These rankings are assembled by combining my own subjective personal grade of each players on field talent, as seen on tape and in Combine 1-on-1, with a percentage grade of how high or below average their testing scores were based on position. The players are then ranked from highest to lowest.
Top 10 LBs in the 2017 CFL Draft
1. Christophe Mulumba, Maine:
Explosive enough to plug gaps and take running backs on in the middle but almost impossible to outpace to the sideline. A big -time player at a high level of football for the entirety of his collegiate career. NFL interest could pick up after a solid pro day but I expect him to be this year’s Alex Singleton, initially a backup but a starting linebacker by the end of next season.
2. Jordan Herdman, Simon Fraser:
An absolute machine through his college career. Great anticipatory player. Fights off blocks with his eyes never leaving the ball. Stood out among elite competition at the Senior Bowl. Every indication is that he could be a legitimate starter in the CFL but tests very poorly. Tape doesn’t lie and his poor testing may help his CFL stock as NFL interest wanes.
3. Nakas Onyeka, Wilfred Laurier:
Quick and explosive. Flies around the football field. Will contribute as a dominant special teams tackler on day one. With his smaller frame, I could see him eventually moving to safety at the next level.
4. Matt Singleton, Black Hills State:
Shows impressive sideline to sideline quickness. Relies on a strong upper body and fast feet to compensate for lack of explosion. Will be impactful on special teams and could develop into more if he continues to learn from his brother.
5. Corey Williams, Toronto:
(photo unavailable because… Toronto)
Solid wall of a linebacker. Too slow laterally to be a starter but showed the downhill speed to contribute on special teams. Has top level upper body strength, will excel as an upback on punts and a kick return blocker.
6. Justin Herdman, Simon Fraser:
Very good linebacker on tape but not quite as “special” as his brother. Poor testing numbers hurt him considerably more in my view because of this. Plays fast but the numbers don’t back it up.
7. Alexandre Chevrier, Sherbrooke:
The fastest linebacker in this class by a mile. Plays fast and out of control on defence but will thrive on special teams. Could have a long career as kick cover specialist, a la Jason Arakgi.
8. Frederic Chagnon, Montreal:
Long, lanky linebacker. A “gamer” who showed very well in a US small school All-Star Game but tested very poorly. Not quite good enough to be considered a future starter and without a skillset that translates well to special teams.
9. Leon Cenerini, Carleton:
Aggressive tackling linebacker who plays bigger than his size. Showed strength with a great bench showing at regional, as well as the second fastest 40 time of all linebackers. Stays strong in his lanes in kick coverage and fights off blocks well.
10. Zach McEachern, Regina:
Great tester. Has excellent closing speed in pursuit. Great open field tackler, doesn’t blow anybody up but wraps the legs and never misses. Good kick cover man with added value as a long snapper.