Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CFL Draft 2018 Team Preview: BC Lions

Ed Hervey took a very different approach in free agency than Buono ever did and we will have to see if that extends into the draft as a new era in BC is underway.

Picks: 7 picks, first selection is 3rd Overall

2017 Draft Assessment: Overall not a bad draft. They used their 2 first round picks on guys who had minimal impact in year 1 but should see larger roles in year 2 (Danny Vandervoot, Junior Luke). They also nabbed a couple of solid special teamers in the later rounds in Herdman (7th rd) and Chagnon (3rd rd) who had 19 and 11 special teams tackles respectively. The big hurt was losing 2nd round pick Jeremy Zver to the Riders. Zver was always viewed as a developmental project but for a team whose OL played as poorly as it did to lose the only OL it drafted is definitely a setback. Incidentally, Zver became the 3rd Lion draft pick to be poached by Chris Jones in the past 2 seasons. Can’t imagine Jones got a Christmas card from the Buonos (though I can’t imagine he gets Christmas cards from many people).

Potential Pipeline: DL Christian Covington (NFL - Houston), OL Brett Boyko (NFL - San Diego)

Current Strengths: With the emergence of Shaq Johnson along with Vandervoot and Watson, the Lions are suddenly pretty strong at receiver. They found a real gem in kicker Ty Long last season who locked down all 3 kicking jobs as a rookie. I think David Menard is a very underrated D-lineman and they have Junior Luke to help build depth there. They also have a good crop of depth/ST guys like Lumbala, Herdman, Chagnon and Parker.

Current Needs: Over the past 5 years BC has drafted 8 O-lineman and when you factor out the 5 no longer with the team and the one currently in the NFL it leaves them just 2 OL to show for 5 years of drafting.  Not saying that is the sole reason their OL was garbage last year but that’s gotta be a contributing factor. Their line was awful and they have done little to remedy the interior. So that is priority 1,2 and possibly 3. If they are intent on playing a Cdn safety then I would recommend starting to groom some people behind Cauchy Muamba (who I don’t think is very good incidentally).

Prediction: I will be shocked if Hervey doesn’t take OL with his first 2 picks like he did in 2015 with Edmonton. From there he may look to add a receiver to the mix or look for guys on defense. Hervey is also not afraid to take the risk and draft a guy who is NFL-bound so that’s something to watch for. Sometimes it works out (like Arjen Colquoun), more times it does not (Stefan Charles, Tevaughn Smith).


Anonymous said...

Very good assessment. OL is the way to go. If you put guys on the PR, they can get poached. Intetesting that Mrabure is now in Calgary so what goes around comes around. Though I don't like Leonard, TSN's Taylor reported he was 2nd in pressures out of 3 man rushes & 3rd in pressures from 4 man rushes. So after developing a former TE, Jones loses him to free agency. I confess I'm a little curious to see how he does in Ottawa under Thorpe. My own feeling is the RB's have a very mediocre duo at DE with him & Newsome. Back to BC. Losing Cummings hurts bad. He & Brooks would have been nightmares together. I do like the Willis, Knapton tag team. So some concerns addressed on DL & Figueroa is a big add @LT. But OL still a problem.

Anonymous said...

Would think Hervey might be intetested in Danny Groulx, his 1st selection in 2015. He played quite a bit but was bypassed by Beard. He's been picking up Esk backups to fill out his DB's in Peters, Muamba & Jefferson. Yes, Muamba isn't good. He had one good year when Jones got the most out of him in Edm.

Rider Prophet said...

Anon 1 - I don't know what to make of Leonard. Stat-wise he had a decent year but I'm still not a fan and think it may be the product of the system... and working opposite of Jefferson. DOubt he does as well with Newsome as his opposite. As for BC, I agree, Cummings and Brooks would have been a damn solid interior. DL is improved with Knapton for sure and Willis still seems to have something left.

Anon 2 - Groulx is an interesting mention. Really surprised he's still unsigned.