The clock is ticking down to Draft Day 2018 and so we must move forward with the prospect rankings. Up next are the Defensive Backs that you might see at the next level.
2018 CFL Draft Prospect Rankings
Top 15 DBs:
1. Jackson Bennett, Ottawa GeeGees
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Ht: 5’10.9” Wt: 212 lbs
A ridiculously versatile athlete who will be an instant impact player for the team that drafts him. His early contributions will undoubtedly be as a top tier special teams’ player in both kick coverage and return, but his floor as a defensive player is high and his ceiling is perhaps unmatched by any skill player in this draft. He is probably a starting safety at the next level but I see him as a legitimate SAM linebacker. He has the ability to cover any receivers man to man and come up with ferocity to make plays in the run game.
2. Jordan Beaulieu, Western Mustangs
Hometown: Montreal, PQ
Ht: 5’11.1” Wt: 200 lbs
An absolute hammer from the safety position, Beaulieu has driven up his draft stock with great combine performances but unlike some who excel in the “underwear Olympics” has eye-popping tape to back it up. With a nose for the football and a craving for contact, Beaulieu will excel in a special teams’ role to start but has the skill set to blossom into a starting safety.
3. Godfrey Onyeka, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Ht: 6’1.9” Wt: 208 lbs
A rare legitimate shutdown Canadian corner, Onyeka blankets any receiver in his area. He is quick, explosive and decisive in his decision making when breaking on the ball. Has the potential to be a starting field corner early in his career and possesses the ideal body size to do so.
4. Lekan Idowu, Windsor Lancers
Hometown: St. Catharines, ON (via Nigeria and Texas)
Ht: 5’8.8” Wt: 179 lbs
A mighty mite who plays above his size and tested off the charts, Idowu’s athleticism is apparent when you watch him play. He breaks on underneath routes and covers ground with impressive speed. Likely not a starter at the next level, but expect him to excel as a special teams specialist.
5. Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
Hometown: Hamilton, ON
Ht: 6’1.5” Wt: 207 lbs
An athletic defensive back with game-breaking speed, Guzylak-Messam is certain to be a special teams’ ace for his draft team but is underrated as a cover man. Often compared to his Laurier teammate Onyeka, he has comparably size and tape nearly as good while being faster overall.
6. Royce Metchie, Guelph Gryphons
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Ht: 5’11.8” Wt: 208 lbs
A versatile defensive back who can play multiple positions, Metchie also excels on special teams. He is the type of player teams look for to provide quality depth throughout the roster.
7. Justin Howell, Carleton Ravens
Hometown: Bradford, ON
Ht: 5’10.5” Wt: 198 lbs
When you watch Howell on tape, one thing stands out: he is always the first one down the field in kick coverage. Couple that with strong defensive tape that shows the ability to cover receivers man to man and make plays against the run and you have a player that coaches will salivate over.
8. Dagogo Maxwell, UBC Thunderbirds
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Ht: 5’10.2” Wt: 197 lbs
Extremely raw as a more recent convert to the defensive side of the ball, Maxwell oozes the athletic traits that teams look for in depth Canadians. He uses his experience as a receiver to understand how and where routes are being run and shuts down receivers with regularity. He can impact on special teams both covering kicks and returning them.
9. Jacob Firlotte, Queen’s Gaels
Hometown: Abbotsford, BC
Ht: 6’3.4” Wt: 223 lbs
Big bodied and yet shockingly nimble, Firlotte is sure fire fit at safety at the CFL level. Its almost impossible for receivers to make plays overtop of his tremendous reach. He is raw but has tremendous upside and could develop into a starter.
10. Gabriel Ouellet, Laval Rouge et Or
Hometown: Riviere-du-Loup, PQ
Ht: 5’9.5” Wt: 194 lbs
An underrated playmaker on the Laval defence, Ouellet is tenacious and aggressive to the ball. His play is best in big moments and the tape screams of being a depth Canadian special teams ace.
11. David Polynice, McGill Redmen
Hometown: Montreal, PQ
Ht: 5’10.8” Wt: 177 lbs
Completely off the radar and victim of playing for a weak team, Polynice covers ground with speed and delivers ferocious hits. His skills should translate to special teams’ success and I think he’ll develop into a capable depth safety, although he will have to get stronger.
12. Wesley Mann, Queen’s Gaels
Hometown: Almonte, ON
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 189 lbs
A non-participant in the combine process, Wes Mann shouldn’t be forgotten about. He’s a talented safety who combines natural ball skills with the ability to deliver blows to ball carriers. Any team that keeps him in mind on draft day could walk away with a steal.
13. Robbie Yochim, McMaster Marauders
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Ht: 5’8.5” Wt: 160 lbs
A ball-hawking cover-man in college, Yochim has shown the ability to make big plays. He’ll have to prove that he can play special teams at the next level which means answering questions about his size and lack of upper body strength.
14. Brooks Falloon, Saskatchewan Huskies
Hometown: St. Lazare, MB
Ht: 5’11.6” Wt: 187 lbs
A solid depth piece, Falloon has the size and skill set to contribute on multiple special teams’ units. No flash or dash here but the type of player that form the foundation of every great CFL team.
15. AJ Blackwell, UBC Thunderbirds
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
Ht: 5’9.8” Wt: 168 lbs
Blackwell has been a stalwart for several years in a UBC defensive backfield that has boasted a number of quality starters. Another player who tested weakly on the bench and weighs in light which will raise questions about his ability to get off of blocks on special teams, but has smooth athleticism that may cause teams to overlook that.