Friday, May 31, 2024

Random Quasi-Coherent Thoughts

Seems weird to have the entire league preparing for the preseason finale and we have no game to talk about. So rather than my normal Friday game preview, you’ll have to settle for some random Friday thoughts.


-        Riders (finally) unveiled a new alternate jersey/logo. And while it wasn’t the blacks many have been pinning for for years, the obsidian greens are pretty cool. They are different but not stupid (like the watermelon jerseys from a few years). Many an ivory backscratcher will be purchased by Rider brass with the proceeds from these jersey sales.

-        I plan to fund the purchase of this new jersey by simply not drinking at stadium prices for the first half of one game.

-        Some rookies that I think have a good shot of making the active roster when cuts are made this weekend: DeMarcus Fields, CJ Avery, Antoine Brooks, Dhonte Meyers, Ajou Ajou.

-        I apologize in advance as I most likely cursed all those people and half will be cut within 10 minutes of this being posted.  

-        Random thing that probably only one or two other people will get: Whenever I see the name Ajou Ajou it makes me think of Dave Chappelle’s character in Robin Hood: Men In Tights

-        Mel Brooks was a gem.

-        Update: Turns out Mel Brooks is still alive. So I guess he is a gem.

-        Vets that I think could be on the bubble: Amari Henderson, Tre Crawford and long shot but possible surprise Frankie Hickson.

-        Vet who should be on the bubble but will somehow survive: Antonio Pipkin.

-        If the Riders wanted to guarantee a sellout apparently all they needed to do was open a Taco Bell inside the stadium.

-        Side note: I like Taco Bell… but there is no way its worth waiting in a long line for. There is way better Mexican in this town.

-        Guys who may start on the practice roster but be an impact player at some point this season: Nicario Harper, Diego Fagot, Clint Ratkovich.

-        Again apologies for just greatly increasing the odds that these 3 are also cut.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Another Preseason Win

Riders 28 – Elks 27

After going close to a decade without a preseason win, the Riders now find themselves on a two year preseason winning streak. That would be more impressive were it not for the fact that our 4 preseason wins almost equal the number of regular season wins over the past year.

So what did we learn in this game, you know other than the fact that Edmonton still has comically inept special teams?

Here are my random thoughts:

-        In a game where one of the primary goals was to evaluate Mason Fine, I thought we started with a terrible offensive game plan. It was just running for minimal gain on 1st down, leaving Fine to check down to a 6 yard gain on 2nd and 9, punt and repeat. We eventually loosened things up and he made a couple beauty throws. Am I convinced? Not fully, he still seems to excel at high percentage but low yardage passes. The 21 yard pass was a beauty but his other 8 completions netted 54 yards… less than 7 yards per completion.

-        But as much as the talk of Rider Nation is Fine vs. Patterson, I say keep both and turf Pipkin. He is utterly useless on anything but 3rd down plunge. It’s a waste of a roster spot and failure of coaches if we can’t find someone else to be effective at the plunge while also bringing some other value.

-        I can tell you that Donte Meyers is good and should have earned himself a starting spot. Last week he showed his speed. This week he showed he can make the tough catches.

-        There were 5 turnovers in that game and 3 of them were Edmonton just giving us the ball. Leake muffed a kick for the easiest TD Oneyka will ever see; Bethel-Thompson just dropped the ball and even the ever-reliable Geno Lewis popped up a pick 6. Can’t really say either were plays the Riders “made”.

-        I think the Canadian veterans we have on special teams like Kosi Oneyka and the Herdmans will pay dividends. Sound, solid downfield coverage.

-        Antoine Brooks seems to have a nose for the ball.. though generally a lot tackles for a DB means QB are going after you so I am not convinced his stats helped his case.

-        I wish Dheilly had the size to match his motor. Looks like a skinny receiver and plays like an animal.

-        Reid has a nastiness to him which I like. If he can learn to reign it in just enough to avoid penalties he should be good. If he can’t, his tenure may be short lived.

-        Sceviour clearly made an effort in practice last week to improve his snapping.

