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May 4, 2021

Quote Board: Standout statements from the 2021 CFL Draft

West Virginia Athletics

TORONTO — It was an exciting night across the board when it comes to the 2021 CFL Draft.

Fans had the chance to welcome their new faces to their favourite teams, organizations were able to add some crucial pieces to their respective futures, and of course, the draftees had the chance to celebrate being drafted with their families.

54 individuals were welcomed to the league on Tuesday night, and we’ll have a chance to see what each player can do once they make the leap to the pro ranks.

Let’s take a look back at what coaches, general managers, and players alike had to say following the 2021 CFL Draft.

» Jake Burt opens an exciting first round of CFL Draft
Ticats select Boston College TE Jake Burt 1st overall in 2021 CFL Draft
2021 CFL Draft Tracker

Boston College TE Jake Burt was selected first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2021 CFL Draft. (Boston College Athletics)

“From the moment I was eligible, I’ve kind of just been on a downhill rollercoaster going full speed. Right now, I’m so excited that I would get on a plane and go to Hamilton right now. I’m just so thankful to the whole organization and to prove them right and do some big things over there in Hamilton.”

– First overall pick Jake Burt on the CFL Draft process; being selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats

“I’m still kind of in shock. But it’s all positive. I was very excited…I got to talk to the coaching staff and they already know how they want to use me and I’m excited to get going.”

– Second Overall pick Nelson Lokombo on being selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders

“When I get up there, I’m going to come in with the mentality that we’re going to win games and win championships. I’m going to come in with an attitude — I’m going to be the new guy and the young guy — but I’m going to assert myself in that locker room and kind of show that the new model is business. I’m going to go out and play physical football and put us in an opportunity to win games.”

– Third Overall pick Liam Dobson on what he’ll bring to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

“I’ve never called myself a road grader before, but I kind of like that description. I like to approach the game with a physical and nasty mindset. I like to impose my will on guys so I guess I’m going to have to hop on board and start calling myself a road grader.”

– Liam Dobson on Duane Forde’s assessment of him on TSN’s Draft coverage

“We all think the same way in what we want in an offensive lineman. It’s physicality and toughness, and we tried to draft like that (in 2019) with Drew (Desjarlais). That’s our kind of guy and myself and Marty (Costello), it’s very similar with what we like. There were a lot of good offensive linemen. We just thought Liam was the most like a Winnipeg Blue Bomber. He’s going to remind everybody of (Chris) Walby. He’s a big bear of a man who’s not a nice guy out on the football field and he moves remarkably well for a man his size.”

– Bombers general manager Kyle Walters on what he liked about Liam Dobson

“This isn’t a fair comparison, but because he plays the same position and plays with the same energy, it was Antoine Pruneau. When I watched Antoine, there was a man that just ran around and ran into everything that moved. It’s not fair to compare Redha, but they played at the same school and it was the same sort of stuff that jumped out. He just ran around and had fun out there on the football field. There’s a very wide variety of skills that they used with him. Whether it was off the edge, filling the box, dropping into zone, covering man-to-man. He has a very very wide variety of skills. I just enjoyed watching him play.”

– Walters on 16th overall pick Redha Kramdi

“Daniel Joseph and Alaric Jackson, we had very high on our board; very good football players. Daniel is going to play one more year at NC State. We thought it was worth that. We think he shows up, he’s going to be an impact player. Also, Alaric played a lot of really good football for Iowa and signed as an NFL free agent. We might have thought a little differently had he been drafted (In the NFL). But that he wasn’t drafted, we’re going to play the odds that we will see him at some point. So we’ll wish those guys the best with this season and look forward to seeing them in the future.”

– Lions head coach Rick Campbell on drafting Daniel Joseph, Alaric Jackson with first two draft picks

“There are very few human beings that are 6-foot-5, 315 pounds that move the way that Cole Nelson does. And when you watch the film, the number of different things he was able to do, and the number of different positions he aligned in just gives us a tremendous amount of versatility. Then you get a chance to visit him on the phone — and just what an awesome person. I couldn’t be more excited to work with someone like Cole.”

-Edmonton Football Team head coach Jaime Elizondo on selecting Cole Nelson fifth overall

“It was pretty crazy because we haven’t had much excitement around here for a while in small-town Alberta. But just having my brothers, my mom and dad, my aunts, and my girlfriend here, it’s just huge. It was the highlight of my year so far and going to Edmonton, close to home, my parents can watch easily. It’s the team we watched growing up so it was wild and pretty exciting.”

– Fifth overall pick Cole Nelson on being selected by the Edmonton Football Team

“I did want to be able to draft players that are futures, and even Luther (Hakunavanhu) has another year left in college, where he could come to camp and then go back to school. …It was a numbers game. The fact that we had so many from last year’s camp coming. So that’s kind of what the plan and strategy was going in. I thought it would be a three and three — three bodies and three futures. But we decided on going four and two the way the draft was unfolding.”

– Calgary Stampeders president & general manager John Hufnagel on the team’s decisions during the 2021 CFL Draft; Dual draft classes in camp

“Grant plays football the way we think it should be played…he finishes piles, he seeks contact. We think he’ll be an impact player on special teams from day one with the ability to play linebacker if we need, and eventually, we wouldn’t be shocked if he has the potential to develop into a starter. But he’s got all the traits you’re looking for when you’re looking for that linebacking force.”

– Edmonton Football Team general manager Brock Sunderland on 14th overall pick Grant McDonald

“There’s just so much new information and experience you can get. Mathieu was the best defensive lineman in 2019. He went to the Bears there for a little bit. He’s got a whole bunch of experience that hopefully, I can absorb and transfer that inside and just consume some of that professional experience from coach Thorpe.”

– Cole Nelson on learning from Mathieu Betts, EFT defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe

“We are extremely pleased to have been able to claim Pier-Olivier and that he was still available in the second round. He is a versatile player, always ready to help his teammates and he will fit perfectly with the Alouettes.”

– Montreal general manager Danny Maciocia on selecting Montreal OL Pier-Olivier Lestage 10th overall

“I may have the coordinator title, but my job is to create the best environment for the team. Certainly, in my time as a head coach previously in Winnipeg, we had one of the best defences in the league. So it’s important that we build on both sides of the ball. We felt like we had some really good defensive strength in this draft where we could get some guys who were defensive players. So we’re really excited to get that and keep building the roster.”

– Ottawa REDBLACKS head coach Paul LaPolice on picking two defensive players to open the 2021 CFL Draft

“You can definitely expect an energetic player and a player that’s going to lay it all out on the line. I plan on bringing a lot of excitement to the city and I just can’t wait to get started. I’m thankful for the fanbase too. They’ve already reached out to me like crazy on social media. I already feel the love and I can’t wait to put on that jersey.”

– Alonzo Addae on joining the Ottawa REDBLACKS

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