We are T-minus 10 days from CFL Draft Day 2018 so its time to look at the deepest and most important position group in the Draft. There could be as many as a dozen impactful linemen from this years draft class and teams are always looking for quality Canadian beef.
2018 CFL Draft Prospect Rankings
Top 20 OLs
1. Peter Godber, Rice Owls
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Ht: 6’3.5” Wt: 304 lbs
A prototypical CFL guard, Godber is the type of player who can step in and help you on day one. Plays with a nasty edge, rarely loses ground and consistently finishes plays with defenders on their backs. Tests as the strongest lineman in the draft yet is surprisingly nimble. I watched Godber play Stanford and he absolutely handled the 5th ranked DT in the NFL Draft, Harrison Phillips. Should be a top 5 pick but may drop due to issues with his agent, Jonathan Hardaway.
2. Dakoda Shepley, UBC Thunderbirds
Hometown: Windsor, ON
Ht: 6’4” Wt: 306 lbs
An athlete who happens to play offensive line, Shepley moves with a fluidity that is rarely seen in 300-pound men. His footwork is a thing of beauty, his hips explode through contact and his hand placement is nearly impeccable. Shepley will be the first to tell you that he is a guard at the next level, and he will be an excellent one, but he has shown both on tape and through the combine process that he is more than athletic enough to play tackle.
3. Ryan Hunter, Bowling Green State Falcons
Hometown: North Bay, ON
Ht: 6’4” Wt: 316 lbs
A tackle at the collegiate level, Hunter will move to guard at the pro level and will excel. Hunter is built like a brick wall and plays like one too. He swallows up defensive linemen with his imposing frame but also possesses the technical efficiency and athleticism to compete against the finest players in the world. The first time I saw him was versus a star-studded Ohio State defensive line, where he held back the wave of Buckeyes virtually by himself. A sure-fire starter in the CFL.
4. Trey Rutherford, UConn Huskies
Hometown: Markham, ON
Ht: 6’4” Wt: 317 lbs
Another mountain of a man, Rutherford isn’t quite as athletically freakish as those listed above him but is a true guard in every way. He has strong hand placement and shows an ability to pull in the run game that teams will love. Isn’t as mean as Godber or as flashy as Shepley and Hunter but has all the tools needed to be a starting guard in the CFL.
5. Mark Korte, Alberta Golden Bears
Hometown: Spruce Grove, AB
Ht: 6’2.5” Wt: 293 lbs
Lean, mean and gifted with unusual athleticism for a big man. Korte explodes through contact and leaves bodies in his wake. His pass pro is crisp, he has the speed to get outside in zone block schemes and he never stops driving his feet when opening holes in the run game. Korte is a true tackle in my assessment and could be a rare Canadian starter at that position.
6. Ryan Sceviour, Calgary Dinos
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Ht: 6’3.2” Wt: 303 lbs
Often overshadowed by the big names ahead of him, Sceviour is more than deserving of equally high praise. He’s athletic and aggressive, able to play equally well both on the interior and exterior of the line. His versatility and talent will be at a premium come draft day.
7. Andrew Pickett, Guelph Gryphons
Hometown: Kitchener, ON
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 313 lbs
Pickett is a true brawler who works defensive linemen over with heavy hands and active feet. He blows defenders back with raw aggression but possesses a proficient understanding of how to use leverage to his advantage. He lacks elite athleticism but for a fight in a phone booth there is no better player in this draft class.
8. David Brown, Western Mustangs
Hometown: London, ON
Ht: 6’4” Wt: 315 lbs
Not involved in the Combine process due to a late season knee injury that may keep him out for the start of next season, David Brown is the type of player you wait for. A tackle on perhaps the best offensive line in the country, Brown will move inside at the next level. He has a pro ready frame and talent that would likely be at or near the top of most other draft classes. Will be a steal for whoever drafts him.
9. Darius Ciraco, Calgary Dinos
Hometown: Burlington, ON
Ht: 6’3.6” Wt: 292 lbs
A raw prospect who likely fits at center, Ciraco needs to work on his hand placement and footwork. He excels through his physicality and takes pride in putting defenders in the turf but if he cleans up his technique, his potential is sky high.
10. Justin Lawrence, Alberta Golden Bears
Hometown: Spruce Grove, AB
Ht: 6’0.8” Wt: 305 lbs
Not as athletically gifted as his Alberta teammate, Lawrence is just as mean. He is a ferocious drive blocker with legs like pistons and a road grader mentality. His testing numbers hurt him but put a DT in front of him and he will silence all questions.
