TORONTO — With the 2011 Canadian Draft set for this Sunday, May 8, CFL.ca takes a look back at the last ten #1 overall draft selections:
2010 – Shomari Williams, Saskatchewan Roughriders (Currently in Saskatchewan) Williams dressed for all 18 games and saw regular action in his rookie season with the Riders contributing 15 tackles and eight special teams tackles. In college Williams started six games at defensive end for the Queen’s Gaels in 2009 and led the team in quarterback sacks after transferring to the team from Houston of the NCAA. Williams helped the Gaels win the Vanier Cup in 2009 and was named the MVP of the Mitchell Bowl.
2009 – Simeon Rottier, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Currently in Hamilton) Rottier was a first team All-Canadian for the Alberta Golden Bears in 2008 prior to being selected first overall by the Ticats in 2009. He started all 18 games for the Ticats last season on an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the CFL. He began the season as the starting right tackle before moving to right guard in Week 5. In University Rottier was also a second team All-Canadian For Alberta in 2007 and a three time Canada West All-Star.
2008 – Dylan Barker, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Currently in Hamilton) Barker was a standout defensive back at the University of Saskatchewan when the Ticats selected him with the first overall pick in the 2008 Draft. Barker missed the entire 2008 season with a broken leg before bouncing back in 2009 to lead the CFL with a league record-tying 37 special teams tackles. In 2010 Barker became the Ticats starting safety and notched 37 tackles, one sack and three interceptions.
2007 – Chris Bauman, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Currently in Edmonton) Bauman was an All-Canadian receiver at the University of Regina when the Ticats selected him with the first overall pick in the 2007 Draft. Bauman signed with the Edmonton Eskimos as a free agent during the off-season after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Ticats. He notched five cathes for 108 yards in last year’s Eastern Semi-Final and has picked up 1,511 receiving yards on 114 catches with six touchdowns in his career.
2006 – Adam Braidwood, Edmonton Eskimos (Currently out of the CFL) Braidwood was dominant at the 2006 CFL Evaluation Camp and ultimately became the top overall pick as selected by the Edmonton Eskimos. Braidwood’s rookie campaign was tremendous and he was the Eskimos’ nominee for Rookie of the Year. Braidwood continued to develop in his second season in the CFL as a force at defensive end. Braidwood missed the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons due to injury before returning to the Eskimos last season. Off-field issues led to his release during the off-season.
2005 – Miguel Robede, Calgary Stampeders (Currently in Calgary) Robede was a force for the Laval Rouge et Or when he was selected first overall by the Calgary Stampeders in the 2005 Draft. Robede played his first game for the Stamps during the 2006 season and took a couple of years to find his groove at the professional level. He had his best season in 2008, where he appeared in every single game for the Stamps and finished 2008 tied for the team lead in sacks with five as the Stamps would go on to win the Grey Cup. Robede picked up 11 tackles and two sacks in 12 games with the Stamps last season.
2004 – Wayne Smith, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Currently in Hamilton) The Hamilton Ticats selected Appalachian State University’s Wayne Smith with the first overall pick in the 2004 Canadian Draft. Smith began his career with the Ticats before a 2007 trade sent him west to Saskatchewan. Smith is back with the Ticats and looking to bounce back after being hampered by injuries for most of the last two seasons.
2003 – Steven Morley, Calgary Stampeders (Currently in Winnipeg) Morley was a highly touted draft pick out of Saint Mary’s University in the 2003 Canadian Draft. The two-time Vanier Cup Champion bounced between the CFL, NFL and NFLE in the early stages of his career before joining the Toronto Argonauts at the start of the 2007 season. He signed a deal as a free agent with Winnipeg prior to the 2009 and started all 18 games at left tackle for the Bombers that season. Last season Morley moved inside and started 18 games at right guard for the Bombers.
2002 – Alexandre Gauthier, Ottawa Renegades (Currently in Saskatchewan) The Ottawa Renegades made Laval’s Alexandre Gauthier the top selection in the 2002 Canadian Draft. Gauthier struggled in Ottawa but has blossomed with age turning into one of the top left tackles in the CFL. Since 2006 he has started in 90 consecutive regular season games during stints with Calgary, Winnipeg and Hamilton. Gauthier was an East division All-Star with Winnipeg in 2007. After spending the last two seasons in Hamilton Gauthier was snatched up in free agency by the Roughriders this off-season.
2001 – Scott Schultz, Saskatchewan Roughriders (retired) Schultz was the second top pick in a row by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After missing the first half of back-to-back seasons due to stints in the NFL (San Diego & Pittsburgh), Schultz emerged as a fan favourite in Regina. One of the best defensive tackles in the CFL during his tenure, Schultz recorded 178 tackles and 35 career sacks. He missed only one regular season game since joining the Riders full time in 2003. Schultz was also part of the Riders 2007 Grey Cup winning team. Schultz announced his retirement from the CFL five games into the 2009 season.