The CFL Draft is the most complex and difficult to predict event in professional sports. Accurately predicting the NHL Draft Lottery is easier. Some teams draft need, almost all go with best available after a certain point, players play against vastly different levels of competition, good players slide because of NFL interest and teams value Canadians at different positions. All these things contribute to a wild and unpredictable process that culminates on draft night. I have spent many hours putting together a full 8 round mock draft. I have watched film on all the prospects and have them going places where I see a fit, in roughly the order I value them. Like any Mock Draft this is not perfect, I value certain players higher than other people and others far less so than the teams might. I possess no insider information. However I feel strongly that my Mock Draft gives a picture of what a ideal draft, without trades, would look like for teams. Enjoy!
2017 CFL Mock Draft
- WPG: Danny Vandervoort, WR, McMaster
With the elite prospects on both lines gone to the NFL, there is only one plug and play starter at a Bombers position of need. Vandervoort is the best player available and instantly provides the Bombers the dynamic Canadian receiving talent they have been missing. Most people believe the Bombers should take Faith Etakitie at #1. I think that would be a tremendous waste. There is not much separation in my mind between Etakitie, Luke, Foote and Vaughn in terms of talent and pro readiness. You can get a good DT down the board (maybe even Etakitie) but no one as instantly productive as Danny Vandervoort.
- SSK: Dariusz Bladek, OG, Bethune Cookman
Saskatchewan needs an offensive lineman who can develop behind their veterans and start this year if injuries occur. Bladek is keen and committed with a Division 1 pedigree, he could make an impact early this year.
- BC: Braden Schram, OG, Calgary
The Lions have solid starters at every position on the offensive line but lack much needed depth. Schram is highly versatile and can play multiple positions. He will be invaluable to the Lions now that they are running with 4 Canadians up front.
- HAM: Jean-Simon Roy, C, Laval
Hamilton has only 4 National O-lineman on the roster, a concern even for the team with the best ratio flexibility in the league. Roy can play guard and center and is strong enough to play right now if needed.
- EDM: Cam Judge, LB, UCLA
There is now a starting calibre WILL linebacker in Edmonton in Corey Greenwood but their backups are untested and Greenwood is injury prone. A few prospects will be in consideration here but Judge’s Big 5 conference pedigree and rave reviews from coaches will hold sway. He won’t be asked to start right away but he will rip up the field on teams, replacing the production of former ST tackles leader Mike Miller
- WPG: Faith Etakitie, DT, Iowa
A wealth of picks and a deep DT class will allow the Bombers to take the best player at #1 and not be forced to reach to fill their hole at DT. Etakitie will slide in behind Jake Thomas and make an impact as a situational player.
- BC: Nate Behar, WR, Carleton
With rumours of Shawn Gore’s retirement refusing to go away, the Lions will be looking to find a Canadian receiving threat. Behar is more talented and dynamic then current Z receiver Marco Iannuzzi but can sit behind him initially and contribute on special teams.
- CGY: Jeremy Zver, OT, Regina
The Calgary offensive line has prided itself on excellence and versatility in recent years but Dan Federkeil, their starting right tackle, isn’t getting any younger and they’ll be searching for his replacement. Zver is an athlete who will benefit from top quality coaching and veteran mentorship to maximize his physical gifts.
- OTT: Mitch Picton, SB, Regina
Mitch Picton isn’t ready to start yet but the Redblacks don’t need him to. Picton is a tremendous receiving talent who can learn behind Brad Sinopoli and eventually replace him, providing currently absent depth in the slot.
- TOR: Qadr Spooner, OT, McGill
Trestman and Popp want to go back to their old ways of 5 Nationals on the O-Line but to do that they need tackles. Chris Van Zeyl is a known commodity while Jamal Campbell is an up-and-comer many are high on. Popp will take the kid he was able to see up close in Montreal to provide depth at that spot and compete for the job in the coming years.
- SSK: Christophe Mulumba, LB, Maine
With Henoc Muamba as their starting MLB, the Riders will have to put talented depth behind him. Mulumba has starting potential himself, able to plug and play with injury and contribute on the teams.
- MTL: Mason Woods, OG, Idaho
Woods has a lot of questions around him but his talent is undeniable. Montreal has to take the best available O-lineman with their first pick and reinforce what was essentially swiss cheese last year.
