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With the dust briefly settled on the Canadian Football League’s big day, The Grueling Truth’s el commandante Mike Goodpaster gives out his 2017 CFL Draft grades, assessing each team’s performance. Predictions and opinionating ensue…

Ottawa Redblacks
1st Round: OL Evan Johnson, Saskatchewan (9th)
2nd Round:
RB Anthony Gosselin, Sherbrooke (18th)
3rd Round: DL Eli Ankou, UCLA (26th)
4th Round: RB Louis-Philippe Bourassa, Montreal (35th)
5th Round: DL Mathieu Dupuis, Montreal (44th)
6th Round: REC Austen Hartley, Calgary (53rd)
7th Round: RB Ed Ilnicki, Alberta (62nd)
8th Round: OL Jordan Filippelli, Calgary (71st)

The Redblacks have a proven track record of selecting offensive linemen in the draft and once again they have drafted an lineman who should be able to help out right away in Evan Johnson. Possibly the biggest steal of this draft could be defensive lineman Eli Ankou out of UCLA: Ankou is very talented but now the question is whether the Redblacks ever get the talented DL over the border? If they do, he could have an immediate impact.

Overall I think the Redblacks added some depth to the team and had a solid draft. As of right now, I would give this draft a solid C grade, but it could quickly become an B if they can get Ankou across the border. Grade: C.

Montreal Alouettes
2nd Round: DL Fabion Foote, McMaster (12th)
3rd Round: DB Dondre Wright, Henderson State (20th)
4th Round: REC Alexander Morrison, UBC (29th)
5th Round: OL Zach Annen, Carleton (39th)
6th Round: REC Malcolm Carter, Ottawa Sooners (CJFL) (45th)
6th Round: REC Denzel Radford, Calgary (48th)
7th Round: DB Ty Cranston, Ottawa (56th)
8th Round: TE Oumar Toure, Sherbrooke (65th)

Considering the Alouettes did not have a first-round pick in this draft, I think they did a nice job. I love the third-round selection of Dondre Wright; I think he is one of the best defensive backs in this draft and possesses first-round talent. Alexander Morrison is another pick I love, as he is a speed guy that will give the Alouettes an explosive weapon on offense.

Overall, the Alouettes did a nice job in this draft. Grade: B-.

Saskatchewan Roughriders
1st Round: LB Cameron Judge, UCLA (2nd)
2nd Round: OL Dariusz Bladek, Bethune-Cookman (11th)
4th Round: TE Antony Auclair, Laval (30th)
4th Round: OL Eddie Meredith, Western (32nd)
5th Round: REC Mitchell Picton, Regina (37th)
6th Round: OL Danny Sprukulis, Toronto (46th)
7th Round:
LB Alexandre Chevrier, Sherbrooke (55th)
7th Round: DT Emmanuel Adusei, Carleton (57th)
8th Round: OL Marc Glaude, Montreal (64th)

My favorite pick for the Riders would have to be offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek from Bethune-Cookman. Anthony Auclair is an interesting pick as he is trying his luck with the NFL, but if the Riders get him he would be a huge addition to the offense.

Overall, I am really not that impressed with what the Riders did in this draft, My grade will improve if they can get Auclair on the field in a Riders jersey. Grade: D.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1st Round: DL Connor McGough, Calgary (4th)
2nd Round:
OL Braden Schram, Calgary (13th)
3rd Round: DL Kay Okafor, St. Francis Xavier (21st)
5th Round: DL Justin Vaughn, Fordham (38th)
6th Round: REC Jacob Scarfone, Guelph (46th)
7th Round: OL Brett Golding, Wilfred Laurier (58th)
8th Round: RB Sean Thomas-Erlington, Montreal (66th)

The TiCats drafted for need and added 5 out of their 7 drafted players on the offensive and defensive lines. Connor McGough will help out immediately as will offensive lineman Braden Schram.

Overall they added depth on the offensive and defensive line and that is where championships in any league are won. Grade: B-.

Toronto Argonauts
2nd Round: OL Mason Woods, Idaho (10th)
3rd Round: DL Evan Foster, Manitoba (19th)
4th Round: DB, Robert Woodson, Calgary (27th)
5th Round: LB Nakas Onyeka, Wilfred Laurier (36th)
7th Round: LB Justin Herdman, Simon Fraser (54th)
8th Round: DL Matthew Carson, Calgary (63rd)

Even without a first-round pick, the Argos got a first round talent in Idaho offensive lineman Mason Woods. The 6’9″ lineman was considered just a few weeks ago as possibly the first player to be selected in this draft. Robert Woodson may be the best pick of this draft as I feel he will be a big-time defensive back in the CFL. Linebackers Nakas Onyeks and Justin Herdman have the potential to be big-time steals for the Argos.

Overall I think new Argos G.M. may have hit a home run in this draft. Grade A.

