Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CFL Draft 2016 Team Preview: Calgary Stampeders

This will be an interesting draft year for the Stamps. They rarely have this few picks and almost never have this few picks in the first 3 rounds (just). They are used to having multiple picks early which has allowed them the stock their shelves and amass an enviable collection of Canadian talent.

Picks: 6 picks, first selection is 6th Overall

2015 Draft Assessment: It was another case of the rich get richer for the Stamps (a recurring draft theme). In the first round they added a valuable O-lineman in Karl Lavoie (who saw some action early before joining anything resembling an O-lineman in Calgary in getting hurt). The big steal for them was getting Lamar Durant all the way at #18. They took a futures pick in RB Tyler Varga who is currently in the NFL in the 3rd along with speedster Tevaughn Campbell who got a start at CB but is now in Saskatchewan (as is 4th rd pick OL Aaron Picton). The other pick everyone will be watching is 7th rounder QB Andrew Buckley, he returned for his final year of college but will be in camp this year

Potential Pipeline: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (Kansas City), RB Tyler Varga (Indianapolis)

Current Strengths: How good is Calgary’s depth? They have D-linemen who can provide better depth at OL than most team’s back-up O-linemen.

Assuming everyone is back to healthy, the Stamps will have a very solid O-line again with the likes of Lavertu, Wilson, Federkeil, and Bergman. Junior Turner is a solid DT and Quinn Smith (when he has time to play his home position) is solid as well. Durant, Parker and Charboneau-Campeau have them set at WR. Rob Cote in my opinion is one of the most undervalued Canadian players in the league. Paredes and Maver are the best kicking combo in the league.

Current Needs: Despite what seemed like a glut of OL, last season proved that you can never have too many. The offseason retirement of former first rounder Brander Craighead adds to that need. They need depth behind Jerome Messam. Beyond that, this draft will be more about restocking the shelves than addressing any pressing areas of need.

Prediction: I think everyone will be shocked if the Stampeders don’t emerge from the draft with RB Mercer Timmis. They still need depth behind Jerome Messam and jettisoned Matt Walter (presumably to make room for the younger/cheaper/higher ceiling Timmis). None of the teams who pick before Calgary are likely to be willing to take Timmis that high. Traditionally they like to take chances on NFL bound guys in the 3rd round (Duvernay, Varga) but I don’t see that happening this year with only 2 picks in the first 3 rounds. 

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