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March 16, 2018

Mock 1.0: Who will the Alouettes take first?

Rice University

TORONTO — One of the off-season’s marquee events, the CFL Draft is two months away.

A lot can change between now and May 3 when teams will get their pick of the top draft-eligible amateur talent in Canada, but it’s never too early to speculate.

With the CFL Scouting Combine presented by adidas fast approaching, CFL.ca’s Marshall Ferguson takes his first look at how things are shaping up in his Mock Draft 1.0:

ROUND 1

1. MONTREAL
PETER GODBER
OL | RICE

Montreal doesn’t need to do anything crazy with the first pick. Just take the best available consistent starter and continue building a base of national talent which will protect projected starting quarterback Josh Freeman and open holes for dynamic running back Tyrell Sutton.

Godber is a physical blocker likely capable of earring a sizeable role at some point in his first year and should be in consideration after the CFL National Scouting Combine presented by adidas from the Alouettes.

2. HAMILTON
MARK CHAPMAN
REC | CENTRAL MICHIGAN

Eventually the Ticats will have to draft a national receiver to fill the void of Andy Fantuz. Shamawd Chambers has taken on the national starting receiver role but the multiple skill set of Chapman could fit June Jones’ Black and Gold offence sooner rather than later.

3. BC
DAKODA SHEPLEY
OL | UBC

The Lions’ biggest flaw last year was not quarterback Jonathon Jennings, but those protecting him. Shepley is a big physical, and most importantly athletic, blocker with local roots who can help the Lions quickly alongside former first round draft picks, offensive linemen Hunter Steward and Charles Vaillancourt.

4. OTTAWA
MARK KORTE
OL | ALBERTA

Korte attended the East-West Shrine Bowl this year as one of two Canadians invited to the event. His stock is well known and his well-rounded box of tools could mimic that of Ottawa’s first round pick Evan Johnson last year.

5. SASKATCHEWAN
JULIEN LAURENT
DL | GEORGIA STATE

The Riders only have two picks in the first 35 selections as it stands right now so they’ll need to make the most of them. In Julien Laurent, Chris Jones’ defence would add a stout defensive tackle to the rotation employed by Saskatchewan’s defensive line capable of taking on double teams and allowing newly acquired Charleston Hughes and veteran Willie Jefferson to do what they do best, embarrass tackles in one-on-one situations.

6. EDMONTON
GODFREY ONYEKA
DB | LAURIER

Godfrey Onyeka says he should be the first overall pick and has a chance to prove why at Mark’s CFL Week in Winnipeg but for now I believe he’ll have to settle for being the first defensive back off the board to Edmonton who continue to cultivate a talented group of young national ball hawks.

7. WINNIPEG
KENE ONYEKA
DL | CARLETON

When one Onyeka goes the other likely does as well. Kene is a talented pass rusher capable of developing into a solid piece to a CFL team’s puzzle. Last year, Winnipeg took Faith Ekakitie early and could dip their toes in the defensive line water again in 2018.

8. CALGARY
TREY RUTHERFORD
OL | UCONN

Last year Calgary utilized the somewhat nontraditional lineup of international interior lineman and national tackles for much of the year. Rutherford is a risk depending on NFL interest but could be worth it should he get to Cowtown.

9. TORONTO
REGIS CIBASU
REC | MONTREAL

He’s a physical specimen with a skill set capable of doing just about anything on offence and special teams. Regis Cibasu is likely a better talent than 9th overall but fit is the key here. The Argos offence could benefit from the multiplicity of national skill position players like Coombs, Cross, Ralph and Cibasu allowing unique personnel packages.

 

ROUND 2

1 (10). HAMILTON
RYAN HUNTER
OL | BOWLING GREEN

Brandon Revenberg was a homer for the Ticats in the 2016 draft and went on to seamlessly replace Peter Dyakowski at left guard. While the Ticats are more than solidified at that spot with Ryan Bomben, Landon Rice and Braden Schram, it never hurts to add another talented option capable of replacing Revenberg at guard should he move to centre when Mike Filer needs a moment.

2 (11). HAMILTON
NELKAS KWEMO
LB | QUEEN’S

Big, fast, mobile and instinctive. Nelkas Kwemo wouldn’t get many reps at linebacker in Hamilton with Simoni Lawrence, Larry Dean and Abdul Kanneh owning those key roles but he is everything newly-named special teams coordinator Craig Butler could ever want in a body type to teach the CFL game while filling the void of free agency departure Mitch Barnett.

