Nye: Grading the Riders' 2013 Draft | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
2013 Draft: Taman Recaps Riders Picks
Pawel Dwulit/CFL.ca

To best evaluate the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ draft you have to look ahead to 2016 and ask yourself: Who will be around, contributing on a regular basis after three years?

Take the 2010 Draft for example. By selecting then can’t-miss prospect Shomari Williams with the 1st overall pick, you likely would have given the Riders an ‘A’ for their performance. Fast forward three years to now and Williams has moved east to Hamilton, leaving the Riders via free agency and without any real positive return on their draft investment.

That ‘A’ has transformed itself into a ‘D’.

With the fourth overall selection in this year’s draft, the Riders did well by getting Corey Watman, a player who some consider to be the most pro-ready offensive lineman in the draft.

Watman adds incredible depth to an offensive line that – equipped with the likes of Ben Heenan, Brendon LaBatte and Dominic Picard – is one of the deepest and most talented in the CFL.

Now had Watman to the mix and you are six deep for Canadian offensive linemen.

By picking Watman, the Green and White will not feature a stunning six Canadian’s on their offensive line, with tackle Xavier Fulton being the lone exception.

That being said, I’m giving the Riders an 'A' for drafting Watman.

Despite their smart first pick, however, I'm giving them a 'C' overall. Here’s why:

Getting only one pro-ready player in seven picks diminishes the overall grade for Saskatchewan. A part of that could be attributed to the fact that General Manager Brendan Taman traded away his 3rd-round pick in exchange for three 5th-round picks, forcing him to sit in silence while the rest of the league stocks up on talent through rounds two to four.

While Taman definitely feels the rest of his crop has plenty of potential, there is a reason his four-player haul in the fifth round were fifth round picks. If they were 'pro-ready' someone would have scooped them up earlier.

With his first pick in the fifth round, the Riders pick up Matt Vonk, an offensive lineman that comes from Waterloo. Some believe he is another interior lineman but he did play tackle for the Warriors and could get a long look at backing up Patrick Neufeld at right tackle.

Related: 2013 CFL Draft


» 2013 CFL Draft Tracker
» Ticats select Gaydosh 1st overall
» Mulumba taken 2nd overall by Bombers
» Edem, Lumbala headed to Montreal
» Ottawa takes MacMillan with 1st ever pick
» Charles taken by Eskimos in 10 spot
» Riders take Watman 4th overall

» Craighead goes 7th to Stamps
» Sewell drafted 8th by Boatmen
» Recapping the 2nd round

» 2013 Combine Results
» Dunk's CFL.ca Mock Draft 1.0
» Dunk's CFL.ca Mock Draft 2.0


» 1st Overall Pick - Linden Gaydosh
» 2nd Overall Pick - Andy Mulumba
» 3rd Overall Pick - Mike Edem
» 4th Overall Pick - Corey Watman
» 5th Overall Pick - Steven Lumbala
» 6th Overall Pick - Hunter Steward
» 7th Overall Pick - Brander Craighead
» 8th Overall Pick - Matt Sewell
» 9th Overall Pick - Nolan MacMillan

» 10th Overall Pick - Stefan Charles


» Draft Profile: Cayman Shutter
» Draft Profile: Mike Edem

» Draft Profile: Steven Lumbala
» Draft Profile: Justin Chapdelaine
» Draft Profile: Matt Sewell
» Draft Profile: Ben D'Aguilar
» Draft Profile: Linden Gaydosh

In regards to receiver Alex Anthony, the team’s second pick in the round, Taman said he was “the guy we would have picked in the third but was there in the fifth.”

From what Taman is selling, Anthony has a great shot and becoming the number three non-import receiver with a good camp in Saskatchewan behind Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg. He'll push Jordan Sisco and Scott McHenry extremely hard for a spot on the roster. Being compared to Bagg as far as work ethic and intelligence is a sign the Riders may have a steal with this Wilfred Laurier product.

Taman then scooped up Levi Steinhauer, who isn’t coming to Saskatchewan to back up Keith Shologan or Zach Evans at defensive tackle, despite being listed as a DT.

He is here to fill a hole left by the departure of long snapper Alex Krausnick-Groh. The Riders could use depth behind long snappers Cory Huclack and Jay Alford. If Steinhauer proves he's capable of getting the ball back to the kickers with accuracy, quickness and consistency he'll stay around.

Finally, Spencer Moore is where the Riders start to really cross their fingers.

He and sixth-round pick Thomas Spoletini have to show they can contribute on special teams and not get lost in their respective assignments.

Moore is a big body that isn't going to come to camp as a receiver but likely to see if he can bring some youth and depth behind fullbacks Neal Hughes and Graeme Bell.

