The Alouettes may have been shut out of first round on Draft day, but General Manager Jim Popp believes he’s scored some steals with stealth. Even though the Als went “homegrown” they still found a way to stay under the radar.
The Als seemingly drafted for long-term needs, but they believe they’ve picked up some solid talent.
“For sure, for sure I’m surprised,” confessed Als’ top pick Patrick Lavoie (11th overall).
“This is fantastic for me. I never heard from Montreal since E-Camp, but lots of other teams called - Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton...then in the hour before the draft (Alouettes assistant GM) Marcel Desjardins called me to ask if I was ready.”
The Laval receiver turned fullback is a 240-pound force nicknamed “Captain Punt” because of his signal-calling and ferocious play on special teams.
“I want to make this team, and my blocking skills are good so I can help protect Calvillo.”
Lavoie has one year of eligibility at Laval remaining. He played only one year of high-school football, then moved to Quebec City to pursue his dream of becoming a firefighter.
Versatility is a plus.
Popp believes he can be the hybrid tight-end/fullback with the hands to make catches swinging out into the flats.
One week ago, Lavoie was working out in Quebec City with Alouettes centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, with no inkling they’d soon be at camp together.
Oddly enough, his first road trip to Montreal to see the Als was as much to witness his college sweetheart perform the anthem at Molson Stadium.
Lavoie hopes to have a sideline view this time when Angie Riendeau sings “Oh Canada” as she has once per season since she was a teenager.
As the draft moved into the middle and late rounds the Alouettes continued to focus on filling holes, only to be distracted by flashes of inspiration.
They went homegrown with their first and last picks, and all over the college football map in between.
In Round three Montreal was surprised to see Bo Adebayo still up for grabs. Though he committed to an NFL tryout with the Detroit Lions, the Als spoke with the six-foot-three, 265-pound defensive lineman and if no deal is imminent after mini-camp he is open to attending training camp.
Abedayo proves the value of doing your homework. In his senior year at the University of Western Kentucky he realized he could be eligible for the Canadian draft.
His father was a university professor; his mother attended nursing school while in Edmonton.
Rick Moffat is the Voice of the Montreal Alouettes on CJAD 800. He works alongside former CFL Dave Mudge. Moffat's first attended Grey Cup was as a fan in '77 - the infamous Tony Proudfoot "Staple Game". Rick is proud to say he had his first beer at an Als' game during the Marv Levy Era. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickMoffat.