May 4, 2022

Landry’s 5 takeaways from the CFL Draft

Huskie Athletics

Hello, Gregor MacKellar. Welcome to the CFL. Apparently, Argos’ coach Ryan Dinwiddie is serious about wanting to go lobster fishing with you sometime.

That’d be a good way to butter up the boss. Which is a good thing for lobster, too, come to think of it. First things first, though. Make the team. If anyone’s gonna be good on a boat it’d be a kid from Nova Scotia.

Here are the draft takeaways.


A draft pick is nothing more than currency if you want to treat it that way. The Hamilton Ticats sat out the first couple of hours of the draft after trading their first round pick to the Edmonton Elks. That’s because what the ‘Cats wanted most, they felt wasn’t going to be there in the early going.

» A team-by-team look at the 2022 CFL Draft
In the Books: Trades help shape an exciting ’22 CFL Draft
» Cherry Picked: Lions take DL Nathan Cherry third overall

“Sometimes it’s best to pursue a trade,” Hamilton President of Football Operations & Head Coach Orlondo Steinauer told the Ticats Audio Network. “Things that you really covet may not be there. And the only way to really secure that and not make it a guessing game is, sometimes, to make bold moves.”

What the Ticats really coveted, turns out, was a game-ready offensive lineman, which they got from the Elks in the form of 27-year-old Kyle Saxelid, who already has two seasons under his belt. And a second-year linebacker, Grant McDonald, who impressed with 16 special teams tackles in his rookie season with the Elks.

You can score a win in the draft, sometimes, by rejecting it.



A draft night interview with Elks’ General Manager/Head Coach Chris Jones gave us a little insight into how new CFL rules are going to change things up this season.

In talking about Edmonton’s fourth overall pick – Enock Makonzo – Jones was bullish on the kid’s ability to be versatile and play either defensive back or linebacker, though the coach might well be leaning towards having the Lachine, Que. native at weakside linebacker (WILL).

Which, Jones said, is going to be a position that more closely resembles strongside linebacker (SAM) going forward, after the CFL opted to narrow the distance between the hash marks to nine from seventeen yards.

“With them bringing the hashes in, essentially, your WILL linebacker and your SAM linebacker are very similar players,” Jones told TSN.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Wanna bet that Jones will be among the leaders when it comes to deploying two quarterbacks on the field at the same time? In snagging Waterloo quarterback Tre Ford with the 8th overall pick, the Elks get what Jones called the best overall athlete in the draft, a guy who “can play a multiple of things.”



When the BC Lions made Nathan Cherry the third pick, overall, it blew apart the top prospects list that was released just a few weeks ago.

Cherry, the six-foot-three, 240-pound defensive lineman out of the University of Saskatchewan was ranked as the 20th best prospect on that final list, after dropping from 16th in the winter book. The hope is that the 2021 First Team U-Sports All-Star can bring his disruptive powers to the BC defensive line and bolster the team’s abilities in tracking down quarterbacks.

And the Lions weren’t done there; they obviously had a thirst for shoring up their Canadian D-line talent, taking four more defensive linemen before the night was through.

In case you’re not convinced the team is looking for a youthful boost on the line, consider this; they took Latvian defensive lineman Karlis Brauns with their first pick in the Global Draft, meaning they picked off six defensive linemen on the day, over twelve total selections.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: BC Head Coach Rick Campbell is the trusting sort. Prior to making the team’s first round pick, Campbell called Cherry ahead of time to let him know he was the one. “Hang tight ’til it’s announced so we don’t get in trouble for it, alright?” he said. “No tweeting,” he reiterated at the end of the call. That, then, was Cherry’s first test of discipline as a BC Lion.



The Montreal Alouettes really, really wanted linebacker Tyrell Richards and so they traded up to the first pick in order to assure that they’d get him.

That ended a looooooong stretch through which the Alouettes never once had the first overall pick in the draft. Not last-time-the-Leafs-won-the-cup long, but long.

The last time Montreal had the first overall selection in the draft, they took a running back who would go on to play nine seasons for the team, retire and build a private sector career, become CFL commissioner, leave that job and become president of the Als, follow that up as a run as publisher of the Montreal Gazette and then return to the Alouettes as president once again and then go on to politics and be appointed a senator. Through all of that, the Alouettes never had the first overall pick again. Until last night.

Running back Larry Smith was taken first in the 1972 draft, just months before Paul Henderson would score hockey’s most famous goal and rookie quarterback Chuck Ealey would lead the Hamilton Ticats to a home field Grey Cup win over Saskatchewan. It’s been fifty years between episodes of having the first overall pick.

My bet is they liked the feeling of power and certainty they had for the first time in a half century, in the moments leading up to the draft.

Not that you’d wanna make it a habit.


The only thing hotter than the Canadian real estate market is the Australian punter market.

Seven Australian punters were taken in the Global draft on Tuesday. Seven. Four in the first round alone, and two in the second. Heck, the Ticats selected Aussie punters with their first two selections, including second overall. The Blue Bombers snagged two as well. The Edmonton Elks selected two punters too, but one of them is from Belgium because, you know, Chris Jones is a renegade.

The Australian punter the Elks did select – Ben Griffiths – is a heck of a story being that he’s six-foot-seven, 240-pounds. And he runs a sub-five second 40 so I’d like to see him lug the ball on a few fakes, seeing as he’d be a real load to try and take down.

Thank you, Australia, for sending us all the punters you had. The surprising thing about it might have been that none of them come with the surname “Hemsworth.”

AND FINALLY… Want a reminder of just how monumental a moment being drafted is for these young men? Do yourself a favour and catch the Ticats’ video of Orlondo Steinauer calling defensive lineman Anthony Federico, the 17th overall selection.

At about the 30-second mark, Steinauer puts Federico on speakerphone and you get to hear how emotional and grateful the Queen’s University grad is over his selection. Tell me you’re not rooting for this guy after hearing it.

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