March 29, 2013

Stock Assessment: Forde’s look at the offence

For the second and final installment of the 2013 edition of stock up, stock down or stock hold with TSN Canadian Football League analyst Duane Forde, we focus on the offensive players eligible for the upcoming CFL Draft.

Steven Lumbala
Running Back
5’10” 216 pounds

Forde: “Steven Lumbala came into the 2012 season with a chance to kind of – where he would want to go with his stock – show that he could maybe be the next Canadian to be a starting running back in the CFL. I don’t think his regular season necessarily went that way and I don’t think his combine went way. I would’ve liked for Lumbala to run better than he did and obviously getting hurt doesn’t really help.”

“For Steven there is a ton of very good game film over the course of four years, but as I’ve said my concern is that his game film from his first three years might actually be better than his game film from his fourth and draft year. You have to question whether that was injuries or whether part of that was for the first three years he was sharing the backfield with guys like Matt Walter and at one point it was him, Walter and Anthony Woodson all in the same backfield. You question whether he’s not in his best position as an every down back. But he’s a guy based on what you’ve seen over that whole four-year picture, I think he’s a guy you have to take a long hard look at. Overall I think he’s still the number one guy in the running back group.”

Rotrand Sene
Running Back
5’9” 212 pounds

Forde: “You could say Rotrand Sene is down a little bit. Based on what Sene has done in college he’s another guy that you would almost argue with him because he hasn’t been asked to block, he hasn’t been asked to catch the ball in four years, you wanted to see him show that he is a real athletic guy, an explosive guy, who might be able to run the ball a little bit for you. But he didn’t show that and his 40-yard time was not good.”

Brendan Gillanders
Running Back
6’1” 203 pounds

Forde: “A guy who’s stock really improved for me is Brendan Gillanders because he tested so well. He showed himself as the explosive athlete that youwould’ve wanted Lumbala to demonstrate himself as in the testing. Part of the knock on Gillanders through four years has been injuries, so it wasn’t ideal for him to come to the combine and get injured. In spite of the injury, I think people talk about him a little more and take a longer look at him now than they might have. People aren’t going to hurry to look at a Canadian running back, but I think now you realize how athletic he is, if you didn’t realize it before, and maybe take a little bit of a longer look at him. The injury is not ideal when that’s been part of the knock on him through his college career. He’s been a high-end guy, but injuries have been a problem.”

Isaac Dell
Running Back
5’11” 214 pounds
Wilfrid Laurier

Forde: “Based traditionally on what the fullback role has been in the Laurier offence I think very much so, if you’re looking for a Patrick Lavoie-type who’s a fullback, who can occasionally release into the pattern, catch the football and block a little bit, offer you that versatility, I think Isaac Dell is probably the closest thing to Lavoie in this draft.”

Eddie Houghton
Running Back
6’1” 225 pounds
Holy Cross

Forde: “He’s a guy, for me, who’s stock was higher three or four years ago within this class than it was by the end of his college career. He probably played more as a freshman than he did as a senior. Sometimes that just happens, depending on who gets recruited in the years after you that sometimes you find yourself in the right place at the right time as a freshman, then somebody better comes along in a subsequent recruiting class and that’s life.”

Matt Sewell
Offensive Line
6’7” 339 pounds

Forde: “The fact remains that he will still be the first offensive lineman off the board. The only thing that possibly alters that hinges on what goes on with his NFL hopes. A guy his size who moves fairly well, and just in terms of tools nobody else really has what Sewell possesses. Nobody else in the draft is what he is.”

Stock Assessment: Defence’s Justin Dunk also sat down with TSN’s Duane Forde to see who’s stock went up, which went down and which stayed static on the defensive side of the ball heading into the Draft.


“Yeah I think there was an opportunity for him to cement himself, but by the same token, with the nature of the CFL Draft, the better he would’ve done probably both helps him and hurts him. His one-on-ones at the combine were rough. But if he comes in and is the offensive version of what Linden Gaydosh did, at his size, the fear then becomes or the likelihood then becomes, Matt Sewell is an NFL guy and it almost makes teams more weary. In a way by maybe not having the greatest combine, it might be a good thing from a CFL point of view and increases the likelihood of him being here.”

Chris Mercer
Offensive Line
6’6” 305 pounds

Forde: “The only guy who improved his stock during the one-on-ones was Chris Mercer. Mercer is a guy that I’ve liked for a couple years and he’s been on my radar for a couple years. He was a pretty good junior before he went to the University of Regina.”

