Desjardins makes his mark in Ottawa Expansion Draft | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Desjardins 'Really Happy' With Expansion Draft
Scott Grant/Ottawa RedBlacks Staff

OTTAWA – It was a long but historic day in Ottawa Monday afternoon.

In three rounds which spanned over a four-hour period, general manager Marcel Desjardins, head coach Rick Campbell and a team of football operations personnel with the Ottawa REDBLACKS selected a total of 24 players in the 2013 Expansion Draft.

Ottawa was able to select up to two quarterbacks and eight import players in Round 1 and eight non-imports in Round 2.  An additional 8 non-imports will close out the Draft in Round 3.

Teams were able to submit a list of protected players last week to the CFL offices but could only protect one quarterback and a total of 16 players.

More Expansion Draft Coverage

Headlines and Analysis
» Expansion Draft Central
» Expansion Draft Tracker
Glenn headlines Round 1 selections
» Shologan taken by Ottawa in Round 2

» Ottawa closes out draft by selecting Hage

» Top Expansion Draft Headlines
» A closer look at the Expansion Draft
» Mock Protection Lists: Writers make picks
» Steinberg: Stamps need to protect Mitchell
» Ottawa continues Expansion Draft prep
» Ticats' Austin understands draft's importance
» Anticipation mounting for Lions
» Stampeders give Ottawa solid QB options
» Argos' Barker not losing any sleep
» Moffat: My advice to the REDBLACKS

» Draft shouldn't hurt Bombers too much
» Riders have balancing act ahead of Draft

» Which QBs should the Bombers protect?
» Als' Popp ready for what Ottawa has in store

» Expansion Draft: Round 1 Selections
» Expansion Draft: Round 2 Selections
» Expansion Draft: Round 3 Selections
» Glenn Excited To Be A REDBLACK
» DeMarco Reacts to Becoming a REDBLACK
» Desjardins Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» Brendan Taman Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» Jim Barker Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» John Hufnagel Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» Wally Buono Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» Kyle Walters Post-Expansion Draft Reaction
» Exclusive 1-on-1 with Marcel Desjardins

» Analysis: A Look at the Quarterbacks
» Analysis: Building Non-Import Depth
» Expansion Draft a Recipe for Success?
» Barker: 'Ricky Ray is Protected'
» Winnipeg's Pre-Expansion Draft Comments
» Expansion Draft Difficult Process for Ticats
» 2013 Highlights: Kevin Glenn
» 2013 Highlights: Thomas DeMarco

The story heading into the Draft was who Ottawa would take with their two quarterback selections.  They ended up taking veteran Calgary pivot Kevin Glenn and youngster Thomas DeMarco from BC.

Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins said he took the top two quarterbacks available.

"It became a function of having two guys that we felt were the best quarterbacks available that were not going to be free agents,'' he said. "That's a key component for us.

"Obviously Kevin is very familiar with what we're going to want to do offensively, which is a bonus. And we also have a combination of veteran leadership and younger players so we have all the elements in place that we think are going to help us be a strong team, specifically at that position.''

In 15 games last year, Glenn completed 67 per cent of his passes for 2,710 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The 34 year-old returns to the CFL’s East Division for the first time since 2011 before he was traded to Calgary in exchange for fellow quarterback Henry Burris.

The 2014 season will be the 14th of Glenn’s career. In stints with Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Hamilton and Calgary, Glenn has thrown for an impressive 39,418 yards, 222 touchdowns and 151 interceptions.

His career QB rating is 90.3.

Glenn re-joins Campbell who was the Stampeders defensive coordinator before being hired away by Ottawa just over a week ago.

“Being that he is a defensive guy, I think that he knows a little bit about offence and what is hard to stop and what is easy to stop”, Glenn told “So I think what I think he is going to bring to the table is multiple dimensions on offence.

“It is kind of similar to what we did in Calgary, because I think he enjoyed what we did in Calgary where we ran the bull, passed the ball, play action. This showed that we weren’t just a run team or we weren’t just a pass team, we had a lot of dimensions and kind of did it all.”

In DeMarco, the REDBLACKS get a young pivot who spent time learning behind a Grey Cup champion and former MOP Travis Lulay.

Seeing a lot of action due to an injury to Lulay in 2013, DeMarco displayed glimpses of a quarterback who can one day manage an offence on a full-time basis.

In five starts, DeMarco completed 55 per cent of his passes for 1,112 yards and eight touchdowns.

The REDBLACKS completed the first round by taking Hamilton RB Chevon Walker, Winnipeg WR Wallace Miles, Toronto DL Jonathan Williams, Montreal DL Moton Hopkins, Saskatchewan OL James Lee and Edmonton WR Carlton Mitchell.

Walker burst onto the scene in Hamilton in 2012, carrying the ball 118 times for 656 and four touchdowns. He also added 27 receptions for 336 yards and 4 majors.  In 2013, CJ Gable took over Walker's spot in the Hamilton backfield as he played limited reps, primarily on kick returns.

