The CFL Draft is the first step for many towards their dreams of playing professional football. After all of the mayhem over the last year+, the CFL returning brings a little normalcy to Canadians who love their three down game.
As you would assume, this year’s draft provides some hurdles for the 9 GMs, not only from a lack of film, but there were a number of rule changes made for this year’s draft. The Draft itself was been reduced from 8 to 6 rounds and will be a ‘Snake Draft’ format with the draft order being determined by a random draw with equal odds across all the teams in the league. The CFL has also allowed all USport athletes whose draft year is 2021, to defer to 2022. Any player in the NCAA will not be afforded this same luxury since these teams were able to play in 2021. (Source – CFL.ca)
Part of the factor for all of these is not only the pandemic and allowing a fair opportunity for these players to showcase their talent, but due to the ‘double cohort’ of Canadian rookies. Essentially they are trying to assure that the players drafted this year and last year all have a fair opportunity to make their team’s roster after the lost season in 2020. These rookies will also face added competition from the league’s inaugural Global Draft that took place on April 15th.
As is the case every season, the NFL draft also impacts the CFL draft. Of this year’s CFL Scouting Bureau’s Top 20 ranked prospect, 8 have been drafted or signed by NFL teams, including the top 7 ranked prospects on the year! Of course this happens every year, looking back last year, Neville Gallimore was drafted in the 8th round and Chase Claypool wasn’t drafted at all despite being some of the top ranked prospects. With four Canadians drafted in the first 4 round at the NFL level, it will be interesting to see if teams are more willing to take a chance on these players compared to previous seasons.
Finally, keep an eye on some of the standouts from the Regional Combines. I will admit I am biased in this regard as I watched a family member rise from a nobody who was on zero team’s radar, to a possible 4th rounder to an eventual 2nd round pick before becoming a Grey Cup Champ. One name to keep an eye on coming out of Quebec and the East Regional Combine is Jonathan Breton-Robert. The two-time RSEQ Offensive All Star turned some heads, finishing with the 2nd most reps on the Bench Press (15) and an impressive 4.63 40 time.
For anyone looking to brush up on prospects, and/or what their teams may be looking for, Justin Dunk and John Hodge have you covered!
As always don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and check us out on Youtube for all of our podcasts and videos. For all the CFL junkies, make sure to check out Weekly Sauce as Terry and Alex the Intern have sat down with multiple Montreal Alouettes, both current and former players including the likes of Ben Cahoon, John Bowman and their most recent guest Antonio Simmons!