“I’ve liked him for a while and he hasn’t gotten a lot of hype. Part of that comes from being overshadowed by playing on the same line as Brett Jones who is one of those guys that everybody talks about. I thought Mercer was very good. And one of the things that Mercer has that I love is that he plays with a little bit of an edge and I like that in an offensive lineman. “

Corey Watman 
Offensive Line
6’1” 285 pounds
Eastern Michigan

Forde: “Corey Watman has played a lot at Eastern Michigan and has a lot of film. Watman as an NCAA Division-One guy and a guy who has been a three-year starter down in the states, you came in with the expectation that he was going to be dominant in one-on-ones. But it’s a defensive drill, and for Watman, I think the yard made a difference in his timing. Here’s a guy who is used to having someone right on him and it’s different. He struggled a little bit and had a rough time in the one-on-ones. His one-on-one showing hurts him because it’s the first time with all eyes on him and a lot of people really watching him live for the first time. Watman’s stock went down with an opportunity to move up that he didn’t necessarily grasp. But, again, it’s one day in an evaluation that’s based on four years.”

Brett Jones
Offensive Line
6’1” 307 pounds
Regina – Stock Hold

Forde: “I would’ve like to have seen Brett Jones do better in the one-on-ones, but you’re not going to evaluate their whole weekend or even their entire draft stock just on the one-on-ones.”

Matthew Albright
Offensive Line
6’4” 298 pounds
Saint Mary’s

Forde: “Albright surprised me by how athletic he is. I think for offensive linemen CFL teams aren’t going to look for most of those guys to become starters for a couple years. You talk about potential and I think he’s a guy who definitely showed some of that at the combine.”

Matt Vonk
Offensive Line
6’3” 289 pounds

Forde: “Vonk is a little bit light, but he’s a pretty athletic guy. He’s got a frame where he could probably play at 300 pounds. He is probably a centre and could maybe help out at guard a little bit. On his athleticism alone he’s certainly intriguing.”

Seydou Junior Haidara
6’0” 206 pounds

Forde: “The guy I liked best of the receivers, and this is just a personal taste thing, in terms of what I liked, is Haidara. I like that he is a big body, he is physical and he runs pretty well for his size. He was a really highly recruited guy coming out of high school. I looked back to an article I wrote when this draft class was all freshmen and he was a guy that I had regarded really highly. He’s turned into a really good player. He went through a period, as some receivers do, with dropped balls, but I liked what he became in his senior year.”

Alex Anthony
6’1” 207 pounds
Wilfrid Laurier

Forde: “I’m an Alex Anthony fan. I always liked him as a player and I liked seeing him again. Anthony is a guy who has been fairly high on my radar since coming out of high school. Anthony was talked about as a guy who had a possibility of going south and ended up at Laurier. He kind of got derailed by an injury in his third year, but I thought watching him, looking specifically at his 40 times at the East West Bowl last year and at the combine this year, to me he’s healthy again. He’s a pretty smooth receiver and a guy who can make some big plays given the opportunity.”

Yannick Morin Plante
6’0” 189 pounds

Forde: “We knew he was a burner and that’s what separates him from the rest of the receiver group. He showed his strength by doing well on the bench, so he’s not just a skinny fast guy. Morin Plante’s stock went up a little bit because he proved to be one of the fastest guys at the combine, he has good size and has been a productive player.”

Stephen Adekolu
6’3” 196 pounds

Forde: “One of my disappointments of the weekend, I thought it was very unfortunate, that Stephen Adekolu got hurt. There are no real first round locks among the receivers this year, where in past years we’ve had that. I find it very wide open among the receivers.”

“I look at Adekolu and the thing he reminded me of a little bit at my combine this year was Spencer Watt. A guy who was at my combine in 2010 that no one could cover and all of a sudden Spencer Watt was a third round pick. I saw a lo
t of that with Stephen Adekolu where he was the guy that nobody could cover. I thought here’s a guy who runs pretty well, is strong, big and I would’ve liked to have seen him go up against the same competition as the other receivers on Sunday of the combine.”

Mike DiCroce
5’10” 189 pounds

Forde: “I thought DiCroce, particularly by running well, and I thought he had a couple of good one-on-one reps, had a good combine. I thought for DiCroce the big question mark was where he was health-wise after the season he had last year. He was more of a question mark than a low grade for me coming in. I think he probably lived up to closer to the higher side of what he is.” 

“My one hesitation with Mike, compared to a kid like Haidara, is I think Mike is going to be limited to only being a Z (outside) receiver, I don’t think he’s going to be a guy who can play in the slot. He has trouble getting off the jam and I saw that still existed with the guys that were most physical with him during the one-on-ones on Sunday of the combine. He still has some trouble getting off of the jam. That’s why I see him as a guy that’s probably just going to be a Z receiver.”

“Other than my one hesitation with him, I think you saw mostly positive from Mike DiCroce. I think you can certainly qualify that as his stock up from the question mark that he had coming in. Right now he’s closer to the guy who was a Hec Crighton finalist in 2011 than the guy who was injured in 2012.”