A look at the previously unranked Scouting Bureau prospects

What is the defining characteristic of CFL Drafts for you?

For some, it could be the number of offensive lineman who have been prioritized over the years. For others, it’s always about getting to wave the flag for your university or junior football program.

For me, it’s about getting to know the next class of CFL drafted rookies and watching the best players available rise to the top of the Scouting Bureau Rankings through what’s well known as “the draft process,” even if it means some last minute surprises leading right up to draft night itself.

What does “the draft process” actually mean? It’s a months-long series of events from the end of playing season where highlight reels are created, hardware is awarded and combine training becomes ultra focused on, turning heads come the regional or national showcases.

» View: 2022 CFL Draft order 
» Mock 1.0: What will Edmonton do with the first overall pick? 
» Metchie leaps to top-spot in final Scouting Bureau Rankings of 2022

John Metchie was ranked No. 1 on the spring edition of the Scouting Bureau Rankings (Alabama)

For scouts and personnel leaders across the CFL the “process” goes back much further though. Film work on the next draft class begins at minimum eleven months ahead of draft night and those well-connected in the Canadian football community aren’t handed a piece of paper late in the game though. No, they already know years out who the names of note are after catching wind of their abilities from a high school coach, college recruiter or old friend in the business who played against some kid that “you’ve got to see.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a U SPORTS game, been amazed at the quality of a player and had a CFL scout tell me without hesitation, “oh him? He’s a 2025.” They know.

Which makes the Scouting Bureau Rankings from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022 that much more intriguing. Despite decision makers understanding years out who the names to know are, there are sometimes late additions based on eligibility, and more frequently players who leap ahead of their contemporaries through the combine, interview and film review of pre-draft analysis.

In the final Scouting Bureau Rankings of the 2022 CFL Draft there are seven players – including four offensive lineman – crashing the top twenty party who were not listed in the last edition, each with their own unique rise to prominence.

St. FX offensive lineman Gregor MacKellar (19th) and Laval offensive lineman Cyrille Hogan-Saindon (18th) are the lowest ranked to finish amongst the draft’s best. Both tested well and have pro football bodies with Hogan-Saindon at six-foot-four and 301-pounds with 32” arms to match Timberlea, Nova Scotia’s Mackellar, who measured in at the National Combine at just over six-foot-three and 322-pounds.

At 15th overall, Ottawa offensive lineman Zach Pelehos becomes this year’s big riser, from Regional Combine invitee to the top combine workout of any pass protector, all of which lands him comfortably in the top-15 and could – depending on team needs – make Pelehos a fringe first round pick come May 3.

Rodeem Brown was a standout at the CFL Combine presented by New Era at the end of March (Thomas Skrlj/CFL.ca)

The highest ranked offensive lineman to crack the list is Rodeem Brown from the University of Alberta Golden Bears program. U of A has produced exceptional lineman talent in recent years from Mark Korte to Justin Lawrence and, of course, Carter O’Donnell. Brown was already headed to the National Combine but wasn’t highly touted amongst the lines of Saskatchewan’s Noah Zerr and Western’s Zach Fry, who were also on the showcase roster.

That all changed when the pads went on and Rodeem dominated the true football portion of the weekend. That was enough to sky rocket him from unranked months ago to 13th in the rankings now.

At 12th overall, Bryant University running back Daniel Adeboboye makes the rare ball carrier leap from off the board to nearly into the top ten. Dominating the bench press and having several requests to take extra reps at the CFL Combine surely showed this was coming after a career-best season for Bryant last fall.

Just ahead of Adeboboye is receiver Samuel Emilus, who spent some time at Louisiana Tech and more recently at UMass. The six-foot-one pass-catcher ran a 4.59 40-yard and leapt 37” at his pro day while clearing up his draft status to vault himself high into the first round conversation.

And finally, we have a new number one. This will come as no surprise to anyone who watches NCAA football, but it’s long been known that receiver John Metchie III of Alabama by way of Brampton, Ontario is the best Canadian playing down south. The 2020 Jon Cornish Trophy Award winner as the top Canuck down south suffered an ACL tear in the SEC Championship game on December 4, 2021, ending his season prematurely.

On January 14th of this year – one day after the Winter Scouting Bureau was released – Metchie left his final year of college eligibility on the table and declared for both CFL and NFL drafts making his rise to the top inevitable.

Seven players, all with their own unique story to tell. As the intensity of draft night approaches expect more twists and turns from the off-season event that never disappoints.

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