In what was thought by many to be the one of the deepest talent pools in recent memory, the BC Lions picked up nine players today in their largest one-day haul in the Canadian Draft since 1999.
Things got off to a wild start Sunday with no fewer than 12 selections changing hands between the Toronto Argonauts, Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions before a single name was called by CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.
The Lions started the day by exchanging four selections with the Toronto Argonauts and scored early with significant pick-ups despite moving down a notch in the first round from third overall to fourth.
“This is a great day for our club, our fans and for nine young men who have very bright football futures ahead of them,” said Lions’ GM and head coach, Wally Buono.
The Black and Orange selected highly touted offensive lineman Danny Watkins of Baylor University with the fourth overall pick, but will wait a year for him to make an appearance at training camp in 2011 after he plays out his NCAA eligibility this year.
“Danny has an opportunity to be a dominant player in this league for a long time,” said Buono.”We’ll track his progress at Baylor this year and welcome him with open arms next spring.”
Rumored by many to be the Lions’ first round target, slotback Shawn Gore went 10th overall despite the possibility the Bishop’s grad may land an NFL job with the Green Bay Packers. He is the third player from the Bishop’s program to be selected by the Leos in the past two drafts.
“Shawn is arguably the best receiver in the draft,” noted Buono. “He’s got some opportunities down south and we’ll wish him the best with those, but he’s too good to let slide by to another team.”
The Leos picked up a pair of defenders out of the University of Montreal as linebacker Joash Gesse (pronounced josh jesse) and corner back Hamid Mahmoudi were selected 16th and 20th overall respectively.
“Joash has had a few injuries which didn’t help him at the Evaluation Camp this year,” admits Buono. “What we have seen on film however, tells us that he is a strong, physical playmaker with great football instincts.”
“Hamid will come in and compete for a wide side cornerback position with Davis Sanchez. He had 13 interceptions over a little over three years so he definitely has a knack for big plays.”
Two more receivers were drafted in the fourth round as the Lions grabbed Tusculum College’s Nate Binder and St.Francis Xavier’s Akeem Foster with the 24th and 25th selections.
The Lions had just a single selection in the fifth round and used it to pick up St. Francis Xavier defensive back Cauchy Muamba and then wrapped the 2010 Canadian Draft by choosing St. Mary’s offensive lineman Adam Baboulas and receiver Matt Chapdelaine, son of Lions offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine.
“Overall I’m not sure I have seen a better all-round draft not only for our club but all the teams in our league,” said Buono. “I think it speaks well of the players being developed in Canada and the future of our game.”
For complete results of the 2010 CFL Canadian Draft click here.