Football: Draft digest

Sorting out the CFL's draft proceedings with respect to the CIS (and no claim on being an insider or well-informed):
  • Tinfoil-hat-wearers will surmise that there was no way all six rounds would pass without a Canadian quarterback being selected. Regina's Teale Orban went to the hometown Roughriders with the first pick of the final round, meaning he'll be the next Canadian hope.

    Ottawa's Josh Sacobie, who went undrafted, pointed out the fact that he and Orban were invited to work out for CFL teams is an indicator of progress. (I was talking to him for Ottawa Sun purposes.)

    "When you look at the history of the draft, if he was labeled at quarterback, had an option to convert him to receiver, that's usually what they would do," he said. "I do think the fact we were the first quarterbacks invited to work out in about four years is progress. Teale's going to have his shot."

    There always seems to be an 'out' with Canadians who get a CFL shot -- too old (think Darryl Leason), not athletic enough, not enough knowledge of a pro-style offence. Orban doesn't seem to have any obvious strike against him.
  • Thoughts on Queen's running back Mike Giffin going to Hamilton in the third round are up over at Out of Left Field. Western coach Greg Marshall noted on the webcast that teams are looking for big backs who can catch the ball "in space" and are both fast and strong enough to carry the ball on the inside zone play that's a staple of the spread offence. Giffin, at 235 lbs., might fit the bill.
  • Daryl Stephenson, the '06 Hec Crighton winner, went to Winnipeg, with the 24th overall pick.

    Stephenson still has a year of eligibility left, which creates an interesting scenario with where he'll play this season. Winnipeg seems to like the Windsor guys, since they already have Arjei Franklin.
  • Third-round picks apparently have a better chance at a lasting CFL career than first-rounders. That's good news for Giffin, Stephenson, McGill LB Jean-Nicolas Carriere (Argonauts), Saint Mary's LB Tim St. Pierre (Edmonton), Manitoba D-lineman Justin Cooper (also Edmonton), Mac LB Jason Aragki and Manitoba D-lineman Justin Shaw (both B.C.).
  • Anyone else surprised that no kickers were drafted?
  • The one wild card in the draft, as opposed to the big auction held a week earlier in the NFL, is that there's so much variance in football experience, which actually makes a much more fun crapshoot. The Toronto Argonauts took Mac slotback Mike Bradwell and Ottawa d-back Delroy Clarke, each of whom had limited football experience prior to beginning their post-secondary education.

    That's probably going to change in the years to come, what with the growth of youth football in many parts of Canada. In the long term, the CFL should use this as a basis to increase the import ratio, but fat chance of that happening.
  • Ottawa's SID, Dan Carle, provided some neat details about Clarke. He was an accomplished soccer player and sprinter in Jamaica before moving to Toronto during his teens; he learned about football by watching it on TV. He didn't take up tackle football until three years later.

    "A couple of my friends thought it would be good for me to try," is how Clarke put it on the phone yesterday. "Never in a million years did I think I'd get a chance at playing pro football."

    Now he'll get a chance with his hometown Argos. Only in Canada.

Again, this is by no means expert, just a couple opinions.

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1 comment:

  1. More on Orban, a lifelong Riders fan, from Tim Switzer in the Leader-Post:

    Orban will report to the Riders' rookie camp in late May and says he isn't going into it with the goal of returning to university in the fall. Orban, a two-time Hec Crighton Trophy nominee, has another year of CIS eligibility remaining.

    Orban also says:

    The better the level of football, the more intense the scrutiny is. I'm sure there's already people out there that don't think I'm very good and others that think I'm not bad.