April 30, 2020

Beyond the Headlines: 10 next-level Draft notes you didn’t know about

Courtesy: Kyle Rodriguez

TORONTO — An early trade, a run on NCAA talent, and a quarterback in Round 2 headline a night filled with milestones at the 2020 CFL Draft.

The BC Lions shook things up early, choosing first overall for just the fifth time in franchise history after acquiring the pick from Calgary. Not only does Jordan Williams become the first East Carolina player chosen in CFL Draft history, he’s also the first linebacker since Henoc Muamba to go first overall.

Elsewhere, Guelph, Laval and Regina were represented by first round picks, while Nathan Rourke became the highest quarterback selected since Jesse Palmer in 2001.

From the first overall pick to the absence of offensive linemen early on, CFL.ca has 10 next-level notes to round out your draft knowledge:

  • After acquiring the pick via trade, the BC Lions chose 1st overall for the fifth time in franchise history. The most recent was in 1999, when they selected defensive lineman Rob Meier.
  • East Carolina’s Jordan Williams is the first linebacker to go first overall since Henoc Muamba in 2011. It’s the fifth time in CFL Draft history that a linebacker has gone No. 1. He’s the first player in his school’s history to be drafted in the CFL.
  • The 1st overall pick has now come from the NCAA 6 years in a row. The last U SPORTS player taken No. 1 was Laval’s Pierre Lavertu, selected by Calgary, in 2014. Previous: 2019 Shane Richards, 2018 Mark Chapman, 2017 Faith Ekakitie, 2016 Josiah St. John and 2015 Alex Mateas.
  • With 4 NCAA players off the board first, 2020 marks the first time since 1999 that a CIS/U SPORTS player was not picked in the top-4.
  • Offensive lineman and 5th overall pick Coulter Woodmansey became the highest Guelph player chosen since Rob Maver went 5th overall in 2010. Previous to that was Mike O’Shea, drafted 4th overall in 1993.
  • Only four offensive linemen were selected in the first 20 picks, matching a 10-year low dating back to 2010.  The lowest ever was in 2001 when there were only three.
  • DB Adam Auclair became the 11th player from Laval to be drafted in the first round since 2005. Since then, Laval ranks second in first round picks only to Calgary’s 14. His selection is the highest for a defensive back since Chris Ackie went 4th overall in 2015.
  • Offensive lineman Theren Churchill is the first Regina player selected in Round 1 since OL Brendon LaBatte, selected sixth overall by Winnipeg in 2008.
  • The last time the Riders took a Saskatchewan player in the first round was Ben Heenan, 1st overall in 2012. He’s the fourth Saskatchewan player picked in the 1st round by the Riders.
  • This is the fourth straight year a DL from Wilfrid Laurier has been drafted, and 5 of 6 years (Samuel Acheampong 2020, Robbie Smith 2019, Rashari Henry 2018, Kwaku Boateng 2017, Ese Mrabure 2015)