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TORONTO — The BC Lions didn’t want to wait for Jordan Williams.
GM Ed Hervey convinced Calgary Stampeders president and GM John Hufnagel to make a pick swap on Monday night, with the Lions giving up their third and 12th overall picks to get BC’s first overall spot and the 15th overall pick.
Williams emerged on the radar of scouts and GMs across the league after a dominant showing at the Ontario Regional Combine in March. Williams is the first regional combine participant to be taken first overall and the first linebacker to go No. 1 since Winnipeg took Henoc Muamba first in 2011.
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“I’m absolutely surprised,” an elated Williams said on a media conference call moments after being selected. “I didn’t think they’d pick me, I thought they’d get a defensive end or something. For them to take me, man, it’s surreal. I can’t even quantify how it feels.”
At the regional combine, Williams posted the best 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) of the day and showed a 39-inch vertical while going for 20 reps on the bench press and recording a 10-foot, 8.5-inch broad jump.