While we still have to wait another month for football to actually start it certainly feels like the new season is upon us. Mini-camp and come and gone and Thursday the CFL Draft (the poorer bastard cousin of the NFL draft) goes down. The agonizing offseason is almost over. Let's talk football.
Given that the lucrative world of blogging doesn't allow the kind of budget to get me to Florida to see mini-camp for myself (hell it doesn't allow the kind of budget to get mini donuts for myself) I don't have a whole lot to say about it. Clearly our priority is looking for WRs, DBs and LBs as almost all prospects were from those positions. Receiver will once again be a hotly contested spot in main camp. With no MLB and no import depth at LB it's hardly surprising to see us looking at that. Chris Jones always has a bunch of DBs in camp and its a signal that no spots will be freely given. In particular I would say Jovon will have a battle on his hands to keep his spot. The only surprising thing to me is how few D-line we have signed. We have 9 under contract and 7 will be on the starting roster (possibly 8). I really like the guys we have but I would have thought at least some competition would be in order.
One of the LBs at mini camp was Eric Striker. As if Striker isn't an awesome name for a guy who hits people for a living. I like his name so much that he is probably doomed for failure. As pretty much every name I like never amounts to anything (just ask Eltorro Freeman or Boo Robinson about the Prophet curse).
The other news out of mini camp was a few releases. The most notable were Dyakowski and Meredith. Now, on his own Meredith is not overly noteworthy. He was a long shot to pan out after being out of football when we drafted him. But releasing 2 Cdn OL is noteworthy. As for Dykowski, I thought he'd make it to camp but was truthfully hoping he would get beat out as a starter. Obviously the team saw that as likely. He was welcome addition early last season but started to show his age as the season wore on. Given the age of our OL it was high time we start a bit of a youth movement.
That segues nicely into talking about the CFL Draft on Thursday. I mused last Monday in my team preview that I saw us taking an OL first. With the Dyakowski/Meredith release that went from possibility to almost a certainty. When you assume that we need a new starting RG and 2 back-ups, we only have Bladek, St John and Zver to fill those (and of those only Bladek can be considered a safe bet). We need another OL and are in a good position to add a quality one in Round 1. Round 2 I still see Simonise as the target but if he's not there then defense (DL or DB) seems the likely back-up plan. Another thing to watch for is Chris Jones to take a risk. Be it Oneymata in 2016 (which is a long shot to put it nicely) or Auclair in 2017 (at possibility at least), Jones it not afraid to take chances.
I'll have my highly anticipated annual Mock Draft up tomorrow. In the spirit of full disclosure I will re-word that to my possible anticipated by a couple people wild ass guessing at the draft order will be up at some point in the near future.