It’s time to start my annual CFL Draft Preview. This year I feel compelled to tell you I’m talking about the Canadian draft, not the Mexican, European or Uzbekistani draft. This is starting to get confusing even for a die hard like me.
Anywho, each year I preview each team in advance of the Canadian Draft to look at where they are at, what they might need and point anything comical about them that I can find or make up. It’s a good time, so let’s start with Ed Hervey and the new look BC Lions.
Through some outstanding management of their draft picks, the Lions do not pick until late in the 3rd round. At least they have a couple young Canadians form last draft to show for their lost first rounder. They have Tyrell Sutton’s memory to show for the lost 2nd rounder.
Picks: 7 picks, first selection is 24th Overall
2018 Draft Assessment: Pretty good draft for them. Beefed up both sides of the trenches with Peter Godber and Julien Laurent in Round 1. Added depth with David Mackie in 2. The pick I’m watching is 3rd Rounder David Knevel. If he reaches his potential, he will look like a steal.
Potential Pipeline: DL Christian Covington (NFL - Houston), OL Brett Boyko (free agent)
Current Strengths: They currently have 8 former first round picks on the roster. Its starts in the trenches where they are pretty loaded with young top end OL. Vaillancourt, Godber, Foucault, Chung and Steward are all former 1st rounder picks and none of them are over 30. The returning Shaq Johnson and Danny Vandervoot along with newcomer Lemar Durant have they pretty solid at WR. They have Josh Stanford too but hey, we can’t all be perfect. Menard is an underrated DL and they are building youth there with Laurent and Luke.
Current Needs: They have a lot of young, not so proven guys at DB with Woodman, Guzylak-Messam and Hamelin and currently lacking a proven safety. They could certainly look to add there. They are a bit thin at LB. Finally while they look ok at OL part of the reason they plummeted in the standings in recent years was that their OL was garbage and part of the reason for that was only drafting 8 OL in the 5 years prior to last draft (and only retaining 2 of them). With a new franchise QB to protect I would think continuing to build a wall in front of him is a good idea. They also need a kicker with floppy mcfloperson… err I mean Ty Long in the NFL.
Prediction: Ed Hervey does not have the greatest track record with his first pick. He has used in on the likes of Stefan Charles (never played a down in the CFL), Devon Bailey (well, you’re a Rider Fan, you’ve watched him play), and Tevaughn Smith (only coming north now, 2 years after Hervey was fired in Edmonton). He also will gladly take a risk on a guy with NFL interest. Options will be fairly limited with no pick until #24. Unless he makes a trade to get back in the top rounds its likely a depth draft for him. OL and LB seem like likely targets. Not really a top end kicker in the draft so he’ll have to look elsewhere for that.
Good assessment. Losing Lokombo in free agency hurt & I see them as weak there. Woodman spent 3 years on the Eskimo roster, replaced King when he was injured & then lost his job to Hoover last year. Is he a legitimate starter? The Nationals on the OL haven't panned out so Godber, the rookie, took a spot in the end last year. With Husband retired. they are thin & they need to replace Olafioye. Good National receivers but I look behind Burnham & Carter & see a bunch of no-name imports at this time. I would not be surprised if they started 2 Nationals @ Receiver & 3 on defence with Luke/Laurent @ DT, Herdman-Reed/Terrell Davis @ LB & Safety, likely Woodman. If the ratio stays the same (unlikely - probably goes to 6) the Lions will have some interesting decisions to make on how to use their Nationals. Not much backup strength.
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