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Ticats select Boston College TE Jake Burt 1st overall in 2021 CFL Draft

TORONTO – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have selected Boston College tight end Jake Burt first overall in the 2021 CFL Draft.

The 24-year-old Regina native was a late addition to this year’s eligible player list after spending the 2020 season with the NFL’s New England Patriots.

In 36 games with Boston College, Burt reeled in 23 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns. He signed as an undrafted free agent with his hometown Patriots last year and spent the season on the team’s practice roster.

A tight end who emphasizes the versatility in his game, Burt has the size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) to block and the hands to make plays in the passing game. He views himself as a receiver but told CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary this past week that he “can put a lot of different hats on.”

Burt is the ninth player from Boston College to be drafted in the CFL history, and the first to go in Round 1. He’s also the first player listed as a tight end to be drafted in the first round since Scott Regimbald went seventh overall to Calgary in 2000.

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The 2021 CFL Draft began on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET with the Ticats making the first selection. They were the winner of a random draw weighted equally among all nine teams held in November following the 2020 season that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Fans can watch the draft live on TSN1 and TSN3 (with TSN4 joining at 7:30 p.m. ET), and follow along via the CFL.ca Draft Tracker.

Unlike the usual eight-round format, Tuesday’s draft features six rounds instead due to a ‘double cohort’ of Canadian rookies expected in training camp this summer, combining prospects from the 2020 and 2021 drafts. This year’s draft features a ‘snake’ format (where the order reverses each round), and there will be no territorial selections.

Tuesday night marked the 11th time the Ticats have chosen first overall, including, most recently, Mark Chapman out of Central Michigan in 2018. Chapman never signed with the club and has yet to play a CFL game. Burt, however, is considered a pro-ready prospect who could make an impact as early as 2021.

The Ticats’ offence already boasts no shortage of weapons, led by the league’s most productive receiving duo in Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison, in addition to promising sophomore Jaelon Acklin and highly-touted off-season addition DeVier Posey. Hamilton’s offence ranked first in the CFL in several major offensive categories in 2019, including points, net yards, and first downs, en route to appearing in the 107th Grey Cup Championship.

And Burt joins another unique weapon with multiple skills in Nikola Kalinic, who was selected 10th overall in 2019.

Hamilton also holds the ninth overall pick, which originally belonged to Montreal before going to Hamilton as part of the trade for quarterback Johnny Manziel in 2018.

Last year the Ticats also had two first round picks, selecting Guelph offensive lineman Coulter Woodmansey fifth overall and North Dakota defensive end Mason Bennett with the eighth pick.

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