Josh Palmer tops spring CFL Scouting Bureau Rankings

TORONTO — University of Tennessee receiver Josh Palmer has risen to the top of the CFL’s final Scouting Bureau Rankings ahead of the 2021 CFL Draft on May 4.

The league released the third and final edition of the Top 20 prospects eligible for the draft on Monday where Palmer jumped from his No. 2 spot on the winter rankings to the top-ranked player.

The CFL Scouting Bureau, comprised of CFL scouts, as well as player personnel directors and general managers from the league’s nine clubs, releases its rankings three times each year: in the fall, winter and spring.

Rank Name Position School Hometown
1 (2) Josh Palmer REC Tennessee Brampton, ON
2. (1) Alaric Jackson OL Iowa Windsor, ON
3. (5) Jevon Holland DB Oregon Coquitlam, BC
4. (4) Amen Ogbongbemiga LB Oklahoma State Calgary, AB
5. (3) Chuba Hubbard RB Oklahoma State Sherwood Park, AB
6. (11) Benjamin St-Juste DB Minnesota Montreal, QC
7. (10) Pier-Olivier Lestage OL Montreal Saint-Eustache, QC
8. (8) Sage Doxtater OL New Mexico State Welland, ON
9. (15) Mohamed Diallo OL Central Michigan Toronto, ON
10. (17) Deane Leonard DB Ole Miss Calgary, AB
11. (13) Patrice Rene DB North Carolina* Ottawa, ON
12. (7) Liam Dobson OL Maine** Ottawa, ON
13. (9) Daniel Joseph DL NC State Toronto, ON
14. (12) Alonzo Addae DB West Virginia Pickering, ON
15. (6) Terrell Jana REC Virginia Vancouver, BC
16. (-) Bruno Labelle TE Cincinnati Montreal, QC
17. (19) Nelson Lokombo DB Saskatchewan Abbotsford, BC
18. (16) Logan Bandy OL Calgary Calgary, AB
19. (20) Bryce Bell OL Laurier Waterloo, ON
20. (14) DeShawn Stevens LB Maine Toronto, ON

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

*Rene has transferred to Rutgers
**Dobson has transferred to Texas State


The 2021 CFL Draft will take place on Tuesday, May 4 beginning at 7 p.m. ET with TSN broadcasting the first two rounds of the draft.

The CFL announced in February some modifications to this year’s CFL Draft, below is a recap:

  • The draft order will be determined by a random draw that is equally weighted across the nine CFL clubs. For the 2021 Draft order, click here.
  • The 2021 CFL Draft will feature a “snake” format.
  • The 2021 CFL Draft will be six rounds long instead of the traditional eight rounds. This is in recognition of the fact that 2021 CFL training camps will feature a “double cohort” of Canadian rookies, with a group from each of the 2020 and 2021 CFL Drafts.
  • There will be no territorial selections in the 2021 CFL Draft.
  • NCAA players who are draft eligible in the 2021 CFL Draft, and decide to use their extra year of eligibility, will not have their draft year deferred.
  • U SPORTS athletes had the opportunity to defer their draft year to 2022, if they decided to. In total, 132 prospects chose to move back their draft year to 2022.

» Mock 1.0: What will Hamilton do with the first overall pick?
Draft Tracker: Follow along on May 4
O’Leary: Weighing the Ticats’ options with the No. 1 pick



Photo: University of Tennessee

After finishing his senior season with Tennessee, Palmer was invited to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Palmer performed very well in practices and scored a touchdown in the game, which seemed to help boost his draft stock. During the 2020 season, Palmer led the Volunteers in receptions (33), receiving yards (475) and receiving touchdowns (4). The Brampton, Ont. native finished his collegiate career with 99 receptions, 1,514 yards and seven touchdown receptions across 47 games.


Photo: Iowa Athletics

Like Palmer, Jackson was the second of three Canadians to take part in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. In his final season with the Hawkeyes, Jackson started all eight games at left tackle, and was part of an offensive line unit that ranked second in the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed, first downs, fourth down conversions and scoring offence and third in red zone offence. In the fall and winter scouting bureau rankings, the Windsor, Ont. native was ranked the top prospect.


Photo: University of Oregon

Holland opted out for the 2020 college football season as well as his playing eligibility to enter the NFL draft. In his first two seasons at Oregon, the Coquitlam, B.C. native notched nine interceptions for the Ducks. As a freshman and sophomore, he led the team in interceptions, marking the first time an Oregon player has done that since Jarius Byrd. In two seasons he racked up 108 tackles (71 solo, 37 assisted) 10 passes defended and 4.5 tackles for a loss. Holland also took part in punt returns where he accumulated 17 punt returns with a 15.3 yards per return average.


Photo: OSU athletics

Ogbongbemiga had a terrific final season in Stillwater, OK. He finished second on the team with 80 tackles (50 solo, 30 assisted) while adding five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. For consecutive seasons, the Calgary, AB native was named to All-Big 12 Football Second Team. He finished his collegiate career with 208 tackles (131 solo, 77 assisted) 25 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception.


Photo: Oklahoma State Athletics

Despite missing several games due to an injury, Hubbard led the Cowboys in rushing with 625 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns (5 rushing, 1 receiving). The six-foot, 208-pound back was named to the 2020 All-Big 12 Football Second Team. In his sophomore season, the Sherwood Park, AB native rushed for 2,094 yards and a whopping 21 majors. This led to him being named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting. In his three seasons with the Cowboys, he rushed for 3,459, scored 36 touchdowns and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. In 2020, Oklahoma State finished 20th in the final Associated Press Poll.


  • The rankings include: six offensive linemen and defensive backs, two defensive linemen, wide receivers and linebackers, a running back and a tight end.
  • 18 schools are represented on the list and two schools that feature two players:
    • Oklahoma State (No. 4 Amen Ogbongbemiga and No. 5 Chuba Hubbard)
    • Maine (No. 12 Liam Dobson and No. 20 Deshawn Stevens)
  • 16 prospects come from NCAA; 4 from U SPORTS
  • Last year, 19 of 20 prospects identified in the winter rankings were selected in the 2020 CFL Draft
  • Of the nine first round selections in the 2020 CFL Draft, six appeared in the spring rankings.
The comment system on this website is now powered by the Forums. We'd love for you to be part of the conversation; click the Start Discussion button below to register an account and join the community!