One of Joe Mack’s top priorities when he was hired as Vice President and General Manager of Football Operations for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in January of 2010 was to upgrade the depth of the Bombers Canadian content through the annual CFL Canadian draft.
As Mack and his staff prepare for the upcoming CFL draft on May 3, it seems his plan has worked out quite well.
With only 4 picks in the 2010 draft, the Bombers were able to acquire receiver Cory Watson from Concordia and offensive lineman Chris Greaves from Western University, both of whom figure to be long-term fixtures in Blue and Gold.
Watson has developed into a quality starting receiver while Greaves is projected to be the replacement for Brendon LaBatte on Winnipeg’s offensive line in 2012.
The 2011 draft was even better for the Bombers. Five of the six players they selected will be in training camp this year, and at least three of them have a good chance of being on the roster.
Last year’s first overall pick, Henoc Muamba is expected to challenge for a starting spot after an injury-plagued rookie season. Fourth overall pick, receiver Jade Etienne, spent most of 2011 on the practice roster but the club still has high hopes for him.
A pair of hulking offensive linemen, Brendan Dunn and Paul Swiston, will also be in the mix. Running back Carl Volny, a fifth round selection out of Central Michigan, made an impact before a knee injury ended his rookie season.
And, not to be forgotten, the Bombers nabbed receiver Kito Poblah in last year’s supplemental draft, and he won a starting spot out of training camp before injuries derailed his rookie season.
So what can Winnipeg fans expect to see come May 3?
Mack and his team will have six picks in all (barring a trade), including five of the first 23 selections to potentially find the team’s next big player.
Bob Irving has covered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for CJOB Radio in Winnipeg since 1973. Bob is the Sports Director at CJOB and is in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, reporters division. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobIrvingCJOB
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