- HAM: Robert Woodson, DB, Calgary
This pick plays to Hamilton’s strength. Woodson is a great cover man and can play safety as well. He could back up Courtney Stephen at field corner, jump in at halfback in a pinch or simply provide quality depth at safety which could allow them to move Craig Butler down to SAM linebacker. Adding Woodson makes a flexible ratio even more elastic.
- EDM: Dondre Wright, DB, Henderson State
I am not convinced that Neil King is the long-term solution at safety and I don’t think the Eskimos are either. Dondre Wright is an instant upgrade and could even start at some point next year thanks to his physicality.
- WPG: Evan Johnson, OT, Saskatchewan
The Bombers can fill in O-line depth here with Evan Johnson. He becomes a very good backup guard and has the added value of being a true tackle who can backup Paddy Neufeld should injuries force them to start three Nationals up front.
- BC: Kwaku Boateng, DE, Wilfrid Laurier
The Lions need Canadian defensive end talent to make their ratio comfortable and Boateng is the head of the class. He will be an instant impact player as a situational pass rusher and will effectively contribute on teams as well.
- CGY: Junior Luke, DT, Montreal
Luke is a raw talent who will benefit from having a Defensive lineman as a Defensive Coordinator and veteran talent around him. Calgary may be the best spot for his development and his addition could make Quinn Smith a full-time O-lineman.
- OTT: Fabion Foote, DT, McMaster
A man with insane burst, Foote will fit nicely on an Ottawa team that values the ability to start as many as three Canadians on the D-line if needed. He will compliment Zach Evans nicely with a rotation in the middle with little talent drop off.
- TOR: Connor McGough, DL, Calgary
Toronto has assembled a nice stable of pass rushers including talented Canadians like Cleyon Laing and Daryl Waud. McGough has a high motor and Chamblin will move him around the front in the rotation, having success from multiple spots.
- MTL: Alex Morrison, SB, UBC
Morrison is a very underrated receiver and his playing style reminds me a little a Sam Giguere. Why not put the two together and groom Morrison as the future national slot in Montreal’s offence?
- HAM: Justin Vaughn, DL, Fordham
A high producing steal at this spot, Vaughn provides a quicker, leaner contrast to Hamilton’s bevy of hole plugging Canadian DTs. He could move to edge in certain situations in the event of a Justin Capicciotti start, making the Hamilton front more dynamic.
- EDM: Kay Okafor, DE, St. FX
There is only one Canadian pass rusher in Edmonton right now but Okafor is a pick for the future. His freakish athleticism needs to be coached into football skills before he can make an impact anywhere except special teams, so a place where he won’t be called upon right away is the best case scenario for his development.
- WPG: Geoff Gray, OG, Manitoba
Loaded with top picks, Winnipeg can afford to take a flyer earlier than normal on an exciting local talent who will be down South for a while. Its low risk, high reward at this spot because of their extra first rounder.
- BC: Danny Sprukulis, OT, Toronto
Every year some non-national combine attending Lineman goes earlier than expected. Sprukulis will follow former teammate DJ Sackey in being that guy this year. He is a smooth, developmental tackle with high IQ that BC can develop for the future behind Hunter Steward and David Foucault.
- CGY: Jordan Herdman, LB, SFU
Herdman drops because of his awful testing numbers but Calgary will be more than happy to slot him in behind Alex Singleton. Both are a little small for the middle, always around the ball and downhill backers. The addition will allow them to keep a consistent ratio regardless of injury.
- OTT: Kwabena Asare, OG, Carleton
To upgrade their backup guards, Ottawa will take its time developing this raw local guard. He has the size and strength but it will take the knowledge and skill of future hall of famer Bryan Chiu to make him a starter.
- TOR: Evan Foster, DE/LB, Manitoba
Toronto needs guys who can fly around, compete day in and day out on special teams and be versatile to help with the rebuild. Evan Foster fits the bill in a big way.
- CGY: Johnny Augustine, RB, Guelph
Running back will be a Canadian position in Calgary for the foreseeable future and Augustine fits their mould of a north-south runner with hands. They can bring him along slowly, like they did with Jon Cornish, with years of work on the teams and when Messam is done he could get a shot at his starting dream.
