Sunday, May 10, 2009

The 2009 Canadian Draft

“There was plenty of intrigue in this year’s CFL Draft”

The first ever live televised CFL Draft which took place on Saturday, May 2nd 2009, didn’t disappoint. There were trades, surprising picks, and a few players who got picked way later than expected.

With the CFL draft now over, it is time to look back at the draft, analyzing each first round selection and breaking down everything on the draft. I had an early mock draft that wasn't posted on the site, so I have also included what my predictions were underneath the actual pick.

Pick 1: Hamilton Tiger Cats
Selected: Simon Rottier
My Pick: Simon Rottier

Hamilton’s first overall selection was the only easy one to predict. Rottier was clearly the best offensive lineman in the draft, and Hamilton was smart to upgrade one of their weaker positions. The Tabbies now have the makings of a solid line, with Alexandre Gauthier and Dan Goodspeed playing the tackle spots, with Rottier and a few younger players ready to step in.

Pick 2: Toronto Argonauts
Selected: Étienne Légaré
My Pick: Jamall Lee

I thought the Argonauts would snatch up Jamall Lee, but then Lee got recruited by the NFL. While the Argo’s could have added Lee and hoped he would come back to the team eventually, the team made a smart pick. Heading into the draft, I believed that Toronto’s greatest weaknesses were the offensive and defensive line and the running back position. By adding Légaré, the Argonauts have found someone to play besides nose tackle Adriano Belli, and took another step forward in improving their horrendous defense of a year ago. Légaré was said to be one of the best talents in the draft so the pick wasn’t too hard for the Argonauts to make.

Pick 3: BC Lions via Hamilton
Selected: Jamall Lee
My Pick: Hamilton selects Matt Morencie

With three mid round picks in the first round, I fully believed that the Lions were trying to move up and select Jamall Lee. The Leo’s only had to give up one of their first round picks to move up and select Jamall Lee. BC released Charles Roberts in the off-season and Stefan Logan went to the NFL. The Lions could use a proven running back, and Wally Buono is obviously hoping the team has found a future replacement in Jamall Lee. The draft class was not the strongest, but kudos to the Lions for securing arguably the best player in the draft. If Lee eventually comes back from the NFL, the move could work out well for the Lions.

Pick 4: BC Lions via Toronto via Edmonton
Selected: James Yurichuk
My Pick: Steve Myddelton

I wasn’t sure if there were any linebackers worth taking in the first round, but BC obviously believes Yurichuk can be a solid addition to the team. The Lions are weak in a handful of positions thanks to a horrid off-season. With only linebacker’s Anton Mackenzie and Javier Glatt remaining as proven starters, adding another linebacker is a smart move for the Lions.

Pick 5: BC Lions
Selected: Matt Carter
My Pick: Matt Carter

In my second correct pick, the Lions picked up Axeman slotback Matt Carter. After releasing Jason Clermont, the Lions were in need of some more receivers. By picking Matt Carter they may have found their receiver of the future. The Lions didn’t pick up any offensive or defensive lineman with their three first round picks, but they did well to address other areas of concern for them.

Pick 6: Hamilton Tiger Cats via BC Lions
Selected: Darcy Brown
My Pick: BC selects Osie Ukwuoma

This was the pick Hamilton picked up from BC in exchange for their third overall pick. Darcy Brown, the Saint Mary’s receiver, didn’t have huge receiving stats last season. It is rumoured that Hamilton will look to convert the six foot three, 251 pound receiver to the fullback position.

Pick 7: Montreal Alouettes
Selected: Dylan Steenbergen
My Pick: Étienne Légaré

With the local product Légaré already off the board, the Als signed a local product from Calgary in Dylan Steenbergen. The offensive lineman was ranked fifth by the CFL scouting bureau. Montreal didn’t have a lot of holes to fill on their team, but Steenbergen was a smart pick. Montreal’s offensive line is getting a bit older so they could use some help for the future.

Pick 8: Calgary Stampeders
Selected: Eric Fraser
My Pick: Scott McHenry

I believe that the Stampeders would look to add some youth to their aging receiving core, but they instead added the top ranked American defensive back. Calgary defense was questionable at times and the secondary has always been an area of weakness. Adding Eric Fraser could prove favourable for the Stampeders in the future.

For a look at every pick of the CFL draft, go to

Other Notable Picks:

Pick 9: Saskatchewan Roughrider
Selected: Taman Gordon

The University of Regina product was the top rated defensive back in the CIS and could step in for the Roughriders in the future.

Pick 16: Calgary Stampeders
Selected: Tristan Black

Calgary managed to pick up the linebacker late in the second round. The pick will once again help Calgary’s defense.

Pick 21: BC Lions
Selected: Matt Morencie

After failing to add a lineman in the first round, the Lions picked up Morencie who surprisingly fell to the third round. With Rob Murphy signing in Toronto, the Lions had holes on the o-line.

Winner of the Draft: Calgary Stampeders

The Stampeders made a lot of impressive picks during the draft. The team first added one of the best defensive backs available in Eric Fraser, and also added Tristan Black and Osi Ukwuoma to the defense. Calgary also helped their offense. The team added offensive lineman Steve Myddelton and slotback Scott McHenry to the fold as well. With their picks, the defending Grey Cup champs have secured that they will be solid for years to come.

Loser of the Draft: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg didn’t make any significant picks in the draft, but they didn’t have a lot of draft picks to use. The team didn’t add any player until the third round and there weren’t a lot of options to choose from.

Biggest Steal of the Day: Osie Ukwuoma, pick 40

Calgary selected Ukwuoma with the last pick of the fifth round. The defensive end was ranked highly by the CFL scouts and should be a solid acquisition, especially since he was picked so late in the draft.

Biggest Head Scratcher: Darcy Brown, pick 6

The Tiger Cats picked Darcy Brown with pick number six. With mediocre receiving stats last season, Brown may be converted to a full back. Yet it is confusing as to why the Tiger Cats selected Brown as early as he was not ranked very highly.

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