Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday Morning Sentimonies: CFL Draft Preview

I’m back. Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? Did you I assume that I ended up on the wrong side of a Mexican drug deal and was forced to do things I’m not proud of to survive south of the border?

Well I did go to Mexico and was greeted with Winter Part 18 upon my return. The important thing is that I’m back and ready to jump headfirst into the season. The draft and training camp are coming up quick.

Let’s take a look at the Riders’ Canadian content heading into the draft.

Picks: 8 picks, first selection is 3rd Overall

Potential Pipeline: DL David Oneymata (Atlanta/Never coming to the CFL), TE Anthony Auclair (NFL free agent), DL Neville Gallimore (Dallas).

Current Strengths:

The injury to Schaefer-Baker is a short term downgrade but overall the Riders are pretty strong at Canadian receiver. When healthy Baker is a stud. Lenius is solid. Picton is a versatile and underrated receiver. We’ll see if Emilus can take a step forward and start earning his first round draft pick status in year 2. Brescacin is there for depth and keep an eye on Boersma who caught eyes in training camp last season.

Defensively we have a bona fide starter in Teitz. I still maintain my status as chairman of the Charbel Dabire fan. I think Jayden Dalke will start at safety and be a star. We have some good depth at DB with Lokombo, 2 Oneyka’s and Beaulieu.

Two guys who are stone cold studs on special teams and should not be overlooked are Brett Lauther and the often forgotten but always spot on Jorgen Hus. Guys like LaFrance, Awachie and LaBelle will be unheralded but are important role players.

Our O-line was god awful but if you are looking for a silver lining, I see two potential positives. First, despite his age, Philip Blake proved he can still be a reliable starter at every position, including tackle where we have lacked anything resembling competence for 2 years. Second, we have a super young group. Outside of Blake our oldest Cdn OL is 28. Still potential to turn this group into a long-term success.

Current Needs:

Outside of receiver and kicker I would label every position an area of need. We have spoken ad nauseum about the need to upgrade the OL. That has to start will a commitment to drafting OL early. Particularly this year when the draft is reportedly thin on top end OL.

On defense ask yourself honestly, what happens if Teitz gets hurt? And while I think Dalke and Dabire have potential, Teitz is the only legit Canadian starter we have on D as of right now. In theory Lokombo should be ready to step in but he hasn’t stayed healthy so far. Beaulieu can start in a pinch but is hardly an impact player other than on teams.


What should happen and what I think will actually happen are 2 very different scenarios. As mentioned, there are few top end OL in this draft. There are some impact defenders out there particularly at DL. What we should do is take and OL first. Sidy Sow is the best but is NFL bound so that should land us on Dontae Bull or maybe Phillip Grohovac. Second pick should be a DL or LB such as Anthony Bennett.

You could maybe make a case to take a defender at #3 which may land you a Lwal Uguak or Francis Beimy. Then you can still likely get and OL at #11 in the second round. This would not be the worst but for obvious reasons, I prefer prioritizing OL.

What is likely to happen? I think Jeremy O’Day gonna O’Day and there is not way he can resist taking a receiver we don’t need in round 1 or 2. He’ll say all the right things “he was too good to pass on” blah blah blah. Wanna know why we have a crap OL and good Canadian receivers? It has to do with priorities. Still not convinced has learned his lesson and is willing to prioritize OL.


Anonymous said...

I don't see how O'Day cannot go OL first. If the season tanks, that's one of the key reasons he won't be here. Lots of pressure on him to go OL, whether he wants to or not. I agree with all of your comments but I put Dabire in the McRoberts, Gary Johnson bucket where I don't see what anyone sees in them. McRoberts was Terrence Nunn. Johnson may prove you right in Ottawa but I doubt it.

Good to see you back.

Anonymous said...

Brescasin is a real darkhorse. If he can stay out
O-line still a BIG concern

Rider Prophet said...

Anon 1 - I should clarify that I don't see Dabire as an allstar or Micah Johnson-type disruptor but I think he can be a Keith Shologan-light type solid rotation player.

Anon 2 - Interested to see what Brescacin can do. He will have to make his impression before Baker gets back because otherwise he drops to 3rd or 4th on the the Canadian WR depth chart.

Anonymous said...

I think your cert is expired (if you had one).

Anonymous3 said...

P.S. (Anon 3 here) I did miss you!

Rider Prophet said...

Appreciate that