-        I hope Brett Lauther is getting all his bad kicks out in preseason. It would be great if his annual early season slump could end in time for the regular season.

-        I like Fields, Coldon did ok and thought Harper looked good for a guy with only a couple practices to his name.

-        Was not exactly a high quality game but at least you feel better about our performance than I sure the Elks do.  

-        Not a ton of penalties, especially for a preseason game where a lot starters didn’t play.

-        I was secretly pulling for a missed Lauther FG leading to the game ending in tie. It seemed a fitting end.

-        Guys I would have no issue cutting after 2 preseason games: Allison, Aduboffour, McIntosh, Tucker, Lipscomb and Pipkin. I would also be ok turfing Godfrey Oneyka but know we need him to stay if we plan on starting 2 Canadians in the secondary.  

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Riders vs. Elks: Preseason Game 2

While pretty much every team will be kicking off the preseason this weekend, the Riders will be closing it out in Edmonton. For many it will be a final chance to prove they are worthy of a roster spot. For others, they may just wish to remain in Edmonton as there are better connecting flights home there.

Because this is the first game for Edmonton, they are taking a wildly different approach than the Riders. This could lead to some lopsidedness in the results. This will be the primary tune-up for the Elks’ starters. We on the other hand left pretty much any starter of value off the roster. It is Edmonton (who has somehow managed to suck even worse than the very low bar we set the past 2 years) so I mean, I guess its conceivable our back-ups rough them up. But its not likely. My guess is that they dominate the first half and then the 2nd half descends into organized chaos as both teams play their back-ups in an effort to see who is most cut-worthy. I expect a second half full of cut-worthy plays on both sides. 

Here are a few players that I think have either a tremendous opportunity to earn a spot or a tremendous need to show something to not lose a spot. 

Mason Fine – All eyes will be on Fine. The team put faith in him by re-signing him over Dolegala this offseason. Patterson played well enough in the first preseason game that you could see him as the back-up. Fine needs to step up a move the ball. From what I remember from his limited time last year, he could complete a lot of passes but rarely find the endzone. He can’t just be OK in this one. He needs to show that he is justifiably better than Patterson and just as important that he is continuing to grow as a QB. This is his 4th year in the CFL.

Nelson Lokombo – I think its notable that Lokombo gets the start at wide-side CB for both preseason games. I take that as a sign they are hoping he can secure that position but need to see him prove it. Like Fine it will be his fourth year in the league. He needs to show well.

Starting OL – About the only starters dressing are the OL, and for good reason. A) we want that unit to gel and B) if you want to evaluate QBs and WRs you need a mildly competent line. A strong showing against what I assume will be the Elks starters would help ease the concern amongst fans like me that we may never solve our OL issues. 

Cox/Albright – Without Lanier and Micah, it will certainly be tougher than normal for the edge guys but we still don’t have a bonafide #1 pass rusher. Be nice to see Cox and/or Albright step up and make an impact against Edmonton’s starting OL. 

DeMarcus Fields – Incumbent Amari Henderson has yet to see the field. Meanwhile Fields has been benefitting from the added reps. He looked capable in the first preseason game. Another good showing against real starters and Fields could see himself starting come the regular season. 

Keeshawn Johnson/Dhonte Meyers – There remains an American WR spot up for grabs and I don’t have faith in Geronimo Allison to be the guy. Johnson brings a bit more size, Meyers clearly has speed (and the ability to assist in returning). Prime opportunity for one of these two to step up and make their case. 

Ajou Ajou – Speaking of receivers taking advantage of opportunities, Ajou2 has a golden opportunity. We need back-up Canadian receivers. None of the guys he his competing against are dressed. If he can avoid untimely offsides and keep making plays he should find himself backing up Emilus and Baker come June.  

Rodney Clemons – The son of famed pitcher/juicer Roger Clemons*, Rodney made an early impact in game 1 notching the first sack on Chris Streveler. Cory Mace wants playmakers on his D and while the starters are pretty much set, the battle for back-ups in wide open.

*no part of the statement is factual.

