I really don’t think Jim Barker gets enough credit. For years, the Argos had abhorred Canadian talent thanks to gross mismanagement on the part of Adam Rita. Under Barker’s leadership the Argos have developed one of the better groups of Canadian talent out there.
Picks: 8 picks, first selection is 4th Overall
2015 Draft Assessment: A lot of what they did was building for the future. Took Sean McEwen 3rd overall. He returned to college and will look to catch on in the NFL this year but will likely be a prospect worth waiting on for the future of their OL. I think they got good value in 2nd round pick Daryl Waud who will be expected to take on a larger role in year 2 with the departure of Cleyon Laing. Also got Cameron Walker in the 3rd round who provided some depth at DL.
Potential Pipeline: TE Luke Wilson (Seattle), OL Sean McEwen (college)
Current Strengths: Have tremendous ratio flexibility. They could start up to 4 Cdns on defense (Foley, Bulke/Waud, Gabriel and Greenwood). They could start an all Canadian O-line now that they have Van Zeyl and Bourke. And have Durie and Coombs offensively. That’s a pretty enviable position. They also have pretty good depth at every position.
Current Needs: Not a ton of pressing needs but a lot of their top end Canadian talent is the wrong side of 30 (Van Zeyl, Bourke, Foley, Durie, Smith). Also some injury concerns among their top guys. Love watching Durie play but he seems to be cursed. Also, I would have serious concerns about the durability of Cory Greenwood given his health issues last year. Toronto needs to focus on ensuring they build a strong bench with players ready to step up in place of some of these guys. They also need to look for a new centre after Jeff Keeping (who locked down that position for years) moved on. They signed Cory Watman but as a Rider fan you’ll forgive me for not thinking he’s a shoe in at centre.
One last concern is that the only kicker currently on their roster is Lirim Hujrullahu. That’s risky, though the Argos seem pretty confident in him. He might play like he did in his rookie season and be solid. Or he might play like he did last year… and have more trouble splitting the uprights than most people do spelling his name. I mean how bad do you have to be to get cut from Winnipeg?
Prediction: I would say O-line is the most logical place for them to start. In the 2nd or 3rd round you may see them target a receiver to replace the loss of Natey Adjei. While I don’t see Barker being desperate enough for a kicker to go after a top end guy like Quinn Van Gylswyk, you may see him take a flyer on a later round guy.