brad Sinopoli, Brett Jones and Keenan MacDougall.

Prediction: Calgary has a history of taking risks on OL prospects they may have to wait on such as Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Brander Craighead and John Bender. As such it would not surprise me to see them target Brett Boyko in Round 1. Lemar Durant may be another who garners their interest.

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