Betts tops December edition of Scouting Bureau rankings

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League (CFL) Scouting Bureau published its second edition of the top-20 ranked prospects eligible for the 2019 CFL Draft on Thursday.

Laval defensive lineman Mathieu Betts tops the December rankings after being previously ranked second in September. Oklahoma’s offensive lineman Shane Richards and receiver Justin McInnis from Arkansas rounds out the top three.

The CFL’s Scouting Bureau is comprised of CFL scouts, player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine teams. The final edition of the list comes in April following the National Scouting Combine and the first was published in September.

RELATED: Ferguson breaks down the top 20 prospects

Rank Name Position School Hometown
1.    (2) Mathieu Betts DL Laval Montréal, QC
2.    (4) Shane Richards OL Oklahoma St. Calgary, AB
3.    (5) Justin McInnis REC Arkansas St. Pierrefonds, QC
4.    (1) Jonathan Kongbo DL Tennessee Surrey, B.C.
5.    (9) Alex Fontana OL Kansas Toronto, ON
6.    (3) Hergy Mayala REC Connecticut Montréal, QC
7.    (10) Alexandre Savard REC Laval Québec, QC
8.    (11) Maleek Irons RB Ohio Chilliwack, B.C.
9.    (13) Kurleigh Gittens Jr. REC Laurier Ottawa, ON
10.  (7) Brady Oliveira RB North Dakota Winnipeg, MB
11.  (18) Maurice Simba OL Concordia Laval, QC
12.  (15) Robbie Smith DL Laurier Brampton, ON
13.  (14) Kaion Julien Grant REC St. Francis Xavier Toronto, ON
14.  (19) Fraser Sopik LB Western Toronto, ON
15.  (17) Jamie Harry DB Ottawa Lachine, QC
16.  (12) Samuel Thomassin OL Laval Québec, QC
17.  (8) Zach Wilkinson OL Northern Colorado Vancouver, B.C
18.  (–) Trivel Pinto REC UBC Toronto, ON
19.  (20) Michael O’Connor QB UBC Orleans, ON
20.  (–) Nate Anderson DL Missouri Toronto, ON

 Please note: The number in parentheses is the player’s ranking from the last CFL Scouting Bureau published in August.


Mathieu Betts | DL | Laval

Betts jumped a spot to gain the first overall position in the winter rankings. In 2018, Betts capped a very successful fourth year with the Laval Rouge et Or by capturing the second Vanier Cup of his career. The Montreal native became the first player in history to claim the J.P. Metras Trophy three times, the first to win four major U SPORTS awards during his career. He led U SPORTS with nine sacks on the season and totalling 14 tackles for a loss. Betts also received an invite to play in the East-West Shrine Game in Florida.

Shane Richards | OL | Oklahoma St.

Richards will play his final collegiate game for the Cowboys against Missouri on New Year’s Eve in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. He redshirted in 2017 and appeared in four games in 2016. Prior to college he played for Crescent Heights in Calgary and then one season with the New Mexico Military Institute (JUCO). He has moved up from the fourth spot.

Justin McInnis | REC | Arkansas St.

McInnis in his third season with the Arkansas State Red Wolves the receiver finished second on the team with 56 receptions, for 694 yards and six total touchdowns to help lead the team to an 8-4 record and an Arizona Bowl appearance against Nevada. His best game in 2018 came against University of South Alabama where notched 177 receiving yards, a touchdown on seven receptions.  In his three seasons with the Red Wolves, McInnis compiled 115 receptions for 1,577 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions. McInnis is a native of Pierrefonds, QC.

Jonathan Kongbo | DL | Tennessee

Kongbo finished his three-year career with the Tennessee Volunteers where he appeared in 30 games where he compiled 51 tackles (20 solo, 31 assisted), 5.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions. In his senior season, he saw his season cut short following a season-ending knee injury against the Auburn Tigers. The Surrey, B.C. native notched a season-high five tackles against Georgia. Prior to going to University of Tennessee Kongbo as a freshman attended Wyoming where he redshirted. Following that he went to Arizona Western College (JUCO) where he played a season and was rated the number one JUCO prospect.

Alex Fontana | OL | Kansas

Fontana started at centre in the season-opener and saw action on the offensive line for the Jayhawks throughout the season. The Toronto native started at centre in his first two seasons at the New Mexico Military Institute before transferring to Houston, where he made five starts and appeared in 11 games as a junior. He missed his original senior year due to injury before transferring to Kansas


The rankings include: six receivers, five offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two running backs and a quarterback, linebacker and defensive back.

16 schools are represented on the list with Laval (three), Laurier (two) and UBC (two) having multiple prospects on the list.

2018 CFL Draft first overall selection Mark Chapman was ranked 10th on the 2017 Winter Scouting Bureau.

Last year’s winter rankings saw 19 of 20 prospects selected in the CFL Draft, with nine being selected in the first round.