September 9, 2019

Esks sign top draft pick Mathieu Betts

Yan Doublet/Laval

EDMONTON — Heading into their bye week, the Edmonton Eskimos have inked their top pick from 2019 CFL Draft.

The team announced on Monday that they had signed defensive lineman Mathieu Betts.

Betts was the third overall pick in May’s draft. The Eskimos opted to scoop up the highly skilled defender despite there being legitimate NFL interest.

After going undrafted in the NFL in April, Betts signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent. After making it to the final round of cuts, he was released by the team on Aug 31.

The two-time Vanier Cup champion with the Laval Rouge et Or became the first player to claim the J.P. Metras Trophy as Canadian university football’s best lineman three consecutive seasons (2016-18). He is the first to win four major U Sports awards during his career, including Rookie of the Year (2015) and Male Athlete of the Year (2018).

In eight games with the Rouge et Or last season, Betts had 12.5 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The 24-year-old joins an already strong defensive unit in Edmonton that is first in the league in yards allowed. He’ll line up alongside the likes of Almondo Sewell, Nick Usher, Kwaku Boateng and Mike Moore.

Edmonton is on a bye week. They’ll return to action on Sept 20 when they welcome the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to Commonwealth Stadium.