It’s time to check in on the 2014 Canadian Draft prospects stock market. A large number of athletes worked out for Canadian Football League scouts during the last full week of March. In total there were four CFL Combines, three regional and the national event held over three days in Toronto from March 21-23.
Pro prospects had their stocks rise and fall after player personnel men from around the league got an up close look at this year’s crop of talent. Based on Combine performances and with an eye towards the Canadian Draft in May, let’s take a look at which offensive players moved up and down the draft board.
|Draft Watch: Dunk’s Assessment
CFL.ca’s Justin Dunk takes a look at which linemen and defensive players saw their stocks rise and fall, as the countdown to the 2014 CFL Draft continues to roll on.
Billy McPhee, QB, Queen’s
Height 6’2” Weight 208 pounds
It was a solid Combine showing for McPhee. He put up respectable testing numbers and his strong arm was on display during the passing session. McPhee is right on the borderline athletically of what CFL teams look for in a pro prospect, at quarterback or any other position.
Reid Quest, QB, Concordia
Height 6’4” 221 pounds
Quest did not put up the kind of results to warrant any serious attention from CFL teams.
Tyler Crapigna, K, McMaster
Height 5’6” Weight 160 pounds
A round of applause goes to Crapigna for bench-pressing 225 pounds once and ensuring no athlete at the Combine got pinned. In all seriousness Crapigna helped himself with strong interviews and some fine kicking too. He is as an accurate kicker who would pair well with a punter and kickoff specialist early in his career – similar to Luca Congi, but he doesn’t yet have as strong of a leg. He’ll have to work hard and show whoever picks him up that he has enough strength to kickoff and hit from range when the weather turns cold. He needs to improve his punting to have a chance to become a three-way kicker in the CFL.
Aaron Milton, RB, Toronto
Height 6’2” 205 pounds
Milton is an interesting prospect for scouts. He earned an invite from the Toronto Regional to the National Combine. Milton has a long body and moves well. If he proves to be physical enough he could be tough to match up against on special teams.
Guillaume Bourassa, RB, Laval
Height 5’10” Weight 197 pounds
Bourassa proved to be the better of the two Laval running backs at the National Combine, despite having to earn his way through the Montreal Regional. He is a reliable blocker and smooth receiver out of the backfield. He is well built, fluid and brings a competitive and physical presence to the field.
Jordan Botel, RB, Mount Allison
Height 5’9” Weight 207 pounds
It wasn’t a good Combine showing for Botel. He lacks the type of chiseled frame and athleticism you want to see from a running back to be able to compete at the pro level.
Anthony Coombs, RB, Manitoba
Height 5’8” 200 pounds
It’s all about creating a buzz with your Combine performance and Coombs did just that. He impressed scouts all weekend long and even drew comparisons to Andre Durie and his hometown hero Andrew Harris. Scouts wanted to find out if Coombs could take the pounding of an every-down back and he tipped the scales at 200 pounds, up 10 from his 2013 CIS East West Bowl weigh in, which helped his cause. For reference, Durie is listed at 199 pounds and Harris at 213. Coombs proved he has a rare blend of speed, quickness and playmaking ability from the running back position.
Robert Farquharson, RB, Guelph
Height 5’8” Weight 204 pounds
Farquharson tested better than scouts expected at the Combine. He is a bowling ball, downhill type of runner and really good in pass protection. He has sneaky athleticism and possesses the physical capabilities to possibly get a shot on special teams and work his way onto a CFL roster.
Pascal Lochard, RB, Laval
Height 6’0” Weight 214 pounds
A slow 40 and other less-than-expected test results coupled with an injury history has Lochard’s stock pointing down. However, he has a physical running style and could be useful on special teams.
Mackenzie Sarro, RB, Calgary
Height 6’3” 247 pounds
Sarro proved to be exactly what scouts thought at the Combine. He is a big fullback who can block and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. Although, he is right on the edge athletically for what scouts look for in a pro prospect. Sarro needs to be more consistently physical on the field.
