TORONTO — After a pressure-filled weekend for the prospects of the CFL Combine presented by New Era, they can all exhale, with the pressure shifting back to the nine teams of the CFL.
Somewhere in the middle of the numbers that the testing yielded and the competition that the one-on-ones provided on Sunday, general managers and their staffs will now get to work on deciding which prospects are the best fit for them. Draft boards will be updated, altered or overhauled, depending on just how much of an impression the National and Global prospects made on teams.
The biggest names going into the event didn’t disappoint. Two pairs of twin brothers, as expected, showed well through the weekend.
The Ford brothers out of Waterloo — quarterback Tre and defensive back Tyrell — and the Philpot brothers from the Calgary Dinos — Tyson and Jalen, both receivers — were as good as advertised.
On the heels of strong testing numbers at the University of Buffalo pro day on March 17, the Fords essentially duplicated their performances here in Toronto. Tyrell took the top 40-yard dash time of the day, at 4.42 seconds, tying him for the seventh-best showing at the CFL Combine with Shamawd Chambers (2012). Tre didn’t run a 40, after posting a 4.45-second effort in Buffalo, but did post the best 3-cone time for a National on Sunday, at 6.85 seconds. Japanese receiver Omi Yoshihito (whom we’ll get to shortly) had the best 3-cone result of the day, coming in at 6.65 seconds.
Though the Philpot brothers didn’t register a top finish in any of the testings, they were a presence through the weekend, particularly in the one-on-one settings. The heavily accomplished receivers showed their abilities on the field, taking on all comers from across the National and Global rosters.
While there are too many individual performances to highlight, University of Alberta Golden Bears offensive lineman Rodeem Brown showed that while perhaps slightly short to play the position in the CFL (six-foot and 5/8 of an inch), he used every bit of his 280-pound frame to get repeated requests from teams in the one-on-one sessions on Sunday. Syracuse linebacker Tyrell Richards was in a similar spot, in high demand for team requests, while testing strongly all weekend.
Richards almost had the top 40 time among LBs, defensive linemen and offensive linemen. His 4.6-second run was topped late in the day by McMaster LB Enoch Penney-Laryea, who came in at 4.58 seconds.
National running back Daniel Adeboboye likely helped his stock a great deal this weekend. The five-foot-nine, 218-pounder from Bryant University tested well, with a Nationals-best 28 reps on the bench press on Friday night. He was fourth in vertical leap, with a 37.5-inch showing and threw in a 4.69-second 40.
On the Global side, Latvian defensive lineman Karlis Brauns ran a 4.97-second 40 (which was almost a half-second behind the Global leader, Edris Jean-Alphonse’s 4.55). It paired well with his impressive showing on the bench, where he got 29 reps in, which were only second to top performer Noke Tago’s 30.
It was a good weekend for the Globals, who took part in-person at the CFL Combine for just the second time, after debuting in 2019. They tested well, showing that from a physical perspective there were players that could keep pace with their National counterparts.
Jean-Alphonse, who played at Laval, had his name appear all over the Global testing. He was first in the 40 and the short shuttle (4.18 seconds) and fifth in the broad jump (9’11 1/2″).
When it came to the one-on-ones, teams seemed to be very intrigued with Yoshihito, who was called upon to go up against Tyrell Ford on at least two occasions, with Tre Ford throwing the ball. Tre was actually intercepted by a pair of Global players in the one-on-ones, with DB Roedion Henrique and Viljo Lempinen pulling in the attempts of the Hec Crighton winner.
After a gruelling weekend, both the National and Global prospects head home. Many of them will be virtually reunited on May 3, when the CFL hosts the Global Draft, then the National Draft that night, with the National Draft airing on TSN.