In anticipation of the CFL Draft on Thursday it's time for my annual Mock Draft. In true Prophet tradition, I anticipate some transaction to occur with 15 minutes of me posting this that renders most of the content irrelevant but here goes anyway.
1 - Montreal - OL Trey Rutherford
Many have Mark Chapman going here and I could see that but I just keep coming back to OL being a far greater need for the Als than a receiver. Now Kavis Reed isn't someone who adheres rigorously to logic but nonetheless I think he has to see the need to go OL. Rutherford has reportedly turned down NFL mini-camp invites so he is one of the few top OL prospects guaranteed to be in training camp day 1.
2 - Hamilton - WR Mark Chapman
If Montreal takes Chapman then you can flip these 2 picks (I fully expect Chapman and Rutherford to be the top 2, the order is the only thing in question). While Hamilton does need O-lineman, i can't see them letting Chapman slip by them. They seem to be done with Andy Fantuz and need a new stud receiver to take his place. Chapman is the best WR in the draft.
3 - BC - OL Peter Godber
BC needs to rebuild the OL and that means they will be looking for an OL who will be in camp day 1. Godber has a minicamp invite from Houston but that is a pretty low risk thing as few of those invites ever turn into a contract. A safe pick from the Lions to beef up their O-line.
4 - Ottawa - DB Jackson Bennett
With a young a relatively stable group of OL, Ottawa can afford to pass on an OL in first round and take a defensive player. They need depth behind Pruneau and Bennett is a versatile defender who certainly fits that mold.
5 - Saskatchewan - OL David Knevel
The Riders need to build O-line depth and Knevel checks many boxes. He's a mountain of a man at 6'9 (you can't teach size), he's from a Div 1 college and plays tackle. He has mini-camp invites from Oakland and New Orleans but again the risk involved with mini-camp invites is minimal and Chris Jones is not exactly risk averse. Many were expecting more serious NFL interest than just mini-camps so that shoots Knevel up draft boards.
6 - Edmonton - DB Godfrey Onyeka
Currently the deepest team at OL, the Esks can afford to skip the normal early run on OL and focus on building in other areas. With as many as 3 Canadian starters on defense, the Esk need to build depth there. Oneyka has the versatility to play multiple positions and have an immediate impact on special teams.
7 - Winnipeg - OL Ryan Hunter
This was the toughest pick for me to nail down as the Bombers could do a lot of things here. Eventually I settled on the "when in doubt, draft the best player available" and "when in doubt draft OL" policies and landed on Hunter. He's signed a free agent deal in KC but the Bombers have the OL depth to be able to wait on him and hopefully be rewarded.
8 - Calgary - OL Mark Korte
The Stamps need to restock on OL after pretty much all of their top OL draft picks have retired or otherwise left. Korte is the best OL left on the board that has not signed in the NFL.
9 - Toronto - DL Julien Laurent
The Argos could go a few different ways here (OL or DB) but in a draft that is relatively shallow in terms of quality D-line prospects the Argos nab a strong DT in Laurent to add depth behind Laing.
10 - Hamilton (via Ssk via Mtl) - OL Dakota Shepley
Ti-Cats start round 2 by using one of their 3 picks this round on a futures pick. Shepley has signed with the NY Jets (poor guy) so it will be a while before he comes north. But the luxury of this many early picks is that the Ti-Cats can invest in an OL for down the road while still building for today
11 - Hamilton - DB Isaiah Guzylak-Messam
Guzylak-Messam can provide depth for Courtney Stephen and impact on special teams right now and has potential to develop in a starter. He's a physical player and that suits the type of D the Ti-cats want to run.
12 - BC - OL Ryan Sceviour
Much like he did in 2015 with the Esks, I expect GM Ed Hervey to keep it simple and use both his first 2 picks on OL. While outside the top tier of OL prospects, Sceviour is still a solid player that should help boost a struggling BC O-line.
13 - Ottawa - OL Andrew Pickett
Since coming into the league, Ottawa has placed a priority on drafting OL and this year will be no different
14 - Saskatchewan - WR Rashaun Simonise
If this were based purely on physical ability Simonise would be a sure fire first rounder. But suspensions and other character concerns leave a fair bit of risk associated with Simonise pushing down the draft board. With Harty and Bailey, WR is not a huge need for the Riders but I can't see Chris Jones letting someone with Simonise's raw physical talents pass him by... he may even convert him to defense :)
15 - Hamilton (via Edmonton) - OL Darius Ciraco
After using earlier picks to fill other needs, the Ti-Cats get back to basics and look to strengthen their OL.
16 - Winnipeg - WR Dan Petermann
They have Nic Demksi but a team that has been through the likes of Jade Etienne and Addison Richards won't rest on their laurels and will keep looking to build some quality depth there.
17 - Calgary - LB Micah Teitz
Generally regarded as a thin draft for linebackers so the Stamps grab on of the few highly regarded ones to build depth behind Singleton.
18 - Toronto - WR Regis Cibasu
Taking a chance here because as mentioned in my Team Preview, Jim Popp does not draft Cdn receivers. But Cibasu has size and physicality so I can't see him slipping past the 2d round.