McClain/Fagot – Speaking of back-up defenders, odds are there is only room to keep one of McClain and Fagot. Both made plays last week (though as I mentioned McClain literally did not have to move to make his play). I expect both to see a lot of playing time as the coaches try and determine who ultimately stands above the other.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tuesday Morning Sentimonies: Preseason Victory

The Riders opened the preseason yesterday and according to the official CFL stats the Bombers won 146 to 138.75 with Ron Lancaster passing for a TD and Chris Walby notching 7 sacks. The only thing more deplorable than the CFL/genius attempts at stats are the Riders attempts at gouging. As I predicted yesterday, given that Coach Mace is bringing some renewed excitement to the team, they did not have $5 beer before kickoff anymore. In fact, two rye now cost over $21. The Riders’ marketing team truly adhere to their mantra: “The customer is always supposed to like what we tell them to.”

Anyway onto the game. Tough to really analyze a game where Winnipeg did not play most of their starters and even our top guys didn’t even finish the first half. That said, one thing I did notice and was very happy to see was energy. Even though it was preseason, players were pumped up. They were celebrating and congratulating each other. Mace has brought the energy and excitement level up. Also, if you listen to his post game speech he is also continuing to build a culture of accountability. While congratulating the team on a good first step he called them out for too many penalties. I know he hasn’t coached a real game yet, but he continues to pass the smell test.

Other random thoughts on the game:

-        Starting offense looked alright in limited snaps. Really looking forward to the Harris-Schaefer Baker connection (which we never got to see last year). Bane also still looks great.

-        O-line looked pretty good (albeit not playing against a full starting D). They had pretty good push and held their own. Most importantly they weren’t visibly embarrassing so that’s a positive step forward. At LT Trevor Reid was a mixed bag. Some good plays, got embarrassed at least once by Jefferson (though the QB got the ball out in time) and took a major penalty. I liked him a lot better than Tucker though, so hopefully he can clean up the issues he had in game 1. 

-        The back-up OL were less reassuring. Sceviour cannot snap to save his soul.

-        Defense was making plays. Again easier to do when guys like Collaros, Demski, Schoen and Olivera are not dressed but there were multiple sacks and multiple turnovers.

-        Chris Streveler remains an NFL caliber runner who can’t execute any throw reliably except chuck it deep.

-        Didn’t get to see much of Fine (and Sceviour’s errant snaps impacted all his limited reps). I thought Patterson looked good. Made good reads. Connected on a beauty deep ball (even though it got called back on an offside).

-        I also thought Coan looked good for his first Canadian action. Calm in the pocket. Good reads. Far from perfect but he looks like a guy worth further developing.

-        Not sure I have ever seen a tougher, more hard hitting RB room. Ouelette, Hickson, Betrand-Hudon and now Ratkovich. They all run angry and I love it.

-        Dhonte Meyers has speed. Its too bad a lot of the yards he gained were negated.

-        Ajou Ajou has nice size and made some nice catches. The offside won’t help his cause.

-        On the INTs McClain literally did not move at all. The Bomber QB just through it directly to him. Fagot made a nice adjustment on his INT.

-        I did not really think of Sterns as a returner but he sure had a nice long one.

-        Lauther is in his annual early season slump that predictably leads to people questioning his continued employment and his eventually return to being awesome. Its like clockwork.

-        For those not in the stadium the Riders had a new commercial break promotion where 3 contestants and Gainer pick a card to see who wins. Gainer won. Suck it fans.

-        Also, whoever they got to through footballs at the moving target was by far the worst to ever do… like you would need to try to do worse and even then it would be hard. I would kinda like to see them make Streveler do it, just for curiosity sake.

Quick turnaround as the Riders finish the preseason Friday in Edmonton. Hopefully they continue to build on the successes of this first game.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Preseason Game 1

In a rather uncommon occurrence, today’s Sentimonies happen to fall on game day. The Riders open their preseason and the entire CFL season by hosting Bombers at 2pm. It also just so happens to be Victoria Day. A statutory holiday devoted to notable Victoria’s Secret models and their contributions over the years to boys discovering manhood.

