We start a new week by looking at the Bombers. These previews aren’t nearly as fun to write as when they had guys like Taman and Mack running the show. Comedy's loss is Winnipeg’s gain I guess.
Picks: 8 picks, first selection is 7th Overall
2017 Draft Assessment: While the immediate returns weren’t huge, the ’17 draft can still be considered a good one for the Bombers as it allowed them build depth and stock the shelves. They use 2 first rounders to nab Faith Ekakitie (#1) and Geoff Gray (#8). Ekakitie (I’ve already typed such a complicated name too many times for my liking) is expected to be a bigger contributor in year 2. Gray adds to the OL pipeline. They also got Spooner in round 2 for more immediate OL depth.
Potential Pipeline: OL Geoff Gray (Cleveland). They also have DL Andy Mulumba, WR Stephen Alli and DL Christo Bilukidi should they ever decide to play football again.
Current Strengths: What stands out is their Canadian OL talent. Crazy stat: None of the Cdn OL currently under contract have hit their 30s yet! In a position normally reserved for old, fat people, the Bombers have a ton of youth. Many GM’s would kill to have a young core like Chung, Goosen and Couture. Obviously Andrew Harris is a major asset (now with LaFrance for depth). Loffler is an impact player at safety. Demski should finally give them a quality Cdn WR (something they have spent many high picks trying to find… though the picks they made were generally questionable). Throw in some solid special teamers like Miller and Miles and you have a very good group of Canadians.
Current Needs: I don’t see a viable back-up for Loffler on the roster so they could certainly do with an addition there. Even with high picks like Corney and Ekakitie (dammit now that’s 3 times) they lack depth at D-line. Not a pressing need but even with Demski I would still be pursuing Cdn WRs (given their awful track record when it comes to drafting them). Lastly you can never go wrong with more OL (though they could afford to pass on one in the first round if they so choose). They have Neufeld as one of their starters and while many will argue he’s a good starter, I’m still not convinced.
Prediction: I expect the Bombers to focus on the trenches with their first pick. Though its not a major need, I could see them join in the first round run on O-linemen. I could also see them take Justin Laurent to shore up the depth on the D side. In the second round I expect them to target one of the remaining receivers (Peterman, Dubois, Cibasu).
Unless Neufeld has improved exponentially I don't see him as the answer. Luckily in Winnipeg they run a short passing game so you don't normally have to hold the blocks long. 128 passes to Harris, take away his YAC after catch & the avg completion was under 2 yards. Add in that Nichols was worst, next to Collaros, in % deep passes completed & you get the Bomber game. But OL is the way to go IMO. They may go receiver as well. With Hurl gone, missing out on Muamba, & Westerman gone, that's 2 starters at National positions that may have to be come from elsewhere. Is Corney ready? Not sure. So DL would be a possibility. Don't know what's happening with Thomas either.
Jake Thomas, since it was brought up, would be a good get for the Riders. Also wonder why Groulx has never been picked up. Might be able to use him too, if healthy.
Anon 1 - I imagine the Bomber ratio will be 3 OL, 1 RB, 1WR, 1 DL, 1 S
Anon 2 - Kinda surprised Thomas wasn't picked up
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