11. Keiler Cherry, Acadia Axemen
Hometown: Lloydminster, SK
Ht: 6’7” Wt: 300 lbs
Another relative unknown through the draft process due to injury, Cherry has the body that CFL teams look for. He was dominant in the AUS but is a bit raw and will need to assuage concerns of the weaker Atlantic competition. Without a Combine performance to prove his worth he might fall in the draft but will likely be a solid player in the league for years to come.
12. David Knevel, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Hometown: Brantford, ON
Ht: 6’8.5” Wt: 333 lbs
This is undoubtedly the shock of my player rankings. I have watched more tape on Knevel than any other prospect in the draft and absolutely can’t justify placing him higher than this. He has the big body teams love and the Division 1 pedigree, but tests as one of the worst of the draft. While some hope he’ll play tackle, he simply doesn’t seem athletic enough and when he played the interior for Nebraska he looked absolutely lost. He struggled with injury last year and played in a new position, but his tape as a tackle is only moderately better and his lack of athleticism shows. Someone will take him high, but he seems to be a classic case of CFL execs being blinded by the logo on the side of the helmet.
13. Arnaud Gendron-Dumouchel, Montreal Carabines
Hometown: Valleyfield, PQ
Ht: 6’9.2” Wt: 310 lbs
The hype around Gendron-Dumouchel centers mainly around his ridiculous length, which has many scouts drooling. The tape shows a raw player that has a lot of potential but is wildly inconsistent and plays with an elevated pad level. Will be a interesting developmental prospect for whichever team drafts him.
14. Levi Hua, UBC Thunderbirds
Hometown: Abbotsford, BC
Ht: 5’11.5” Wt: 285 lbs
Completely under the radar, Hua is an undersized prospect at center and may be hard pressed to get drafted based on his height. On the field, however, Hua plays above his weight class. He is a highly intelligent lineman who has been the best center in Canada’s toughest conference multiple years running and tests above average. There is a tradition of successful undersized centers in the CFL and Hua could reward any team that takes a chance on him with all the attributes you look for in the leader of your frontline.
15. Nolan McGreer, Carleton Ravens
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Ht: 6’3” Wt: 261 lbs
On the scale, McGreer weighs in as far too light to be a pro lineman and is a little light on the bench. Those deficiencies don’t really show up on tape. He is a raw prospect that plays too high but with a pro meal plan to put meat on his bones and quality coaching, he could really blossom.
16. Sam MacMillan, Toronto Varsity Blues
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Ht: 6’1.2” Wt: 275 lbs
Sam MacMillan is too short, too light, too slow and can’t bench press worth a damn but let me be clear: Sam MacMillan is my favourite player in this draft. It pains me to put him so low on this list but teams won’t ignore his obvious deficiencies, so I won’t either. On the field he shows tremendous versatility and plays every position. He compensates for his weaknesses by being a technician that overwhelms opponents with hand usage and footwork. He is intelligent and has eyes in the back of his head to pick up blocks everywhere along the line. When I watched him in one-on-ones at the combine, he never lost. While he couldn’t impress by being a brick wall like the top prospects, he rode every opponent outside and they never touched the bag. Its not flashy, but ultimately more realistic to gameplay than anything else.
17. Jacob Czaja, St. Francis Xavier X-Men
Hometown: Sudbury, ON
Ht: 6’3.6” Wt: 289 lbs
Czaja is an interesting prospect. Technically proficient, with strong hand placement and an aggressive attitude, his level of competition hid a lack of athleticism that became apparent in testing. Could be a target for a late round flyer by a lineman hungry team.
18. Curtis Krahn, Calgary Dinos
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 296 lbs
An awful tester across the board, Krahn is an aggressive lineman with raw potential who seeks out contact. May intrigue some teams when they watch him beside Sceviour and Ciraco, but will have to overcome his physical limitations.
19. Andrew Peirson, Gannon Golden Knights
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Ht: 6’1.2” Wt: 300 lbs
One of the draft’s more fascinating prospects, Peirson started games on both sides of the ball at NCAA Div. II Gannon. Not a great tester but looks good on tape with strong technique. His versatility could get him into the draft’s later rounds.
20. Ben Koczwara, Waterloo Warriors
Hometown: London, ON
Ht: 6’3.2” Wt: 291.4 lbs
Not flashy as a player or a tester, but a solid lineman across the board. Needs to clean up his technique but could benefit from pro coaching.