If not, he'll be gone like fullback Kyle Exume was last year. Moore, like Exume, was sold as the best special teams player in the draft. But as we all saw, Exume proved talk means nothing when you step on the field.

Spoletini, along with special teams, also needs to show he can be relied on in a pinch as a coverage linebacker.

Western offensuiveEric Armitage is the final pick for the Riders and has nothing to lose. Realistically, Armitage is someone the Riders will use and abuse in training camp on scout team. With a load of non-imports in front him; he'll have a tough time being on the roster after training camp.

Riders Head Coach Corey Chamblin was honest when he said that they picked up some 'legs and bodies' to have around at camp. If they're anything more than that, it's a bonus. That will be tough to read if you're among the Riders late round picks. They can also turn that into motivation as well.

While I give the Riders a 'C' based on pro-ready talent drafted. There is no doubt the Riders are confident I'll eat my words when camp rolls around.

About Jamie

Jamie Nye lives and breathes the CFL and is the host of 'The Green Zone' on 980 CJME in Regina and 650 CKOM in Saskatoon. You can find his podcasts and blogs at greenzonefootball.com and follow him on twitter @jamienye

Fan Comments
I disagree with the "C" grade. I would say B+. I think taman did well to pick up Watman as well as load up on players lower in the draft. they have added some depth and a few players that while not pro-ready will be in two or three years. There is less risk they will be lost to Ottawa in the expansion draft. You could argue they should have picked red shirts like other teams ... but there is no guarantee they will ever show up.
May 08, 2013 - 5:39pm
als rule
ottawa rough riders have a GM marcel desjardins who has been a GM before(hamilton) and ass't GM twice in montreal!! therefore no matter where a player is drafted, or how pro ready they may be and as a result "less risk" doesn't really come into play as desjardins will draft players he believes will be a good fit into his planned team!!
May 09, 2013 - 11:08am
First of all they will never be the Riders as sask has blocked that ... not saying i agree or disagree with that. Second each team can protect 6 non-import players is the first round of the expansion draft. and seven in the second round of the draft. Ottawa picks one player from each team in each round. They are not going to pick project players unless there is tremendous upside - and that is not going to be demonstrated unless the actually play a significant role this season. be realistic. they picked their project players this year with the red shirt juniors they picked.
May 11, 2013 - 1:28pm
als rule
not necessarily so since desjardins knows every player in the league right now!! that's being realistic and not being boxed into a corner!!
May 11, 2013 - 9:59pm
als rule
watman best pro ready OL in the draft? maybe or maybe not jamie!! as for OL montreal is 8 deep compared to as you say the riders are 6 deep and the green the best OL in the league per deepest and most talented!! excuse me mr. nye NO!! montreal on both counts!!
May 08, 2013 - 2:49pm
Montreal doesn't have Picard, LeBatte and Ben Heenan as starting linemen, also Fulton is big and talented. Montreal has a better o-line? You might want to check that.
May 11, 2013 - 5:18pm
Actually i have to agree with AlsRule on this one. Sacks allowed last year ... Mtl = 30 Sask = 43 only teams worse were Wpg and Edm. and from my recollection Sask gave up some sacks at critical points in games. ie final minutes with the game on the line.
May 12, 2013 - 8:46am
als rule
riders668907 now lets compare OLs!! montreal starting OL: T #59 bourke, G #57 flory, C #58 brodeur-jourdain, G #60 woodruff and T #54 perrett!! C back ups T #51 matte, G/C #55 barrette, T/G/TE #64 bomben, T #68 white and A T #68 ola!! now you still want to say the green have a better OL? NOT FROM WHERE I SIT!!
May 14, 2013 - 8:51am

Draft Tracker

Pick Team Pos Player
1 REDBLACKS OL Mateas, Alex
2 Blue Bombers OL Chungh, Sukh
3 Argonauts OL McEwen, Sean
4 Alouettes DB Ackie, Chris
5 Lions DL Mrabure-Ajufo, Ese
6 Roughriders WR Demski, Nic
7 Eskimos OL Groulx, Danny
8 Alouettes via HAM OL Ruby, Jacob
9 Stampeders OL Lavoie, Karl
Bench Press
 Byron Archambault (17) 41 reps
40-Yard Dash
 Tevaughn Campbell  4.355
Vertical Jump
 Chris Ackie 40.0"
Broad Jump
 Chris Ackie 10'11.50"
Shuttle  Byron Archambault  4.18
3-Cone  Nic Demski  6.91

View Full  Results >    

CFL.ca's Justin Dunk reveals the Central...
See the Draft from a scout's perspective as...
University of Manitoba receiver Nic Demski...
University of Richmond offensive lineman Jacob...