While I am definitely excited to be back in the stands and get my first look at the Corey Mace-led Riders, I wish the CFL would have consulted me before landing on such a ridiculous schedule. When the season rolls around I get into a nice rhythm, game preview Thursday/Friday, analyze the game Monday. Well this week I have to preview today, analyze tomorrow and turn around a preview again come Friday. Won’t someone think of the Prophet?! Anyway, you probably didn’t come to hear me complain about my overt laziness being tested, so let’s get to the game. 

The majority of starters are expected to play and should see some significant time. I expect a full half for the likely starters and possibly into the 3rd before we start rolling out the contenders to be cut. I expect next to no one important to play again just 4 days from now so this will be the only real tune up for the starters. 

Here’s what I will be watching at each position group:

QB – I expect a very limited playbook so really we just want to see Harris show a bit of a rhythm with the offense, put a few solid drives together, and remain upright. Then in the second half we get to the real intrigue… will it be Fine or Patterson that gets the bulk of the reps? How will they look? Will they let Pipkin pass and result in me loudly cursing as that pass is completed to a blue and white jersey? 

Running back – Come regular season, this position will be electric to watch as we feed the ball of electricity that is Ouelette. This game though… this position has all the intrigue of watching a lean cuisine in the microwave. The starters and back-ups are firmly entrenched. There are no new recruits. We will likely feed Ouelette a couple times to get the crowd going but other than that my focus will be elsewhere.

O-line – Every Rider fan will be desperately watching this group. For 2 years we have had to ensure just the worst O-lines imaginable. Its been like opening a baby’s diaper to change it, you are not sure exactly what you’re going to see but you’re pretty sure it will be some variation of crap. We need to see this line solidify, particularly at tackle. Hardrick should be fine but can Reid or Tucker lock up the blindside? Will the absence of Evan Johnson make the interior suddenly less porous? Big questions that need to be answered. I will also be watching when (if) Zach Fry gets to play. O’Day has been hyping this kid since drafting him but he hasn’t been able to crack even the back-up OL in a period when the bar was historically low for acceptable performance. Maybe he’s on the Chris Best development path (Best was written off by fans years before he became a valued starter). But I some point I wanna see something.

WR – One of the most intriguing battles for me. There is at least one starting American WR spot up for grabs. Whoever can step up today will help their cause a great deal. KeeShawn Johnson appears to be the lead horse in the race but I have been hearing some good things about Dhonte Meyers as well. Team was really high on Jake Parker last year until he got hurt. Can he impress in year 2? 

D-Line – The tackle spot is pretty set with Lanier and Micah with Brown and Dabire for depth. D-End is wide open. I can likely guess who will be in the rotation but I definitely can’t tell you who will step up to be the starters. Carney, Cox, Albright and Korte will all likely be part of the rotation in some capacity but how many reps each gets could depend on who makes plays today. 

LBs – It was widely assumed that Auclair would start at weak side LB (and he may yet when the games are for real) but the depth chart presents a very different possibly. CJ Avery (who has had a good camp) is showing as the starter with Lokombo at CB to balance the ratio. Huge opportunity for Avery to try and lock down a starting spot. Also, with CJ Reavis sitting it opens up a chance for Rodney Clemons to shine. I assume Reavis will be the starter but these reps are very important to see what we have in depth behind him at one of the toughest positions to play on defense. Random conspiracy theory, Reavis is only sitting because we have 2 other CJs (Coldon and Avery) dressing and three is too many for the coaches to keep straight. Once we cut one or both of the other CJs, Reavis will be allowed to return.  

DBs – Is this the year Lokombo stays healthy and finally lives up to his #2 overall draft spot by becoming a starter? If I’m betting, the answer is no but he’s going to get a chance. That CB spot is wide open right now. Henderson not dressing also opens a chance at that spot. Henderson is ok but far from an unquestioned starter. Team is apparently very high on DeMarcus Fields who will start. I’ll be watching to see how he does in his first real Canadian football action. 

