April 20, 2023

Top of the Depth Chart: Calgary Stampeders

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

As the 2023 CFL season lingers just around the corner, there’s arguably no team experiencing a more significant turning of the page than the Calgary Stampeders.

The Nathan Rourke era in BC has come to a close – for now. Trevor Harris and Cody Fajardo swapping homes is certainly something.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats revamping their lineup in another desperate attempt to raise the coveted home Grey Cup victory is a major swing for the fences.

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All of these and more are deserving of ‘major storyline’ status as we get set to watch these rosters come to life in under a month, but Calgary just took the leap of faith many franchises cringe at the thought of: saying goodbye to a decade-long legend.

With that, it’s time to speculate about who will top the depth chart in Calgary this season.


Receiver Running Back Quarterback Fullback Offensive Line
Reggie Begelton Ka’Deem Carey Jake Maier William Langlais* Derek Dennis (LT)
Malik Henry Zack Williams* (LG)
Jalen Philpot* Sean McEwen* (C)
Luther Hakunavanhu* Ryan Sceviour* (RG)
Hugh Thornton (RT)

* denotes National
** denotes Global


The Stampeders will go as Jake Maier goes. His style of the past is vastly different from that of now Ticats quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. I wonder with more fine tuning from Dave Dickenson whether what we’ve seen is just the beginning of Maier’s foray into CFL stardom, or what he will always be as a player. He’s namely been a ruthlessly efficient marksman.


Standing alongside Maier will be running back Ka’Deem Carey, who has every right to claim the ‘best back’ in the CFL status this season. He’s a slashing runner with a keen sense for the CFL running game and Carey will be pushed by a talented and deep running back group in Calgary. That being said, he will unquestionably contend for the CFL’s rushing title this year.


Reggie Begelton played in all 18 games last season and hauled in 957 yards and six touchdowns (Thomas Skrlj/CFL.ca)

At receiver, Reggie Begelton leads the way in name brand notoriety, but with so many targets behind the line of scrimmage last year, the true game-breaker in this group appears to be Malik Henry while Jalen Philpot looks to take the year two leap. The fourth receiver spot could go to any number of talented Americans on the roster, with my lean being Tre Odoms-Dukes. But I’m partial to the big body out of York, Luther Hakunavanhu, who should get more targets this season without Richie Sindani in red and white.


The Stampeders offensive line is as solid as any across the league. Derek Dennis anchors the left side while Hugh Thornton kicks to right tackle after covering for Dennis on the other side due to injury late in 2022. The interior is solidified by three standout Canadians, all hailing from Canada West schools, with Sean McEwen being the annual All-Star caliber centre that can change games for your club for more than just accurate snaps.


Defensive Back Linebacker Defensive Line
Tre Roberson (CB) Cameron Judge* (WLB) Julian Howsare (DE)
Jonathan Moxey (HB) Micah Awe (MLB) Mike Rose (DT)
Branden Dozier (S) Titus Wall (SAM) James Vaughters (DT)
Kobe Williams (HB) Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund* (DE)
Natrell Jamerson (CB)


The Stamps pulled off one of the best under-the-radar signings in recent memory with Julian Howsare flying West out of Hamilton for a chance to pair with Mike Rose, James Vaughters (as he comes back from an NFL stint) and Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, who should get more reps with the Argos paying top dollar for Folarin Orimolade in free agency.


Cameron Judge tallied 78 defensive tackles in 2022 to go along with two interceptions and five sacks (Stampeders.com)

Cameron Judge has delivered as expected for the Stampeders defence. Without Jameer Thurman in the middle, he’ll be leaned on more and more, especially against the run for Calgary’s front and should once again rack up a plethora of stat-stuffing game reports. A host of names could work in the middle of Brent Monson’s defence, but I like the trust factor in Micah Awe, who was a late addition to the red and white after leaving Montreal.


At defensive back, Tre Roberson is the highlight for me with a variety of game-ready ball hawks surrounding him including returnees Branden Dozier, who gives Calgary’s back end great positional flexibility, and Kobe Wiliams, who can interchangeably switch with Titus Wall from either halfback spot to strong side linebacker.


Kicker/Punter Long Snapper Returner
Rene Paredes*/Cody Grace** Aaron Crawford* Peyton Logan


May we all be so lucky to have the longevity and success of the one and only Rene Parades. El Matador returns for another season in Stamps threads with Cody Grace supplying the booming boot at punter as both smile to see veteran Aaron Crawford ready to deliver a perfectly placed snap week in, week out.


At returner, Peyton Logan splashed onto the scene last year in a rainy Edmonton blowout, but let’s be real the Stamps have ‘returner’ body types all over the place and will likely see at least three players take significant returns by November. 

Calgary is a well constructed team with sound coaching and plenty of CFL veteran experience mixed with top end Canadian talent. Look out, the Stampeders are ready to ride once again in 2023 as they attempt to reclaim the West from Winnipeg and avenge a playoff defeat to the BC Lions.

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