Alexandre Dupuis, RB, Montreal
Height 6’3” 251 pounds
A thick man, Dupuis showed he is a tough blocker, but needs to become a better pass catcher out of the backfield. He could be a solid fullback for a team that employs one in their offensive packages. He could also be a physical presence on special teams.
Francis LaPointe, REC, Sherbrooke
Height 5’9” Weight 170 pounds
LaPointe earned his way to the National Combine through Montreal. He proved he has the speed and quickness to compete at the next level. LaPointe is a great route runner, but he needs to get stronger to matchup with the import defensive backs.
Devon Bailey, REC, St. Francis Xavier
Height 6’4” Weight 204 pounds
Work ethic was the biggest question about Bailey entering the Combine and his results showed there should be no more worries about it. He improved from 10 reps to 15 on the bench and shaved more than a tenth of a second off his 40 time compared to his testing numbers at the 2013 CIS East West Bowl. But Bailey is still raw in his technique and didn’t dominate the one-on-one session like a top receiver prospect should. He needs work to polish his route running, learn how to track the ball and rebound at the high point better. However, Bailey has all the tools and potential to be the best receiving prospect from the 2014 class.
Kristopher Bastien, REC, Concordia
Height 6’2” Weight 213 pounds
If there was one player who didn’t receive his fair share of praise coming out of the Combine it was Bastien. He continued to prove he is physically ready for the CFL game. Bastien put up 20 reps on the bench and ran a 4.63 40. Not to mention making strong contested catches in one-on-ones. He is a well-developed route runner and has a good overall feel for the game. Bastien might be the most pro-ready receiver in the draft.
Alexander Fox, REC, Bishop’s
Height 5’7” Weight 183 pounds
Fox won’t soon be forgotten in many minds because he came to the Combine with a CFL logo shaved into his head. It showed just how dedicated he is to making a career at the pro level. Fox is strong – he lifted 225 pounds 24 times a ridiculous number considering his size – and fast enough to play in the CFL. In scouts’ minds the main thing holding Fox back in terms of his projection as a pro is his small stature.
Kit Hillis, REC, Saskatchewan
Height 5’7” Weight 174 pounds
It was a less than stellar Combine for Hillis. He showed solid speed in the 40, but didn’t stand out among the receiver group. Hillis works his butt off on the field, but must overcome questions about his size to have a chance at the next level.
Brian Marshall, REC, Western
Height 6’0” Weight 212 pounds
Scouts were anxious to clock Marshall in the 40, and a 4.90 time was certainly far below expectations and what he was hoping to run. The slow time dropped his stock.
Alex Pierzchalski, REC, Toronto
Height 6’3” Weight 209 pounds
It was a solid all around effort at the Combine for Pierzchalski. He is a well-built, possession-type receiver and catches the ball with ease. He has the size, potential and work ethic that you want in a receiving prospect. But Pierzchalski needs to become more explosive and work on creating separation, especially on deep patterns.
Evan Pszczonak, REC, Windsor
Height 5’11” Weight 176 pounds
An underrated prospect heading into the Combine, Pszczonak put his athleticism on full display. He vertical jumped 40 inches, the highest at the National event, and was one of just eight prospects to run a sub 4.60 40 (4.58). Pszczonak showed he is explosive, has a good understanding of route running and is a smooth operator on the field.
Tore Corrado, REC, Simon Fraser
Height 5’10” Weight 173 pounds
Corrado literally and figuratively sped his way up draft boards with his Combine performances. He had top five times at the National Combine in the 40 (4.56), shuttle (4.22) and 3-cone (7.03). During the one-on-one session Corrado transferred his fast test times into production with pads on. He looked smooth coming in and out of breaks and created separation with his impressive short area quickness and burst.
Scott MacDonell, REC, Queen’s
Height 6’4” Weight 227 pounds
Likely the biggest receiving prospect in the draft, MacDonell showed he’s much more than just a tall, thick target. He ran a 4.69 40-yard
time, impressive for a young man of his stature. MacDonell used his size and body control to help get open in one-on-ones. He has great hands and caught the ball smoothly. His speed and frame will give him a chance to develop into a starting receiver at the pro level. MacDonell went from a blip on the radar to jumping way up the board with his Combine showing.