TORONTO (CFL.ca wire) -- University of Regina receiver Chris Bauman was selected first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the annual CFL Canadian Draft.
The Brandon, Manitoba native led all CIS receivers in 2006 with 923 receiving yards on 42 catches, including 10 touchdowns. Bauman is the first receiver to be chosen first overall since University of Calgary slotback Don Blair was selected by the Edmonton Eskimos in 1996. He is the first Regina product selected since offensive lineman Kyler Jukes was chosen 27th overall by the Calgary Stampeders in the 2005 draft.
"No, I didn't even think I would be in the CFL," admitted Bauman when he was asked on CFL Broadband if he ever thought he would be selected first overall. "I'm still sort of speachless right now. I don't know what to think."
The choice makes sense for the Ticats with the number of receivers that have left the club this off-season, including Terry Vaughn and D.J. Flick. Current veteran non-import receivers on their roster include Mike Morreale and Brock Ralph.
The Ticats debated about using their top pick on Toledo defensive lineman J.P. Bekasiak. Fortunately, he was still available for Hamilton's fourth overall pick. Hamilton added depth on their offensive line selecting Jordan Rempel from Saskatchewan and Eric Ince out of Saint Mary's in the second round.
Hamilton rounded out the draft by selecting Bauman's teammate in Regina, receiver Chris Getzlaf, whose brother Ryan plays for the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.
The Edmonton Eskimos had the second pick overall and selected Concordia Stingers kicker Warren Kean. He automatically becomes the heir apparent to veteran Sean Fleming. Kean is the highest kicker chosen in the draft since Dave Miller-Johnston was taken second overall in 1998 by the Toronto Argonauts.
âKicking is such a huge part of our game and itâs very positive when you can get a Canadian who can handle field goals, punts and kickoffs,â said Eskimos head coach and director of football operations Danny Maciocia.
With the first of three picks in the first round, the Calgary Stampeders chose Michigan State offensive lineman Mike Gyetvai.
âGyetvai was the top player on our board,â said Stampeders general manager Jim Barker. âHe does come with some risk as heâs playing at a very high level and will likely have some NFL opportunities. Having three picks in the first round allowed us the flexibility to take the best available player.â
Calgary turned to defence with their fifth overall choice, selecting linebacker Justin Phillips out of Wilfrid Laurier. The Stampeders rounded out the first round taking wide receiver Jabari Arthur out of Akron. Calgary added another receiver in the second round with their choice of Boston College product Kevin Challenger.
âPhillips is an athlete whoâs athleticism, strength and work ethic give him an opportunity to be a quality player in the CFL,â said Barker. âArthur was among the top players on our board. Although he has another year of college eligibility and possible NFL opportunities, his talent is too good not to take a chance on.â
The Montreal Alouettes clearly focused on the trenches in the draft. Their seventh and 14th overall selections were used on offensive linemen Richard Yalowsky from Calgary and Manitoba product Darryl Conrad respectively. After switching to defence with their first of three picks in the third round on defensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl out of McMaster, the Als went back to offensive line taking Brian Jones out of Windsor.
The defending Grey Cup champions B.C. Lions finished out the first round taking receiver Adam Nicholson out of the University of Ottawa. They completed the second round taking linebacker Josh Bean from Boise State and began the third taking safety Tad Crawford out of Columbia.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers had to wait until the second round to make their initial selections having traded away their first round pick. Saskatchewan selected Guelph receiver Dave McKoy with the ninth overall pick, while Winnipeg went with Wyoming defensive tackle Corey Mace with the 11th overall selection.
The Toronto Argonauts had to wait the longest to make their first selections, holding the fifth and sixth pick of the fourth round. The Argos chose Laval linebacker Eric Maranda and tight end Steve Schmidt out of San Diego State.
One trade was made during the fifth round, as Winnipeg traded it's fifth round selection to Saskatchewan for offensive tackle Matt OâMeara. Saskatchewan used the selection on running back Reggie Bradshaw out of Montana.
Sons of Alouettes alumni were popular, with three being drafted. Buffalo defensive end James Judges (son of Gord) was selected by Montreal 31st overall, Brad Smith (son of Larry) was taken by Toronto 44th overall, and Nic Edgson (son of Art) was chosen by B.C. with the final pick.
McMaster led all schools with four players chosen. In addition to Van Zeyl, linebacker Eugene Boakye was selected by Winnipeg with the 22nd overall pick, while B.C. selected running back Andre Sadeghian and defensive lineman Andrew Jones with the 24nd and 32nd pick respectively.