The annual Canadian Football League Draft can be peculiar. The 2011 edition was no exception to that as we learn in hindsight who were the biggest steals, snubs and home runs of the draft.
In attempting to re-draft 2011 I looked almost entirely at quality of player and not necessarily fit or depth chart as ever team does in the moment. Instead, lets take a look at the best available as discovered through the last six CFL seasons:
|1||WPG||TYLER HOLMES||OL||7th Overall|
|Holmes has become a rock solid member of the Toronto Argonauts and a CFL East division all star.
In the last three seasons he has not missed a regular season start and has yet to peak.
|2||EDM||HENOC MUAMBA||LB||1st Overall|
|Muamba gave the Winnipeg Blue Bombers three sensational seasons after being drafted
posting 15 special teams tackles in 2011 before adding 20 special teams tackles in back to back seasons and
amassing 103 tackles in 2013, his best CFL season to date.
|3||CGY||MATT O’DONNELL||OL||15th Overall|
|We all know the value of a national offensive lineman. O’Donnell jumps from his original draft spot of 15th to 3rd
for two reasons. First, we now know he is in the CFL after testing NFL waters with the Cincinnati Bengals. Second,
we’ve seen how solid he has been for the green and gold. Not to mention how seamlessly he kicked inside from the tackle
position he owned for the Queen’s Gaels.
|4||WPG||ANTHONY PARKER||WR||3rd Overall|
|Parker has developed nicely in the offensive bubble that Dave Dickenson and the Calgary Stampeders call home. Due to his well
rounded skill set I believe Parker could have landed with any team in the first round and gone on to have success when healthy.
|5||EDM||CRAIG BUTLER||DB||12th Overall|
|Craig Butler always feels underrated. After being taken by the Riders Butler became an immediate impact player averaging
double digit social teams tackles and finding a home at free safety. Since coming to Hamilton Butler has been the silent assassin
of the secondary making calls and working hand in hand with Emmanuel Davis during the most productive season of Davis’ career.
Perhaps the biggest sign Butler should have been taken higher was the Ticats secondary inconsistency with him out to injury for all of 2016.
|6||BC||MARCO IANUZZI||WR||6th Overall|
|Ianuzzi found the perfect home in Vancouver and has produced as expected while being a model member of the team.
No need to re-draft one of Wally’s guys anywhere else.
|7||TOR||BRAD SINOPOLI||WR||29th Overall|
|Brad Siniopoli came out of the Ottawa Gee-Gees program as a quarterback which greatly complicated his draft stock. That doesn’t
stop me from being amazed someone didn’t just look into the guys eyes and realize how driven he was to be great regardless of
position or assignment. Imagine him on the 100th Grey Cup winning Argos squad sitting in space and expanding the flats for
a moustachioed Ricky Ray.
|8||MTL||JUNIOR TURNER||DL||9th Overall|
|Turner blew up the national combine in 2011 and has not played less than half the schedule for Calgary since being drafted 9th in 2011.
He has registered at least one sack a season with a maximum of four in his rookie campaign and has been credited for more than 20
tackles in four of his six CFL seasons.
|9||CGY||SCOTT MITCHELL||OL||2nd Overall|
|After being the top ranked prospect in the CFL scouting bureau and showing well at the national combine this Rice Owl alum went
just behind Henoc Muamba, 2nd overall in 2011. While productive I believe there are other names that could have meant more
to a team in the first round.
|10||HAM||PHILLIP BLAKE||OL||23rd Overall|
|RG III is on the Tiger-Cats negotiation list. Why not reunite him six years later with his centre from the Baylor Bears? Blake has
been effective for the Alouettes since arriving in 2015 playing in all regular season games in both 2015 and 2016.
|11||BC||CHRIS MILO||K/P||30th Overall|
|The Roughriders got great value out of Milo four four seasons after taking him 30th in 2011. In that time Milo made 119 converts
without missing one and twice had a field goal percentage above 84%. A considerably more enticing CFL draft pick than kicker Brody
McKnight who was taken 8th overall in 2011, 22 picks ahead of Milo only to play for five teams in two seasons before leaving the CFL in 2013.
|12||SSK||VAGHAN MARTIN||DL||39th Overall|
|Martin spent a considerable amount of time in the NFL before finally returning north to the Montreal Alouettes in 2016. Despite only
having eight tackles in 2016 I believe Martin will have a much better 2017 and he continues to adjust back to the CFL game. The NFL interest
that pushed him backwards to the 39th pick in 2011 was clearly correct but for interest sake let’s bump him forward and see what he looks like
at the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina.
|13||HAM||GREGORY ALEXANDRE||DL||35th Overall|
|Alexandre spent last season between two clubs in Edmonton and Saskatchewan and has yet to find his productive step but is exactly the type
of national depth rotation player every team needs. If Hamilton took Alexandre here one wonders if Arnaud Gascon-Nadon would have
received the black and gold call a year later.
|14||EDM||ZANDER ROBINSON||TE||22nd Overall|
|Originally a defensive lineman, Robinson has made the somewhat dubious transition to fullback in Edmonton since spending his
early CFL days in Toronto registering the odd special teams tackle. Let’s give him to the green and gold, make the transition earlier and
wonder what could have been.
|15||SSK||NATE COEHOORN||WR||5th Overall|
|Coehoorn retired this past week citing health concerns but produced enough in his time in Edmonton to validate remaining in the
top two rounds. Nate leaves the CFL 212 catches for 2379 yards, 6 touchdowns and a 2015 Grey Cup ring
|16||MTL||MATT WALTER||RB||34th Overall|
|Walter also retired this past week after six seasons of CFL service and turned out to be the perfect compliment to various starters in his time
with Calgary and Saskatchewan. While a national skill position player is rarely a hot commodity Walters was a sound special teamer and
effective in spot duty in the backfield leading to a significant jump from his original draft stock.