March 27, 2024

For Comparison’s Sake: Projecting the CFL Combine’s top prospects

Each year at the CFL Combine presented by New Era the testing scores and body composition of prospective CFL players gets my wheels turning, imagining what they could be in the league. For the last five drafts or so I’ve been writing this piece as a thought experiment comparing hard numbers to what is a much more dynamic process.

Evaluation of CFL Draft eligible players is much more than just numbers, and numbers don’t often line up perfectly or come close to telling the complete story as any scout, head coach or general manager will quickly tell you.

This is nothing other than a conversation starter, one that lives in my head and will hopefully spark a part of yours after reading.

CFL COMBINE presented by New Era
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» Watch Sunday’s practice session on CFL+
» The 2024 CFL Draft: See where your team picks


QB – Casey Bauman & Erik Glavic

I cannot explain how rare it is to have a passer the size of Augustana’s Casey Bauman who doesn’t move like a classy sloth. Glavic was far from the fastest guy on the field but held his own when needed while Bauman appears to have significant athletic upside to match his six-foot-six frame.

Both of these high hipped, long necked pivots have one major thing alike beyond their build, the ability to make the ball scream coming out of their hand.

RB – Michael Chris-Ike & Jamall Lee

It’s simply not normal to have a back the size of Delaware State’s Michael Chris-Ike who can move this well. While the largely insignificant metric of hand size separates these two, the powerful build and long arms will be a huge asset to Chris-Ike moving forward.

REC – Kevin Mital & Felix Faubert-Lussier

There have only been nine receivers in CFL Combine history who rank in the yellow (40th-59th percentile) in height, AND red (80th percentile or above) in weight. Five of these nine such players hailed from Quebec City and the Laval Rouge Et Or.

Mital shook the combine a bit when he weighed in at 229 pounds but quickly made everyone relax Thursday night when he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash and ranked in the elite percentiles on the three-cone before dominating the team periods in helmets and shoulder pads.

Felix Faubert-Lussier was a very useful player during his CFL tenure in Winnipeg, I see that and more for Mital beginning in 2024.

OL – Nathaniel Dumoulin-Duguay & Mark Korte

The top testing offensive lineman in 2024, I had to find a proper comparison for Dumoulin-Duguay and it turned out to be the nearly identical height, weight, hand, arm combination of current Elks offensive lineman Mark Korte who was a first round pick of the Ottawa REDBLACKS. That’s a possible future I see for the Laval product depending on how his film affects decision makers.

DL – Daniel Okpoko & Daryl Waud

While Laurier defensive lineman Luke Brubacher led the way for pass rushers and the entire combine in testing, I had to do Okpoko because I was so intrigued by his combination of size and length with great acceleration and a well above average vertical jump at 274 pounds.

To my surprise, the best comparison was former Mustangs standout Daryl Waud who starred in London before playing four years for the Argos and REDBLACKS.

LB – Joel Dublanko & Tyrell Richards

Let’s not go crazy, Dublanko is not a perfect fit in comparison to former first overall pick Tyrell Richards BUT it was nearly impossible to find a player with Dublanko’s size who moved equally well and Richards – while the gold standard – was really the closest that could be found as anyone who moved and jumped more like Joel was significantly smaller.

All good signs for the unique story and potential top five pick come the end of April.

DB – Benjamin Labrosse & Tyrell Ford

Slightly taller than the lesser discussed Ford brother but with a nearly exact testing performance including a shuttle to three cone differential and smooth acceleration from 10 to 20 and 40-yards.

Lacrosse helped himself immensely at the combine and shouldn’t be available beyond the second round thanks to a stellar performance.

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