Miles hauled in 16 passes for 193 yards and 1 major in two seasons with Winnipeg albeit in limited action.

Williams moved in and out of the starting lineup along Toronto's defensive in his rookie year while Hopkins returned from a significant injury to work his way back into the Montreal lineup.  Last year the Tulsa graduate racked up 15 tackles and 1 sack.

In the second and third rounds, the REDBLACKS were given the opportunity to select a combined 16 non-imports from across the league.

The first non-import round saw Ottawa target size on both sides of the ball, as they selected two fullbacks, four offensive lneman, an offensive lineman and a linebacker.

Headlining the round was Roughriders defensive tackle Keith Shologan, who arrives in Ottawa after spending six seasons in Saskatchewan.

The Spruce Grove, AB native leaves Riderville with 138 career tackles, 15 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.

But Shologan wasn’t the only veteran of note taken by the REDBLACKS in the round. Former first-round draft pick Joe Eppele was taken from Toronto, and was joined by fellow offensive lineman J’Micheal Deane, Matt Albright and Alex Krausnick.

The player taken by Ottawa with arguably the most potential is former Alouettes fullback Patrick Lavoie. The 26-year-old Laval product had a solid rookie campaign in 2012, hauling in 33 receptions for 307 yards and four touchdowns primarily as a tight end.

In 2013, he started the season on the injured list, and finished with just six receptions for 46 yards. However, his primary responsibilities centered around blocking and special teams work.

Another fullback taken by the REDBLACKS was former Tiger-Cat John Delahunt. The Ottawa native impressed in what was his rookie campaign in 2013, reeling in nine receptions for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The final player taken in the second round was linebacker James Green, who registered 74 special teams tackles in five CFL seasons, the last four of which were spent in Winnipeg.

In the third round, the REDBLACKS continued to stock up on their Canadian talent.

Somewhat surprisingly, the REDBLACKS selected 10-year CFL veteran Marwan Hage, who immediately gives the Ottawa offensive line some stability in the trenches.

Other veterans taken in the final round were safety Eric Fraser, and linebacker Jason Pottinger.

Fraser was an all-star in 2012 with the Stampeders and joins the REDBLACKS as the favourite to enter camp as the starting safety.  Since making his debut in 2010, Fraser racked up 108 tackles, 3 quarterback sacks and 5 interceptions.

Pottinger, meanwhile, joined the Toronto Argonauts during free agency of the 2009 off-season after starting his career in BC.  The McMaster product has 179 defensive tackles and 6 sacks.

But Desjardins didn’t only target veterans, as he rounded out his selections by grabbing five players that were 25 years old or younger.
LB Jordan Verdone, DE Andrew Marshall, DT Zack Evans, DE Justin Capicciotti and WR Rory Kohlert were grabbed by the REDBLACKS.

Kohlert presents an interesting situation for Desjardins and the rest of his staff, as he was the only pending free agent selected in the draft.

Fan Comments
Excellent selections along with a few FA's from around the Globe and they may win 4 games. It'll take a few years to put a winning team on the field. Do they have a domed stadium for late fall games? No!
December 16, 2013 - 7:52pm
als rule
H123: domed stadium? your's is where?!! late fall games is CFL football!!
December 17, 2013 - 11:11am
As expected, the Greenwhites, Redwhites, orangeblacks and orangewhites seem to have paid the heaviest price. Hard to say about the Bluegolds and Greengolds. Oh sorry, I just can't get over the Ottawa team's name. Let's hope the coaches use a little more imagination than those who chose the name. Even sillier are the reporters who are agreeing to capitalize all nine letters!!
One other thing. Did the Ottawa brass consider the real possibility of zealots declaring the name to be politically incorrect and demanding it be discontinued?
December 16, 2013 - 6:19pm
als rule
@F: I'm so sick and fed up with the complaining over the RBs name!! it is what it is!! blame regina for blocking the ROUGH RIDER name!! the name and logo connect to ottawa past!! little more imagination is a cheap shot at the ottawa owners!!
December 17, 2013 - 10:20am
Als rule - you are correct. we do have to just accept the name. I don't however accept that it should be presented in the press by all capital letters. Rather arrogant I think for the team to request that. Just because they are the capital city of Canada does not somehow put them above any other team. Would appreciate your comments on my final statement. I am serious about that thought. You know there are already moves afoot to stop long established nicknames which some vocal minorities consider politically incorrect.
December 17, 2013 - 8:02pm
als rule
man you rent massive space out for what end?!! let it go!! nobody cares!! build it and they will all come, the zealots/minorities/CFL fans/ottawa citizens/hull citizens/ontario fans/quebec fans!! lets just play football!!
December 17, 2013 - 10:12pm