- MTL: Nakas Onyeka, LB/DB, Wilfrid Laurier
It may not happen to start this year but the Als are assembling a roster where a Canadian linebacker could start in the future. That guy is probably former first rounder Chris Ackie and Nakas Onyeka is of the same mould, making him a perfect backup. He could also slide back to safety, a position of need in Montreal.
- SSK: Anthony Gosselin, FB, Sherbrooke
Gosselin is strong, fast, mean and he has sick hands. He should appeal to Jones and the Rider fan base as a future starting fullback and special teams’ demon.
- EDM: Malcolm Carter, WR, Ottawa Sooners
Shamawd Chambers is back to silence the questions about Edmonton’s Z receiver spot for now but the future remains uncertain. Take the momentary clarity to develop the raw talent of Malcolm Carter. Mike Reilly will love throwing it up to a 6’6” man who can jump in the corner of the endzone.
- SSK: Tunde Adeleke, DB, Carleton
A decent cover man with great speed, Adeleke is a lankier version of Rider Tevaughn Campbell. He will be a great depth DB and a difference maker as a kick cover man and returner.
- BC: Felix Gacusana Jr, OG, SFU
To continue adding depth to their O-line, BC will look at this brawling local kid who will come with the recommendation of former player and SFU head coach Kelly Bates. A good depth piece.
- CGY: Austen Hartley, WR, Calgary
To add receiver depth, Calgary will go local and take the second fastest man in the draft. He will fill in behind Durant and Brescanin in the slot and could be the steal of the draft when his opportunity comes.
- OTT: Antony Auclair, TE, Laval
I have compared Auclair to Ottawa fullback Patrick Lavoie and I’ll stick to that assessment. The RedBlacks will get Lavoie even more involved in the offence this year and when he becomes a big fish in free agency in a few years, they’ll hope Auclair is ready to come back north.
- TOR: Antre Milanovic-Litre, RB, SFU
A runner who is better statistically out of the backfield than pounding the rock, Litre will pair nicely with Anthony Coombs as the RB/SB in the Argos offence.
- SSK: Eli Ankou, DT, UCLA
Chris Jones signed just about every available Canadian DT with a pulse last year so he’ll continue to add talent to that position. Getting the rights to Ankou will ensure a star in the middle of that defence if he comes north.
- HAM: Jacob Scarfone, SB, Guelph
Hamilton needs a slotback who can fill the role of Andy Fantuz (whether he resigns or not), only one receiver in the draft could do that and he went #1. Jacob Scarfone is a quality sleeper though who I think develops into a starter in the slot.
- MTL: Sam Narkaj, DT, Concordia
A beefy gap plugger, Narkaj provides depth at the dual Canadian DT spots. He is big enough that he could two gap in the 3-4 defence that Montreal is moving away from as well.
- EDM: Adam Laurenesse, DB, Calgary
Edmonton is hoping Arjen Colquhoun decides to come north this year. They will need depth pieces in place if he does and Adam Laurenesse is a underrated cover man who could be a solid backup.
- EDM: Jordan Filipelli, OG, Calgary
The lineman class is thin this year but the Esks have a hole following Chris Greaves retirement. Filipelli may be a bit of a reach here but the Eskimos won’t risk missing out on a depth O-lineman.
- BC: Corey Williams, LB, Toronto
The Lions will draft Williams to be a depth linebacker and an instant contributor on special teams.
- CGY: Matt Singleton, LB, Black Hills State
Brotherly love will prevail and the Singletons will reunite in Calgary, where Alex will continue to gain stardom and Matt will cover kicks.
- OTT: Justin Herdman, LB, SFU
Ottawa lacks corps special teamers at the linebacker position, Justin Herdman will change that and potentially develop into a starter down the road.
- MTL: Harland Hastings, DB, Acadia
The position of safety has no clear starter for the Alouettes at this point and lacks depth. Hasting is an underrated talent who can step in and provide quality depth behind whoever starts.
- SSK: Daniel Hayes, OG, Queen’s
Hayes is a big, aggressive guard that the Riders can develop on the practice squad and get long term value out of.
