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TORONTO -- Quinn Smith's CFL Draft stock is on the rise.

The Concordia Stingers defensive lineman was ranked fourth among the CFL scouting bureau's top-15 prospects for next month's draft. Heady stuff, considering Smith wasn't rated on either the fall or winter lists.

But the six-foot-two, 305-pound Toronto native raised eyebrows at last month's CFL combine, excelling on both sides of the ball. And that versatility will enhance his chances of being taken early in the May 13 draft, with the expansion Ottawa REDBLACKS holding the first pick overall.

Prospect Profiles

With less than a month until the 2014 CFL Draft gets underway, takes an in-depth look at several prospects who might hear their names called by Commissioner Cohon on Draft day.

» Andrew Lue on his passion for football
» David Foucault is a monster on the field
» Adam Thibault's speed is an game changer

"Obviously I felt I should've been on the first two but I'm very happy that my hard work paid off to be quite high on the new list,'' Smith said during a CFL conference call Tuesday. "I want to be a professional football player.

"It doesn't matter what city, what team. I'm going to be happy wherever I go.''

Once again Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill's highly rated offensive lineman, topped the rankings. But the six-foot-five, 310-pound medical student is projected as a mid-round NFL draft pick. Where Duvernay-Tardif is taken by an NFL club will dramatically impact when he's selected in the CFL draft.

David Foucault, Montreal's towering six-foot-eight, 300-pound offensive tackle, moved up a spot into No. 2, with Laval offensive lineman Pierre Lavertu dropping to No. 3. St. Francis receiver Devon Bailey also dropped one position behind Smith into No. 5.

Manitoba defensive tackle Evan Gill remained at No. 6, ahead of Western defensive lineman Dylan Ainsworth, who skyrocketed from No. 15. Manitoba running back Anthony Coombs moved up a spot to No. 8, ahead of Simon Fraser offensive lineman Matthias Goosen (who dropped from No. 5) and Queen's defensive back Andrew Lue (from No. 8).

Rounding out the top-15 were Laval defensive back Adam Thibault, Simon Fraser linebacker Casey Chin, defensive lineman David Menard and defensive back Antoine Pruneau - both from the University of Montreal - and Western linebacker Beau Landry.

Ainsworth was another player who excelled at the CFL combine, especially in the 1-on-1 drills when he steamrolled over Foucault. The six-foot-three, 225-pound native of Delta, B.C., credited teammate Landry with helping him prepare for the weekend-long audition before league officials.

"Just seeing my name there the first couple of rankings was an honour for me, it was just up to me to prove myself at the combine,'' Ainsworth said.

"As a result of training hard with (Landry) I feel like I did as well as I really could've hoped.

"To see me shoot up to the No. 7 spot is huge but the real ranking is May 13 and that's what I'm most excited about, just to see what happens and how it all plays out.''

With Duvernay-Tardif expected to head to the NFL, Foucault is being mentioned as the most CFL-ready prospect among the eligible offensive linemen. But he, too, is attracting American interest, having recently interviewed with NFL clubs at the league's Super Regional combine earlier this month in Detroit despite suffering a foot injury while running his 40-yard dash.

"Just three of the 33 guys on the offensive line got an interview with NFL teams and I got some good feedback,'' Foucault said. "Right now, I don't know what (is happening), there's a little stress because I don't control this part.''

Foucault, a converted defensive lineman from LaSalle, Que., would welcome playing in the CFL, but admitted his focus right now is on the NFL because its draft is first on the calendar. The NFL draft will go May 8-10 and those players not selected could still be signed as priority free agents before CFL officials begin stockpiling their rosters with top prospects.

"I just want to be a football player,'' Foucault said. "It's a good thing to play in the NFL or CFL but I want to take my chances to go to the NFL because I want to try.''

The CFL draft remains first and foremost on Smith's radar. He'd prefer to play professionally as a defensive lineman but wouldn't refuse the opportunity to line up along the offensive line, either.

"I've played both but playing defensive tackle has got me a free education at university, it's got me to the CFL combine and I had a really great showing,'' he said. ``If a team drafted me and wanted me to play the O-line I would have no problem with that.

"I love playing football on the offensive or defensive side but defensive tackle is my natural position.''

Ainsworth, too, might find himself lining up in a different position in the CFL, either as a rush end or linebacker. While he'd prefer to remain on the defensive line, Ainsworth is also keeping an open mind about where he could be lining up as a pro.

"Defensive line is more my natural position, it's sort of what I have more of a passion for,'' he said. "But any team that comes knocking whatever they want me to play is what I''ll be playing.

"It's not an issue of what I want, it's an issue of where I can fit and best contribute.''

But Ainsworth definitely has a preference regarding when he'd like to hear his name called May 13.

"I'm hoping first round,'' he said. "Just to go in the first round would be awesome but realistically any team that picks you you're going to be happy to go there.

"It's just going to be a nice weight lifted knowing where you need to go. Then the real work starts there.''

Fan Comments
Why would you not accept the review AR? Why would they bother with doing audits on all teams if they allowed teams to go above the cap?
April 24, 2014 - 8:06am
als rule
S100: I don't believe anything that comes out of mark cohon's office!! ever since cohon allowed senator david braley to own the lions and argos in an eight team league anything out of the CFL head office is open to question!!
April 24, 2014 - 2:53pm
als rule
99.9% of all CIS players that head south for the top dollar return within a year or two to the CFL!! the players build up their bank accounts receive football instructions and return to canada as better players!!
April 23, 2014 - 8:07pm
als rule
since there was no comment section with the article on the salary cap review I'll comment here!! all teams respected the cap except not surprisingly the saskatchewan roughriders who went over by $17,000 and change!! NOW WILL THE CFL FANS ACCEPT THIS REVIEW AS TOTALLY ABOVE BOARD?!! remains to be seen BUT I for one question it!!
April 23, 2014 - 7:04pm
als rule
95% of the players from canada that sign NFL contracts return within a year to the CFL!! so boys take the money and the training and return to the CFL and be all you can be in the land of the maple leaf!!
April 23, 2014 - 6:23pm
The NFL gets what the NFL wants. With the salary and benefits way out there vs the CFL you can't blame them. I think if a player is on a active roster for 32 games they qualify for a monthly pension at a certain age. Hopefully they will recycle to the CFL at some point as many players have in the past.
April 23, 2014 - 3:17pm

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 >    

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