The Esks seems to have a bi-polar condition when it comes to the draft. In recent years they seem to alternate between good drafts and bad ones. 2014 was bad (Devon Bailey, Aaron Milton), ’15 was good (Groulx, Beard, Konar), ’16 was bad (Tevaughn Smith, Arjen Calquon is the only thing to show), ’17 good (Behar, Roy, Mulumba, Boateng). That would have them on pace for a bad 2018 draft I guess.
They only have 1 pick in the top 30 so it is going to be tough on them. Fortunately they don’t have a ton of pressing needs.
Picks: 8 picks, first selection is 6th Overall
2017 Draft Assessment: Added a much needed Cdn WR in Behar in Round 1, OL Depth in Roy in round 2 and a LB who was already pressed into starting in Mulumba in Round 3. The early portion of the draft was good for them but what really stands out happened late in the draft. They arguably got the steal of the draft in 5th round Kwaku Boateng who had 4 sacks and quickly became a regular contributor along the Esk D-line. All in all a very good haul.
Potential Pipeline: OL Justin Senior (NFL), WR Tevaughn Smith (NFL – Jacksonville), DL Stefan Charles (NFL – Kansas City), OL Austin Paztor (NFL - Atlanta), K Shaun Suisham (NFL), LS LP Ladouceur (NFL - Dallas)
They have a solid interior to their O-line with O’Donnell, Rottier and Sorensen with Ruby, Woods, Roy and Beard for depth. A mostly young group with a ton of size, arguably the deepest in the CFL at this point. Behar with Adjey and Kolhert for depth have them good at receiver. Calvin McCarty remains one of those unheralded role players that every team needs in order to be successful. Adam Konar established himself as a starter last season at LB. Add in King and Calquhoun and they can start 3 Cdns on defense and still field an all American D-line (certainly a rarity). Lastly have to mention Sean Whyte who has missed 6 kicks over 3 seasons as an Eskimo.
Very few pressing needs but they could certainly use more depth on defense. If they plan on starting both King and Colquhoun they are very thin behind them. So DBs are certainly on their radar. They could also use another WR. Adjey and Kohlert are good depth guys but not really impact receivers. Outside of that the Esks have the luxury of drafting the best player available, regardless of position.
I think in a perfect world, Edmonton (with no real pressing needs) would like to trade down from 6th overall to add another pick or 2 in the 2nd and 3rd round. Obviously Hamilton would be the most likely trading partner. Outside chance they trade one of their many O-linemen for a high pick. When they do pick, I expect the Esks to use their OL depth to their advantage. While other teams are caught up in a first round run on OL, the Esks will sit happily by a take a solid defender. Either Jackson Bennett or Godfrey Oneyka strike me as the most likely.