- HAM: Randy Colling, DL, Cleveland Gladiators
A veteran of Arena Football, Colling needs to cut weight and gain speed to compete in this league so I don’t see the value in taking him as high as some others might. The pseudo-Canadian’s dad was a Ti-Cats fan, so why not send him to his roots where he can provide instant insurance against injury.
- MTL: Dakota Brush, REC, Mount Allison
Brush is a big bodied possession slot who will be a depth piece in Montreal and a key special teamer.
- EDM: Abubakkar Conteh, DB, Grambling State
Without quality linemen available, the Eskimos will continue to improve their weak safety position and prepare for the potential arrival of Arjen Colquhoun. Conteh could become a contributor at either spot.
- WPG: Sean Thomas-Erlington, RB, Montreal
Winnipeg doesn’t have a Canadian behind Andrew Harris at running back right now, that will have to change. Erlington is versatile and can be a multi-faceted weapon in an offence, similar to Harris.
- BC: Justin Senior, OT, Mississippi State
With their Tackles set for now the Lions can plan for the future. The only Canadian NFL Draft pick goes in the same round in this league, a flyer that the Lions can potentially cash in years down the road.
- CGY: Jeremie Drouin, DT, Westshore Rebels
Drouin has a high motor and a big body, a perfect fit for Calgary up the middle.
- OTT: Alexandre Chevrier, LB, Sherbrooke
A steal at this spot in the draft, Chevrier will be a dynamic special teams presence in the Capital city.
- TOR: Frederic Chagnon, LB, Montreal
Trying to replace the expensive National linebackers they cut, Toronto will find value in Chagnon here. He is a bad tester but great when live bullets start firing.
- SSK: Jordan Hoover, DB, Waterloo
A big bodied DB with strong tests, Chris Jones will love the things he can do with Hoover. He’ll move him all over the roster, up to safety, down to SAM and over to halfback and corner.
- MTL: Mathieu Dupuis, DT, Montreal
Dupuis provides depth at the National DT position while possessing a body type that could be used in a variety of special teams scenarios.
- SSK: Bryce Mckinnon, DT, Regina
A local kid who is a load up the middle, the Riders will benefit their roster and please their fanbase with this pick.
- HAM: Kain Ainzovino, LS, Kent State
A top quality long snapper who can challenge Aaron Crawford for the job.
- WPG: Jesse McNair, DB, Western
The Bombers lack quality depth behind Taylor Loffler at safety and McNair is a underrated prospect who plays in a similar style. Expect more big hits to come over the middle at IGF.
- BC: Osas Obas, DE, Ottawa
A good depth end who thrives on special teams despite his larger build.
- CGY: Zach McEachern, LB/LS, Regina
A good sideline to sideline linebacker who can also compete for the longsnapper job with Max Caron.
- OTT: Nathaniel Hamlin, DB, Carleton
A local kid who will provide solid depth at safety.
- TOR: Richard Gillespie, DB, Toronto
A long defender, he can provide special teams help and depth in the defensive backfield.
- SSK: Julan Lynch, REC, Saskatchewan
A big bodied receiver who needs development, Lynch fits Jones’s receiver mould.
- MTL: Alexandre Gagnon, DE, Sherbrooke
A high motor defensive end who will help on special teams.
- HAM: Brett Golding, OG, Wilfrid Laurier
A quality late round pick, Golding is a bit of a mystery after a season lost to injury. He’ll add depth for Hamilton and could be a real steal.
- EDM: Mitch Hillis, REC, Saskatchewan
A solid slot receiver who can slide in behind Cory Watson and develop.
- WPG: Mark Mackie, DE, McMaster
A small defensive end with a crazy high motor, the Bombers will let him loose on special teams.
- BC: Akeeno Williams, DB, Manitoba
Looking for more defensive backs, Williams is an intriguing prospect with a great frame who will need time and coaching. Lions have enough Canadian DBs to be able to bring him along slowly.
- CGY: Adam Adeboboye, WR, York
Small, speedy receiver who can stretch the field. Provides Calgary with a different type of Canadian weapon.
- OTT: Emile Charron-Ligez, DE, Montreal
Mr. Irrelevant is a solid defensive end that provides them with depth should they go with three Canadians on the defensive front at any point.