Mostly just want to see energy from this team under the new regime. I will also be curious if the Riders continue promotion like $5 beer prior to kickoff or use the excitement of a new coach as an excuse to resume their normal gouging ways.

After a 9 year preseason winless streak, we went 2-0 last preseason… and proceeded to be awful in the regular season. I don’t know if that means I’m hoping we lose but just wanted to note that preseason wins amount to as much as Chad Kelly’s Week 1 stats.  

Monday, May 13, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Football!

The 2024 CFL Season is officially underway with the opening of main camp yesterday. This season brings with it a new coach and a new energy. I know it’s going to be tough to top team bowling but I get the sense already that Mace may just be marginally better motivator than his predecessor.

There are close to a hundred players currently in Saskatoon vying for 46 active roster spots or the chance to stick around on the practice roster. In exactly one week we get out first live look at the new team. Given that Rider football has been crappy for all but like 2 months of the previous 2 years, its nice to have some renewed hope. Its also nice to not have our QB show up in a walking boot or under suspension for sexual harassment.   

Training camp did open with a bit of a shocker as it was announced that DB Jalen Edwards-Cooper has been released. He was a highly touted free agent signing and was expected to start at CB. Something must have went down but that definitely opens another starting spot wide open for someone. 

Let’s take a look at each position group and what the key things to watch there will be. I do want note that you should take any players I highlight with a grain of salt. Last Monday I highlighted 7 rookies to watch and 2 of them were cut and one is on the suspended list. What can I say? At this point players should pay me not to endorse them.

QB – Obviously the health of Trevor Harris and how well he a Mueller are able to get in synch is the most important thing. This team will go as far as Harris can take them this year. Next is obviously the battle for the most beloved person in Saskatchewan… aka the back-up QB. It should be a battle between Fine and Patterson. I don’t like the thought of Pipkin doing anything but plunging on 3rd down and unless Coan is a phenom he probably will need some time on the practice roster to learn the game (if he is indeed worth developing at all). 

RB – Most boring position battle in camp. It’s the Ouellette show. Everyone else is vying for backup and practice roster. 

WR – There is a golden opportunity at American receiver. After Bane and Sterns, there is no one. Can Kendall Watson take a step forward in year 2? Can Geronimo Allison turn his NFL pedigree into CFL success? Will some unknown like Braylon Johnson step up? 

O-line – Godber will be the starter at centre. Hardrick the RT. After that there’s some intrigue. It’s a wide open battler for LT. Coach Mace liked what Reid and Emmanuel showed in rookie camp but its one thing to look good against people who have never played CFL ball before and another to replicate that with veterans. Brammer and Tucker are also in the mix. One of them needs to pan out if we have any hope of Harris not finishing this season early and in a cast. The guard positions will also be interesting to watch. It will be some combination of Ferland, Blake and Sceviour, but which 2 it is remains to be seen.

D Line – The departure of Robertson and the long overdue move to put Lanier back at DT leaves us without a bona fide #1 DE. I think it’s a reasonable guess that it will be some rotation of Albright, Korte-Moore and Carney manning the edges but Cox and Crawford will be pushing as well. We need at least one to establish themselves as "the guy" 

Linebackers – I am guessing the starting 3 will be Auclair-Thurman-Reavis. But depth in behind them is what I will be watching. AJ Allen has been steadily progressing and may be on the verge of earning some more defensive reps. Outside of TJ Brunson there is next to no experience among the American LBs. 

DBs – I had planned for this to be a very boring position. My main thing to watch was Amari Henderson. For 2 years now he has been good enough that he needs to be on the roster but not good enough to be an unquestioned starter. If Mace can take him from decent HB with some flashes of genius and some flashes of “good god please proceed to the bench” to a consistent reliable player it would go a long way to locking down that secondary.

But now we add the CB spot intended for Edwards-Cooper to the mix. We need to find a new starter. This is one I have some faith in. O’Day seems to be good for one solid DB recruit per year. Reavis, Williams, Milligan, Clark. Be interesting to see who steps up this year.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Rookie Camp

At long last, football is about to return. There has been no football at all since February, no CFL football since November and no meaningful Rider football since sometime last summer. It’s been a while and in the words of Michel Scott “No question about it, I am ready to get hurt again”. 

