Irving: Expansion Draft shouldn't hurt Bombers too much | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

Ottawa REDBLACKS General Manager Marcel Desjardins told me during Grey Cup week that he had mixed feelings about the rules for Monday's  Expansion Draft. 

In one sense he thought it was reasonably fair, but in another he felt the existing eight CFL clubs could have been a little more generous regarding the number of players they were allowed to protect. 

More Expansion Draft Coverage

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» A closer look at the Expansion Draft
» Mock Protection Lists: Writers make their picks
» Steinberg: Stamps need to protect Mitchell
» Riders have balancing act ahead of Draft
» Irving: Which QB should the Bombers protect?
» Als' Popp ready for what Ottawa throws at him

One thing is for sure, the REDBLACKS will get a quarterback who should provide them with instant credibility at that position.  And that's a dramatic improvement over the 2002 Draft when the Ottawa Renegades joined the CFL. 

In that draft, the existing clubs were able to protect three quarterbacks, along with nine other imports and seven Canadians. This time, the eight clubs can only protect six Canadians and 11 imports, but only one of the imports can be a quarterback. 

Assuming that Calgary protects Bo Levi Mitchell, Desjardins will be able to pick either Kevin Glenn or Drew Tate from the Stampeders, along with another quarterback, perhaps Thomas Demarco of BC, Trevor Harris of Toronto or Justin Goltz of Winnipeg. 

That's the kind of one-two quarterback punch the Renegades would have killed for back in 2002.

Here in Winnipeg, the Blue Bombers don't expect to be hurt too badly by the draft.  Based on their performance in 2013, the Bombers would tell you they don't have the depth of talent, especially Canadian talent, that most of the other teams have. They also have 23 players headed for free agency, the bulk of them Canadians. 

Desjardins has also insisted all along that he will not waste any of his 24 picks (8 imports, 16 Canadians) on a player who is eligible for free agency on February 15.

It will be intriguing to see if he sticks to that plan. The existing teams have deliberately made no effort to re-sign many of their potential free agents, thus reducing Desjardins selection options. Is it possible Desjardins will have a change of heart and pick one or two free agents in hopes that he can sign them before the free agency begins?

There is a tremendous amount of intrigue surrounding Monday's proceedings. Given that the existing 8 clubs are not revealing their protected lists, it's very difficult to project what kind of roster the REDBLACKS will be able to assemble during Monday's draft. 

Clearly, though, they should get some good players. Each team in the CFL has 17 import and 7 Canadian starters.  

They can't protect them all. And in particular, look for Ottawa to start stock-piling Canadian offensive linemen.  They are a staple on any successful CFL club.

For sure, Desjardins and the REDBLACKS will get a decent quarterback, maybe two.  And that puts this Ottawa team miles ahead of the last one, 12 years ago, that re-entered the CFL.

About Bob

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

Fan Comments
There is about one paragraph that corresponds with the title. As for QB's I want RedBlacks to take Willy. As a Rider fan I would rather the extra Canadian protected slots.
December 12, 2013 - 5:46pm
The RedBlacks may be able to draft not one but two QBs that are better than anyone Winnipeg has.
December 12, 2013 - 1:59pm
Drafting more than one QB means the teams who lose one can protect more players and which results in less selection for RBs in rounds 2 & 3.
December 13, 2013 - 9:16pm
Maybe they can bring in Corey Boyd. Don't know if he's in shape but I thought he was a terrific RB. He was leading the league in rushing when he was cut.

Being a big Glenn fan, I would select Tate and hope that he can stay injury free. Drew Wily would be my next pick at QB.
December 12, 2013 - 11:48am
Ha ha Bob I'm not sure that the content of this article really reflected the title, but that's ok. But just to add in - I don't see why Ottawa would take two QB's in the draft, when Willy and Collaros are set to be free agents.
December 12, 2013 - 11:32am
als rule
draft shouldn't hurt the BBs of course not, as they don't have much to lose to begin with!!
December 12, 2013 - 10:55am
Agreed - unlike the Ticats who a numerous young talented players and very few free potential agents. Fortunately they so have some depth in most positions.
December 12, 2013 - 11:42am
als rule
TFmcb: yes of course hamilton has everything(???)BUT I know one thing they don't have the GC!! LOL LOL LOL
December 12, 2013 - 2:54pm
Funny - I don't recall seeing the Als on the field in Regina at the end of November - or even in Toronto! Looks like we just joined the OTHER seven teams who didn't get to hoist the cup - only it took us longer to get there!
December 13, 2013 - 9:42pm
Green & White Forever!
Trevor Harris of Toronto? Um, anybody remember that Zach Collaros dude? Ya know, the guy who led Toronto the about 5 or 6 weeks that Ray was out? The guy who won most of his games?
December 12, 2013 - 10:38am
Collaros will be a free agent. RBs can throw their hat in the ring with anyone else who wants to try to sign him rather than waste a draft choice on the chance they he will choose to sign elsewhere!
December 13, 2013 - 9:13pm