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April 13, 2018

Stock Assessment: Is Simonise the mystery of the draft?

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

Stock assessments continue as we break down some of the draft’s receivers and defensive backs.

Scouts and general managers have a few more weeks to process the film and testing results they’ve gathered on the country’s top draft-eligible prospects. Then it’s time for the draft, as many of these amateur athletes find new homes on May 3.

The CFL Scouting Combine presented by adidas painted part of the prospect picture last month in Winnipeg. Who’s trending up and who’s trending down?

REC DANIEL PETERMANN
McMASTER UNIVERSITY
STOCK: UP ⬆

Petermann ran one of the best 40-yard dash times at the national combine and combined it with on-field speed in the one-on-ones. He has limited experience on special teams but a low and powerful frame capable of holding his own early on which will help his draft stock further.

REC MARK CHAPMAN
CENTRAL MICHIGAN
STOCK: UP ⬆

Chapman is the best receiver in this draft. The word that most simply describes Chapman is smooth. He always seems to have a plan in mind before putting a foot in the ground and ran routes at the national combine that looked like his mind and feet were more than a couple steps ahead of defensive backs.

Mark Chapman continues to rise on draft boards after a strong showing in Winnipeg (Jason Halstead/CFL.ca)

REC HARRY McMASTER
WESTERN UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

McMaster is a Vanier Cup Champion and advanced from the Ontario Regional Combine to the national show in Winnipeg thanks to a couple of great over-the-shoulder catches. Tracking the ball is Harry’s best skill but his testing numbers and subsequent inability to separate against elite talent at the national combine left something to be desired.

REC ARCHELAUS JACK
SAINT MARY’S UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

Jack has experienced a rocky road to this point in his football life. Bouncing around from junior programs to a CFL practice roster and eventually a controversial year in U Sports based on eligibility questions. His game is sound but appeared one dimensional in a side-by-side comparison with some more well rounded and dynamic receivers.

REC MARCO DUBOIS
LAVAL UNIVERSITY
STOCK: STABLE

He is what he is. A sensational special teams tactician with work to do refining route running technique and setups. Dubois will be drafted in the first half of the draft to a team in need of a gunner and developmental receiver.

If he learns receiver with the same understanding he dominates special teams he’ll become a very good CFL player.

Marco Dubois turned heads with his performance at the Eastern Regional Combine (Brianna Thicke/CFL.ca)

REC WAVEY SCHELL
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
STOCK: SLEEPER

Schell’s name has barley been mentioned during the winter evaluation process but he has good size, tested well and has showed flashes of receiving ability at times. Under the radar and maybe for good reason, but a name to know just in case.

REC RASHAUN SIMONISE
OKANAGAN
STOCK: MYSTERY

Simonise was expected by many to blow up the combine. He did not, but that doesn’t change the potential possessed and the strong hands he owns despite having a slight frame. I don’t think we will have a final answer on what type of pro Simonise is for a couple of years.

DB JORDAN BEAULIEU
WESTERN UNIVERSITY
STOCK: UP ⬆

Beaulieu brought energy, enthusiasm and attitude to an otherwise subdued defensive backs group at the national combine. He is a monster on special teams despite being slightly undersized and loves the physicality of the game. Think former Mustang safety Craig Butler with a bit less burst and size.

DB ISAIAH GUZYLAK-MESSAM
WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY
STOCK: UP ⬆

Guzylak-Messam is a physical and aggressive defensive back with a mean streak when reaching the ball carrier. He throws around his weight well and moves better than most.

Isaiah Guzylak-Messam proved he’s among the draft’s elite corners at the combine (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

DB JACOB FIRLOTTE
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

Firlotte advanced from the regional combine level with a tall, lanky frame which allowed him to bother OUA receivers in coverage and the range to cover sideline to sideline, but when placed side by side with the CFL’s best national prospects in a combine setting others stood out more.

DB BRANDON JENNINGS
ACADIA UNIVERSITY
STOCK: DOWN ⬇

On film I labelled Jennings as a successful wanderer at free safety for the Axemen. He played free safety in the AUS trusting his instincts and vision to great success. Similar to Firlotte, Jennings’ numbers didn’t stand out and he doesn’t possess true man coverage skills which of course a combine setting will exploit quickly.

DB ROYCE METCHIE
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
STOCK: STABLE

Methchie has been regarded as one of the top five defensive backs available in this year’s draft since his appearance at last May’s U Sports East-West Bowl. He did nothing to damage that perception in Winnipeg’s national combine.

DB DAGOGO MAXWELL
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
STOCK: SLEEPER

While all of the conversation in this draft revolves around Godfrey Onyeka, fast risers such as Guzylak-Messam, and special teams all-stars like Jordan Beaulieu, Maxwell continues to plug away in preparation for his CFL opportunity. When he gets there I have no doubt he can crack a roster.

DB LEKAN IDOWU
UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR
STOCK: MYSTERY

Similar to his fellow Lancers teammates at the Ontario Regional Combine, Idowu is undersized but explosive. Will that size damage his chances to get drafted? Possibly, but when he arrives in camp he will have to prove his vertical and in-game skill set is more valuable than a height measurement on paper.