Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Hits and Misses

With the CFL Draft approaching, I thought it would be interesting (and only mildly depressing) to look back at the past 5 drafts for the Riders. Take a look at which picks we nailed, which one were not so great, and who we missed along the way. 

The rating system I will use to assess each draft class is based on comparisons to previous Rider QBs. 


Early Round Success: This draft was about restocking the receiver shelves (which we needed). We took McInnis 6th overall and Lenius 15th. Both have proven to be starting caliber Canadian receivers (though both were only able to show it in flashes as a Rider)

Late Round Success: We only had 4 picks after the second round and we used one on Cam Judge’s mostly out of football brother (remember that?). But we did hit one home run in the 5th round when we selected Charbel Dabire. There were 9 DL’s drafted before him and a total of 3 of them you can maybe argue are legit better than Dabire. Great value pick who has been a valuable contributor for the Riders ever since.

Biggest Hit: Brayden Lenius

Biggest Miss: Honestly nothing major. Brady Olivera went one pick before Lenius which meant if we wanted him it would have had to be 6th overall. In retrospect, yes you do that. At the time, that’s super high for an RB.

Overall assessment: I would give this one a rating of Kevin Glenn… nothing flashy but pretty good overall.


Early Round Success: None. We used the 7th overall pick on Mattland Riley who retired with one career game played (not sure he even got on the field). Even at the time Riley was “safe” pick, not a top end prospect, though it was a relatively weak draft class overall. The whole experience made O’Day so leery to take an OL high that he’ll never do it again (at least that’s what it seems).

Late Round Success: Rider fans are willing to forgive O’Day the Riley because in the 4th round he landed us Kian Schaefer-Baker… the steal of that entire draft.

Biggest Hit: Schaefer-Baker by a mile.

Biggest Miss: In the second round, there were only some moderately successful players taken like Marc Antoine-Dequoy and Nathan Rourke, that we could have used our first round pick on.

Overall assessment: This one rates a Michael Bishop… overall unmitigated disaster with one brief moment of brilliance thrown in there.


Early Round Success: This was the Covid draft and it was a pretty thin class. We used the 2nd overall pick on Nelson Lokombo. In theory a great pick but injuries have greatly limited his impact so far. We used our second round pick on Terrell Jana. Again, in theory a good pick but he retired without ever playing a down. But hey, the first overall pick by Hamilton was TE Jake Burt… so by comparison we did OK.

Late Round Success: Continuing the theme of “in theory” we did get Logan Bandy in the 5th round. He’s been our 6th OL for a while and started due to injury. The team really seems to believe in his potential. I don’t think he’s good and would add that the fact that O’Day believes in Bandy may be an indication of why our OL has been a week point until his watch.

Biggest Hit: Bruno Labelle, not exactly a huge impact player but he’s at least been on the roster consistently and using a 3rd round pick on him was about bang on for his value.

Biggest Miss: Not a ton of big name players came out of this draft. Ben Hladik who went 22nd overall and is now a legit starter is probably someone who would go much higher in a redraft.

Overall assessment: This one rates a Kerry Jospeh starting the 2014 playoff game… it seemed like a good idea at time but in retrospect you have the regrets.


Early Round Success: Early last season it became apparent that Sam Emilus was a very good use of our 7th overall pick. We grabbed OL Zach Fry in the second round who O’Day is still pumping up but who has yet to make a material impact on the team. Hopefully he’s on the Chris Best development path.

Late Round Success: Were it not for a home run in the 5th round, anything after Emilus in this draft would have been written off as a failure for the Riders. But with the 54th overall pick, O’Day landed a scrappy safety who has blossomed into a starting caliber player in Jayden Dalke.

Biggest Hit: Sam Emilus/Jayden Dalke

Biggest Miss: Honestly, none. Based on where they picked the Riders did not “miss” on anyone. In fact, it was not a super strong draft class once you got past the first round.

Overall assessment: I give this one a Cody Fajardo (while in green and white), was it the best? No. But it’s the best we’ve seen around here in a few years.


Early Round Success: Still early to know the full impact but getting both Korte-Moore and Ford, who were defensive contributors as rookies, looks to be a good move at this point.

Late Round Success: In the fourth round we drafted a bruising RB out of Delaware by the name of Matthieu Bertrand-Hudon. In a mostly awful season, he was one of the few bright spots.

Biggest Hit: Hard to say at this point but Korte-Moore has so far lived up to the hype.

Biggest Miss: Too early to tell. Teams my regret letting the Stampeders get Clark Barnes at 24 but I would have lost it if the Riders used another high pick on a receiver with all their other needs.

Overall assessment: I’ll give this a Trevor Harris. On paper it looks okay and there have been some early flashes, but we will need to see a lot more in year 2 to be truly satisfied.

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