THE CANADIAN PRESS
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders held true to their word, taking offensive lineman Ben Heenan with the first overall pick of the 2012 CFL Canadian college draft on Thursday.
There was no intrigue or mystery to the pick as Riders president Jim Hopson announced earlier in the day that the six-foot-four, 310-pound Heenan would be selected.
Heenan spent the last four years at the University of Saskatchewan and was the top-ranked prospect for the draft before finishing No. 2 in the final listing.
The selection was a safe one for Saskatchewan but critics will suggest Heenan isn't an impact player and doesn't address the club's needs on the defensive line, secondary and receiving corps.
The Grand Coulee, Sask., native became just the second Huskies player to go first overall and first since the Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected safety Dylan Barker to open the 2008 draft.
The Riders selected Heenan despite the offensive line not being a priority for the club after adding free agents Dom Picard and Brendon LaBatte this off-season before re-signing veteran Chris Best to a contract extension.
But in Heenan, the Riders get a top prospect and a player who will report to the CFL club immediately.
The Riders stuck with CIS talent throughout the remainder of the draft, selecting Calgary linebacker Sam Hurl, who put forth a strong showing at E-Camp in March. They then picked a pair of Sherbrooke products, linebacker Kevin Régimbald-Gagné and receiver Ismael Bamba.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|