A big key to Calgary’s success is their ability to amass draft picks and then retain and develop those players long-term. Of the 25 players they have drafted in the past 3 years 15 remain with the club. By comparison, BC has retained 10 of their 23 draft picks over the same timeframe and Saskatchewan just 4 of 22.
Picks: 9 picks, first selection is 8th Overall
2016 Draft Assessment: With the 6th overall pick they selected Alex Singleton who they saw as a future starter. The future turned out to be now as be played himself into the start role by mid-season. They also added depth with players like Roman Grozman and Juwan Bresacin. By comparison to other draft classes this was not the Stamps best but it was still pretty good and they certainly have sufficient depth for “pretty good” to be more than enough. The one notable thing is that it was the first year in a long time that they didn’t select someone who was NFL bound.
Potential Pipeline: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (Kansas City, though I don’t expect to ever see him up north as he just signed a huge money extension)
Current Strengths: Not a huge surprise that a team that lost 2 games last season, has solid Cdn content pretty much across the board. They are strong at OL with Wllson, Bergman, Lavertu and Federkeil (with Grozman, Lavoie and Thorn for depth). They have a solid combo at DL with Quinn Smith and Junior Turner. As previously mentioned, Singleton locks down with MLB spot (with Landry and Caron for depth). They have Jerome Messam (now backed up by Anthony Woodson). At WR Parker and Durant have them solid (with Brescacin and Kolhert for depth. Rob Cote in my opinion is one of the most undervalued Canadian players in the leagues. Paredes and Maver remain the best kicking combo in the league. They could easily start 8 Cdns.
Current Needs: Despite their depth on paper, the biggest concern is durability along the OL. Spencer Wilson was the only Cdn OL not to miss time due to injury last season. Granted, no teams seems to endure OL changes better than Calgary but still, they should be looking to add reinforcements there. They are also thin at DB. They field an all American secondary so it’s not a pressing need but they could use some new special team/depth guys there. Beyond that, as usual, the Stamps have the luxury of taking the best player available.
Prediction: 3 of the past 4 years have seen the Stamps select an OL first and I see that trend continuing. Qadr Spooner or Braden Schram are options that could be available for them at #8. In the second round I see them targeting an LB like one of the Herdmans. In the 3rd round I see them taking a flyer on an NFL bound player as they have done in the past. Anthony Auclair and Justin Senior will be on their radar.