Calgary Stampeders
1st Round: DL Randy Colling, Gannon (6th)
2nd Round:
REC Julian Lynch, Saskatchewan (17th)
3rd Round: DB Tunde Adeleke, Carleton (25th)
4th Round: LB Ante Milanovic-Litre, Simon Fraser (28th)
5th Round: OL Felix Gacusana Jr., Simon Fraser (43rd)
6th Round: DL Alexandre Gagnon, Sherbrooke (52nd)
7th Round: DB Adam Laurensse, Calgary (61st)
8th Round: WR Richard Sindani, Regina (70th)

Randy Colling was a great first-round pick, as he has spent four years in the Arena Football League and should be able to help the Stamps right away. [Interesting fact: According to the below Cleveland Gladiators podcast, Colling is the first-ever AFL player to be drafted by the CFL. Nice. –Ed.]

The rest of the Stampeders draft was solid and let’s face it whatever the Stamps do usually turns out right. Overall I will trust that the Stamps have done a solid job with this draft because they usually do. Grade B-.

B.C. Lions
1st Round: REC Danny Vandervoort, McMaster (3rd)
1st Round: DL Junior Luke, Montreal (7th)
2nd Round:
OL Jeremy Zver, Regina (16th)
3rd Round: LB Frederic Chagnon, Montreal(24th)
4th Round: DB Nathaniel Hamlin, Carleton (33rd)
5th Round: DL Edward Godin, Laval (42nd)
6th Round: REC Dakota Brush, Mount Allison (51st)
7th Round: LB Jordan Herdman, Simon Fraser (60th)
8th Round: REC Mitchell Hillis, Saskatchewan (69th)

With the retirement of Shawn Gore, Danny Vandervoort was a necessity pick for the Lions and he should be able to step right in and fill the gap left by Gore’s retirement. Jordan Herdman will be an absolute steal in the seventh round. Luke and Zver will instantly add depth along the offensive and defensive lines for the Lions.

Overall Wally Buono nailed it in this draft and should find themselves neck and neck once again with the Stampeders. Grade: A.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
1st Round: DL Faith Ekakitie, Iowa (1st)
1st Round: OL Geoff Gray, Manitoba (8th)
2nd Round:
OL Qadr Spooner, McGill (15th)
3rd Round: DB Abubakar Conteh, Grambling State (23rd)
4th Round: K Felix Menard-Briere, Montreal (34th)
6th Round: DL Ian Marouf, Guelph (50th)
7th Round: REC Brendon Thera-Plamondo (59th)
8th Round: REC Tylor Henry, Alberta (68th)

Geoff Gray could end up in the NFL, so the 8th overall pick could be a risk, but I think it will be a risk worth taking. Ekakite on the other hand, should start and help out right away for the Bombers. Adding Spooner gives the Bombers three picks that will start on the front line for them eventually. The rest of the draft was also solid and will help add depth to the Bombers.

Overall a nice job done here by the Bombers. Grade: A-.

Edmonton Eskimos
1st Round: REC Nate Behar, Carleton (5th)
2nd Round:
OL Jean-Simon Roy, Laval (14th)
3rd Round:
LB Chris Mulumba, Maine (22nd)
4th Round:
DB Jordan Hoover, Waterloo (31st)
5th Round: OL Justin Senior, Mississippi State (40th)
5th Round: DL Kwaku Boateng, Wilfred Laurier (41st)
6th Round: OL Kwabena Asare, Carleton (49th)
8th Round: DL Mark Mackie, McMaster (67th)

Behar is a receiver that could make an impact at some point this season. I really like the Eskimos two 5th round picks, especially Kwaku Boateng. Not too much splash here, but a decent job and I think the late round picks for the Eskimos could eventually make a huge impact. Grade: C+.

  • Matt McConnell

    I think some good assessments. Of course we won’t really know for several years. Very seldom do rookies make an impact or even start in the first year. Sometimes Canadians have a tendency to direct more reverence to NCAA players or assume players the NFL are interested in are better players. That is not so. It’s all about body types for the League let’s be honest about it and y’all can take some serious pride in the Canadian game instead of running it down. Which is really, really a strange mindset but… I’m not a shrink.

    Anyway, the Riders deserve a higher grade/ They came out of nowhere getting Meredith. Judge is a CFL body. They are a solid B.

    • Greg Germain

      I think the writer of this article is out to lunch! LIKE YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! you give the Riders a grade of D?? When two teams like Toronto and Montreal didn’t even have a 1st rd pick and they were given much better grades! (Ya its your opinion, but its a weak one if that!) In reality Chris Jones was looking for specific needs! LB and OL and he found a gem in 1st rounder Cameron Judge (who you didnt even mention!) who looks like he could possibly down the road be an all-star linebacker in this league with his athleticism and skill! he got some looks down in the NFL, which is big and most importantly it looks like he’ll be at Sask training camp this year! Then you add key pick ups at OL(Meredith and Bladek) and a good WR in Picton I would say the Riders grade is a B!

      • Dion Rogal

        sliders did NOT find a so called Gem as the Eskies were gonna take him at 5 so dont think traitor jones unleashed a surprise find here ,sliders stay in the basement AGAIN this year book it

        • Greg Germain

          Lol. YA, BUT YOU DIDN’T TAKE HIM!! stupid eskimo fans… You sound very bitter and jealous like you had your lollipop taken away TWO years ago and still can’t get over it! GO have your temper tantrum in the basement! Cause thats where your headed! The Riders are getting better wether you like it or not!