Football: Looking back at CFL mock drafts

A few weeks ago, we ran a CFL mock draft by Tyler Honeywood. There were several other mock drafts published out there (see full list at bottom), and today we'll look at some of the more interesting and unexpected picks.


Steven Lumbala (RB, Calgary)
Drafted 1-5 by Montreal

Identified as one of three reaches by our Andrew Bucholtz, Lumbala wasn't predicted to go in anyone's first round, and only showed up in the mocks of those who did three or more rounds. As Andrew says, the Als may be looking for a Canadian backup running back, and Lumbala could be the best one out there.

Lumbala was an excellent CIS player, although a lot of his success came against some lesser Canada West teams; against McMaster in last year's Mitchell Bowl, he ran for just 39 yards on 14 carries in "a 45-6 demolition.

Apparently, CFL teams were concerned with his size, injury history, and "lack of lickety-split." If you know what that last phrase could possibly mean, you are the only person in the world who can claim that.

Kris Robertson (DB, Concordia)
Drafted 2-11 by Winnipeg

"Regardless of how you approach it, Robertson sure seems like a compelling CFL prospect. A defensive back with that kind of speed, that kind of vertical and proven ball-hawking ability? Oh, and he can also return kicks? It's hard to see how he was passed over for a combine invite initially, unless everyone just decided to ignore the Stingers this year."

That's Andrew again, writing about Robertson following the combine. Ten years after Moneyball, and we're still seeing players ranked lower by scouts because of their height (or reading nonsense like this).

Our Jared Book saw Robertson play while at Concordia, though Robertson's role increased after he graduated, and he remembers a September 2010 game against McGill as his coming-out party. Says Jared, "I'm not sure he can start defensively but a Canadian return specialist makes him a very interesting prospect. That's usually a spot that goes to Americans."

Robertson's speed was notable as far back as four years ago, when he ran the fastest 40 time on the Concordia team as a rookie. But it wasn't just speed: this year he won the 40, the broad jump, the vertical jump, and in my view should win the Least Quotable award too. This paragraph contains more words than he answered to six questions in this video. But maybe I'm wordy.

He was mocked at 26th, 28th, and 30th by those who included him in their drafts. 11th is quite the difference.



Matt Vonk (OL, Waterloo/Laurier)
Drafted 5-38 by Saskatchewan

Vonk's a casualty of the Waterloo PED hysteria, transferring to Laurier and playing his first year there in 2010. Then, he had to sit out 2011 when CIS ruled that "I forgot to check if my Laurier courses would count at Waterloo" was not a valid compassionate appeal. (Vonk's listed major on the Waterloo site is kinesiology, which probably isn't the best program to take at Laurier if you want to use those credits for a Waterloo degree.) So he has just two years under his belt, and will likely come back to Waterloo for another year.

Some mock drafts had him going in the first round (or early second), perhaps relying too much on prospect lists. Vonk represents a lower-risk player, with no real NFL interest in him, but also lower-reward. "Swinging for a double" is a good phrase here.

Elie Ngoyi (DE, Bishop's)
Drafted 6-51 by Edmonton

Another of Andrew's identified steals, except this time the player went at the end of the sixth round, not the beginning of the second. Ngoyi was mocked anywhere from 8th to 21st and fell to 51st in part because of the strong DL class this year. Most teams had already picked one, and B.C. (who had multiple shots at him) had more pressing needs at other positions. Teams presumably thought they could wait on him since basically everyone else needed him less as the draft went on.

Ngoyi also may have NFL interest. There isn't a report saying such, as far as I can tell, but NFL teams love their combine stars and if CFL teams were aware of any interest, it could further explain his slide down to the 50s. (He was predicted to go no later than 21st.)


Mock drafts used:

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