Rookie Camp opens this week. So today I am going to highlight a rookie at each position to keep an eye. Now keep in mind that traditionally an endorsement by the Prophet is akin to the kiss of death for aspiring recruits. 

QB – This one is pretty easy as there is only going to be one rookie in camp, Jack Coan. Opportunity is wide open for Coan. Harris is entrenched as the started. Pipkin’s sole purpose is as a 3rd down QB. Obviously Fine and Patterson have the inside track at the #2 spot but neither are a sure thing. If Coan can quickly pick up the CFL game Riders may decide to keep him around. 

RB – Tough going for aspiring RBs as you are essentially competing for a practice roster spot. Ouelette is the unquestioned starter. Bertrand-Hudon can backup. Its 50/50 as to whether we bother dressing 2 American RBs and if we do it’ll be Hickson to start the season. Jerrion Ealy is the guy I will be watching. Successful career at Ole Miss, can catch as well as run, has experience returning kicks. His skillset could line up well with the Canadian game.

WR – Of all the positions in camp American WR is the most wide open in terms of opportunity. Other than Bane there is no sure thing. Sterns mostly likely keeps his spot but he can be pushed. We will dress at least 3 American WRs and Watson is the only other guy with CFL experience. If you are looking for height (which Bane and Sterns lack) then O’Joshua Bunton is worth watching. As a Div 2 player he lacks the notable resume of some but he was a track star so has speed to complement his size. He also has an average catch distance of almost 25 yards so has some experience with the deep ball. 

OL – The tackle spot opposite Hardrick is still up for grabs. In theory Hawkins has the inside track but with 6 other American OLs in camp its clear that we are looking for improvements. The one I’m watching here is Jonathan Hubbard. A natural left tackle. He’s just 26 but has managed to stick on the practice roster of both the Dolphins and Bucs. 

DL – This is actually a very veteran heavy position group. Of the 16 guys currently signed only 4 have no prior CFL experience. Going to be tough for one of them to crack the roster. At just 23, Roman Harrison is one of the youngest guys coming to camp. A 4 year career at Tennessee with 8 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss. Be interesting to see how he adapts to the CFL game. 

LB – Bit of a cheat on this one as the guy I’m highlighting spent the end of last season on the practice roster. Jalen Moody catches my eye for one primary reason. Obviously playing a Alabama is notable but he primarily played on special teams there. Well if a rookie LB is going to make this roster they better be good on special teams. 

DB – Interesting but useless tidbit, we have two DBs coming to camp with the last name Fields. Who I do want to highlight though is Antoine Brooks. He’s an intriguing prospect. He’s only 25 but he has 4 games with the Steelers, 8 games with the Rams the year they won the Super Bowl and a season in the XFL. That experience may give him a leg up on the competition.  

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Thursday Morning Sentimonies: Assessing the 2024 Draft

The 2024 CFL Draft went down Tuesday. Coming into the draft there was lots of curiosity about what approach the Riders would take with Corey Mace now at the helm. That approach was apparently risk be damned.

It is really tough to give an assessment at this point on how we did because it’s a big question mark. 1-2 years from now we may look back on this draft and say “Damn, they nailed it”. We may also look back and put in it the same success category as 2016 (Josiah St John and David Oneymata for those without photographic CFL draft memory).


There is no doubt that the players we selected are talented. Talent-wise we got some of the best at their respective positions… well, we got their rights. Who knows if/when we actually see them in a Rider jersey. We seemed to take a strategy that we think our current Canadians are good enough and we are stocking the shelves for the future. That’s a quality strategy… if you are a currently successful team like say the Bombers. We have been stinking up the league for 2 straight years and while I don’t think our Canadian talent is bad, I do think there was room for improvement and this draft did nothing to help the 2024 season.


