TORONTO — For the third time in a row, Mississippi State’s Justin Senior is at the top of the CFL Scouting Bureau ranking.
On Thursday, the league revealed its third and final ranking of the top 20 eligible prospects for the 2017 CFL Draft.
While the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Senior remains a steady fixture, Thursday’s ranking isn’t without its movers and shakers.
UCLA defensive lineman Eli Ankou (2) and Manitoba offensive lineman Geoff Gray (3) occupy new positions inside the list’s top three, while big names in Danny Vandervoort (4) and Mason Woods (8) have also moved up.
Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (5) gained the most ground with his move from 11th to fifth.
The final installment of the rankings comes on the heels of the CFL Combine presented by adidas in Regina last month.
The 2017 CFL Draft will be held on May 7.
The entire ranking can be seen below:
Port Coquitlam, B.C.
North York, Ont.
Medicine Hat, Alta.
Senior went wire-to-wire as the top-rated prospect for the 2017 CFL Draft. The Montreal native was named the top offensive lineman at Mississippi State after starting 39 games over a span of three seasons. Senior was honoured not only for his play on the field but off the field, where he was a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honour Roll and was invited to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
Ankou jumped up a spot to second on the scouting bureau — despite not taking part in the combine. The Ottawa native appeared in 10 games this year for the Bruins, starting eight. In his collegiate career he amassed 46 solo tackles and 41 assisted tackles.
Gray, who rose two spots to third, anchored the Bisons’ offensive line where he was named U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian and played in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Top-rated receiver Vandervoort jumped up three positions following his CFL Combine performance. The 6-foot-1 receiver from McMaster accumulated 631 yards and five touchdown receptions during regular season play. The Barrie, Ont. native was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and a U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian.
McMaster’s Danny Vandervoort likely helped his stock with a strong combine performance (Arthur Ward/CFL.ca)
Rounding out the top five is Ekakitie, who was honoured with ‘The Finish Strong’ award after his senior season with Iowa. The defensive lineman accumulated 21 solo tackles and 18 assisted tackles, including two for a loss of seven yards.
The top 20 list is capped off by five newcomers to the ranking, bookended by two offensive linemen from the Calgary Dinos in Braden Schram (16) and Connor McGough (20).
The CFL Scouting Bureau releases its rankings three times each year: in September, December and April. It is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams.
By the Numbers
The April rankings include seven defensive linemen, six offensive linemen, two receivers, two defensive backs, a linebacker, a running back and a tight end.
There are 17 universities represented on the list with two schools featuring multiple selections: Calgary (3) and McMaster (2). Ten U SPORTS schools and seven NCAA schools are represented in the rankings.
Five new prospects joined the Scouting Bureau rankings: Braden Schram (No. 16), Johnny Augustine (No. 17), Fabion Foote (No. 18), Dondre Wright (No. 19) and Connor McGough (No. 20).
2016 CFL Draft first overall selection Josiah St. John was ranked fifth in the April rankings one year ago.
All 20 prospects from last season’s April CFL Scouting Bureau rankings were selected in the 2016 CFL Draft including seven of eight first round draft selections.