3 (12). BC
JACKSON BENNETT
LB | OTTAWA

Much like Kwemo, Jackson Bennett has a great skill set and speed to burn. The Lions picked up Jordan Herdman last year who worked his way into special teams. Bennett could add that same ability to Ed Hervey’s rebuilt Lions roster given the opportunity.

4 (13). OTTAWA
NORVELL McGLAUN
DL | INDIANA STATE

McGlaun is a bit undersized but has quick hands and a lower half nearly impossible to over power especially for taller offensive lineman. A smart pick for any team in the teens including Ottawa.

5 (14). SASKATCHEWAN
RASHAUN SIMONISE
REC | CALGARY

Simonise has the type of game few national receivers do. Eventually – but hopefully not anytime soon – Rob Bagg will vacate his Riders role and with Nic Demski gone to Winnipeg in free agency, the Riders could look to acquire a dynamic playmaker in Simonise.

6 (15). HAMILTON
SEAN HARRINGTON
LB | MICHIGAN STATE

Harrington’s big frame and special teams experience, including starting thirteen games this past season on specials, should be enough with a good weekend in Winnipeg to garner a top twenty selection.

7 (16). WINNIPEG
MARCO DUBOIS
WR | LAVAL

Dubois tested so much better than all the other receivers at Montreal’s Eastern Regional Combine that he left evaluaters no choice but to sign his ticket to Mark’s CFL Week. Winnipeg’s national receiver role remains a revolving door despite adding Nic Demski and Dubois just might be the next solution. Something the Bombers have been great at finding with names like Julian Feoli-Gudino and Matt Coates as of late.

8 (17). CALGARY
DAN PETERMANN
REC | MCMASTER

Petermann might be the most elusive offensive skill position player in the entire draft and has committed himself to achieving numbers at the combine which represent that. Put the ball in his hands around the line of scrimmage and good things will happen for Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stampeders.

 

9 (18). MONTREAL
DARIUS CIRACO
OL | CALGARY

After Sean McEwen has become the rock of the Argos offensive line Toronto could do worse than solidifying offensive line depth with Burlington native Darius Ciraco.

 

ROUND 3

1 (19). MONTREAL
ANDREW PICKETT
OL | GUELPH

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A big man with good feet from the Guelph offensive line. Pickett represents the Gryphons’ best shot at being drafted on offensive or defensive line this year and should not make it out of the late teens at the latest.

2 (20). HAMILTON
ALEX TAYLOR
RB | WESTERN

The first running back taken off the board this year should be Alex Taylor. Despite the running back devaluation in recent years, including the Ticats taking Sean Thomas-Erlington late and Johnny Augustine falling off the map last May, Taylor should earn the right in Winnipeg’s national showcase to find a home before the mid way point of the draft. Behind Mercer Timmis and Thomas-Erlington in the Tiger-Cats lineup would be a nice fit.

3 (21). BC
RYAN SCEVIOUR
OL | CALGARY

Again, the Lions need offensive line help. I don’t think anyone in Vancouver would be angry if they spent the majority of picks finding possible solutions to their biggest issue.

4 (22). OTTAWA
HARRY McMASTER
REC | WESTERN

McMaster was one of the Mustangs key weapons in a successful Vanier Cup run and earned his way to the national combine the hard way through the Ontario Regional. Some scoffed at his testing numbers but McMaster is a playmaker and if he makes a couple of impressive grabs in late March the same way he did in late November of 2017 he could go before the end of the third round.

5 (23). MONTREAL
JORDAN BEAULIEU
DB | WESTERN

Last year the Alouettes took Henderson State defensive back Dondre Wright. With picks already invested in their offensive line, Kavis Reed and his staff could turn to the defensive backfield where Beaulieu’s Tasmanian Devil-style and great testing numbers should impress immediately on special teams.
 

6 (24). TORONTO
JUSTIN HOWELL
DB | CARLETON

Howell looks the part in every sense. Similar to former Ravens defensive backs Nate Hamlin and Tunde Adeleke, Howell should arrive to any training camp he makes prepared for the opportunity and equipped to take on all challenges. Toronto could get a steal in the mid twenties with Howell.

7 (25). CALGARY
CHRISTOPHER AMOAH
RB | LAVAL

The Calgary Stampeders backfield is open for business. With Jerome Messam gone to Saskatchewan in free agency, Roy Finch and Terry Williams will get many carries but only Ante Milanovich-Litre and William Langlais would stand between Amoah and big league carries by a national.

8 (26). WINNIPEG
PAUL KOZACHUK
LB | TORONTO

Anyone who says you CAN have enough special teams depth is lying to you. Kozachuk impressed at the Ontario Regional Combine and with a solid showing in special teams drills at the national combine, he could become a top thirty pick.