Let’s take a more detailed look at each pick:


1st Rd – OL Kyle Hergel

This pick was a rollercoaster of emotion. When I heard the Commissioner say “Riders select, offensive lineman..” I was on cloud 9. Finally! Years of complaining about O’Day’s refusal to draft OL early and he listened! The Ambrosie said the name and there was stunned silence. 3rd overall… the chance to draft any OL we want… and we take a guy already signed in the NFL. He’s legitimately one of the best OL in the draft no doubt but usually you want a sure thing at #3… particularly when your OL has been utter garbage for 2 seasons and you can have any OL you want in the draft. Sometimes swinging for the fences pans out. Dakota Shepley at #5 was risk but we didn’t wait overly long on him. Montreal is happy with how Lestage turned out. But Calgary is also still waiting for Amen Ogbongbemiga and Carter O’Donell ain’t coming back anytime soon.


If we were stacked at OL or if we were a later pick then sure take the chance. But this is a ton of risk when we have immediate needs and you might not get value on a 3rd overall pick for 1,2,3 years or never. So we wait. This could very well be a great pick but we won’t know for a while.


Side note, while I absolutely love the TSN panel they had for the draft why oh why did they interview Hergel? Such an awkward and useless conversation. Guy being polite but really not giving 2 craps about this draft because he is focused on the NFL (where he is currently signed). Don’t make the poor guy pretend to be polite.


2nd RD – LB Nick Wiebe

I actually like this pick. Is it a bit of a reach? Maybe. But if you truly think he’s a stud LB (and his resume would support this) then a second round pick is not an unreasonable price to pay. My only real issue is doubling up on risky picks. You take a sure thing in round 1 then this looks great. You swing for the fences in round 1 then maybe you get some certainty here. There is risk in terms of Wiebe’s recovery but its not an unprecedented injury.


3rd Rd – WR Dhel Duncan-Busby

I had to look up this guys college. Never heard of Bemidji State. Turns out it’s the home of beavers. Now a less mature Prophet would have probably made a joke about that. This more mature version of me still wants to make a joke but is too lazy. Even though we have a lot of Cdn depth at WR, I expect it to be tested during the season so more was definitely needed. Marshall Fergusson talked about how deep the receiving group was in the draft so I like that we waited and still probably got a good prospect. We could have used an OL or DL more here but there really wasn’t anyone worth chasing left.


4th Rd – LB Melique Straker

Probably the first pick of this draft I really liked without any reservation. Straker was a productive LB and between special teams and defensive depth you always need Canadian LBs. He has a great college resume and was a possibility to be drafted much higher were it not for disappointing testing at the combine. This is the perfect use of a 4th round pick.


5th Rd – OL Daniel Johnson

Back to the risk… which is actually perfectly ok at this point of the draft. Late to football, injuries, and an invite to Colts minicamp put all kinds of uncertainty on Johnson. Not to mention the last OL named Johnson we had was a terrible experience. Likely a developmental project (but that’s the kind of OL you get in the 5th round), normally the fact that Indy wants to take a look at him would give me some hope, but they also once signed Jordan Sisco so, you know, take it with a grain of salt.


6th – WR D’Sean Mimbs

I don't mean to devalue Mimbs specifically but I think its written in the constitution that the Riders must select one Regina Ram per draft. He comes from strong Rider lineage (yes that Mimbs). Book on him appears to be a fast dude with so-so hands. Were Chris Jones here Mimbs would be a projected starting safety.


7th Rd – WR Ajou Ajou

Probably overdoing it on the WRs at this point but its not like you picking from A list material in the 7th. Ajou is an intriguing prospect. Highly touted college recruit but he just seems to keep failing to live up to the potential. Worth a shot to see if we can bring out the talent that first got him noticed but his story reminds me a lot of another late Rider WR draft pick Josh Stanford. Worth a shot but did not pan out.


8th Rd – DB Richard Aduboffour

He’s an 8th round pick… what do you want me to say? Probably comes to training camp for a look but that’s about it.


Overall I don’t mind this draft class. We got good players. I don’t like how much risk we took on or that we are 6-12 team and at best this draft class may get us a practice roster WR in 2024. You do need to balance winning now with building a sustainable foundation. Time will tell if the risk is worth it.