We end our team previews with the defending Grey Cup Champions. It takes good Canadian content to succeed in this league so it’s no surprise that the Champs have a good stable of Canadian content. There have been a lot of offseason player departures but by and large their Canadian talent has been unaffected.
Picks: 5 picks, first selection is 8th Overall
2015 Draft Assessment: First 2 picks were devoted to building depth at OL. That netted them Danny Groulx and David Beard and has them well positioned for the future of that unit. The rest of the draft was a whole lot of meh. They only made 3 more picks and got a few games out of LB Adam Konar to show for it.
Potential Pipeline: DL Stefan Charles (Detroit), OL Austin Paztor (Cleveland), K Shaun Suisham (NFL), LS LP Ladouceur (NFL)
O-line used to be a comedic embarrassment (comedic to anyone outside of Edmonton) but it has been built into a real area of strength. Veterans like Rottier, Krausnick, Greaves and O’Donnell with young guys like Groulx and Beard. Side note: Painful reminder that we traded away O’Donnell for Greg Carr. At the time I was one of the few lamenting the poor return… but enough about why I’m better than everyone else.
D-line is in good shape with Eddie Steele who has really developed into a solid player with Oramasionwu, Alexandre and Ngoyi for depth. They are solid at receiver with Bailey, Coehoorn, Watson and newly acquired Natey Adjei and Chris Getzlaf. (So help me god if Mike Reilly cures Getzlaf’s butter fingers like he did for Adarius Bowman, well I will just snap). Whyte and Shaw have them solid in the kick game. They also get decent play on special teams from the likes of Mike Miller and Blair Smith.
Honestly not a lot pressing needs so this draft will be more about building depth and stocking up the cupboards. Guys like Rottier, Watson, Getzlaf, Alexandre and McCarty are the wrong side of 30 so D-line, O-line and WR depth will be focused on (likely in that order). I know he is coming off a career year (surprising many) and I know they know have depth behind him in Neal King but man oh man do I still not trust Cauchy Muamba at safety. I would be actively seeking a better option. That may just be my well documented anti-Cauchy bias speaking but 2015 aside there is nothing in his resume that gives me any confidence.
The defending champs have just 2 picks in the first 4 rounds… you’d almost think Taman is running the team. I think that opens the possibility to trade down their 1st or second rounder to try and get more picks. Though that’s not a guarantee. The Esks don’t have a ton of needs so they may be content with where they are in terms of picks. I think their first pick will be a defensive player. Whether that be a DL like Trent Corney, a LB like Singleton (though I can’t see him still being there at 8) or a DB like Taylor Loffler. Second pick will likely be an OL with WR or FB rounding out their late picks.