April 19, 2017

Stock Assessment: Singleton living up to his name

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

TORONTO — He has the pedigree, but did Matt Singleton show that he’s more than just a name at last month’s CFL Combine presented by adidas?

CFL.ca’s Marshall Ferguson believes that’s the case — that the younger brother of Alex put on a strong showing last month in Regina and should be coveted by teams at the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7.

Ferguson weighed in on linebackers and running backs heading into next month’s draft in the last of his three stock assessments following the combine.

MORE ON THE CFL COMBINE
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» For Comparison’s Sake: Projecting Johnny Augustine
» Stock Assessments: OL & DL | REC & DB

“Singleton grabbed notoriety for his last name before the combine due to brother Alex’s success with Calgary in his rookie campaign but made a name for himself at the combine by combining the all important linebacker trifecta of speed, strength and movement,” said Ferguson.

He has a name for himself and now we know he can play, but teams will still have to weigh Singleton’s unfamiliarity with the Canadian game before taking him in the draft.

Another player on the way up after a strong combine is Guelph running back Johnny Augustine, who also ran routes with the receivers on top of his running back duties in Regina.

“He basically planted Jordan Herdman on the one rep,” said Ferguson. “You like to see when a guy who looks like Augustine — and measures like Augustine — plays in a way that matches his physicality on paper.”

In all, Ferguson checked in on the draft stock of six running backs and six linebackers following their combine performances:

 

RB ANTHONY GOSSELINMatt Smith/CFL.ca
SHERBROOKE UNIVERSITY
STOCK: UP ⬆

Anthony Gosselin came to the national combine as a transitionary tight end and left as a legitimate running back prospect. His bench numbers were massive and he added a really nice 40-yard dash time. Size, speed and power — all signs of a back trending upwards.


 

RB JOHNNY AUGUSTINEJohany Jutras/CFL.ca
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
STOCK: UP ⬆

It’s well known by now that Augustine looks cut from marble and has wheels reminiscent of the roadrunner. Despite not hitting the 40-yard dash time he had in mind, the young man from Welland, Ont. established himself as a top-end pick.


 

RB JONAH PATAKIJohany Jutras/CFL.ca
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

This is less of an indictment on Pataki’s overall combine experience and more so me wishing there was a little bit more meat on that bone. Pataki can jump like few others but his lower body explosion seen in the vertical and broad didn’t reveal themselves in top-end speed or movement skills.


 

RB CAMERON FOXArthur Ward/CFL.ca
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

I was really pulling for Cameron Fox going into the Western Regional Combine. After watching his game film I liked him a lot, and still do! The problem is a 40-yard dash time of 5.09 seconds, which could prevent teams from falling in love with his game film.


 

RB SEAN THOMAS-ERLINGTONJohany Jutras/CFL.ca
UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL
STOCK: STABLE

Many fans – and analysts – at the combine became quick fans of Johnny Augustine for his improved route running and pass blocking skills while Sean Thomas-Erlington went about his work, putting down solid test after solid test en route to a really solid outing in movement tests, the bench press and the 40-yard dash. An all around ‘ready’ player.


 

RB ISAAC LAUZONBrianne Thicke/CFL.ca
SHERBROOKE UNIVERSITY
STOCK: SLEEPER

While everyone was falling in love with fellow Vert et Or backfield mate Anthony Gosselin, Lauzon was quietly running a 4.71-second 40-yard dash at 220 pounds. He could be a really nice value pick that contributes quickly on special teams.


 

LB ALEXANDRE CHEVRIERAlexandre_Chevrier_2017_Combine_1
SHERBROOKE UNIVERSITY
STOCK: UP ⬆

Chevrier is an undersized linebacker at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds but ran a great 40-yard dash time and seemed natural in both movement skills and running back pass coverage at the national combine.


 

LB MATT SINGLETONJohany Jutras/CFL.ca
BLACK HILLS STATE
STOCK: UP ⬆

Singleton grabbed notoriety for his last name before the combine due to brother Alex’s success with Calgary in his rookie campaign but made a name for himself at the combine by combining the all important linebacker trifecta of speed, strength and movement. Teams will have to weigh the pull of drafting a relatively fresh player who has only been to Canada twice and rarely watches Canadian football with the natural skill set he has developed while playing down south.


LB JORDAN HERDMANArthur Ward/CFL.ca
SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

Jordan Herdman is a fantastic football player — on film. In person, the spring was not kind to the 2017 Senior Bowl invitee from Simon Fraser. After a poor pro day, he decided to attend the national combine where things didn’t get much better.


 

LB NAKAS ONYEKAJohn Byrne/Nevada Athletics
WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

Similar to Herdman, Nakas Onyeka is a tough, tough football player with great film, but it just wasn’t all that evident in person during the national combine. Back-to-back pass rush reps against Johnny Augustine brought little success and his movement in the open field while covering didn’t seem natural.


 

LB CHRISTOPHE MULUMBAUniversity of Maine Athletics
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
STOCK: STABLE

He’s fast, he’s thick and he might have helped himself by remaining a bit of a mystery to teams after avoiding the combine to attend his pro day but regardless of the reasoning, Muumba is a really good linebacker. He is the top-rated linebacker in what I deem to be a down year for the linebacker group as a whole.


 

LB LEON CENERINIBrianne Thicke/CFL.ca
CARLETON UNIVERSITY
STOCK: SLEEPER

At 5-foot-9, 212 pounds, Leon Cenerini of the Carleton Ravens ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash and put up 21 reps on the bench press. One has to wonder if the REDBLACKS would be interested in another local kid to rip up and down the field on special teams making tackles to excite the home crowd on their quest for a home Grey Cup appearance.